By Ben Velazquez
2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the king of all monsters, Godzilla. The last time I saw a Godzilla movie was back in the mid 1980’s. After Godzilla 1985 came out,WPIX here in NY (channel 11), would air his “classic” films on Sunday evenings. Some of my friends and I would watch the big green monster battle aliens from Dimension X, become a parent with having a Baby Godzilla and team up with likes of Ultraman.
Yet, in all those years, I have never seen the film that started this dynasty, the original Godzilla. I know it was recut in the States and Raymond Burr was added into the film, yet I never had the opportunity to watch it. Fast forward to this past week when I was invited to a press screening of the remastered 60th anniversary edition. That’s right, no Raymond Burr. This is the original Japanese cut of the film.
Showing up on a typical rainy day in April, I was the first to arrive (despite getting lost a few times)
to the premier of the 60th anniversary of Godzilla at the Film Forum.
As soon as the movie began, the credits were off a bit graphically. So much so that it had me considering a trip to the eye doctor, but I was wrong. The movie simply had to be restarted due to a minor malfunction.
From the beginning of this film, director Ishiro Honda did a spectacular job keeping your eyes glued to the screen. Although the movie was released in 1954, it seemed new and fresh because of the story, the actors, and the action. Everything seemed to fall in its place perfectly.
This isn’t some run of the mill monster trashing through the city, the typical image that we think about when the name Godzilla appears.
No, it’s the simple details such as Godzilla becoming what it is because of nuclear radiation due to the after effects of World War 2. The power of the romantic story that was thrown in the middle of the mix added more suspense to this wonderful movie.
There was never a “cheesy” moment in this movie. A little comedy, sure, but most of all, it was very well put together and a movie that will stand the test of time. This movie was so good that it made me a fan of Godzilla all over again.
The original cut of Godzilla is being shown April 18-24 to commemorate the film’s 60th Anniversary at the Film Forum. Go see where it all started before the new film debuts!