TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Jorzilla » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:07 am

I think that my interpretation is valid. You are free to believe what you want, even if it makes you red in the face.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:47 am

Mr. Jorzilla wrote:I think that my interpretation is valid. You are free to believe what you want, even if it makes you red in the face.


Red in the face? Sweetie, this thread is delightful. :twisted:

So off the top of my head, I can count every instance of a Showa Godzilla movie providing evidence on the screen or in the form of dialogue that it's set in a world wherein the events of a prior film have occurred:

  • Godzilla Raids Again features footage from Godzilla and Takashi Shimura reprises his role as Dr. Yamane.
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla has Godzilla breaking free from an iceberg after being buried on a glacier at the end of Godzilla Raids Again.
  • Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster has several in-dialogue references to Mothra vs. Godzilla and the Peanuts return as the Shobijin.
  • Monster Zero has several in-dialogue references to Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster.
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon has the return of Gigan, dispatched by the same alien race that invaded with him in Godzilla vs. Gigan.
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla is a direct sequel to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, flashback montage and all.

That's six out of 14 sequels that make direct references to events that happened in a prior Godzilla entry. That leaves eight movies that, in terms of the "evidence" of what universe they're set in, might as well be set in their own alternate reality, because hey, nobody in the movie says that they aren't, right? Like the majority of the Showa films, Godzilla's Revenge doesn't bother to establish direct connective tissue to a specific prior film because it isn't vital to the story at hand. The fact that it's the tenth Godzilla movie from Toho Studios should be enough for viewers to put two and two together.

I personally don't think Godzilla's Revenge needs to show any more or any less on-screen and/or in-dialogue evidence of which cinematic universe it's set in than any of the other Showa Godzilla films made before or after it. I'd be really interested to read your thoughts on why Godzilla's Revenge should be held to a different standard from the other Showa movies as far as its need to reference previous films' events in order to not be relegated to its own alternate timeline, because I'm presuming that you have a reason.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Jorzilla » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:37 pm

This debate is irrelevant. Functionally it makes no difference if Godzilla is real in Godzilla's Revenge, because within the context of the story all of the monster footage, stock footage and all is clearly the product of Ichiro's imagination. That is most important of all. So it comes down to the more plausible answer, and given they way the subject matter is handled, the film very much works as a "real world" film. It has nothing to do with being an apologist or not. Moreover, despite your insistence that other Godzilla films are selectively referential or self standing (which I agree), you can't deny that Godzilla's Revenge is completely distinct in the context of the Showa films. It literally is a clip-show before clip shows were a thing.

The simple fact is, you cannot prove that this film takes place in the Godzilla universe, and I cannot prove that it does either. So it comes down to makes sense in the narrative structure in the movie.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:25 pm

Mr. Jorzilla wrote:Moreover, despite your insistence that other Godzilla films are selectively referential or self standing (which I agree), you can't deny that Godzilla's Revenge is completely distinct in the context of the Showa films. It literally is a clip-show before clip shows were a thing.


That clip show analogy is perfect! When Jerry and the gang on Seinfeld found themselves in court and throngs of viewers expecting a grand finale found themselves watching a clip show, none of the stock footage segments that ensued actually took place then and there in the context of the narrative. Nonetheless, all of the original footage surrounding those clips still took place in the same "Seinfeld universe" as the rest of the series.

I think Godzilla's Revenge is just like that. :wink:


Mr. Jorzilla wrote:The simple fact is, you cannot prove that this film takes place in the Godzilla universe, and I cannot prove that it does either. So it comes down to makes sense in the narrative structure in the movie.


I disagree on that last point, because whether Revenge is set in the same world as the rest of Showa Series or set in the "real world," they both make sense in the narrative structure of the movie insofar as neither outlook, however improbable, is necessarily impossible.

I think what it comes down to in this case is the same thing it comes down to with the all of the other Showa Godzilla films: our default outlook. Do we regard individual movies by default as taking place in the same world as the rest of the Showa Godzilla movies unless the filmmakers clearly specify that they're set in their own alternate universe? Or do we regard them by default as taking place in their own self-contained reality unless the filmmakers clearly reference a prior movie? It's a matter of personal preference and obviously I take the first line of thinking but I don't think either default outlook is necessarily wrong. I just think it's peculiar to apply one default outlook to certain entries while not applying it to the others.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby DannyBeane » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:32 pm

