Godzilla thru the years – The many ‘looks’ of Godzilla

Godzilla-2001

Godzilla thru the years – The many ‘looks’ of Godzilla

aka: my big-ass Godzilla post!

A little known fact is that by the end of shooting any Godzilla film, the suit is quite damaged and has to be rebuilt. This is partly the reason that in every film, Godzilla looks a little different when using the same design. At other times the suit designer and film team purposely change the look of Godzilla.

Shōwa series (1954–1975)

godzilla-1954

The original Godzilla (Gojira 1954) was a slow moving giant reptile. The suit weighed over 200 pounds which made it difficult to maneuver. In the second film Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis the Fire Monster 1956), the suit was streamlined for greater fluidity but was made with the same design.

godzilla raids again pic 2

Godzilla Raids Again

The first big change came in 1962 with the design for King Kong vs. Godzilla.

king kong vs godzilla 1962

King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

Godzilla had a flatter head, a more snake-like face. He also had very wide legs with an overlap in the knee area. The design was only used for this one film but is one of the faves of Godzilla fans. It was also the design copied for the Aurora Godzilla model kit.

In 1964, Mothra vs. Godzilla (Godzilla vs. the Thing) had Godzilla’s face with heavier eyebrow bones which were also a bit smoother than the rest of his skin texture. Toho kept this design for the film, Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964).

godzilla 1964

Mothra vs Godzilla

1966 saw a softer face for Godzilla as he became the good guy in films, not the enemy. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965) had him with bigger eyes and less angry features.

godzilla vs sea monster - 1966

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster

Similar suits carried through to Son of Godzilla. He also had longer human-like arms. Toho was aiming for more children to watch as they realized they had lost interest of the adult sci-fi audience. In these films, Godzilla looked closer to the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street than a dangerous radioactive mutant dinosaur. Destroy All Monsters (1968), Son Of Godzilla (1968), Godzilla’s Revenge (1969).

godzilla 1975 - terror of mechagodzilla

Godzilla vs Gigan

The 1970’s had a new look with Godzilla once again sporting a heavier brow, but his face looked almost like a puppy dog in these films. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975).

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Heisei series (1984–1995)

godzilla 1991 - 1999

Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla wasn’t seen again until Godzilla 1985. He returned as a negative force in this one and his face was meaner looking but still resembled the 1970’s Godzilla style.

godzilla 1985

Godzilla 1985

It was 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante that saw a completely new design that would take Godzilla through the 1990’s in some of the best films since the early days. Godzilla was bigger, with more fierce features, smaller eyes and a double row of teeth.

g89doubleteeth

godzilla_1989 - Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla vs Biollante

In Godzilla vs. Destroyah, Godzilla was going through a radioactive meltdown and glowed orange. His fire-breath was red/orange and changed during the course of the film for some fantastic Godzilla-breath special-fx.

godzilla vs destroyer

Godzilla vs Destroyah – Meltdown Godzilla

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Millennium series (1999–2004)

godzilla-2000 film

From 2000 – 2004, Godzilla saw several changes.

In Godzilla 2000 (1999), we had a completely revamped Godzilla design. Most notable were its blade-like spike fins. This design was used for a total of 4 films, including: Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003).

godzilla-tokyo-sos 2003

Godzilla Tokyo SOS

In between those films was a completely different film and storyline in Godzilla, Mothra And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001). This film took on a mythological approach equating the monsters to dragon, butterfly, and demon (Ghidorah, Mothra, and Godzilla). The Godzilla costume in this harkened back to earlier days with a more bulky look and old style fins. He had demonic eyes which showed only whites. This film is one of the favorites amongst Godzilla fans.

godzilla 2001

Giant Monsters: All Out Attack

With the announcement of another film, fans bombarded Toho Studios with what Godzilla should look like. One of the main sticking points for fans were his fins. Fans told the studios that the old style fins is what made Godzilla what he was. For the final Godzilla film the studio created one last costume which combined the look of the ‘1990’s’ films with the ‘Millennium’ films, making sure it had the old style fins. The Film, Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). was a modern day Destroy All Monsters. Godzilla even fights the American Godzilla (which they dubbed ‘Zilla).

godzilla 2004

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

Always Sunset on Third Street (2007) - featured a wonderful CGI Godzilla in a short sequence. The movie was a drama but Godzilla fans clamored to see the short monster sequence. It is at the very beginning of the film if you’re interested in catching it.

