Tongue firmly in cheek, Geek’s resident kaiju expert lays out his rules.
As a lifelong Godzilla fan, I share with my fellow G-fans the relief of seeing images of the new creature to be featured in the forthcoming 2014 American feature film. This truly looks like the classic Godzilla we grew up with. We true fans refer to the Roland Emmerich Godzilla as GINO, or Godzilla In Name Only — a true abomination that proved that its creators had never seen a Godzilla movie and completely misunderstood this classic character. Godzilla does not run away from helicopters and missiles, Godzilla does not eat tuna fish, and Godzilla does not sport a lantern jaw designed by Patrick Tatapoulis.
It’s my hope that this new Godzilla, due May 16, gets back to the REAL Godzilla we’ve known and loved since 1954. And with that in mind I offer up these guidelines to which any future Godzilla movie MUST adhere:
1. Godzilla must be CLUMSY
In the epic Godzilla vs. Mothra (1963), generally regarded as one of the finest of the early Godzilla films, G inexplicably stumbles, trips and falls headlong into buildings and other objects, apparently woozy from several years of hibernation underneath the earth outside Tokyo. Any new Godzilla must reference this endearing fallibility.
2. Godzilla must DANCE
After his victory over the fearsome three-headed King Ghidorah on Planet X in Godzilla Versus Monster Zero (1965), G engages in an ecstatic, Cossack-like dance of happiness known by fans as the “jumping shay.” It’s vital that the new Godzilla movie feature this rousing indication of Godzilla’s joi de vivre.
3. Godzilla must TALK
In Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), G and his old buddy engage in a spirited pep talk while swimming across the ocean to engage their enemies, Gigan and Ghidorah. The new Godzilla film must express the fact that G is not a dumb animal. He is a PERSON with thoughts and feelings and he must express those thoughts and feelings in human speech.
4. Godzilla must SWEAR
In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Godzilla’s long-standing feud with Rodan results in an ugly brawl waged across the Japanese countryside. When the gentle Mothra caterpillar tries to negotiate a peace settlement after wrapping the two monsters in a cocoon, Godzilla and Rodan (as translated by Mothra’s twin faeries or shobijin) continue to use “terrible language” to argue despite being immobilized. It’s fine to show Godzilla destroying buildings and laying waste to entire armies with his radioactive breath, but let’s hear the Big G drop an F-bomb or two to show he’s just like the rest of us.
5. Godzilla must FLY
In Godzilla vs. Hedorah (or Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, as we know it in the States; 1971), G tucks his tail between his legs and uses his atomic breath for rocket propulsion to shoot through the skies. Although the fact that Godzilla flies backwards does limit his ability to see what he is flying into, this can ideally be combined with his natural clumsiness (see No. 1) to make the new Godzilla character that much more authentic.
Any new Godzilla movie that does not feature ALL of these aspects of the Godzilla character will be merely a sham and a betrayal of the time-honored Godzilla mythology, as any true Godzilla fan will realize.
So take note, Godzilla director Gareth Edwards — we’re watching you.