Colossal Kaiju

colossal kaiju Mar 23, 2017

Yeah, it’s a redundant title. You come up with these things five days a week.

I love Kaiju. When I was a kid, WPIX-TV (channel 11) had “Chiller Theater,” which would run various “horror” movies, including kaiju like Godzilla on weekday afternoons. If the weather was bad, or if I was sick (which was frequent for a couple of years,) I would end up watching it.

The Chiller intro was more frightening than the movie:

I suspect Chiller Theater ran nights too, and that’s when they broadcast the really scary stuff.

Kaiju are cool again. They’ve even branched into movies that are supposed to be funny, instead of only unintentionally.

This looks like it could be an entertaining film, with a great idea and an excellent cast. Of course, a good cast didn’t help Kong: Skull Island, from what I have heard. That’s a shame since it is supposed to lead up to a crossover with the Godzilla in the 2014 reboot of that franchise, which I enjoyed.

Of course, I am one of the fifteen or so people that enjoyed the 1998 Godzilla with Matthew Broderick and Hank Azaria, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Like all genre, kaiju movies have expectations. Cities need to be trashed. Man has to be taught a lesson about his/her place in nature. Efforts to control nature have to fail.

Expectations can become formulas, and that’s how many genre movies/books/comics, etc. end up being mediocre or just bad. “Destroy All Monsters,” one of my all-time favorite Showa-era Godzilla films (when I was 7 or 8 years old,) is so formulaic it’s put together using footage from other movies.  I also loved Gamera, the giant fire-breathing turtle, as a kid. I’ve tried to watch those movies again. They’re pretty bad.

Formula is the bane of genre fiction, and it’s something I am maybe a little too afraid of as I put together my War of the Worlds stories because, after all, I am starting with a basic formula: a sequel. Can I write an interesting sequel without falling into a formula or writing a mess that doesn’t make any sense?

We’ll see, I guess.

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