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The Godzilla Saga...online compendium of the King of the Monsters.

THE GODZILLA SAGA

Above pic courtesy of Barry's Temple of Godzilla

Online Godzilla Compendium

by Chris N.



TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR MAIN PAGE

INTRODUCTION--A little bit about The Godzilla Saga.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS--Some of the names who inspired this work of mine.

ON GODZILLA--A few of my thoughts on the Atomic Titan of Terror and what he means to the world, as well as more info on what The Godzilla Saga is all about.

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE SITE--This continually updated section of the main page will list all new material added to the site as soon as it's posted.

G-NEWS--Another continually updated section of the main page, which features any and all news relating to the Big G, posted as soon as I find out about it. Sources always listed.

ITEMS OF INTEREST--This continually updated section of the main page features any item or bit of news that I think would be of interest to my readers.

GUEST BOOK.

BABEL FISH translator.

SITE LINKS--This final section of the main page features many links leading to the meat of the site, including all of my reviews of the G-films, my episode guides for the two Godzilla animated TV series (both from Hanna-Barbera and from Centropolis), my discussions of the two most popular Godzilla commercials (the ones produced by Dr. Pepper in the 1980s and the one produced by Nike in the 1990s), my guest section (featuring articles, book reviews, CD reviews, and other contributions by esteemed G-fans other than myself), my extensive timelines (including one for the Showa Toho Universe, one for the Heisei Toho Universe, and one for Marc Cerasini's Tohoverse), my glossary, my links to other cool sites on the Net, and more.

My thanks to regular contributor Vennie Anderson for suggesting this table of contents, as well as other improvements for The Godzilla Saga.

INTRODUCTION

This online book features an analysis of the various on-screen aspects of the King of the Monsters, the greatest movie dai kaiju (Japanese for "giant monster") of all time. It's the work of a single lifelong fan of the genre, and this book represents my effort to share all of my insights and opinions concerning the decades long career of the Toho Titan with all of my fellow G-fans, as well as kaiju-fans and sci-fi fans in general who may wish to augment their knowledge base of Godzilla.

Now, for the following necessary disclaimer: please note that this online work is in no way, shape, or form authorized by Toho Co., Ltd., who owns the copyright of Godzilla, as well as every other character and piece of technology included in this text (with the sole exception of King Kong, who is owned by Turner Network, and Charles Barkley, whose image is, of course, copyright himself). Also note that I haven't made a single red cent off of this work, and it's presented here free to all of my fellow G-fans and other general sci-fi fans who may benefit from reading its contents. Thus, I am in no way violating Toho's copyright with this work, and my very limited use of pics (now and in the future) stay well within the realm of fair use according to U.S. law.

Since there is already an ample supply of Godzilla pics all over the Web and in numerous print magazines, I am going to include only a small amount of pics on this site, and I will instead endeavor to make this online tome text and information heavy, as opposed to picture and graphics heavy. Accordingly, there will be no graphics at this time, since not only can such eye candy be readily found elsewhere on the Net, but as pretty and impressive as graphics can be, they ultimately slow down the download time for the page, knock out browsers and sound cards on slower computers, and take up huge amounts of bandwidth. Thus, if you are looking for eye-pleasing stuff like that, you have come to the wrong site; however, if you are looking for a lot of information on all of Godzilla's big and small screen exploits (both live action and animated), then you have come to the right place. This site will be constantly expanded and updated, though what it includes right now is considerable. So read on and enjoy! :)

This work is respectfully dedicated to the memory and astounding career of producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, who died April 2, 1997 at age 86. Not only was he the creator of Godzilla, as well as the producer/executive producer of the first 22 Japanese G-films over a period of 41 years (which encompasses every movie in the first two film series), but he was also responsible for many of the legendary Akira Kurosawa films, often hailed as some of the greatest movies in international cinematic history. Every G-fan and serious cinema buff the world over mourns the loss.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This work owes a high level of gratitude to the creative staff of Toho Co., Ltd., past and present, particularly Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, Jun Fukuda, Eiji Tsuberaya, Teruyoshi Nakano, Akira Ifukube, Takao Okawara, Kazuki Omori, Koichi Kawakita, Shogo Kumiyama, and the many others whose talents combined to bring us the exploits of the King of the Monsters over the past four decades.

Also, this book probably would never have been possible if not for the hard work and inspiration provided by the many G-fans of North America who have written and published material on Toho’s atomic titan of terror. These include, in no particular order, Greg Shoemaker, Forrest J. Ackerman, Henry G. Saperstein, John Rocco Roberto, Guy Mariner Tucker, August Ragone, J.D. Lees, David Kalat, Ed Godziszewski, Keith Sewell, Jim and Cheryl Cirronella, Modstoon, Edward Holland, David May, Dan and Diane Reed, Robert Biondi and Brian Culver. Your efforts are much appreciated by this particular G-fan, as well as numerous others.

Special thanks must also be given to my grandmother, who is greatly responsible for my life long interest in the Big G. Due to her employment as a secretary of the film industry in the 1970s, she acquired a huge amount of G-film pressbooks for me when I was a young child, brought me to see the last two Godzilla movies of the original series when they first opened in U.S. theaters, and to this day never fails to remind me when a Godzilla movie marathon is playing on TV. I strongly appreciate her active role in nurturing and preserving my status as a die hard G-fan!