Godzilla_CGI

Always Sunset on Third Street

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Other Godzilla incarnations

The 1st ‘other’ Godzilla to be shown was Baby Godzilla – Minilla/Mingya – films: Son of Godzilla, Godzilla’s Revenge, Destroy all Monsters (ending stock footage only).

Baby godzilla 1968

Baby godzilla

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) we get a in-depth look at the actual Dinosaur that went thru radioactive mutation. He was dubbed Godzillasaurus.

godzillasaurus - godzilla vs king ghidorah

Godzillasaurus

In Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, we get a look at a new baby Godzilla that would grow up in sequential films. We also find Space Godzilla which was formed by Godzilla’s DNA combining with material from a comet.

baby g in space godzilla space godzilla 1994

In Godzilla vs. Destroyer we have Godzilla Jr. the Baby Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla has grown up quite a bit. At the end of the film the radioactive isotopes are passed from Godzilla to Godzilla Jr, who then becomes the adult Godzilla.

godzilla jr pic 2

Godzilla Jr.

In Final Wars (2004) we get the American Godzilla, here dubbed, ‘Zilla.

Final Wars - 2004

the American Godzilla in Final Wars (2004)

Mechagodzilla

mecha godzilla pic 2

Mechagodzilla was the robot version of Godzilla, thought to be the only formidable weapon against the monster. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, The Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

 

And Finally, Godzilla 2014

Godzilla-2014-Movie-Image

 

Newspaper ads of your favorite horror films

dawn of the dead now showing friday the 13th ad

Newspaper ads of your favorite horror films

Who knew these were collectable?

I first saw a newspaper movie ad last year when searching for pics of Tales From the Crypt. A little bit of sidetrack searching and I found movie advertisement newspaper clippings being bought and sold on eBay and I-offer. I have a few of these myself, saved from a few years back. When I get them framed, I’ll post them here.

 

Oculus (2014) – movie review

Oculus (2014)

I don’t want to say that Oculus was a disappointment because I did like the story. It just wasn’t what I had expected. Judging by the trailer, I was expecting this year’s equivalent to The Conjuring. The truth is, though there were a few good creepy scenes and some tense moments, Oculus never delivered the scares in a big way.

Two children, Tim and Kaylie, survive the mental breakdown and attack of their parents which ends with both parents dead. Now 10 years later, Tim is released from an institution, cured of his delusions about the tragic night. Kaylie is happy to see him and immediately escorts him to oculustheir childhood home. She has plans to clear her family’s name (especially her father), and prove the strange and ancient mirror was the cause of the tragic event.

Kaylie has set up cameras and atmospheric recording devices on the mirror, as well as, a fail safe device to destroy the artifact if the situation gets out of hand. Naturally, Tim thinks it’s unnecessary, having learned through his psych treatments that what they had witnessed as children were delusions in the face of violent trauma. We soon see that delusions are the power of the mirror – the bending of reality in order to drive the owners of the artifact insane. In this way, Oculus is a psychological horror film and you can see the family going through difficulties that would make them loose their grip on reality.

Once the experiment begins the brother is plagued with vivid flashback memories. From that point on, the film alternates from past to present for the remainder of its runtime. This effectively keeps the film moving as two stories unfold simultaneously. We get good pacing and revealing of details about the tragic night past, while the current night’s plan begins to unravel.

