Godzilla RIP

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The call goes out, Destroy All Monsters!, at least that is how I recollect the advertising campaign. It was a late 60's Toho super-monster team up movie in which Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Anguilas, Minya, Manda, Baragon, and Spigas save the earth from evil Moonwomen.

Toho has decided to destroy or at least let Godzilla out to pasture.

Even as a little kid I was never a big fan of most Japanese monster movies. The big exception was Mothra the giant moth that was accompanied by two tiny singing women who interpreted the monster's moods to the rest of the world. It was too odd to resist.

Gamera eventually won me over as well. But the first time I saw the giant nuclear powered turtle was on Savannah's late night creature features TV show. At the beginning of the movie Gamera retracted his head and appendages, started spinning and headed off for outer space. That was more than enough for me in my less tolerant late teens. I flipped off the TV and went to bed.

Years later I relented and became a Gamera fan, won over by the sheer preposterousness. Though Gamera was destructive in the first movie, in later episodes he became the special friend of children. At the end of some of the movies a chorus of Japanese kids sing what I presume to be a song of praise of the atomic turtle.

I was a huge fan of the trashy Japanese science fiction movies, particularly The Mysterins (which I first heard of in a Susan Sontag essay). I grew up a fan of evil aliens out to destroy the earth or at least subjugate its population. Almost the only kind around back then. Steven Spielberg had yet to sugarcoat extraterrestrials.

Later I was sort of reconciled to Godzilla. Meaning really that when I wanted to watch some Psychotronic TV and Godzilla was my only option I'd settle for it. I think I liked the one where the robot Godzilla was the villain. There was also a typically 1970s 'socially relevant' smog monster to be fought. Kid or baby Godzilla would be the low point. Baby Godzilla was picked on by the other inhabitants of Monster Isle, as was a Japanese boy in Tokyo. There stories were told in parallel. You get the idea; it was as bad as it sounds.

Maybe Toho really will end the Godzilla series, you can't trust entertainment conglomerates. You can read Godzilla's obit: Godzilla Stomped Out.

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