Above pic courtesy of Fort90 journal

ON GODZILLA

Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, continues to stand as the most famous figure in the history of dai kaiju eiga (Japanese for “giant monster movies”), as his only real rivals in this area are King Kong and Gamera, although Mothra also made a foray into a solo film series. Godzilla, who has been referred to by his creator, Tomoyuki Tanaka, as the “sacred beast of the apocalypse,” has become synonymous with destruction and atomic horror in the annals of popular fiction, and he’s been the subject of three separate movie series, produced by Toho Co., Ltd., over a period of five decades, and a completely new version of the character was the subject of a 1998 American made film from Tri-Star Pictures. During this time he has gone from being depicted as a mindless engine of devastation and the personification of the misuse of nuclear power, to a super-heroic and sometimes even near-comical figure, and back to being a feared menace to humankind again. In fact, audiences in the Western world continue to perceive Godzilla as a campy rather then menacing figure, due partially to the mishandling in America of the first movie in the second (Heisei Era) film series, released by New World Pictures in 1985, and partially due to the disproportionate amount of attention the semi-juvenile films produced by Toho in the original (Showa Era) series of G-films during the 1970’s receive on Western shores. Furthermore, the Tri-Star film and its accompanying advertising campaign with Taco Bell (“here leezard leezard!”) did absolutely nothing to improve his image. As a result, G-fans (as we devout Godzilla fans call ourselves) are often ridiculed when we admit our interest in the Big G’s movies.

Within this online book, you will find a synopsis and review of all G-films as they are released (with the first two film series complete thus far), along with creative credits, detailed comments about numerous aspects of each film reviewed, and descriptions of the differences between the Japanese and American versions of these films. Each movie will be listed with the title it is currently known as on U.S. video and TV, not its original U.S. release title, which have often been ludicrous, deceptive of the film’s content, and exploitive of popular but unrelated film material. Many G-fans believe that the original American release title should be highlighted in these reviews for reasons of historical posterity, or that even the usually very different Japanese titles of the films should be given center stage for reasons regarding loyalty to Toho's original intentions, but in my personal opinion, doing either of the latter two things just makes it confusing for current G-fans in the U.S. who are not familiar with the entire fulcrum of G-film history to find the current versions of the films on video. Nevertheless, I will list the original American release title and the Japanese and international release titles of each film in the reviews (and please note that different sources tend to have somewhat different interpretations of how the Japanese film titles precisely translate into English, so be aware of these variations); for my English-speaking visitors from the U.K., please compare the American film titles with the listing of international film titles to figure out what each film may be titled on home video or TV in your respective country. This may work for the U.K., but in Germany, France, Italy, etc., the G-film release titles have often been extremely varied, and I couldn't begin to guess what film title they would currently carry on home video and TV, and for this I apologize.

Also here you will find an overview of the classic Godzilla commercials by Dr. Pepper and Nike Shoes, a synopsis and analysis of the Tri-Star film, a section covering the Hanna-Barbera animated Godzilla series from the late 1970s on American television, an analysis of the Tri-Star produced animated Godzilla series from the late 1990s, some info on Club Daikaiju (which is perhaps the best place to acquire Godzilla merchandise), and a long glossary featuring detailed descriptions of every major kaiju, piece of technology, locale, and even individual to be featured in Godzilla's live action appearances on the big and small screens in every conceivable Godzilla continuity. New sections of the site are added from time to time, also.
Finally, a word on Video Daikaiju will be provided, including the arguments by G-fans for and against purchasing the high quality bootleg videos that the company distributes.
I have endeavored to be as accurate as possible in this work, but some bloopers in a venture like this, from random grammatical and spelling errors to a few factual inconsistencies, are commonplace in a project of this nature, and I will be continually reviewing this work and making corrections of all kinds as necessary (ah, the advantages of an online book!).

The links on this page will take you to the various different sections on the site...so go ahead, explore the universe of Godzilla, and enjoy :-)

If anyone would like to get in touch with me in care of this site, and would rather not leave a private entry in the guest book, you can reach me at g_saga_admin[AT]fastmail[DOT]us




The Godzilla Saga honors the memory of Akira Ifukube (1915-2006)
Mr. Ifukube, the legendary composer who was responsible for many of the most well-known and popular Godzilla scores, passed away on Thursday, February 9, 2006. He was 91 years old. Mr. Ifukube scored many G-films throughout the Showa and Heisei series, and his themes and medleys were played in all but two of the Millennium Series G-films as a fitting homage to this great composer. With Mr. Ifukube's passing, all three of the original creators of the Big G have now passed on.
All of G-fandom mourns the loss.



The Godzilla Saga honors the memory of Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)
He not only made us believe that a man can fly, he also made us believe that one need not have super-powers to be a true hero. All of sci-fi fandom, and many others whom he gave inspiration to the world over, greatly mourns this tragic loss, but his legacy and what he represented will live on forever.



The Godzilla Saga honors the memory of Thomas J. Nigro (1923-2012)
Perhaps he wasn't world famous like some of the other people I left dedications to in this section of the front page, but he meant the world to me and my family, and was quite well-known to those who were lucky enough to be a part of his life. That would be my grandfather, who passed on a few days before Halloween of '12 at the ripe old age of 89. Our relationship was often a rocky one, and we had trouble agreeing on so many things, but despite how difficult things could be at times, he was still my grandfather, he and my grandmother took good care of me, and we were not only good buddies in the early days of my life, but we thankfully became so again during the last decade of his life. He deserves an honorable tribute here along with the rest of those people who were a great inspiration to me, as he was a hell of a guy and he will never be forgotten.



Be sure to vote for the Rondo Awards this year! Neither of my two websites got nominated for Best Website of 2009, but there are always write-in votes, people ;-) If any of my readers of The Godzilla Saga votes for my site via write-in--thank you very much!


