Giant Monster movies may not have been invented in Japan, but aside from Chanbara the genre of Daikaiju (giant monster) movies has become synonymous with their film industry. While the genre may have gotten it’s start with King Kong and The Beast from 20’000 Fathoms in America, it was the pulp poetry of Godzilla that really made this a genre to reckon with.
The Daikaiju genre may be typified as populist entertainment, but if you have read many of my reviews you know that I do not accept that as an excuse not to give a movie it’s due. There is an apocalyptic poetry to many of these films that cannot be brushed under the rug, despite an often child friendly veneer this is a genre of horror and suspense, destruction and death at the hands of uncontrollable natural forces, or perhaps they are forces created by humanity’s own hubris.
There have been many types of Daikaiju, from space monsters and mutant dinosaurs to creatures wrought from folklore and fable. As the title of this week should infer, I will be focusing exclusively on Japanese giant monsters and hope to capture the true diversity that this genre is not often given adequate credit for.