There is a special place reserved in my heart for kaiju. A love that I've cultivated through meticulous fandom and my brief four-month stay in kaiju's ancestral home of Japan. That's why when Toho, the Japanese production company responsible for the King of Monsters himself, announced that they were getting back into the monster movie business, I felt like I was 12 years old again.
With my youthful curiousness about kaiju quickly returning, I started in the most logical place—1954's Gojira. Tragically, the first Godzilla film I ever saw was actually a Frankensteinian monster known as Godzilla, King of Monsters that used some footage from the original Gojira with actor Raymond Burr hideously jammed in there for "American audiences." But being 12, I didn't really know better. I just thought the movie was shot really weird. I wouldn't actually see the original Gojira until I got my hands on an re-release DVD from Classic Media titled Gojira: The Original Japanese Masterpiece.
Luckily, you can now watch the original Japanese film in its entirety over at Hulu (subscription required). Gojira is a stunning film that packs in a surprising amount of fear for a film that, for the most part, is a dude in a rubber suit stomping on a miniature city. There really isn't any camp here (that wouldn't really come until the 60s). Gojira tells the story of a country still dealing with the radioactive scars from WWII. Its characters are compelling and well-development, much more so than Gareth Edwards' recent reboot.
Toho's new Godzilla film will open in 2016. Although it's the studios' 29th film (did I mention the 60s?), it will be its first since 2004. I can't wait to see Godzilla's return to the original land of kaiju. [Hulu Plus]
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