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

11/16/12:

Today has seen the release, both in hard copy and e-book format, of another short fiction anthology featuring a story from yours truly. That would be CARNAGE: AFTER THE END Volume 1, published by the fine folks at Sirens Call Publications. This horror anthology features ten tales that all center on the common theme of scattered remnants of humanity struggling for survival in a world following a devastating apocalyptic event, the nature of said event varying with each story, but all depicting what is left of the human species doing their best to survive in a future world that embodies a never-ending nightmare. My own story, "The Scurrying," centers around a tribe of post-apocalyptic humans fighting to survive on an Earth overrun by a species of predatory giant rat who have displaced humanity as the top life form on the planet's food chain, and are relentlessly determined to hunt every last human being to extinction. My fellow writers in the first volume are Kimberly A. Bettes, Shane Cashman, Shane R. Collins, Laura Diamond, Rodney James Galley, Michael Griffin, Russell Linton, Adam Millard, and Julianne Snow, with the volume having been edited by Gloria Bobrowicz. The cover is just below:

The e-book version is only $3.99, and you can get it at the following places, depending on your preference:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

For those who may prefer to order a print copy of the book at $14.99, you can order it here: CreateSpace

Also on sale now is the companion volume, CARNAGE: AFTER THE FALL Volume 2, which features ten more tales centering on the above theme, also edited by Gloria Bobrowicz and featuring short stories by Angel D. Callido, Charlie Fish, Harper Hull, Magda Knight, Jason Lairamore, Harry Manners, Zachary O'Shea, Wednesday Silverwood, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and L.E. White.

You can check out the cover here:

And you can get the e-book version, also at just $3.99, at the following locales:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

And for those who would prefer a hard print copy, you can get one, also for just $14.99, here: CreateSpace

The covers to both Volume 1 and Volume 2 are right below:

9/21/12:

For those of my visitors who may be interested in checking out some of my published fiction writing, recently released in in both e-book and hard copy paperback formats is the anthology ALIENS AMONG US Volume 1 by Pulp Empire/Metahuman Press. It features ten stories of sci-fi oriented pulp action all centered around the common theme of extra-terrestrials visiting the Earth in a familiar setting--i.e., in the past or the present--and interacting with human beings, either for good or ill (or sometimes both). My particular story in the anthology, "A Martian Warrior on Earth," tells the tale of a Barsoomian Red Martian law enforcement officer, Cy Tharnn, who travels to the slums of the Earth city of Rochester, New York circa late 1980s on a clandestine mission to hunt down and neutralize a genetically modified member of the vile octopoid alien race known as the Sarmaks (remember them from H. G. Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS, and their subsequent appearances elsewhere, including Alan Moore's THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN Vol. 2?) who has sequestered itself some place in the impoverished section of the city while using the drug-addicted human inhabitants as both a source of food and as psychically controlled security guards. Can Tharnn successfully pull off the imposture of being human and succeed in his vital mission when he has yet to fully master the American English dialect, runs afoul of the police, and inadvertently picks up a perky young prostitute as a sidekick to serve as his guide in this horrid section of town? And what about the difficulty of actually neutralizing such a dangerous quarry if he should succeed in locating it? Buy the book and find out already! :-)

The e-book version is only $2.99, and you can get it on Smashwords here. For those who own a Kindle and prefer to make your e-book purchases from Amazon, go here.

For those who prefer the paperback (or would like a copy of that in addition to the electronic version), it's available for $12.00 on Amazon here and wherever you can purchase books.

10/31/11 Hitting book shelves and online digital inventories of book-sellers this coming December (of 2011) will be the eighth volume of Black Coat Press’ popular TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN anthology series, featuring new tales of pulp adventure starring many classic heroes and villains from French literature. The eighth volume will be sub-titled AGENTS PROVOCATEURS, and amongst the many authors who penned stories for this latest volume will be the debut published work of yours truly. My offering is the tale “Patricide,” which features a very unfriendly family reunion as the Phantom of the Opera battles Ghoroull, the French version of the Frankenstein Monster, in a deadly and bitter war between two monstrous killers who share a nightmarish lineage. My thanks and appreciation to Jean-Marc Lofficier, the finest editor anyone could ask for, and for my fellow creative mythographers such as Crazy Ivan Shablotski, Jay Lindsey, Win Scott Eckert, Chuck Loridans, Henry and Sarah Covert, Mike Ongsincgo, Matthew Baugh, Brad Mendel, Gordon Long, Dennis Power, Prof. Pete Coogan, Art Bollman, Jess Nevins, Kim Newman, Jonah Heim, Dimadick, Jean-Marc Lofficier and his wife Randy themselves, and several others who provided heaps of support and inspiration to make this move into the ranks of published authors possible for me. A finer and more gifted set of genre writers and researchers could not be found in this or any other reality, and I am proud to be among them, and to have my byline appear in an anthology featuring such an august body of authors.

Oh, and did I mention the truly incredible cover for this volume provided by artist Jean-Claude Claeys? Don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself:

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN Volume 8: AGENTS PROVOCATEURS, edited by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier

10/31/11 The world of Wold Newtonry and monsterphiles are receiving a very important gift this Halloween, i.e., October 31, 2011! Going "live" today is the long-awaited, triumphant return of MONSTAAH, and the new version will be helmed by none other than yours truly until such time as its founder and true owner, Chuck Loridans, is able to reclaim the helm himself. With Chuck's gracious approval and blessings, I now carry the torch of one of the greatest sites in the horror genre to ever be created, and you can rest assured I take such a great honor quite seriously (but not so seriously that myself and viewers alike will not have heaps of fun with the return of MONSTAAH--boo-yaah!). It was a great honor to be entrusted with the curatorship of MONSTAAH as the org enters a new era, and I look forward to doing Chuck's legacy proud. The new site, complete with a heavily updated Children of the Night Timeline, can be found here. The new site is still a work in progress, so expect much more from it in the coming weeks.
Of specific interest to kaiju-fans on the revived MONSTAAH site is my new article describing the situation regarding dai kaiju in the Wold Newton Universe within the framework established by Win Scott Eckert and Dennis Power.

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE SITE

Just added 12/30/13
Vennie Anderson has just brought us a great new film review, her latest in introducing G-fans to the wider range of Japanese tokasatsu cinema, as she provides a "quick consumption" analysis of Akira Kurasawa's classic Toho 1954 action flick Seven Samurai, the one that introduced many of the action film tropes that are still popular and familiar today. This very welcome new addition to the Guest Section can be found here.

