With the release of Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters last Friday, the world is clamouring to see Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah duke it out on the big screen yet again. Given the Big G’s 65-year history — ranging from villain to anti-hero to full-fledged saviour — there are bound to be some killer onscreen moments in the monster’s cinematic archive. So, in honour of Japan’s favourite reptile, here’s a list of his finest scenes.
10. Godzilla vs. Angurius – Godzilla Raids Again, 1955
This fight may look cheesy now but Godzilla’s battle against the spiky Angurius on the streets of Osaka marks the first time the big grey (not green) monster duked it out with another monster onscreen. In this 1955 direct sequel to the original, Godzilla battles it out with his spiny foe before besting him and heading off to cause more destruction.
9. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla – Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, 1974
Who doesn’t want to watch Godzilla fight a version of himself that looks like he was made by Lady Gaga’s wardrobe department? In 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla he does just that. With the help of friendly monster King Cesar (there are a lot of Kings in the monster world, I guess) Godzilla takes on Mechagodzilla, who was built by evil aliens to help conquer Earth, because of course he was.
8. Godzilla fights 1998 Godzilla – Godzilla: Final Wars, 2005
If you’re a fan of Godzilla, you probably hate Tristar’s 1998 version of the character, who looked more like a T-Rex from Jurassic Park. Well prepare to feel vindicated because in 2005’s Godzilla: Final Wars, Japan’s favourite Mon-star kicks the stuffing out of his American counterpart, apparently called Zilla in this film. It’s kinda embarrassing, really.
7. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah – Godzilla vs Desetroyah, 1995
In the final film of the Godzilla’s second era, Godzilla fights Destoroyah — whose name sounds like the name of a really loud death metal band — with the aid of his son Godzilla Jr. This film also marks the death of the second Godzilla, which was a pretty big deal at the time as it was only the second time he has ever died.
7. Everyone vs. King Ghidorah – Destroy All Monsters, 1968
In what was originally meant to be the final film in the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla and all his monster friends team up to take out King Ghidorah, who is under the control of evil aliens in the far-off future of 1999 (oooooh). The fight happens on the Big G’s home turf of Monsterland, which obviously gives him home field advantage. It’s super cool to see all of this monster together, that’s for sure.
6. Baby Daddy Godzilla – Son of Godzilla, 1967
So, this is where things get strange, if they haven’t already. In the original films, Godzilla discovers he has a son, named Minya. Minya kind of looks like if Godzilla and Barney hooked up one weekend. The film doesn’t really say who the mom is, so I guess Godzilla is gonna have to go on Maury to sort that one out.
5. Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan team up to beat Ghidorah – Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, 1963
Much like this year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla’s first big team-up happens with Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan against the three-headed space dragon King Ghidorah. It’s cool to see the first time Godzilla and his buddies ever really did something heroic, defending humanity and changing the course of the series forever.
4. The return of the king – Return of Godzilla, 1984
This film marks the first reboot in the Godzilla series and the Big G’s return to being the bad guy of the movie. The dark, serious tone of the film harkens back to the original 1954 movie, albeit in a much more updated setting. With better effects and impressive miniature work (for the time) this film is one of the best in series, if not the most serious.
3. Godzilla vs. King Kong – Godzilla vs. King Kong, 1962
This is it, East meets West, America’s monster vs. Japan’s. With Legendry’s Godzilla vs. Kong slated to come out next year, it’s cool to see the one that started it all, even if it does look a little hokey now.
2. Godzilla’s drop kick – Godzilla vs. Megalon, 1973
I told you this list was going to get wacky. In this 1973 movie, Godzilla teams up with a robot named Jet Jaguar to fight Megalon, who looks like a beetle and a Christmas tree got busy. Megalon has been sent by the underwater kingdom of Seatopia to destroy humanity and it’s up to Godzilla to save the day yet again, and show off some sick fighting moves while he’s at it.
1. Godzilla flies – Godzilla Vs. the Smog Monster, 1971
You read this right. Nuff Said.