If you are familiar with nuclear lizards, abnormally large apes, and insects that could use Raid as mouthwash, you know about Kaiju.
The word is Japanese for “giant monsters.” On film, they always meet that mark, despite critical or U.S. box-office success back in the 1950s. But did you know the trend to love seeing these behemoths destroy city after city in the Asian skyline began 20 years before Godzilla?
In 1934, a movie known as Daibustu Kaikoku was made. Stateside, that reads The Giant Buddha Statue’s Travel Through the Country. (Hey, it was 1934. Great movie titles had a way to go.)
The concept was strong in the Far East — imagine the personification of a country’s deity trampling through the city and demolishing everything in its path. This was also to begin the idea of a “franchise.”
Only, nothing came as a result.
Since the DC Comics partnership hasn’t gone well (yet), the production house and Legendary Pictures has gone all-in with the creation of its “Monsterverse.” And it has been celebrated by Kaiju lovers and movie aficionados everywhere.
(And yes, the Pacific Rim franchise certainly qualifies in this genre, adding to the intrigue about what the development of this angle could mean to summer blockbusters.)
From Godzilla’s reboot (again) to Kong: Skull Island, America has regained its appetite for the Kaiju. So, while we prepare for what will be the biggest action movie of next summer outside of that Thanos dude in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we learn about Japan unearthing the progeny of Kaiju… a statue?!
Hey, it’s good theater over there. It was even crowdsourced (a little). So, to wax poetic, when you are watching the next iteration of today’s monsterverse, shout out “Oh BUDDHA” during the good parts.
You know, for old times sake.