Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Godzilla vs. Ghidrah

As a comic book fan, there are lots of things that I want to teach my kids. For example, I want them to know who Peter Parker and Clark Kent are. Basically, I want them to know lots and lots about comic books BUT I also want them to be well rounded. I want them to understand that the Superfriends cartoon is just as cool as the Justice League Unlimited Cartoon. I want my kids to know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. I feel that it’s just as important to know useless trivia about bad television as it is to know useless trivia about bad comic books. Because of this, I often let the kids rummage through my movie collection.

On a recent “treasure hunting” trip through my DVDs, they found of my Godzilla movies. Personally, I feel that Godzilla is another staple of any credible geek collection. It doesn’t have to be much but at least one Godzilla movie, figure, or comic book needs to be in everyone’s collection. Anyway, the kids watched Godzilla vs. Megalon and they loved it!

This led to a very interesting conversation at the dinner table the other night.
Boy, who is fascinated by numbers, asked: How many Godzilla movies are there?
Me: I don’t know, 14-15?
Boy: WOW! Really?
Me: Yes, really. There were lots of Godzilla movies. There was Godzilla, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, Godzilla vs. Mothra. There were all sorts of movies.
Boy: Which was the first movie?
Me: What? I don’t know. It’s strange but the way he asked, I felt like King Arthur in Monty Python. “What? I don’t know the answer to that! Aaauuugghhhh."

Boy, who was appalled that I didn’t know the answer, continued on: Which movie was the fifth movie? Which was the sixth? Which one was the Smog Monster in?
Me: I don’t know! They aren’t in order like the Star Wars movies. They just made lots of movies about Godzilla fighting other giant monsters. Please note, at this point I wanted to scream LEAVE ME ALONE YA PEST. It’s not often a person gets badgered about Godzilla trivia and I was completely unprepared.
Boy, with furrowed brow: Ok.
I could tell he didn’t believe me but it worked.

Then again, Boy isn’t one to let anything go either.
Boy: What other monsters are there?
Me: Well, let’s see… there’s Rodan, some giant turtle, MechaGodzilla, Mothra, and a whole bunch of others.
Boy: Which one is your favorite?
Me: Well my personal favorite is a bad guy called Ghidrah
Boy: Who’s Ghidrah?
Me: He’s has three heads, wings and big claws on his feet. But he doesn’t have any arms.
Boy: He doesn’t have arms? Why not?
Me: I don’t know. He just doesn’t. He’s still cool.
Boy: He sounds kinda dumb.
Me: No no no. He’s really cool. He has three heads! At which point, as I’m flailing my arms around wildly trying to do my best Ghidrah impression I realize there’s a slight hint of desperation in my voice. It was the embarrassing “come one kid ya gotta think he’s cool too” desperation.

Boy: Ok. Does he do anything else?
Me: Each of his heads shoots lasers. That’s cool! Right?
Boy: Not really. He still sounds kinda dumb if you ask me.

Upon reflection of the conversation, it says something when a small boy tells you that giant monsters aren’t cool. It makes a person wonder, maybe, just maybe Godzilla is silly and Ghidrah isn’t cool.

NNNAAAAHHHH! He’s young and doesn’t know any better! Ghidrah’s still cool. Godzilla, too!


  1. Yay! Godzilla!

    Man, I grew up woth those b&w and color Godzilla movies, and you're right, Ghidrah (Ghidorah? Or was that just the change in the Heisei (sp?) movies?) was my favorite.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories of Creature Double Feature on WLVI Channel 56 :)

    Did you ever see any of the "newer" movies that took place after Godzilla 1985 (I think it was Godzilla 1984 in Japan)? There's a cool one with Godzilla's origin (a dinosaur irradiated by the bomb), and it even gives an origin for Ghidrah, too (dopey though it is). Pure cheese, but fun to watch :)

    Take it and run!

  2. Earl-

    Channel 56!!! You grew up in the greater Boston area. How do I know? Because I grew up watching the exact same channel. I loved 56... they ran every b-monster movie ever. I consider Channal 56 my teacher in pop culture.

  3. Ghidrah may have the three heads thing going, but you have to admit without arms he will just fall over (and that would be un-cool).

  4. Personally I'm a fan of Godzilla vs Bambi =P

  5. Lee,

    They did indeed! I spent many a Saturday afternoon watching those monster movies.

    It really is a small world sometimes, isn't it :)

    Take it and run,