Thursday 2 February 2012

Godzilla Versus

Out of all the presents I was given this last Christmas, certainly the most unexpected and possibly the most educational was the Godzilla DVD I was sent by Sam (thank you again, Sam).  Not Roland Emmerich's ill-received 1998 reboot, or even the American re-edit of the original film, but the actual Japanese Godzilla of 1954, just the way it was seen in the cinemas of Tokyo 58 years ago (except with English subtitles, which were quite useful as I don't speak a word of Japanese).  I'm a big proponent of director's cuts, and getting to see such an iconic film in its unadulterated form was quite exciting.

The thing is, though, in many ways I didn't think it felt like a six-decade-old film.  Okay, so it was made in black-and-white 4:3 at a time when widescreen and colour cinematography were all newfangled and prohibitively expensive, some of the acting does have a theatrical broadness of movement to it (mind you, nowhere near as much so as Metropolis, which I've also seen restored to very nearly its original cut), and some of the VFX shots do show their age, but in many other respects Godzilla held up incredibly well.  All the more impressive, of course, considering that it was made in a country that had nearly been wiped off the face of the earth less than ten years before.  The pacing is much quicker than most contemporary films I've seen, and the score actually sounded like proper music.  So many Hollywood composers of the same period seemed to think that film music was all about making the orchestra sound as loud and overwrought as possible for as long as possible, sort of the musical equivalent of a massive string of exclamation marks without any words in between, which tended to result in a painful tuneless racket.  Godzilla, on the other hand, has music which actually works as music, and uses dynamic markings other than super-mega-fortissimo.

Anyway... long introduction aside: there are 27 sequels, many of them titled Godzilla vs [insert name here], and although I haven't seen the sequels their titles provided the idea for the rest of this post, namely "what if I wrote a series of Godzilla vs [whatever] titles, pitting the King of the Monsters against other sci-fi franchises, and summarised what I thought might happen?"

For those who remain ignorant in spite Sam's ongoing efforts to educate the world about kaiju movies, Godzilla is (according to the films) basically a prehistoric 150(ish)-foot-tall reptilian monster which was disturbed from its sea-floor lair by American nuke tests in the Pacific circa 1954, and has spent the next few decades rampaging around the world - although focussing mostly on Japan - crushing buildings, setting fire to stuff with its nuclear death ray, and battling other enormous beasts.  It's also worth noting that it's impervious to pretty much every weapon known to man.

I'll admit I did start to deviate away from sci-fi as I went along, but for what it's worth, here goes my list of as-yet-nonexistent Godzilla Versus films, with brief summaries of the outcomes:
  • Godzilla vs Doctor Who: Godzilla is a fixed point in time (obviously), so the Doctor can't interfere.  He rescues a handful of people in the TARDIS before it's too late.  The Daleks on the other hand, probably do try and interfere because they can't bear the thought that someone else is better at exterminating than they are, but they don't last long.
  • Godzilla vs Star Wars: Sidious deploys Force lightning, Godzilla deploys atomic death ray.  Both fry, but Sidious probably gets the worst of it.
  • Godzilla vs Star Trek: we have a bit of a problem with geography here.  The Godzilla films (as far as I'm aware) take place mostly in Japan, and Star Trek takes place mostly in outer-space locations that aren't Japan, so I'm not sure how the two would meet.
  • Godzilla vs Avatar: I guess the Na'vi would try and form a symbiotic bond with Godzilla, like they do with every other species on their planet, but something tells me it wouldn't work.  Sooner or later, Hometree Mk II would get rampaged and burnt.
  • Godzilla vs Jurassic Park: no, even Dennis Nedry knows better than to steal that embryo!
  • Godzilla vs The Matrix: the Machines accidentally wake Godzilla, and their empire is destroyed within a few weeks.  Those Sentinels don't stand a chance against the atomic death ray.  The interesting part of the question is, how would the humans' brains deal with the collapse of the Matrix infrastructure?  Mind you, what with them all being disconnected from reality and stuff, they'd probably have a hard time evacuating, so they'd all get bumped off pretty quick amid the rampages.  Which makes the question a bit redundant.
  • Godzilla vs Thunderbirds: Godzilla destroys Tokyo (again), but not before the Tracey brothers evacuate everybody.  Derek Meddings has a field day blowing stuff up for the cameras.  Oh, wait... he did that on most Thunderbirds episodes anyway.  Never mind.
  • Godzilla vs Top Gear: the presenters are told to meet in Tokyo to shoot a Japan special, but Godzilla turns up just when they're supposed to start filming.  Clarkson escapes by modifying the daylights out of his car to make it do 250mph.  Hammond has already got emotionally attached to his motor and is unwilling to modify it to speed it up, so he can't get away quick enough and he gets stomped.  May survives because he can't read maps and he never got to Tokyo in the first place.  He is eventually discovered, five years later, slowly orbiting a roundabout a few miles west of Edinburgh.
  • Godzilla vs Sherlock: Sherlock becomes the only person in the universe ever to talk the King of the Monsters out of doing a rampage.  Godzilla acknowledges Sherlock's intellect as a fellow force of nature.  He eats Moriarty instead.
  • Godzilla vs Tony Blair: Tony is such an amateur.  That Iraq fiasco, and all.  Godzilla shows him how to invade and destroy a country properly - and hopefully he then burns Blair to a crisp for good measure.
  • Godzilla vs Tesco: Godzilla still destroys everything, but this time there are plenty of handy carrier bags he can use to take home some souvenirs from the trip.
  • Godzilla vs Root Hill: don't worry, we've got Sam on our side.  He knows all Godzilla's tricks, so he can tell us all how to survive the attack.  Sorted.
Okay, yeah... that might have got a bit strange towards the end, but it was quite fun to write =]

  • First 12 for '12 status: 11 down, 1 to go
  • Latest book read: still working through 1 Kings in the KJV. Solomon's dead.
  • Latest film/TV watched: Great British Railway Journeys
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- The Colclough


  1. You forgot a few.
    Godzilla vs Darlan: George apologizes profusely and assures everyone it's really not how thing were meant to go, then accidentally retcons Godzilla out of reality.
    Godzilla vs Apple: The Ghost of Steve Jobs sells Godzilla an iVictim, which then catches fire after an unfortunate malfunction as the monster is eating, and burns Godzilla to death from the inside out.
    Godzilla vs The Open University: Godzilla is about to burn the OU building down, when he spots an interesting course of accounting, and after taking a degree is business, gets a job a Lloyd's TSB.


  2. This is my favourite post on this blog. I might do something simillar.

  3. Did you see how rubbish that bloke playing Moriaty in the last episode was?

    Professor Moriarty is suppossed to be a Evil Genius (the exact opposite of Holmes) not some bloke from the pub.