Winter at Tantora

Top 5: Godzilla Movies to Watch Before Going to Japan

by Erich Martin

Nov 28, 2018

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Top 5 / Other

If you are getting ready for a trip to Japan, you are undoubtedly excited for all of the incredible things you are going to do while visiting the country. Before you go, soak up some kaiju goodness by watching these five Godzilla films.

 

Gojira (1954)

The first film is the one that started the entire franchise. Gojira is a movie about a giant, atomic monster, but it is also much more. The movie is a harrowing tale of a nation besieged by atomic fire. In this way, the movie brings anxieties from World War II into the forefront. This is a classic film for a reason, and while future movies will lose the serious tone, Gojira is a serious film.

 

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Next up is another classic. In Mothra vs. Godzilla, the two iconic monsters meet for the first time. This movie is fairly cheesy, a theme Godzilla films were known to embrace in the 1960s and 1970s. This is a fun one, where much of the mythology surrounding Mothra is explained for the first time in the Godzilla franchise. This is a fun diversion before the more intense films of the Heisei era in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is one of the more fantastical films in the 30-film series. This entry features time travel as another one of the Godzilla mainstays comes face to face with the king of monsters. During its original release, the film faced backlash because of Godzilla’s destruction of American military forces. The film ends in one of the coolest ways any Godzilla film has, and is worth viewing for the ending alone.

 

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

This one is a bit of a heart-stopper. Part horror, part kaiju and part drama, this film features the death of Godzilla after his heart begins to enter a stage of nuclear meltdown. As a closing to the Heisei era of films, this one does well, and it is worth a watch, if only for the excellent “burning Godzilla” suit.

 

Shin Godzilla (2016)

The most recent Toho Godzilla film is also probably the closest in tone to the original Gojira. From the mind behind the equally traumatizing Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shin Godzilla is a look at trying to save a doomed city from a god incarnate. This movie features the most grotesque and horrifying Godzilla yet, and is worth a watch for longtime and new fans alike.

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