B.W.'s Top Ten Godzilla Suits (and his five least favorite)
With thirty daikaiju movies to his name at the time of this writing, Godzilla, as originally created by suitmation/miniatures wiz Eiji Tsubaraya, is the most popular of Toho Studios giant cinematic monsters, by far. The fact that each movie's respective Godzilla suit was built from scratch results in thirty different, varying looks for everyone's favorite radioactive bully/hero. Some are cooler than Bueller, others Tonight, we'll bypass the usual movie reviews and continue our Kai-June celebration with a list of my ten favorite on screen incarnations of Big G. Roll 'em!
10) 2002 Kiryu-Goji as seen in: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S.
A variation on the Mire-Goji design from Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs Megaguirus with a more Heisei-slanted head and different skin base color and spikes, you can't deny Kiryu-Goji's wicked look. Next, we've got...
9) 1971 Shoshingeki-Goji as seen in: Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster
With his sludge-burned eye and hands, this mouth-wiping variant was the first one I saw at the drive-in in my old man's '67 Chevy Impala as an evil little brat. Though his cartoonish look is seemingly geared more towards younger fans, it works for this guy.
8) 1964 Mosu-Goji as seen in: Mothra vs Godzilla
Eyebrow-Goji, or Fuad-Goji as he's known in obscure circles of one that consist of me (bang, bang), is a decent looking suit, kept from the top of my list by the tragic side note that this particular Big G famously gets punked the fuck out in the end by a pair of silk-slinging caterpillars. WTF, Eyebrows.
7) 1954 Shodai-Goji as seen in: Godzilla (1954)
The one that started it all. Love those dead-looking eyes, and fully appreciate that he's not out to be a hero to any loudmouthed children. His one aim: Chew on train cars and destroy everything immediately, avoiding any oxygen destroyers in his legendary path. Very iconic and cool.
6) 1975 Megaro-Goji as seen in: Godzilla vs Megalon
Here's another Godzilla I cut my teeth on, a playful variant on the Shoshingeki-Goji suit that had been featured as far back as 1968's Destroy All Monsters, slightly altered, though with his familiar unhappy scowl, and goofy mannerisms, i.e. shaking hands with Jet Jaguar. Why would he shake hands with that metallic mook? He was supposed to aid Godzilla, and ended up getting mopped up but good in mere moments by Megalon and Gigan, ultimately needing a bail out from Big G himself.
. 5) 1993 Rado-Goji as seen in: Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla
Any of the Heisei-era suits would have fit the bill here, as they all share a pretty similar look It's this Godzilla that reignited my flame of interest in kaiju movies that had laid mostly dormant since the late seventies, Godzilla 1985 included, as you'll soon see. Next there's...
4) 1995 Desu-Goji as seen in: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Check out Burning Godzilla in the pic above. I rest my case.
3) 2001 Sokogeki-Goji as seen in: GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack!
Deliciously evil looking, this demonic incarnation will expel a mushroom cloud-inducing breath ray with his soulless white eyes and nifty pot belly. Tits, for sure, from the guy who resurrected Gamera in the nineties.
2) 1962 King-Goji as seen in: King Kong vs Godzilla
This stocky rascal is my favorite Showa era suit, famous for his cinematic scrap with King Kong, or at least the cheesy Japanese suitmation version of the American giant. That particular fight was fixed, btw. No way Godzilla loses to a special ed-looking ape suit, no fucking way.
1) 2000 Mire-Goji as seen in: Godzilla 2000
Ah, my favorite, Millennium Godzilla. The drastic renovation of the classic Big G design was a grand slam, in my book.
and just for the hell of it, here are my five least favorite Godzilla suits/incarnations:
5) 1985 84-Goji as seen in : Godzilla 1985
84-Goji's smallish egg head and vampire fangs have the same effect on me that misogyny has on the ears of a hair triggered SJW. I didn't like the design when the trailers for the movie turned up at the theaters or on television, I didn't like it the first time I sat through it, and I probably don't like it any more today.
4) 1967 Mosuko-Goji as seen in : Son of Godzilla
Mosuko-Goji might be the ugliest, most embarrassingly designed suit to date. It's fitting then, that it's paired up with that smoke ring-blowing gimp of a son, Minya/Minilla in this movie for one of the crappiest, least engaging adventures to date.
3) 1955 Gyakushu-Goji as seen in: Godzilla Raids Again/ Gigantis the Fire Monster
The formula that was so effective the previous year in the pioneer film seems to have been tossed out the fucking window for this second one. Less Godzilla than Jim Varney. I could spend all day whipping up witticisms for how rotten this suit looks, surely the worst of the lot, but I'd rather turn attention towards the top/bottom two, which, to nobody's surprise, are...
2) 2014 Legendary Goji as seen in : Godzilla (2014)
As shitty as the '55 and '67 suits are, at least they're actual fucking suits. Here's a fat, handicapped-looking dog-esque design fleshed out on computers for a whopping seven minutes of screen time. Admittedly popular with some, but some people will like whatever phoned in garbage you throw at them. Make no mistake, Hollywood cheapens that which it sinks its evil talons into, no doubt. Fail.
1) 1998 Zilla as seen in: Godzilla (1998)
Where did you think Roland Emmerich's dud of a computer generated iguana would fall on my lists? I've yet to sit all the way through this mutt, and I have no plans to do so any time soon. Thanks for removing the "God" in Godzilla, Hollywood. My father, legendary for blurting out "Look how fucking fake that is! Fake, stupid shit!" whenever he spots Godzilla on television like a film critic with Tourette's, actually liked this movie. That should tell you all you need to know. Epic fail.
...so there you have it. What are your favorites? Least favorites? Let me know in the comment section, drop me an e-mail, or post your own entry and send me a link to it. I'd love to hear from you.