Monday, 30 March 2015

Godzilla aka Gojira (1954) ( Review) (March 2015)

The year, 1954 saw the rise of Toho Studio films such as Seven Samurai (1954) and Gojira (1954). The latter came out as metaphoric message for a nuclear attack on Japan less than a decade before. 

A new star was about to rise in the east with a western name known as: Godzilla! Director, Ishiro Honda's Gojira (1954) is a serious look at a nuclear beast that destroys Tokyo when it rises from the ocean floor. A fishing vessel carrying a crew is destroyed in the middle of the ocean in a bright, white flash at the film's start! Evidence starts to build up that a creature or Kaiju (monster) is out there and heading towards Tokyo, Japan. Odo Island is investigated by officials where villages tell of the titular monster and prehistoric trilobites are found in giant foot-prints to where we first get a glimpse of the world famous monster peering over a hill top - sending villages and on-lookers fleeing for their lives! Godzilla does come to Tokyo - he wrecks havoc and chaos as the bad guy! His destruction is the stuff nightmares are made off... burning buildings, fleeing crowds and helpless, yet doomed citizens. A scientist, who has invented a device (The Oxygen Destroyer) to try and combat the monster, leads to a very bleak, fitting conclusion!

The film is shot in grainy black and white, giving it a documentary-style look. In 1956, the 1954 film came to America cinemas as Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956) featuring inserted footage of Canadian actor, Raymond Burr - interacting with the Japanese cast.

Conclusion, a very emotional, downbeat film with a basic, but powerful sub-plot and story. The sounds and high-ear-piercing soundtrack really hits home with the score of the late Akira Ifukube. Great sound-effects and editing - the Japanese version is superior for those that can put up with subtitles! Honda would go on to film more G movies in the 60's and 70's before working with the Legendary Akira Kurosawa until his death. A really good, classic monster movie with a raw-story-telling style and morals to be learnt. 

Followed by: Godzilla Raids Again (1955) - HERE!

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