The drawback to this aspect is we know the children survive into adulthood. This deflates a lot of the tension in the flashbacks and breaks the escalating suspense of the present story. Ultimately it makes the film less scary than its potential. Spirits emerge from the mirror in some creepy scenes, but don’t play an active role in the action. They attempt (and often succeed) in influencing the family members to deadly deeds but are relegated to standing in corners and whispering in family member’s ears. Shades of The Shining are present here as the spirits push the father to murder.

I did enjoy the story. I think it was well-written and original in the way it was told. I also thought all of the acting was high grade for a horror film and that may be its strongest asset. I know there are a lot of names associated with the film (from the makers of…), but the only one that matters is director/writer Mike Flanagan who also made Absentia. I actually like Oculus more.

However, I always look for that one film each year to carry the torch for the horror genre into the next year. Despite a promising premise and a strong story, Oculus is not the one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it for what it is.

Oculus pic 8

An interesting paranormal psychological horror story worth a viewing.

I give it 3.8 horrific halucinations on the malignant haunted mirror scale!

 

Alien Abduction (2014) – movie review

Alien Abduction - 2014 pic 1

Alien Abduction (2014)

Alien encounter films can be the most cliché and ineffective genre of films. There are few that successfully capture their intended horrific atmosphere. Dark Skies did nothing for me. Altered was a snoozer to me. The Knowing? Blah.

With such a generic title, (Alien Abduction – could you think of anything less original) I wasn’t expecting much. It sounded like one of those budget SyFy, cookie-cutter films – you know, with a sexy, big-boobed, military woman, wearing a camouflage, tank-top, tee-shirt and wielding a huge semi-automatic machine gun. However, the trailer looked interesting enough and I decided to give it a try.

Which reminds me, when is Netflix streaming going to make it so you can watch the trailers? The technology is there… get one of your employees in India to spend a day loading them in. I mean, come on already! Am I right?

The film starts and it’s a found footage film. I had no clue from the trailer that it was an FF film. Points off for that.alien abduction 2014 film

A young autistic boy is hyper-attached to his video camera. He barely says ten words in the whole film. His family is on a camping trip to Brown Mountain. On the first night the kids are awakened by strange lights. Emerging from their tents they see strange balls of light in the sky above the peak of Brown Mountain. In the morning, the video camera is dead and they can’t show their parents the footage until the batteries recharge. By that time, they are on the road again and get lost on a back road leading to Brown Mountain‘s summit. With the video camera back in service they come upon abandoned cars. They reach a tunnel in the mountain with cars and vehicles clogging their path. The Dad and his two sons go to investigate while Mom and the daughter stay back at the Caravan. When the men enter the dark tunnel, all hell breaks loose! From that point on, the film turns into a jarring creep-fest as the family is hunted down by aliens. They are picked off, one by one, in a thrilling attack and retreat cycle, which really boosts the tension and elevates the terror of the film.

At times the usual FF techniques are a bit monotonous and all too familiar, but there are enough tense scenes to keep you interested. The anger of the Dad about getting lost seems over-the-top. I remember being on road trips as a boy and my Dad getting mad, but not like that.

alien abduction 2014 pic 5think the quick flashes of aliens in the moving camera adds to the creepiness, showing just enough of the creatures to be freaky. There’s no strong violence in the film – as with most alien encounter films – it relies mostly on mood, atmosphere and suspense, which it does a good job conveying.

If you scoff at the premise of an alien abduction film, you’d be better off to leave this be. And if you dislike FF films, you are best advised to stay away. However if you are okay with both of these concepts, Alien Abduction is a very good entry into this genre. While it doesn’t offer any new ideas to the genre, the first person POV puts you squarely in the action. Decent acting, likable characters, and alien effects/make-up by the Chiodo Brothers make for a well-made film.

A tense alien encounter and abduction film in the found footage style – worth a watch for those who like the genre.

I give the film 3.8 illuminations on the strange lights in the sky scale.

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The film includes interviews of residents who actually witnessed the Brown Mountain Lights, a phenomenon that has occurred frequently in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Foothills for the past century.

