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Godzilla

Year: 1954
Studio: Toho
Director: Ishiro Honda
Writer: Ishiro Honda
One of the permanent fixtures of pop psychology in cinema in his first ever incantation from the famed Toho studios. He spawned a generation of movie monsters and his appeal has never died, and the Godzilla mythology carries a lot of baggage with it, from the endless strings of Son Of... and Godzilla vs... sequels to the Emmerich/Devlin remake of 1998 that history has judged so harshly.

But when you sit down and watch the actual movie, you realise that any appeal is the kitschy charm. It was after all made in 1954, when the acting style in fashion was the sort of overblown hand-against-forehead dramatics and the special effects technology went as far as a guy who couldn't see properly stumbling around in a floppy rubber suit.

Godzilla arises on an island populated with fishing villagers just as the scientific community is starting to worry about the presence of radiation from atomic bomb tests. His iconic rage through the city, lighting up buildings and destroying tanks with his fire breath, actually comes about halfway through the film and gets tired a little too quickly as the effects fall flat under scrutiny by a viewer from the modern era.

Generally slow moving, not in itself very entertaining except for its cult appeal.

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