Just added 3/18/13
Den Valdron has delivered another awesome article for the site's Guest Section, this one an in depth analysis of two much-maligned Toho kaiju-films, Godzilla vs. Megalon and Yog, Monster from Space (recently re-released to U.S. video under its Japanese and international title of Space Amoeba). Are these films really that bad? Do they really deserve the negative reputation they have, for irreparably besmirching Godzilla's image in the West and bringing a halt to Toho's glory days of kaiju-films not involving Godzilla, respectively? Den gives his analysis here, as well as providing a theory within the context of the films that may connect them in a covert manner.

Just added 05/30/12
The tenth anniversary of The Godzilla Saga continues with another update quickly following the last, as Vennie Anderson gets back into the act with a review for the classic Toho horror film Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People, which was directed by legendary Showa Era G-film auteur Ishiro Honda. Welcome back to The Godzilla Saga, Vennie.

Just added 05/25/12
Just when you thought The Godzilla Saga would never update again, for the first time in two years, we have a new article for the Guest Section. Den Valdron has given us his latest--MECHAGODZILLA RECONSIDERED, where Den provides the reason why an elite military force (or aliens) who want to take down Godzilla have resorted to constructing a robotic duplicate of the King of the Monsters, and the hidden relationship between the mightiest of the robotic kaiju and the other kaiju co-inhabiting the various Tohoverses with Godzilla.

Just added 11/17/10
Den Valdron is back with his newest article for The Godzilla Saga's ever-growing Guest Section, this time giving us his theories on the world of Tera, a planet supposedly situated on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth, as seen in the classic Showa Era Gamera film, Gamera vs. Guiron, and it can be found here.

Just added 9/1/10
The latest addition to The Godzilla Saga's Guest Section is online today, again courtesy of star contributor Vennie Anderson, and this particular book review is quite a departure from what is usually presented here, and I believe a quite welcome one at that. I am sure all G-fans and kaiju-fans in general are well aware that Japanese action cinema encompasses quite a bit more genres than die kaiju eiga, and several of these classic films feature many of the same well known actors who graced Toho's kaiju-films. One of these is the great genre of samurai films, and in this latest book review Vennie gives us the scoop on STRAY DOGS & LONE WOLVES: THE SAMURAI FILM HANDBOOK by Patrick Galloway. It's more than worth checking out for those G-fans who may be interested in broadening their horizons in regards to the vast fulcrum of Japanese action cinema.

Just added 6/20/10
Vennie Anderson has done it again with another new book review for the site's guest section, this time giving us the scoop on Steve Ryfle's EVERYONE'S FAVORITE MON-STAR: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF "THE BIG G".

Just added 6/15/10
Another new book review courtesy of the venerable Vennie Anderson is online today, this one giving us the scoop on Ivan Vartanian's coffee table book on kaiju, KILLER KAIJU MONSTERS: STRANGE BEASTS OF JAPANESE FILM.

Just added 5/6/10
Vennie Anderson continues her prolific spate of book reviews for The Godzilla Saga's Guest Section, this time giving us the deal on GODZILLA ON MY MIND: FIFTY YEARS OF THE KING OF MONSTERS by William Tsutsui.

Just added 4/19/10
We have quite a big update today in the Guest Section, courtesy once again of the prolific Vennie Anderson. Three new book reviews are now up, with Vennie giving you the skinny on MONSTERS ARE ATTACKING TOKYO! THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF JAPANESE FANTASY FILMS by Stuart Galbraith IV, THE OFFICIAL GODZILLA COMPENDIUM by J.D. Lees and Marc Cerasini, and A CRITICAL HISTORY AND FILMOGRAPHY OF TOHO'S GODZILLA SERIES by David Kalat.

Just added 4/9/10
Vennie Anderson's newest review hits The Godzilla Saga's Guest Section today. Just as Vennie gave us the skinny on the first volume of "The Best of Godzilla" CD from GNP Crescendo Records, this time she gives us an evaluation of the second volume of the CD series, which covers the themes from the Heisei Series. And as before, some words by yours truly have been included. Vennie's latest very welcome contribution can be found here.

Just added 3/21/10:
Today I am proud to post yet another great article from contributor Vennie Anderson. This newest contribution of Vennie's is a book review of the 2009 tome MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN: THE FANTASTIC CINEMA OF ISHIRO HONDA. This is a detailed biography of the late, great Ishiro Honda and his filmography courtesy of Peter H. Brothers, and Vennie gives us the scoop on the book's quality. Vennie's newest review can be found here.

Just added 2/28/10:
Vennie Anderson has once again offered another great contribution to the Guest Section, this time a review of GNP Crescendo Records' "The Best of Godzilla 1954-1975," which is undoubtedly one of this company's best G-soundtrack records to date. But what do G-fans need to know about this album before purchasing? Vennie provides the details here. This particular review will be followed by words from yours truly, as I had plenty to say about this particular CD, also. The review can be found here.

Just added 2/20/10:
The Godzilla Saga's newest guest contributor Vennie Anderson has given us another of her valuable G-product reviews with her assessment of the "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus" CD Soundtrack from GNP Crescendo Records. This first ever review of one of the many motion picture soundtracks of a G-film can be found here.

Just added 2/18/10:
We have a new update for the Guest Section courtesy of The Godzilla Saga's newest guest contributor, a talented lady by the name of Vennie Anderson. Vennie has provided a very informative review of Robert Marrero's book GODZILLA, KING OF THE MOVIE MONSTERS, and it's a must-read for every G-fan who may want to spend money on acquiring not only this book, but any tome that has been scribed by the infamous Mr. Marrero.