This is a showa Godzilla film. It exists in the Showa Godzilla's continuity. Therefore Godzilla is real in Godzilla's Revenge universe even though most of the film takes place in a kid's imagination. It may not reference what Godzilla or the other kaiju are doing at that particular moment but it makes more sense than saying this is the one Showa film that doesn't count in the continuity. That's all I care about till someone brings up a Honda or Tsuburaya interview that says otherwise.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Jorzilla » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:44 pm

Godzilla's Revenge story is so self contained it's completely irrelevant to the movie which proceeded it and followed. That's the biggest difference. It doesn't impact any timeline one way or the other if it's included or not.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:54 pm

Mr. Jorzilla wrote:Godzilla's Revenge story is so self contained it's completely irrelevant to the movie which proceeded it and followed. That's the biggest difference. It doesn't impact any timeline one way or the other if it's included or not.


That's also completely true of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, another movie featuring a child who idolizes Godzilla.

By "impacting any timeline one way or another," I take it that you mean Revenge is different from Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, Son of Godzilla, and Destroy All Monsters because it only features monsters in Ichiro's dreamscape whereas those films feature in-timeline 'real-world' appearances by monsters that either were introduced in prior films or which reappear in subsequent entries, thus they are automatically connected to the other films while Revenge isn't. If you do mean that's what makes Revenge different, that's circular logic because Revenge is only different in that regard if you assume by default that Ichiro's knowledge of the monsters comes from watching the movies as we know them. From the alternative default outlook that the tenth Godzilla film produced by Toho Studios was the tenth Godzilla movie in the Showa Series timeline, the introduction of the monsters in prior films is every bit as crucial to Ichiro's knowledge of them as it is to the monsters' backgrounds in Sea Monster, Son, and DAM. There's only a difference if you assume there is by default.

Like I said before, it just comes down to how you look at Showa Godzilla movies from the outset, whether you automatically take individual films to be set in the same world as the others unless the filmmakers specify otherwise, or you automatically believe a given movie to be in a standalone reality unless the filmmakers explicitly connect it to a previous movie. I agree with Danny, that there's no reason to assume a sudden departure in continuity without any indication from the filmmakers, either within or outside the movie. It's fine if you take Revenge to be a standalone continuity by default, but why not apply the same standard to Sea Monster, Son, DAM, and Hedorah? Their stories are all just as independent and self-contained as this movie and they're all just as much of a departure in approach from what came before them.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby tbeasley » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:26 pm

Mr. Jorzilla wrote:Moreover, every interaction Ichiro has with adult regarding monsters, the adults basically dismiss it as child-like dreams on a few ocassions.


This is the biggest sign to me... they really have no idea what he's talking about. Even his little girlfriend seems oblivious.

Benjamin Haines wrote:Nobody in Godzilla vs. Hedorah takes issue with Ken Yano having Godzilla and King Ghidorah toys, and I don't think anyone believes that story is set in a world where they're just movie monsters.


Given how crazy and loose Hedorah is I think one could view it that way. :lol:
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:38 pm

tbeasley wrote:
Mr. Jorzilla wrote:Moreover, every interaction Ichiro has with adult regarding monsters, the adults basically dismiss it as child-like dreams on a few ocassions.


This is the biggest sign to me... they really have no idea what he's talking about. Even his little girlfriend seems oblivious.


I never got the impression that anyone was oblivious to what Ichiro was talking about, just that nobody in his life shares his fascination with monsters. Even if Revenge was meant to take place in the 'real world,' people would still presumably know what Ichiro is talking about when he mentions Godzilla, who had been in nine movies playing in Japanese theaters over the past 15 years.


tbeasley wrote:
Benjamin Haines wrote:Nobody in Godzilla vs. Hedorah takes issue with Ken Yano having Godzilla and King Ghidorah toys, and I don't think anyone believes that story is set in a world where they're just movie monsters.


Given how crazy and loose Hedorah is I think one could view it that way. :lol:


More power to anyone who does. I just don't get the concept of applying one default outlook to the continuity of certain films and not to the others. I look at all the entries in a given series the same way unless the filmmakers indicate different, specific intentions with an individual narrative.

Then again, I've read wackier fan theories regarding Showa continuity, things like Monster Zero being set after Terror of Mechagodzilla or Godzilla vs. Hedorah taking place after Megalon. :lol:
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby tbeasley » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:10 pm

Benjamin Haines wrote:I never got the impression that anyone was oblivious to what Ichiro was talking about, just that nobody in his life shares his fascination with monsters. Even if Revenge was meant to take place in the 'real world,' people would still presumably know what Ichiro is talking about when he mentions Godzilla, who had been in nine movies playing in Japanese theaters over the past 15 years.


