In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by their friend Chad to discuss all things Giant Monster! They discuss why the genre has an enduring popularity, and then delve into their favorite Giant Monster films and guilty Daikaiju pleasures. Finally, they talk about the future of Giant Monster movies and what it would take to revitalize the genre in the 21st century. All this and Moby Dick helping teens solve crimes at sea are discussed in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.
Closing Music: Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt
Saint George and the Dragon
The Giant Claw (trailer)
Nature Gone Amok, aka Natural Horror Films
The Giant Behemoth (trailer)
Gorgo (aka The British Godzilla) (trailer)
Troll Hunter (trailer)
20 Million Miles to Earth (trailer)
Food of the Gods (trailer)
Destroy all Monsters (trailer)
Godzilla (98): the Series (intro)
King Kong 60’s Cartoon (episode)
Moby Dick 60’s Cartoon (episode)
Frankenstein Jr. Cartoon (clip)
Godzilla vs. Cattle Rustlers (Marvel’s Godzilla Comics)
Ultraman (original series, episode one, English Dubbed)
Ultra Q (Episode one, English Subbed)
Gamera vs. Legion (Japanese Trailer, because the dubbed one is crap!)
The X from Outer Space (trailer)
King Kong Escapes (trailer)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (trailer)
Godzilla’s Revenge (trailer)
The Monolith Monsters (trailer)
THEM (1954, trailer)
Godzilla vs. Megalon (Japanese trailer)
MST3K Jet Jaguar Theme
Inframan (full film, English subbed)
War of the Gargantuas (trailer)
Godzilla vs. The Devil (which turned out to be a myth, sorry Don!)
>Godzilla vs. The Devil (which turned out to be a myth, sorry Don!)
Don’t care…. still want to see it.
So do I! It sounds like it would have been awesome!
I can’t believe I’m one of the least interested in giant monster movies, and I feel like I understand them in a way you guys didn’t hit. Maybe its because I stand back from them. Now I don’t hate monsters movies, like I think most anime is crap… 😉
But they don’t interest me, and that’s because neither did the Hulk or the Swampthing.
There’s two elements which make monster movies super popular among people. One is universal, and the other is cultural.
The universal is that Hulk, Swampthing, Manthing, Mr. Hyde, etc… they are about outsiders who don’t fit in. Their massive size is wish fulfillment. Just like Jack and the Beanstalk is so compelling to kids as well. Kids are the small ones in the world and they want to be the big ones. They want their actions to matter. Which is why if you never saw the cheesey monster movies as a kid, you’re just not going to like them as an adult. The cheesiness you could ignore as a kid, even appreciate because it sublimented the terror. They weren’t horror movies. They were movies about destruction. And they were about misunderstood creatures who just wanted to do their own thing often. You get in the way of Hulk. You attack Godzilla because he’s walking through your city and laying waste to it. Any evil monsters tended to have evil intent or at least were against the monster you favoured so you rooted for the other team.
Children are always feeling left out, unappreciated, and unimportant. We can all remember being in a party with adults wandering around from leg to leg, looking up and basically being ignored (Well maybe Millennials don’t, but they are everyone’s special snowflake. I digress…)
The second aspect is cultural. I think back to the Japanese tradition of “the nail that sticks out will be hammered in” or the Chinese stories of the five brothers. I remember not really connecting with giant monster movies that I watched because there were basically no heroes or main characters other than the monsters themselves. The monsters had the most characterization of everyone. It was through the efforts of a team, or an organization that defe
ats the monster. They try to do these with Americanized versions of the movie, but its still not a task that a team works on as much as its a nightmare scenario that people desperately try to defeat, and usually that all centres around one or two characters. Keep on casting!
>Now I don’t hate monsters movies, like I think most anime is crap… But they don’t interest me,
….you are NOT going to like the Pokemon episode….
>Their massive size is wish fulfillment. Just like Jack and the Beanstalk is so compelling to kids as well. Kids are the small ones in the world and they want to be the big ones.
That’s a good point. It’s interesting to note that in a lot of these examples the “giant” character generally dies. Maybe that’s wish fulfilment on the part of the kids too? (“Take THAT, mom and dad!”)
>And they were about misunderstood creatures who just wanted to do their own thing often. You get in the way of Hulk. You attack Godzilla because he’s walking through your city and laying waste to it.
That’s a good point too. It’s interesting that franchised characters tend to go back and forth on the hero/villain scale. Both Godzilla and the Hulk started out as (more or less) bad guys, became good as they became popular, had redos that swung them more towards villainy….
>I remember not really connecting with giant monster movies that I watched because there were basically no heroes or main characters other than the monsters themselves. The monsters had the most characterization of everyone.
My misanthropic tendencies manifest early, so those points are exactly why I LIKE monster movies. But with anything…. especially something as broad as giant monster movies…. it’s possible for different people to get all sorts of different things from the genre.
>The cheesiness you could ignore as a kid, even appreciate because it sublimented the terror.
I think this gets at a deeper issue that runs through a person’s enjoyment of all sorts of things. A kid doesn’t question as much ‘cos everything is new. So a kid can accept that a giant monster has a zipper down their back because they have no experience with such things and it seems perfectly normal to them. And that becomes their template for how ALL monster movies will be judged. It’s when you get older that you learn to question stuff, and that’s when you end up getting stuck ‘cos it gets tougher to accept the silliness.
I also think this is where a lot of “nerd rage” comes from. A property drifts too far from a person’s initial conceptions of it, making it difficult to relate to.