Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Japanese Monster Movies

Kaiju is a Japanese word that literally translates to "strange creature". However, the word kaiju has been translated and defined in English as "monster". Specifically, it is used to refer to a genre of tokusatsu entertainment. Kaiju films usually showcase monsters of any form attacking a major Japanese city or engaging another (or multiple) monsters in battle.

The most famous kaiju is Godzilla. Directed by Ishiro Honda and released in 1954, the first Godzilla film 'Gojira' was a big hit in Japan and many sequels would follow. In the film it isn't clearly explained how Godzilla came to be, is it a mutated reptile created by radiation from atomic bomb tests or a prehistoric monster awakened by atomic testing in the Pacific? Attempts to provide an origin would appear in future films.

Gojira was re-edited, dubbed in English and released in the USA in 1956 with added scenes featuring Raymond Burr as American reporter Steve Martin, the monster was renamed 'Godzilla' and this version was titled Godzilla, King of the Monsters.

28 Godzilla films were made by Toho studios between 1954 and 2004.  Other notable kaiju include Gamera, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla.

Gojira (1954) Japanese poster

Godzilla King of the Monsters (1956 re-release) Italian poster

Godzilla King of the Monsters (1956 re-release)

Godzilla Raids Again (1955) aka Gigantis the Fire Monster

Rodan (1956) German poster

Rodan (1956) Japanese poster

Mothra (1961) Japanese poster

Mothra (1961)

King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

King Kong vs Godzilla (1962) Japanese poster

Varan the Unbelievable (1962)

Matango (1963) Italian poster

Dogora (1964) Japanese poster

Ghidrah The Three-Headed Monster (1964) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs The Thing (1964)

Godzilla vs The Thing (1964) Japanese poster

Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) Japanese poster

Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

Gamera (1965) Japanese poster

Monster Zero (1965) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs the Sea Monster (1966) Japanese poster

War of the Gargantuas (1966) Japanese poster

Gappa The Triphibian Monster (1967) Italian poster

The X from Outer Space (1967) French poster

Son of Godzilla (1967) Japanese poster

Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Destroy All Monsters (1968) Japanese poster

Gamera vs Viras (1968) Japanese poster

King Kong Escapes! (1968)

King Kong Escapes! (1968) Japanese poster

Gamera vs Guiron (1969) Japanese poster

Yog - Monster from Space (1970)

Godzilla vs The Smog Monster (1971)

Godzilla vs The Smog Monster (1971) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs Gigan (1972) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs Gigan (1972) Polish poster

Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs The Cosmic Monster (1974) Japanese poster

Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975) UK poster

Godzilla 1985 (1984) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs Biollante (1989) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs Mothra (1992) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1993) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla (1994) Japanese poster

Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995) Japanese poster

Gamera - Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Gamera 2 Attack of Legion (1996) Japanese poster

Gamera 3 Revenge of Iris (1999)

Godzilla 2000 (1999)

Godzilla vs Megaguiras (2000) Japanese poster

Godzilla, Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) Japanese poster

Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002)

Godzilla - Tokyo S.O.S. (2003) Japanese poster

Godzilla - Final Wars (2004) Japanese poster

Godzilla - Final Wars (2004) Japanese poster

Godzilla on the Screen

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