It was a different time though, you could only see movies in a theatre and once a theatrical run was over than was it. Plus, at that time Godzilla and other genre movies were targeted towards kids more than ever, and it makes sense for Ichiro to almost be the ultimate Godzilla fan, having a fascination with monsters to an almost unhealthy degree. Over the course of the movie he learns to balance his interests and becomes more of a normal, confident kid.

Benjamin Haines wrote:More power to anyone who does. I just don't get the concept of applying one default outlook to the continuity of certain films and not to the others. I look at all the entries in a given series the same way unless the filmmakers indicate different, specific intentions with an individual narrative.


But the Godzilla series has almost always played around with continuity. Like I said above, people only saw movies in theatres back then so slight differences between movies wasn't an issue. People didn’t have TV or DVDs to dissect the movie later on. From Godzilla emerging from an iceberg to Mechagodzilla's remains in TOM there have always been tweaks here and there. All Monsters Attack just takes the ultimate plunge. I mean, it was meant to be shown during a kids' film festival, right? I don't see the problem with it being a separate entity.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:46 pm

tbeasley wrote:
Benjamin Haines wrote:I never got the impression that anyone was oblivious to what Ichiro was talking about, just that nobody in his life shares his fascination with monsters. Even if Revenge was meant to take place in the 'real world,' people would still presumably know what Ichiro is talking about when he mentions Godzilla, who had been in nine movies playing in Japanese theaters over the past 15 years.


It was a different time though, you could only see movies in a theatre and once a theatrical run was over than was it. Plus, at that time Godzilla and other genre movies were targeted towards kids more than ever, and it makes sense for Ichiro to almost be the ultimate Godzilla fan, having a fascination with monsters to an almost unhealthy degree. Over the course of the movie he learns to balance his interests and becomes more of a normal, confident kid.


I agree that Ichiro is meant to mirror the movie's target audience. That in itself doesn't suggest to me that the movie is meant to take place in an isolated, 'real world' continuity, though.

I really don't think the name "Godzilla" is something only one little boy in a community would be aware of in 1969 Japan. I definitely don't think Tomoyuki Tanaka or anybody else at Toho would want to produce a movie depicting the public's awareness of Godzilla in 'real' Japan being that low.


tbeasley wrote:But the Godzilla series has almost always played around with continuity. Like I said above, people only saw movies in theatres back then so slight differences between movies wasn't an issue. People didn’t have TV or DVDs to dissect the movie later on. From Godzilla emerging from an iceberg to Mechagodzilla's remains in TOM there have always been tweaks here and there. All Monsters Attack just takes the ultimate plunge. I mean, it was meant to be shown during a kids' film festival, right? I don't see the problem with it being a separate entity.


But the Godzilla series is always clear when a movie has specific intentions regarding continuity. The very first line in Destroy All Monsters establishes that it's set in the far-off future at the end of the 20th century. Terror of Mechagodzilla makes sure everybody remembers what happened in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla right at the beginning. The Return of Godzilla makes it clear that Godzilla hasn't attacked in 30 years and the rest of the Heisei Series movies are filled with references to prior entries. All of the Millennium Series films that follow up on older movies have either a character or a narrator explaining which films they're pulling backstory from.

Godzilla's Revenge doesn't have anything illustrating that it's set in a world where Godzilla and the other monsters are just fictional characters in movies. If the filmmakers intended it to be a story that breaks from the continuity of everything that came before it, that would have been the first time anything like that had ever been done in the Godzilla series (predating even 1984) and it would represent a landmark creative decision for the franchise. I honestly believe that if Ishiro Honda, Shinichi Sekizawa, or Tomoyuki Tanaka intended that with Revenge then they would have clearly indicated so in the film itself, as they did at the beginning of Destroy All Monsters the year before. There's no shot of a movie theater marquee displaying a Godzilla title, no scene where Gabara taunts Ichiro for his love of Godzilla movies, no children's magazine with Godzilla on the cover in Ichiro's room, nothing. There's no problem with the movie being a separate entity, I just don't jump to that conclusion without any indication of intent on the part of the filmmakers.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby tbeasley » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:39 pm

Benjamin Haines wrote:There's no shot of a movie theater marquee displaying a Godzilla title, no scene where Gabara taunts Ichiro for his love of Godzilla movies, no children's magazine with Godzilla on the cover in Ichiro's room, nothing. There's no problem with the movie being a separate entity, I just don't jump to that conclusion without any indication of intent on the part of the filmmakers.


