My recent purchase of Issue #74 of SciFiNow demonstrated writers had a bit of fun rating the entire existing Godzilla film catalogue from start to finish.
As readers know who frequent Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic we are gradually winding our way through the long history of Godzilla, Toho and the works of director Ishiro Honda. I offer those three variables to you because two of them are also mutually exclusive. In other words, some coverage here may include Honda films that do not feature Godzilla or Godzilla films by a director other than Ishiro Honda.
For example, Godzilla Raids Again is the second film for the great lizard. It's a Toho release without Ishiro Honda behind the camera. Classic science fiction fantasy films like Matango [Attack Of The Mushroom People] by Ishiro Honda, feature terrific tales with no Godzilla to be found. But, Toho is always behind the wondrous madness of it all. I was so envious of Nick Adams. I could never get enough of Kumi Mizuno. I knew I loved her even as a kid. I believe this is the only screen kiss in the Godzilla franchise.
It's interesting when I consider my own Godzilla collection (pictured for you). It looks entirely like a hodge-podge with little to absolutely no respect for the packaging efforts behind the big fellow. There is about as much respect for the packaging. The releases of anything licensed from Toho have been given about the same respect as the big green guy himself. The perception of fantastical cheese seems to endure through the packaging of these wonderful films. Somewhere along the way you'd think someone would rectify this disrespectful travesty. But alas, copyrights are all over the map and thus we get the pretty messy ensemble of packages you see in the picture. These are shots of The Sci-Fi Fanatic personal collection deep from the Fancave.
Nevertheless, beggars for all things Godzilla cannot be choosers and when it comes to these wonderful films we take what we can get. Most of the offerings are on DVD with a few Blu-Ray exceptions. Transfer quality is reasonably good across the board. It's by no means perfect, but it's certainly as pleasing as I remember during those days of Creature Double Feature out of Boston.
As a bit of fun, I thought I would compile the reviews of those Godzilla films as noted in The Complete Guide To Godzilla by SciFiNow. I've placed them in order of ranking based on their rating system along with my own subjective preference. The films are extracted from across three eras of Godzilla: Showa (1954-1975; green), Hesei (1984-1995; blue) and Millennium (1999-2004; violet). The SciFiNow rating is based on 1-5 stars. Run for your lives! Godzilla!
28. All Monsters Attack [1 star; 1969].
27. Son Of Godzilla [1 star; 1967].
26. Godzilla Vs. Gigan [1 star; 1972].
25. Godzilla Vs. Megalon [1 star; 1973].
24. Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla [2 stars; 1994].
23. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla [2 stars; 2002].
22. Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster [2 stars; 1966].
21. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla [2 stars; 1974].
20. Terror Of Mechagodzilla [2 stars; 1975].
19. Godzilla Vs. Hedora [2 stars; 1973].
18. Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus [3 stars; 2000].
17. Godzilla 2000 [3 stars; 1999].
16. Godzilla, Mothra And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack [3 stars; 2001].
15. Godzilla: Tokyo SOS [3 stars; 2003].
14. Godzilla: Final Wars [3 stars; 2004].
13. Godzilla Vs. Biollante [3 stars; 1989].
12. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II [3 stars; 1993].
11. Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah [3 stars; 1995].
10. Godzilla And Mothra: The Battle For Earth [3 stars; 1992].
9. Godzilla Raids Again [3 stars; 1955].
8. Invasion Of Astro-Monster [3 stars; 1965].
7. Destroy All Monsters [3 stars; 1968].
6. King Kong Vs. Godzilla [3 stars; 1962].
5. Godzilla 1985 [4 stars; 1984].
4. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah [4 stars; 1991].
3. Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster [4 stars; 1964].
2. Godzilla [4 stars; 1954].
1. Mothra Vs. Godzilla [5 stars; 1962].
There you have it. Gojira misses the top spot knocked off by the much more colorful and fantastical Mothra Vs. Godzilla. Does this list make your grade? Should the original take second fiddle at number two? There's no question as children we responded to the magical qualities of the number one entry and the films that followed. I definitely favor the classics form the fertile 1960s (Showa era) myself and most of those would make my own Top 10. I'll be sure to publish my own list of all things Godzilla, Honda and Toho as we go forward.
Until then eyes to the skies and keep running for your lives. Ay! Godzilla is coming!