5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Godzilla

Categories: Film and TV

The Roland Emmerich Monster is Godzilla
Though the giant lizard in the 1998 American film is called Godzilla by a Japanese fisherman, he was mistaken. The creature that rampaged through New York was not Godzilla. Though similar-looking enough and birthed from the same principles, it lacked several distinguishing characteristics of the true King of Monsters.

In Godzilla mythology the monster is referred to as Zilla. Toho Studios retroactively changed the name after they re-acquired the rights to Godzilla from TriStar in 2004. In Godzilla: Final Wars Zilla stood toe to toe with the real Godzilla, attacking the legendary monster while under control of the Xiliens. Charging Godzilla head-on, Zilla is quickly thrown over the horizon and blasted by Godzilla powerful breath. It's the shortest battle in the history of the Godzilla films.

As for the breath...

Godzilla Breathes Fire
Though he is best known for his powerful physical prowess, including the always entertaining tail-slide dropkick, Godzilla does employ a powerful distance attack in the form a blast from his mouth.

Many, including official comic adaptations, take this to be an expression of typical dragon's fire. This can be forgiven as Godzilla is pretty clearly breathing what looks to be fire on the first film's poster. In actuality, what Godzilla emits is actually an atomically charged nuclear powered heat ray. This usually manifests as the color blue, with more powerful versions appearing orange.

Godzilla Beat King Kong
King Kong vs. Godzilla is not a really great film, even when you consider that I'm talking about movies about guys in rubber monster suits beating each other up. Still, you can't blame anyone for wanting to give it a shot. Putting the two biggest monsters up against each other is basically a license to print money.

For years it was believed that there were two versions of the movie. In America, King Kong emerged from under the waves after their final bout as the victor. But back before the internet and easily accessible foreign versions of films, it was widely believed that the Japanese version switched the victors in what would have been an understandable move.

It's not true, though. King Kong beats Godzilla in both films. It makes since when you realize first that the original idea was an American film where King Kong took on a giant version of Frankenstein's monster. After finding zero interest in the states the script made it over to Toho, who loved the idea. Since King Kong was actually the bigger star even in Japan at the time, and was a currently still a villainous character in any case, allowing the ape to triumph made perfect sense.

Somehow, though, I doubt Godzilla's going down so easily this time around.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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FattyFatBastard topcommenter

It does make since...

Anyway, he's been green since I was a kid.  So was Godzuki.


haven't seen the new one but another thing the 98 version got wrong is the notion that Godzilla fans give a rat's ass about plot lines and side plots involving humans we are ostensibly supposed to root for...  this Godzilla fan has no interest in seeing anything other than the King of Monsters picking up bus, throwing it back down and making his way to the center of town for yet more destruction...  oh, and squashing people like bugs...

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