Episode 4 of the "Godzilla vs Godzilla" series. Subscribe to Hesperia Productions for more!
A Tale of Two Godzillas
Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla (2014) were released almost exactly thirty-years apart. There are some striking similarities and also meaningful differences between the two films’ representation of the titanic titular character. Both films were aimed at an American audience and so a contrast between them, and the rest of the Japanese films, is revealing and enlightening.
In Godzilla 1985, Godzilla is a menacing and destructive force. He terrorizes Japan, pulverizing entire cities and decimating military and civilian forces. The 1985 suit is one of the most evil and frightening of all of the big G’s various forms. He looks like a villain. This approach was a direct continuation of the character’s origins in the first film, Gojira (1954).
Godzilla (2014) draws from a different lineage of the Godzilla legacy. In the 2014 film, Godzilla is a hero - the “savior of our city.” He is an ancient and righteous force of nature which balances the order disrupted by malicious and insidious beasts like the MUTOs. The good guy Godzilla character started with 1964’s Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster. In all of the earlier films, Godzilla was still a villain, a dark opponent for more malevolent monsters like Mothra and King Kong. Through the late sixties and the seventies, Godzilla would transform into a full-fledged superhero, standing up for those smaller or more helpless than him and saving the world countless times. It is a descendant of this Godzilla mythology that the 2014 film introduced.
There are also some striking similarities and meaningful differences in American culture comparatively between 1985 and 2014. The message and effect of Godzilla as a character has changed, in part because of his now nearly omnipotent iconic status. Godzilla is once more a hero to American audiences, as he has been in Japan for the last two-and-a-half decades. There are still remnants and references to his unpredictable and destructive nature but for the most part, he is as much of a good guy now as he has ever been. Time will tell when we will see the more sinister side of the beast return but in either capacity Godzilla has much to teach us about the order and nature of the world.
Starring: Neca Godzilla 2014 - Neca Godzilla 1985