Read more about the true phenomenon here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/brown-mountain-lights-nc_n_1302204.html

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And, for a completely different veiw/opinion of Alien Abduction 2014, check out the review at John’s Horror Corner

 

Model Kits – Cro-Magnon Woman and Sabertooth Tiger refurbish – Aurora Prehistoric Scenes

cwom71front the-saber-tooth-tiger

Aurora Prehistoric Scenes

Cro-Magnon Woman
Sabertooth Tiger

Once again, these kits are no longer available, have never been reissued and haven’t been made since the 1970’s.

The Sabertooth Tiger was part of a ‘used lot’ collection that I had purchased from eBay with missing and broken pieces. The Tiger itself was in- tact and had minimal painting done to it. It was missing the base and accessories. I was excited to get this because when I was young I had won a model building contest with this kit, second place; I got a trophy and a gift certificate.

sabertooth 001

The base I used was in the ‘used lot’ box and I’m not sure what kit it comes from. I made some changes, adding a big rock on one side and a small tree. I originally planned on putting leaves on the tree but decided I liked the way it looked without them. I made the deer leg with clay to match the one in the original kit.

sabertooth base sabertooth 006

I sprayed the kit with gray primer so I could start painting from a neutral color. The original color of the kit is a tawny orange and many people leave it unpainted but I wanted to go with a more natural color of today’s Mountain Lion.

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The Cro-Magnon Woman I purchased separately. It was a complete kit, previously used and partially painted but not built.

cro magnon woman 6

I didn’t care for the paint job so I sprayed it with primer and started from scratch.

She came with two sets of legs for the builder to choose from. Most people go with the flat footed stance because it’s easier to place her on the base. I used the ‘action’ legs which look more animated.

It is impossible to get her standing on one foot using glue. To solve the problem, I positioned her right foot on a grass clump. I took a straight pin and heated it until it was glowing. I pushed the pin up through the base and into her foot and leg. A little crazy glue to keep her from spinning and you get a nice action shot of her jumping away from the snake.

cro magnon woman 7 cro magnon woman base detail 1

The snake is usually positioned in the tree on the base, but I never liked the way it looked – it always looked unnatural. So, I found a Sabertooth Tiger skull in my ‘used lot’ box which I believe is from The Cave kit and positioned it on the base to form with the contours of the snake.

cro magnon woman 1

In my next post, I will show the Allosaurus with my own custom base.

 

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) – movie review

hellraiser-bert

above photo is not from the film

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

Who’s bad idea was this? If it’s the same guy who decided, we can do Pinhead without Doug Bradley, he should be FIRED! Okay, I realize that the studio had to do this film to keep the rights of Hellraiser. We wouldn’t want the rights to revert back to its creator, Clive Barker, because, what does he know? (I’m being sarcastic here!) So they put out a film that is so bad, no one could resurrect the franchise.hellraiser revelations dvd

How bad is it? First, this film doesn’t know if it wants to be a found footage film or not. It takes about 45 minutes for the director to decide. Second, the two main characters are such bottom-of-the-barrel, low-life scum, how could I possibly care if they lived or died. They’re abusive to women and eventually work together to kill them. I’m supposed to be interested in their plight? Nervous for them? 3rd  - It is quite clear that the cenobites are a bunch of actors in-costume. I mean, make some attempt at making it seem real. Whether that be, more subtle make-up, or veiling the designs in darkness, smoke or filters, it should seem less prosthetic. You can see where layers were glued on, liquid-rubber latex was pulled and sections were painted. I’m surprised I didn’t see zippers and Velcro holding it all together.

Hellraiser had 8 sequels since the original film came out in 1987. Some of them didn’t even have Pinhead in them. But every one of them were better than this. Just a bad film all around. Even the big scene at the end is just rehashed ideas. Stay away. Of course this is just my opinion.

hellraiser revelations pic 3

Tied with The Exorcist II for worst horror sequel ever!

I give it a 1.0 on the crusty crap scale of sucky sequels!