Just added 5/31/09:
A new update today in the Guest Section, courtesy of none other than Den Valdron! In his newest essay for The Godzilla Saga Den explores the impact of the classic American sci-fi film "Planet of the Apes" on Japanese cinema and TV, including the Showa Era Godzilla series, and it leads to A POSSIBLE CASE OF TIME TRAVEL IN THE SHOWA UNIVERSE.

Just added 5/18/09:
The greatly prolific Den Valdron is now responsible for a fourth update of The Godzilla Saga in a single week! For his 16th article for the Guest Section of this site, Den reviews what is perhaps the most maligned of all the Gamera films..."Super Monster Gamera," which was notorious for its low production values, bizarre plot, and extensive use of stock footage. But was it really that bad of a film? Den gives you the skinny on this movie, and some of his conclusions may surprise you. The review can be found here.

Just added 5/17/09:
The third update in a single week is now upon us! In the newest addition to the Guest Section, the indefatigable Den Valdron presents us with his theories to explain the nature and biology of the numerous giant spiders and various giant insects who have threatened humanity throughout the realm of filmland in THE MENACE OF THE GIANT SPIDERS FROM DIMENSION X.

Just added 5/13/09:
Yet another new update for the Guest Section! Now that Den Valdron has taken on the mystery of the various dinosaur species seen on various "lost" islands in the Pacific, what about the Kong Apes? Where does this giant species of primate come from? Why are so few seen? Also, did Skull Island really sink at the end of "Son of Kong"? Within the context of the reality in which King Kong's story occurred, what happened to his remains after he was shot down from the Empire State Building? How did the impact of Kong's early 1930s rampage in New York City affect the realm of politics, law, entertainment, etc.? And was that giant hairy creature seen in the movie "The Unknown Island" (you know, the one who fought and defeated that huge T. Rex) a giant sloth--or perhaps a giant ape? What about the other giant apes discovered in various remote regions in the world? And if Skull Island didn't sink, exactly where does it stand in regards to international law? Den Valdron takes on the mystery and complete phenomenon of King Kong and other giant apes seen throughout filmland in A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE KONG APES.

Just added 5/11/09:
We have a new update for the Guest Section! Den Valdron grants the readers of The Godzilla Saga his insights on how so many dinosaurs ended up on islands in the South Pacific during the 20th century, as seen in movies like "King Kong," "The Land Unknown," etc. Den's article can be found here.

Just added 1/25/09:
The newest update to the Guest Section has been posted today! Have you ever wondered what those giant lizards with the "slurping" tongues were in films such as "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and the 1960 version of "The Lost World"? They were described as "dinosaurs" in those films, but every elementary school kid knows that those creatures looked nothing like dinosaurs, yet they apparently matched them in size. What were these giant lizards? What was their behavior, anatomy, and place in the world based upon what we saw in those movies? The inimitable Den Valdron tackles these questions in his newest article for The Godzilla Saga as he brings us the skinny on The Natural History of the Slurpasaurs.

Just added 1/10/09:
Yet another new update for the Guest Section! A new article from kaiju master historian Gordon Long entitled King Kong vs. Godzilla: Thoughts, Interpretations, and the Greater Showa Tohoverse Chronology gives us Gordon's thoughts and observations regarding the G-film that earned more box office lucre than any other G-film to date.

Just added 12/30/08:
Another new update for the Guest Section! Regular contributor and kaiju historian Gordon Long has just composed a review of the new book EIJI TSUBURAYA: MASTER OF MONSTERS about the late, great sfx master who brought us Godzilla, Ultraman, and so much more. The review can be accessed here.

Just added 6/24/08:
At last, a new update! In the first of a new series of articles for the Guest Section, Den Valdron provides us with his new article Towards A Theory And Biology of Kaiju. Have you ever wondered how creatures as fantastic as the dai kaiju could possibly exist in any universe? How do their bodies function? Can they truly die? How could such creatures have been produced by nature? Also, why do so many alien races seem to have an interest in the kaiju? And what are the 'false' kaiju? This article will attempt to explain it all.

Just added 11/16/06:

Two new articles have been added to the Guest Section, courtesy of Gordon Long.
Toho Showa Science and Space Technology details Gordon's theories as to the every day technology in general and the space technology in particular that the Earth of the Showa Tohoverse had in comparison to the world we live on, based upon the evidence in the Showa Era films, as a result of dealing with several alien invasions and dai kaiju, two elements lacking in the real universe.
Escaping the Wrath of Gorath's Path: How Did the Earth Survive, Anyway? deals with Gordon's theories regarding the technology utilized in the Showa Era film "Gorath" to move the Earth out of the lethal stellar object's path. Was it really gigantic rockets used to perform the incredible feat? Or was it actually a very different technology? This is what Gordon explores in this article.

Just added 2/24/06:

A new article in the Guest Section, Life, The Showa Tohoverse, and Everything by Andrew B, covers Andrew's thoughts on various aspects of Showa Series continuity as covered in previous articles and the timelines on this site, including how Atlantis may fit into the overall schema.

Just added 1/5/06:

Review for Godzilla: Final Wars has now been added to the Millennium Film Series section. Glossary entries for the GFW kaiju and various characters and mecha will be added soon.

New article for the Guest Section by Den Valdron, VALDRON'S THREE LAWS---A FURTHER LOOK AT THE SHOWA TOHO ALIENS, provides more insights on the nature and connection between the many aliens who appeared in the Showa Toho Kaijuverse.

Just added 7/14/05:

Added full Glossary entries for Magma, the Martians, Gorath I, and Saladia.


Just added 7/10/05:
I'm pleased to announce that a new article has been added to the Guest Section, courtesy of Gordon Long, detailing how the science and space technology of the Showa Toho Universe diverged and differs from those of our own mundane universe, beginning in the late 1950s and continuing into the present, and it can be found here.


