Why Does Godzilla Continue To Fascinate Us?
It's coming on 60 years now that Godzilla and friends have been stomping their way through our fictional cities. Just what is it about this group of kaiju that keeps us coming back? We have a few theories.
As new details about the upcoming Godzillaflick continue to spool out, a question came up: What is it about everyone's favorite radioactive lizard-dragon, armed with little more than a disdain for skyscrapers and ambivalent feelings about moths, that has him planted so firmly in our imaginations?
I'd watch the original 1954 film (uncut and subtitled if possible) and read up on some of the literature on it. That film really had a seismic impact on Japanese pop culture, as it resonated with 50s anxieties about the atomic bomb combined with the trauma of World War II, bundled up with the imagery of giant monsters from mythology (dragons, etc.). Somewhat less so for U.S. audiences, but there were definitely people thrilled by it. And though the series devolved into silly grudge-match adventures with other fantastic monsters (though, I love them all IMHO), occasionally they had moments that really captured the best of what a film monster could be: a giant, unstoppable force of nature that is terrifying but also misunderstood and just a bit sad.