In many franchises, horror especially, as the sequels drone on and on, and we get new characters, plots, themes etc, the films sink into goofier and lighter fare (cough Child’s Play, looking at you Freddy). But oftentimes if you go back and look at the original source, the OG introduction that would kick off a whole new franchise and permeate culture, it’s a basic stripped-down semi-serious affair that plays it straight and is the most ‘gritty’ out of all entries. Enter the original 1950s GODZILLA. It’s easy to forget that this version is somewhat darker, more thought-provoking, and plays like a true horror flick. I mean, who can blame ya when the later sequels have several monsters, a talking ‘son’ of Godzilla (always found him annoying), and everything seemed made for laughs. The plot of the OG is straightforward: post WWII, Japan deals with the appearance of a giant monster and the underlying theme isn’t hard to notice. Undertones dealing with fallout from nuclear war and consequences, along with how to deal with a gigantic lizard, and you have yourself a somewhat smart and terrifying flick. What’s interesting about this version is after it was a success in Japan, the movie was re-edited and actor Raymond Burr (Perry Mason!) was inserted with new footage shot and it was made to look like he was there all along. The original came out in '54 while the 'American' version was '56. Genius move if not for the fact this wouldn’t be done today. A neat little basic monster flick that helped to jumpstart a monster revolution, revisit history when you get a chance. Then work yourself up to....(shudder)....the talking monsters of the 70s.
SLASH SCENE: First appearance
SLASH SCORE: 4.5/5