Hello, geeks, and welcome to my very first foray into the Top o’ the Lot. Today we are counting down something very close to my heart, Godzilla movies! That’s right, I’m listing out my all time five favorite Big G films to get you ready for the September 19th release of the new American Godzilla on Blu-ray and DVD. Alright, lets jump straight into this.
Honorable Mention: Godzilla: Final Wars
Okay, this is going to be the only movie from the Millennium series on the list. Its not that I don’t like the movies from that era, it is that I just do not think that any of them are in the top five. That said, if you are going to watch a Millennium movie then Final Wars is my pick. This is a ridiculous movie, even by the standards set by Godzilla. Essentially the plot boils down to another alien invasion, this time where the aliens take control of every monster on earth with the exception of Godzilla. The story and fight scenes lifted from the Power Rangers is bonkers, but it is cool to watch Godzilla decimate nearly the entire Toho roster.
5. Terror of Mechagodzilla
Terror was the last movie of the original Showa era and the last Godzilla movie to be directed by the great Isiro Honda. Over that last decade or so, Godzilla had grown more fanciful and family-friendly with movies like Godzilla vs Gigan and Godzilla vs Megalon. I guess Honda didn’t like that change because Terror of Mechagodzilla is one of the darkest Godzilla movies ever made. The movie is about a mad scientist whose daughter tragically died while they were doing an experiment on Titanosaurus. A group of aliens show up and offer to return the scientist’s daughter to life if the scientist agrees to rebuild Mechagodzilla. He agrees and his daughter is brought back to life as an android connected to Mechagodzilla. Everything is all fine and dandy until the daughter falls in love with a marine biologist who is looking for Titanosaurus. Only terrible, tragic things happen from there and the final decision at the end still nearly brings a tear to eye to this day. This is some really dark stuff. The only thing holding this movie back is its obvious distinct lack of a budget.
4. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II
I know, this movie has the same monsters in it as the last one but it’s mainly just a coincidence. This is just a good Godzilla movie and my favorite out of the Heisei series. This movie was the first one to flip to Godzilla- Mechagodzilla dynamic. Whereas before Godzilla was the hero and Mechagodzilla was an evil android controlled by aliens, here and in every movie after Mechagodzilla is the hero controlled by the Earth Defense Forces and Godzilla is the evil, destructive monster. I picked this movie out of all of the Heisei movies because overall I think it is the most well rounded. It has an interesting story, a message behind the story, and some really great monster action.
3. Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster
This one is a big one mainly because it introduced Godzilla’s archenemy, King Ghidorah. Made in the Golden Age of Godzilla movies, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster offers up some great old school fights (there are four monsters in this movie) but also has some real intrigue on the human side. Honestly the only real negative to this movie is that this is where Godzilla starts to make his turn as a good guy. He is still a giant rampaging monster for the vast majority of the movie, but after Mothra convinces him to fight Ghidorah (yes, this is one of those movies) the Big G really starts to make his slow decline towards being the hero.
2. Mothra vs. Godzilla
This is widely considered to be the best of the Godzilla sequels and that is because it is. Godzilla is still a rampaging jerk, the human story is great, and the fight scenes are surprisingly good considering one of the sides is a moth or Caterpillar. What sets this movie apart from other sequels is the incredibly watchable human story. It is all about greed and how it can lead to the downfall of man, or at least getting trampled by Godzilla in an office building. The twins are in this movie too and sing their little song which is pretty cool at first until it gets annoying at the very end. This is just great monster movie madness.
Duh, what else would it be? Just to be clear here, I am talking about the original Japanese version of Godzilla, not the lobotomized U.S. version starring Raymond Burr. The U.S. version cuts out an extremely large portion of the original movie, thus cutting out a lot of the themes. The original movie is dark. I mean pitch black dark. Honda pulls no punches the entire time. Godzilla’s rampage of Tokyo is hard to watch because of the grim brutality of it. This isn’t of of the campy later movies where everyone is running away screaming with a bad dub in hilarious fashion. This movie shows devastation and is not afraid to show you just what is going on. Yeah, its a little slow to start, but once the ball gets rolling this is a deeply thought provoking movie. It is easy to see why this became the classic that it is today, even if its sequels may have forgotten the original’s themes.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.