hugely successful 'Godzilla' series is based on an an original story credited
to writer Shigeru Kayama. The first 'Godzilla' film was made in 1954,
the screenplay being co-written by Ishiro Honda and Takeo Murata, and
the 400ft-tall dinosaur with nuclear halitosis was still going strong
well into the nineties! By the way, 'Godzilla' is not a name but a species,
as are many other of what appear to be names in the titles. The first
two films, 'Gojira' and 'Gigantis', were shot in black and white but all
subsequent productions were made in colour.
Originally produced by the Japanese film company Toho with the expertise of director Ishiro Honda, Kaiju Eiga ( monster movie ) participants can essentially be briefly described as giant monsters and mechanical constructions who either try to destroy the world or save it depending on whether they are 'goodies' or 'baddies'. On the way, they manage to stomp models of various Japanese cities into rubble causing more than a little distress to the local human population. In later films it is not quite so straightforward as that because some of them changed sides from film to film. Not only is that a bit confusing but each film has anything up to a dozen or so alternative titles, sometimes in duplication of other productions, and the translation and spelling of their 'names' changes as well. Check my monster A to Z or have a look at the film listings and you'll see what I mean!
Toho were the original creators of the Kaiju Eiga genre, by the early
Sixties quite a few Japanese film companies had climbed on the bandwagon
with their own monster creations, most notably the childrens film studio
Daiei with 'Gamera', but also Nikkatsu with 'Gappa', Shochiku with 'Guilala'.
The Shin Toho studios also produced some 'monsters' which appeared in
their 'Supergiant' series but these are not generally considered to
be true Kaiju Eiga. The destructive violence was massive but this was
generally only as a result of combat between themselves. Humans only
suffered as a by-product of the demolition and were not subjected to
individual physical violence.
aka: The Mysterians; Earth Defence Force
TOHO 1957 COLOUR 89 minutes
Director: Ishiro Honda Producer: Tomoyuki Tanaka Special Effects: Eiji Tsuburaya, Hidesaburo Araki, Sadamasa Arikawa, Akira Watanabe
Cast: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Momoko Koichi Susumu Fujita, Hisayo Ito, Fuyuki Murukami, Minosuke Yamada, Yoshio Kosugi
Not, strictly speaking, a pure Kaiju Eiga film this was a forerunner for similar storylines to follow. Aliens called Mysterians attempt to invade Earth, starting in Japan, with the help of their giant robot bird Mogella which shoots death rays from its eyes. The aliens' planet had been destroyed and they needed to mate with Earth women in order for their race to survive. Mogella is eventually destroyed as it attempts to cross a collapsing bridge following which the aliens admit defeat and depart, no doubt contemplating the folly of building a robot bird that couldn't fly. The film was re-released cut to 85mins. You Tube
All Original Material Copyright SixtiesCity
Other individual owner copyrights may apply to Photographic Images