Kaiju Of The Month: Godzilla In Name Only AKA Zilla
Its that time of the month, Kaiju of the Month! I haven’t done one of these since before Dreadtober and was really looking forward to revisiting the series. That being said, let’s get into this month’s Kaiju pick.
# of films appeared in
Year Of First Appearance
I grew up on giant monster movies, especially the Toho’s Godzilla. So imagine my excitement when I found out my home country was going to be bringing Godzilla to the masses. Eight years old me thought everyone was going to be hooked on Godzilla like I was after the movie came out. The movie came out and I was a huge fan. My parent’s bought me Godzilla(1998) toys, magazines showing behind the scenes work on the film, and I watched the Godzilla series religiously every Saturday morning when TV still showed Saturday morning cartoons.
Now Godzilla(1998) has a notoriously bad reputation and I haven’t seen the movie since I was little. I’m actually curious about how I’d react watching the movie now, but the important thing here is that this was essentially the birth of Zilla although he was being called Godzilla. More on that later.
In the movie, Godzilla was reimagined as an iguana who had become a mutant aberration due to France’s nuclear testing in the French Polynesian islands during the 1960’s. A lot of Godzilla fans did not take too kindly to the reimagining and neither did Toho, claiming that the film tarnished their key kaiju’s good name. TriStar Pictures had planned a sequel, but scrapped the project when their movie was panned by fans and critics alike. Sony, who owned the license, would let the rights expire in 2003. Its telling when fans rename your version of Godzilla G.I.N.O., Godzilla In Name Only.
Here’s where things get interesting. Toho acquired the rights to the likeness of the 1998 Godzilla and would use him in the 2004 Godzilla film, Godzilla: Final Wars. Legally, the Godzilla who appears in the 1998 version and the renamed Toho version, Zilla, have to be considered entirely different entities despite Zilla having the exact same appearance. Toho would make Godzilla and Zilla face off in what is the shortest battle in the Godzilla series, an obvious statement on the part of Toho to its Godzilla fans.
- Punching Bag- Zilla has incredibly thick skin. You kind of have to have that when you are the laughing stock of the kaiju world. Although it doesn’t seem to have done him any good in his fight with the real Godzilla…
That’ll do it for this month’s Kaiju of the Month. I’ll be spending my time editing the podcast we recorded last weekend, Gaming With Papa Smerph II. I hope to get it out to you guys in time for Sunday’s post so I have some work to do. I’ll see you guys then!