To celebrate the release of the anthology ‘Kaiju: Lords of the Earth’ I thought I might open up about my love of the genre.
It might sound odd in the current era of the geek but there was a time it was a bit embarrassing to admit you loved Japanese monster movies. It started with my Aunt winning some money. That allowed her to buy a video recorder and the latest television. No one else in the family had one. When my Mum was working I would quite often stay with my Auntie Jean and Uncle Ian. He would go to the pub and she would take me to the local video rental shop.
I only ever asked to rent two films – the same two films each and every time. One was ‘Flash Gordon’ and the other was ‘Destroy All Monsters’.
This film blew my young mind. So many monsters, alien invaders – it had it all.
As a child I really thought this film and a few other Godzilla films I managed to see on television were serious action films. My older self discovered the original Godzilla 1954 film and understood the important and serious subtext.
When I went back to ‘Destroy All Monsters’ and the numerous others I saw the humour (both intended and unintended) but I loved them just as much. I now own every Godzilla film ever made, plus a few other Toho Studios pictures (my favourite being ‘Matango – Attack of the Mushroom People’) and Gamera (he’s a flying turtle!).
Yep, all that is mine! The only DVD’s out on display.
Oh and I’ve got some other bits. Here are a few examples…
There are others, like the little monsters my friend Greg brought me back from Japan. But I think I’ve shown enough of my love for all things Kaiju.
You would think then that writing a short story for ‘Kaiju: Lords of the Earth’ would be easy. Far from it – I found the short story ‘Distant Drums’ really difficult to write and I’ve come to the conclusion that what I love about the majority of these films is the brain removal fun of them. When you come to write a story, you need to engage the brain and for a while I was simply not enjoying it.
My story clicked into place though and I found the enjoyment in it. I hope that if you get to read my story in this book, you might get a sense of how much I love these city crushing monsters.
For my part I’d like to thank ‘Gojira’ and pals for opening a door to Ray Harryhausen, to films and culture beyond British and American and for stretching my childhood imagination.
All together, lets roar like Godzilla… Skreeeonk!