Just added 5/31/05:
Two new articles in the Guest Section, one by Den Valdron detailing how the G-commercials produced by Dr. Pepper (one featuring his romantic interlude with Newzilla) and Nike Shoes (featuring his imbrogglio with a giant Charles Barclay) my fit into the Big Guy's continuity (it's here), and another by Gordon Long that deconstructs the history of cities targeted by dai kaiju in the Showa Toho Universe and reasons why these particular locales may have been targeted (it's here).
The Showa Toho Timeline has been updated to include the speculations of Den Valdron as to the nature of the alien races encountered by the Earth in that universe, and to incorporate the events of the Toho sci-fi flick "The War In Space."


Just added 5/24/05:
A new section of the site featuring the Godzilla monster magazine covers that have graced the newstands over the years, with a starting focus on the 1970s, when the Big G received his first covers on mainstream monster mags like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND.

Just added 5/13/05:

Seven new essays have been added to the Guest Section (yup, you read that right!) by the inimitable Den Valdron. These new essays discuss 1) the reasons against (and for) the Showa Godzilla and Gamera series existing on a single timeline (a subject of great interest to kaijuphiles); 2) a theory regarding the ancient origins of the Showa Gamera that puts the continuity of the Showa Daiei Universe into perspective with the Showa Toho Universe; 3) arguments in favor of placing non-Toho dai kaiju who appeared during the Showa Era (e.g., Yongary, Gappa, Guilala, Gorgo, the Rhedosaurus, the Deadly Mantis, etc.) on the same timeline as the Toho Showa Universe; 4) a theory displaying how all cinematic versions of King Kong, including the Toho version, can be included on a single timeline and explanations towards the King of the Apes's significant size fluctuations from movie to movie; 5) an examination of Monster Island; 6) an exploration into the possible true nature of Gabara, everyone's least favorite Toho kaiju--was he "real" within the context of his single film appearance or not?; and 7) an examination of the origin and nature of Gorath, the infamous "mystery planet."

Many thanks from the administration of The Godzilla Saga to Den for his time-consuming, prolific contributions to the new Guest Section!

Just added 4/16/05:

The Guest Section is now officially up.

There you can read the first (quite excellent!) contribution by Den Valdron, The Aliens Of The Showa Toho Universe: Common Origins?, which explores the very logical notion that these alien races are interconnected, and all are intrasolar societies who derive from Lemurian/Muan colonists who fled to various locales in the solar system following the Great Cataclysm. In the near future, my Showa Series Timeline will be ammended to include many of Den's ideas.


Above pic courtesy of www.jonathancrocker.com

G-NEWS

Just added 9/21/12

I thought I would let you guys know that Legendary Pictures' upcoming Godzilla film finally has an official release date announced: May 16th, 2014. It is rather suckish that it won't be coming out this year, as previously rumored, and two years is a long time to wait for us eager G-fans, but if we end up getting the American G-film we always wanted to see (*coughs in the general direction of Mrrs. Devlin and Emmerich*), then it may well be worth the wait. And there are a few reasons to be excited.

Some early footage was shown to audiences at the recent Comic-Con (wish I was there!), and it was reported to have gotten a rave, positive reaction. The screenplay is a triad production of talented scribes David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight); Max Borenstein (The Seventh Son); and David Callaham (The Expendables 1 & 2). Just for the hades of it, I thought I would mention that the movie will be going directly up against Michael Bay's silver screen iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during its debut weekend.

This news is courtesy of The Sludge Report on the Famous Monsters of Filmland website.

Also, take a look at some of the way cool Godzilla action figure collectables from S.H. Monsters that FM has on sale here at their Captain Company store. They may seem a bit pricey, but the die hard G-fan may want to save up for them, as they may be worth quite a bit in the future, and they will look totally awesome on a display case.

Just added 7/14/05:

"Godzilla: Final Wars" will be available from Video Daikaiju, beginning on August 8th, 2005! This will be a magnificent 4-disc DVD set, which includes one disc featuring the English sub-titled Japanese version of the film, 2 discs of special features, and a 4th disc providing a CD soundrack of the movie. All of this for only $29.95, this is one hell of a good deal for G-fans to take advantage of, and this package will be at least as good as the eventual American version of the movie (which hasn't even been announced as of this writing, more's the shame; I can only imagine that Tri-Star Video will officially release the final G-film direct to home video sooner or later, which will probably include an English dubbed version with the usual awful dubbing job).

Just added 3/28/05:

The American version of "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" is finally available in the U.S. again, this time courtesy of the folks at Cheezy Flicks Entertainment.
My review for "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" in the Showa Film Series section of this site has been updated accordingly.

Thank you to Angelfire for this news.

Added 12/4/04: "Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S." will be out on DVD, courtesy of Tri-Star video, on December 14, 2004. Watch for it, or go to Amazon.com and pre-order it!
Once I purchase this DVD, I plan to add back-to-back reviews of "Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla" and "Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S." to The Godzilla Saga.

Thank you to Stomp Tokyo for this news.

*****

Godzilla's formidable image is currently being featured on a new American commercial...though this usage of the Big G is rather, um...ignominious.
McNeil-PPC, Inc., the pharmacautical company who bring us Immodium A-D...the anti-diarrhea medication...are using the image of the King of the Monsters to personify diarrhea for their latest TV adverts! Now, I'm sure that anyone who has ever suffered from the quick intestinal evacuation syndrome can readily appreciate the symbolism, but should G-fans be thrilled over this particular instance of publicity for the Atomic Titan? Isn't this a rather crappy thing to happen to the image of the Big G, and doesn't this run the risk of allowing all respect for the Kaiju King to go right down the toilet?
And some of us once thought it was bad when Dr. Pepper was using his image to endorse their product!
Well...maybe Toho needed the money, and Immodium was willing to pay big. However, after seeing this commercial enough times, chronic sufferers of diarrhea can now expect to experience severe abdominal cramps...followed by a quick run to the bathroom...every time they see a G-film.
Since Toho is presumably using the money acquired from McNeil to help finance the impressive budget of "Godzilla: Final Wars," which is intended to be the last hurrah of the Big G (at least for a long time), they better make the 'final' G-film good!
But look at it this way, fellow G-fans...it could have been worse. Godzilla could have ended up in a tampon commercial. I hope I didn't just give the folks at Tampax any ideas by mentioning this.


