A Japanese film, through and through, Gojira tells the tale of an ancient beast, a creature of legends, that has been released from it’s lair beneath the ocean when it’s home is destroyed by atomic tests being conducted in the Pacific ocean (this is the early to mid-1950s, after all). At first a few boats go missing with no clues. When a few survivors are found, they speak seemingly gibberish about the ocean exploding. Seems only an old and grumpy man, knows what’s happening when he starts talking about the old legends of a giant lizard beast that would emerge and wreak havoc, and how they used to appease the beast by setting the occasional girl adrift on a raft for the creature’s snacking pleasure. Finally enough sightings and reports of the creature start coming through that a scientific research team is put together to study the beast. Once they discover that Godzilla is real, it’s then up to the military to destroy Godilla, who is now working it’s way towards Tokyo. As usual, (though not “as usual” for the audiences of 1954), traditional tactics do nothing but piss the monster off, and just causes more destruction. It’s not until a physically and emotionally scarred scientist is convinced to use his discovery, a device that destroys oxygen and liquefies living flesh, that Japan has even a slim hope of surviving the monster’s attack.
Gojira is as good as an introduction to a movie beast as any I’ve seen. The creature design has proven solid, as this 1954 Godzilla still looks like the same Godzilla that you would find in the 60’s,70’s and beyond (except for that crappy American Godzilla movie). Also, the creatures iconic roar is there, right from the start. It’s also interesting to watch this film with the knowledge that this was made in a Japan that is very different from today’s Japan. This is a Japan that was still healing from a World War that almost decimated them. The war is mentioned, and the testing of nuclear weapons are highlighted as a bad thing. If you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this film. If you are unsure if you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this and a number of other Godzilla movies if you really want to decide if you are a fan or not. I know I am.
Check out the trailer below:
You read that right: This week of movie watching is dedicated to everybody’s favourite, reptilian destroyer of Japanese cities, Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira).
Why Godzilla? Well, it started after watching Dragonslayer – I was talking to my buddy and thought that perhaps a week dedicated to movies about Dragons might be a cool idea… Until I started searching out movies about Dragons – there aren’t many, and for the most part, the ones that do exist I am not interested in. Except one thing: I consider Godzilla to be a Dragon, and there are a lot of Godzilla movies to choose from, and I just happen to like Godzilla. I think this is what is known as a Win/Win situation folks. Over the next week I will write up the Godzilla movies I watch and share them with you, as usual. But take note: I will not be watching the travesty of a Godzilla movie that starred Mathew Broderick – to me that is not a true Godzilla movie.
So… Welcome to Godzilla Week my Internet friends!
A true crime author moves his family into a home where an unsolved horrific multiple murder took place and finds a stash of 8mm home movies in the attic, he believes he’s found evidence of a serial killer going all the way back to the 1960s. Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a famous (though his fame is fading) true crime writer who has moved his family into the home where a grisly multiple murder happened. The movie actually opens with what appears to be grainy, home movie video (or film) of the crime that happened in this very home. Now, he hasn’t told his wife or young family that a murder happened here… You see, he’s trying to write his next big (and hopefully biggest yet), book and perhaps living in the house of the crime he wants to write about may provide that inspiration. Late one night, while investigating some nocturnal noises, Ellison finds himself in the attic where he finds a stash of 8mm home movies, and a projector. Over the next few weeks/months he reviews these movies… only to be led to believe he has stumbled upon the proof of a previously unknown serial killer with crimes that go back to the 1960s. Trying to get information about the crime that happened from the local chief of police isn’t going to be easy as he isn’t a fan of Ellison’s work, as it often makes the police looked like buffoons. Luckily he is able to get an inside to the police by befriending one of the newer Deputies, who happens to be a big fan of Ellison’s. Uncovering proof of other unsolved murders which seem to tie in with the scenes found on the movies he discovered in his attic. He also enlists the help of a Professor Jonas (Vincent D’Onofrio), as there are similar symbols left at the scenes of each crime scene. The more Ellison investigates, the weirder and deeper the weirdness grows. Now his own kids are seeing and doing the unexplained…
Damn this is a good, creepy horror movie. Hell, it even includes what I would condiser a half-decent twist! I find that the movie managed to create and sustain a level of suspense (and aforementioned creepiness) that is rare lately. Also, it’s nice o see Ethan Hawke in a movie, as I always enjoyed his acting.
So, check out Sinister if you are looking for a better than your run of the mill suspenseful horror flick. Check out the trailer blow, folks: