Godzilla and five more kaiju I have loved

Categories: Geek Speak

This week, Denver residents have a rare opportunity to see the genesis and current pinnacle of the kaiju genre with showings of both the original 1954 Japanese classic Godzilla (at the Sie FilmCenter) and the brand-new iteration (screening pretty much everywhere else movie tickets are sold). The original is better than you'd think, given its legacy of rubber-suited dudes laying waste to HO scale cities, and the new one not only is getting a fair number of positive reviews, it also stars current Best Living Actor Bryan Cranston. More important, both feature giant monsters doing what giant monsters do best: laying waste to giant swathes of civilization.

See also: Zombies are so yesterday: Six candidates for America's next top monster

Once you've seen the original classic and the latest, greatest model, I have no doubt you'll come to love kaiju (Japanese term for "strange creature") movies as much as I do (okay, maybe not quite as much, unless you also spent your childhood watching shitty dubs of Gamera and Mothra movies on late-night TV) and if that happens, you're going to need a few pointers on where to look for your next kaiju fix. To help guide you on your magical journey of kaiju love, I offer a few of my favorites as humble suggestions. (Note to kaiju purists: I take a pretty lose definition of what qualifies as a kaiju film: if it has a giant monster, it's good enough for me. Feel free to tell me what a moron I am for this in the comments section.)

Not all aliens are little green/gray men. Sometimes they're giant, city-crushing beasts, like in Cloverfield. This one's also a found-footage film, which can be a turn-off for some, but on the plus side, it serves up one-time Denver resident TJ Miller in one of the lead roles, plus one of the biggest, baddest most terrifying kaiju this side of the international date line.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Can a killer shark movie also be a kaiju film? It can be when the shark is the size of a city bus. This one is for the so-bad-it's-good crowd, because this movie is seriously fucking awful. It's also seriously awesome at the same time, thanks to the generous use of terrible CGI and a loopy, nonsensical plot. Plus, both John Barrowman (Torchwood) and Ryan Cutrona (Grandpa Gene on Mad Men) are in it, which makes it one of the best casts you'll ever see in a direct-to-DVD movie about a plus-sized shark.

Location Info


Sie FilmCenter

2510 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Film

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Bernie Shwayder
Bernie Shwayder

Years and years ago, but I liked one called "The Mysterians." Monster mountain-sized robots.

Mark Bromley
Mark Bromley

Note the super volcano. I think it's a godzilla monster waiting to be freed and munch down on denver when it gets free. Then you'll want Godzilla here in Denver. I suspect it might be some three headed monster called King Ghidhamster that will be awakened by Cartman in the near future. Sweet a new South Park.

Jayson Degroot
Jayson Degroot

Gawrrirra been getting too fat eating Amerwican fwies an sodas! He can't make it over hills.


Today I'm hoping to watch Monsters - the first feature from Gareth Edwards who directed the new Godzilla.  Does that count?  Also, glad Gamera at least got a mention in your opening paragraph!

Also - no love for Pacific Rim?


@tzadik42  I did like Pacific Rim quite a bit, but it's so new I decided to mention a few other things that tickled my kaiju fancy.

Also, I love Gamera.


@cory.casciato Gamera is really neat. :)

Also - I just watched Destroy All Monsters the other day.  That was SO much fun!  Thanks for the heads-up!

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