Above pic courtesy of Nicole Ernst.

I *cough* thank my TV for bringing me this news.

Added 10/26/04: Godzilla will be celebrating his 50th Anniversary with an American showing of the last G-film, "Godzilla: Final Wars," at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on November 29th, 2004. There, Godzilla will walk the red carpet accompanied by Ryuhei Kitamura, the director of "Godzilla: Final Wars." Toho itself will be hosting this event.
Moreover, the Big G's 50 year history and final cinematic appearance will also be commemorated with a float at the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which will take place on Sunday, November 28th, 2004, on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, beginning at 5:00 PM. This 28 foot long, 12 foot wide, and 14 foot high float will feature Godzilla standing over a cityscape montage with smoke billowing from his maw, and surrounded by signs plugging both "Godzilla: Final Wars" and the Big G's 50th Anniversary.
"Godzilla: Final Wars" producer Shogo Tomiyama was quoted as saying, "We're so pleased to be able to commemorate the anniversary of this star of 28 films and huge cult-figure by having these special celebrations in Hollywood, the place where he began to ascend to universal stardom."

Thank you to Kensforce Science Fiction News and Updates for this news!

Added 10/18/04: In late October of 2004, the Big G will receive an honor for his 50th anniversary that is quite impressive. The University of Kansas in Lawrence will be holding a special conference featuring a retrospective analysis of the first G-film, which will last for three days. This conference will be attended by several academics and scholars who also happen to be G-fans to explore the iconic nature of Godzilla and to discuss precisely what his films and popularity have represented from a historic and anthropological perspective. This event will be attended by historians, anthropologists and other scholars from universities as auspicious as Duke, Vanderbilt, and Harvard. It will also include free screenings of "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" and other G-films.
The full story of this academic G-conference can be found here.

Thank you to the Associated Press for this news, and a very special thank you to a certain lovely lady and talented author named Nicole, webmaster and writer of the terrific August Dreams online diary, who brought this article to my attention.

*****

As many of you are probably aware, the uncut Japanese version of the first G-film has been released to many theaters across the U.S., complete with English sub-titles, as part of Godzilla's 50th anniversary celebration. It's not only received good critical reviews across the U.S. media, but it's also enjoyed enthusiastic audience response. It would appear that more respect for Godzilla in America will result from this.

Thank you to Henshin! Online and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY for this news.

*****

Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment has now acquired the rights to several G-films, and will be releasing several of them to DVD, often in packages containing three films each. These DVD's will offer a rare treat, the opportunity to view both the English dubbed international versions produced by Toho during these films' initial releases, and the uncut Japanese versions, with English sub-titles as an option. This is the first time ever that the Japanese versions of these movies will be officially released in the U.S., and it's nice to see that Toho has seen the value of doing this...finally.
These Tri-Star releases will feature the international film titles in many cases as a result. For example, "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster" is the American version of the 1966 G-film, but its international title is "Ebirah: Horror of the Deep." As another example, "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" and "Godzilla vs. Hedora" are the American and international versions of the same film respectively.
These different titles for the same film represent different versions produced for different parts of the world...just as "Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster" and "Godzilla On Monster Island" are the edited for American TV versions of "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" and "Godzilla vs. Gigan" respectively, the latter versions being the uncut international theatrical versions (and the superior versions, IMO).
And best of all, Tri-Star will reportedly be releasing the 2003 "Godzilla: Tokyo SOS" on DVD.
Thank you to Henshin! Online for this news.

Tri-Star will also be releasing two DVD's of "Godzilla: The Series" to home video. These will include "Godzilla The Series: Trouble Hatches," featuring the unedited two-part first episode "New Family," along with the best of the series, "The Monster Wars Trilogy," which features the amazing three-part ode of the series to "Destroy All Monsters."
These DVD releases will unfortunately be bereft of any extras, but they will offer viewing options (along with a few annoying adverts for other Tri-Star releases), but their picture quality will be excellent, free of commercials, and uncut.
Their success can spell the release of the entire series to DVD, including the few episodes never released to American TV, so save up some coin :-)

Thank you to Henshin! Online for this news.

*****


Above pic courtesy of my.spill.com

ITEMS OF INTEREST



New Item of Interest, added 1/7/11

The cool folks who run the Old School Heretic blog just posted an interview of yours truly about all things Godzilla, including my thoughts on what's behind the enduring fame of the Atomic Titan, the origin of my interest in dai kaiju eiga, my feelings about the upcoming 2012 G-film from Legendary Pictures, and my ideas for bringing Godzilla and his fellow dai kaiju into the realm of role-playing games. This is the first of what we hope to be a regular series of collaborations between moi and the awesome Old School Heretic blog, including several involving the great characters of the Warrenverse and the Wold Newton Universe in general.


Above pic courtesy of Old School Heretic blog

New Item of Interest, added 7/13/06

Hanna-Barbera's "Godzilla: The Original Animated Series" is now beginning to be released on DVD by Sony! This series is surprisingly good for a Saturday morning '70s toon, and G-fans who are not too quick to judge should really give it a look.

Important New Item of Interest, added 5/27/05:

Today marks the launch of my newest web site, The Warrenverse: The Amazing World of the Warren Comics Characters, which covers in details the many awesome b&w comic book series that were published by Warren Comics from the 1960s into the early 1980s. The site will mostly be composed of indexes to many of Warren's most prominent series, with a focus on those which are definately or arguably part of the Wold Newton Universe. Hence, this site will be of great interest to both fans of the late but unforgettable Warren Comics and of creative mythographers (i.e., Wold Newton para-scholars) seeking information on how many of the Warrenverse series fit into the schema of the greater Wold Newton Universe.
I plan to duly expand the site as time passes, so get over there and check it out.


