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Are gynormous monsters (“kaiju”) stomping on cities just stupid fun, or do they channel deep fears of our own helplessness? Mark, Erica, and Brian reflect on the MonsterVerse films, plus the history of Godzilla in Japan from the 1954 original to 2016’s award-winning Shin Godzilla. Do we care at all about the humans in these films? Are King Kong films too sad? Is there any legitimate sci-fi or political commentary in this genre? We touch on Pacific Rim, The Host, Cloverfield, Colossal, When a Monster Calls, Rampage, video games, and more.
For an overview, see Wikipedia on Kaiju, plus there’s Gojipedia. Here are a few articles we read:
- “‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Raises the Question: Is Nonsense the New Normal?” by Owen Gleiberman
- “Godzilla vs Kong Suggests KOTM’s Villains Were Right” by Nicholas Raymond
- “Shin Godzilla Made Its Kaiju Monstrous Again” by Darren Mooney
- “10 Monsters Godzilla Should Fight Next” by Matthew Chernov
- “15 Best Kaiju Movies That Don’t Star Godzilla” by Patrick Leigh
- “The Top 21 Most Kick-Ass Giant Monsters in Movie History!” by Brian Solomon
- “MST3K: A Guide to the Giant Monster Movies of Mystery Science Theater 3000” by Gavin Jasper
- “The History of Godzilla (1954)” the beginning of a great YouTube series by Big Action Bill
Plus, here’s more on The Great Buddha Arrival and Wolfman vs. Godzilla.
This episode includes bonus discussion you can access by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY. Watch Erica’s cabaret Apr. 22-25 at lyricstage.com.
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