Godzilla, Iconic Legend or Stupid Rubber Lizard?

         Hold on to your popcorn tub just when you think it is safe to go back into the theater, they are putting out a new Godzilla movie. As if twenty-eight Godzilla movies spanning some sixty years were not enough another is due to be released in 2012. Godzilla came to America in 1955, which was just a few years after Akira Kurosawa’s Rashômon, which was released in the fall of 1952 thru the spring of 1953. Godzilla, which is a sci-fi -monster /horror genre, was quite a different type of movie than the art flick Rashômon. The fact that, both of them are Japanese produced movies many be literally all that the two films have in common.

         The monster Godzilla is a conglomeration of many different kinds of reptiles according to Wikipedia.com, “Godzilla has the head and lower body of a Tyrannosaurus, a triple row of dorsal plates reminiscent of a Stegosaurus, the neck and forearms of Iguanodon and the tail and skin texture of a crocodile.” Furthermore the appearance of the long lived movie star has changed over the years, just like some of his human counter parts with their extensive plastic surgeries. “Godzilla's dorsal plates have themselves altered in size and appearance over the years.” Now, the Japanese lizard is getting another Hollywood makeover. This one will be based on the Toho Company’s of Godzilla. Who are Toho, you may ask? Why they are a Japanese film and theatre production/distribution company whom own all the rights to Godzilla, and what a very profitable rubber lizard Godzilla has been for the company. So just like most actors and actress the big guy wants to turn back the clock and appear younger again. Godzilla is now almost a senior citizen, so what would be wrong with looking like it? I will never understand Hollywood’s lust for the look of youth.

         However, for any true fan of Godzilla who has watched every one of the twenty-eight movies knows that today’s Godzilla is not the exact same lovable lizard as first started in the movies back in the 1950’s but actually his son. The original Godzilla died in nuclear meltdown once his body reaches 1,200 degrees Celsius in the movie Godzilla vs. Destroyah. Much like “the Phantom” from DC comics the fame, when dear old dad died “junior” took over and became Godzilla. Assuming the roles and identity of the senior reptile apparently no one noticed any difference between the two different gigantically proportioned stars.

         Toho always cast Godzilla as the hero in all the films, which featured the larger than life lizard. However, other companies have not always cast the rather clumsy reptile in such a favorable light but he always seemed to be some sort of anthropomorphic hero (a protector of the earth), which I feel is a wee bit ironic considering the supposed origins of this beastie are because of being mutated from atomic radiation which seems like a very un-natural beginning to me. Godzilla over the years has been a sort of spokes lizard against nuclear testing, the dangers of pollution, warning against genetic engineering and warning against inviting unknown space visitors to our beloved Earth. If you know Godzilla’s tragic history it easy to see why the big guy would be so set against such things. I wonder if MESS (Murray Environmental Student Society) knows about Godzilla’s long fight on its cause. So even as far back as the 1970’s Godzilla was attempting to educate the world about cleaning up after themselves and being kind to the Earth. I bet few people realize that Godzilla that while it is actually in reality more of a charcoal grey in color Godzilla was the first “GREEN” movie star!

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