Important New Item of Interest, added 2/20/05:

I am pleased to announce to my visitors the forthcoming publication of a book that should be of immense interest to all of us fans of pulp fiction, sci-fi, horror, adventure, and numerous other fictional genres! November of 2005 will see the long-awaited publication of MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe, edited by Win Scott Eckert, one of the foremost scholars of the Wold Newton Universe today (check out the link to his way cool web site in the Other Great Links section of this site, and you will find out precisely why!). I previously introduced my fellow G-fans to the concept of the Wold Newton Universe in my essay that appears in the section of this site for my Godzilla Event Timeline (if you haven't read it already, then what are you waiting for? Armageddon? A kaiju to come along and stomp on your house? Another extinction level Apollo asteroid colliding with the Earth? Go read it already, before any of those things happen and you lose the opportunity to do so forever!;-)

The Wold Newton Universe is a concept which includes Godzilla among many, many more characters of pop fiction, from the bygone days when great epic tales like "Beowolf" were written, all the way through the great Victorian literature of yesteryear, through the great pulps of the early 20th century, through the advent of cinema and its later home-based progeny known as television, all the way up to the present era. It will feature essays from a diverse array of creative mythographers, including some rarely seen essays by great sci-fi writer Philip Jose' Farmer himself, as well as a very detailed timeline for the entirety of the Wold Newton Universe painstakingly put together via extensive research over the course of years by Mr. Eckert himself. Contributions to the book's great timeline come from many different sources, among them yours truly and two other creative mythographers I worked closely with for this small contribution, Crazy Ivan Schablotski and Jay Lindsey (I couldn't have done it without them...their knowledge of pop fiction truly put's me to shame, and I was damn lucky to be included in the research for the slasher film characters!). And if not for the hard work of creative mythographers like Win Scott Eckert and Jess Nevins during the past several years, creative mythography would hardly be the burgeoning field of fiction writing that it is :-) Now, thanks to Win's book, several more creative mythographers will officially become published authors, and a small sampling of the work of others will make their way into the print medium for the first time in the Wold Newton Universe Chronology, in addition to giving us a look at some rarely seen work from the great Philip Jose' Farmer himself (get out there and find copies of TARZAN ALIVE, DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, A BARNSTORMER IN THE LAND OF OZ, THE ADVENTURE OF THE PEERLESS PEER, and many other popular works of fiction by Mr. Farmer from past decades that combined creative writing with anthropology to create a field that has created a modern form of myth-building and the incorporation of great fictional characters from many different sources into one coherent universe).

Go to the official web site of MonkeyBrain Books, check out their section for 2005 titles, and pre-order this upcoming book...as I believe that its first printing is likely to be sold out quite fast when it hits the bookstores in Nov. '05, so be sure to pre-order directly from the publisher...you won't be disappointed :-)

[And while you're visiting the site, don't forget to check out Jess Nevins's THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASTIC VICTORIANA, also due out in Nov. '05...it's also well worth pre-ordering for the same reason!]




COOL AND IMPORTANT NOTE: As of today, 12/1/04, I have just launched a new web site in collusion with Crazy Ivan, the webmaster of the Amalgam Chronology Center, that will likely interest many of the regular visitors of The Godzilla Saga, even though it's not strictly G-related. It is, however, a response to the popularity of the polls I ran on The Godzilla Saga in the past.
The new site is called Last Man Standing, based upon the popular feature in the great WIZARD magazine, which will allow all of you to vote on imaginary battles between various characters taken from the entire spectrum of fantasy and fiction (e.g., movies, literature, comic books, video games, TV series, etc.).
The first poll, now officially up and running, is Superman vs. Thor...so go over there, read the rules, make an objective decision based upon the anecdotes that Crazy Ivan and I wrote (in favor of Superman and Thor, respectively)...and vote, people! :-) Update: The first poll is now closed. Ivan and I have since been sidetracked by other projects so no new polls will be appearing on that site for the immediate future. I am still trying to get a second poll launched, so stay tuned...
And btw, I do plan on having Godzilla vs. Gamera as the second poll on The Last Man Standing site.


Above pic courtesy of monster-pictures.blogspot.com

Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

N., Christofer: The Godzilla Saga; Jan. (2002)

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For any long-time visitors who would like to re-read my ruminations on the results of the various kaiju polls that have been run and tallied on The Godzilla Saga in the past, or for newer visitors who would like to read them for the first time, I now have them stored on a new section of my site, the Poll Archives. This new, permanent section of this site will house the results and my conclusions drawn from Kaiju Polls that have since run their course and vanished from my home page (you can also find a link to the Poll Archives alongside my other links down below).







A Rune-Pentacle Production


Very off topic note: If any of you G-fans out there also happen to be NFL fans, and would like to participate in a petition to convince the NFL to hold some of its Super Bowl games in cold weather climate areas in North America rather than limiting all performances to warm weather climate environs only, then simply go here to get the skinny and the addy where you can register your vote!

Site Links

First G-film: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954)
The Showa Era Godzilla film series (1955-1975)
The Heisei Era Godzilla film series (1984-1995)
The Millennium Era Godzilla film series (1999-2004)
Tri-Star's Godzilla movie
Godzilla TV commercials
Hanna-Barbera's animated Godzilla TV series
Tri-Star's animated Godzilla TV series
Glossary
Godzilla Merchandise
Video Daikaiju for Godzilla videos
G-Film Timeline
Godzilla Event Timelines (with an introduction for the G-fan to the Wold Newton Universe concept)
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Godzilla Links
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Poll Archive
Godzilla Monster Magazine Cover Gallery and Retrospective
Guest Section