Well, there is a Godzilla toy in Ichiro's room.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:06 pm

To me that doesn't suggest that it's a break in continuity to a world where Godzilla is just a fictional character, since Ken Yano also has Godzilla toys in Godzilla vs. Hedorah.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby walshiam » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:30 pm

Still, it's all in the mind of a child and his dreams. There's nothing that suggests otherwise. If there was, we wouldn't be discussing this.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:59 am

walshiam wrote:Still, it's all in the mind of a child and his dreams. There's nothing that suggests otherwise. If there was, we wouldn't be discussing this.


Right, all of the monster scenes in Godzilla's Revenge occur in Ichiro's dreams, but I don't see anything in the film suggesting that the scenes where Ichiro is awake are set in 'the real world' and not the same world as the rest of the Showa Godzilla movies.


You didn't think anybody here was suggesting that the monster scenes in Revenge aren't Ichiro's dreams, did you? I'm a little concerned based on what you said.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby angilas » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:32 am

The only reasons I think it does occur within Godzilla's universe even if it is in the mild of a child:
1. First evidence were given of a monster island existing prior to 1999, and several of its dinzens return in GvGigan cameos who weren't in DaM (kamacuras)
2.Gigan features a monster island Godzilla and Angilas have little issue escaping from so besides Ghidorah still being alive and the corn hippy we can assume this makeshift masterpiece is also set in the 70s.
3. Having finally gotten around to watching the Japanese side of my classic media DVD the fact that the officers immediately know who minilla is when the toy consultant (great job description) tells them "the monster" after their confused response to the kid saying Minya/Minilla was with me. As popular as Godzilla was in the golden age, I can't walk around saying "Bane be with you!" And expect "and also with you" in response from grown men who know of batman. So either their response was unrealistic or they know because Kaiju are a very real threat in their polluted world which foreshadows the climate change references in the 2 subsequent films.

4. Very much a scretch but at least in the Japanese version of the film the kid suggests the toy consultant should use his latest invention to record the roars of monsters. A very astute observation in a world pre 1970 when personal computers and Internet were not in abundance. An even greater suggestion in a world where monsters are real and knowing what they sound like can be the difference between being hired as a general in GvG who tells you it's king Ghidorah and some new monster coming vs one of the pilots of the over a dozen planes that gets swatted like lemmings by the titular kaiju.

At any rate as a kid I looked down on this film because none of the kaiju action was real and Minya was so goofy especially with the dub voice. Maybe how bad final wars was has made me appreciate this more but Gabara was the perfect opponent for Minya, and his Kong reminiscent electrical attacks pissed off Godzilla Sr. for good reason. The cuts to the action in the real world are very entertaining and the subplot of parents trying to make ends meat to provide for their kid and working days without seeing him, and such a young boy understanding the need of his parents to make money in such a polluted environment is very well done. Ichiro for his part with his sound effects and rhythmic musical tone is much more of a kawaii chibi in the original language.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby ILL GREEN » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:17 pm

I do too think it was based within the Godzilla universe. Maybe during the peace time. Besides, by the time this movie came out, kaiju assault on Japan was the norm. They made Saddam Hussien dolls so why not make dolls of monsters. And no one implies that monsters are fantasy of a child's imagination in the movie. They just see Ichiro a daydreamer that can talk to monsters.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Xenorama » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:50 pm

I recently rewatched this wonderful movie. Ben, if this is set in the same world Godzilla is in, how does Ichiro dream of scenes from Destroy All Monsters (when he's first on Monster Island)? The Manda that is in DAM won't exist for 30 years, yet there he is in Ichiro's dream. Add to that Toymaker Minami uses pictures from DAM for the moon scene in one of his toys.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby DannyBeane » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:45 pm

Xenorama wrote:I recently rewatched this wonderful movie. Ben, if this is set in the same world Godzilla is in, how does Ichiro dream of scenes from Destroy All Monsters (when he's first on Monster Island)? The Manda that is in DAM won't exist for 30 years, yet there he is in Ichiro's dream. Add to that Toymaker Minami uses pictures from DAM for the moon scene in one of his toys.

The same way the Mothra larva makes a random appearance and then disappears in Godzilla vs Gigan :lol:
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:14 pm

Stock footage is never logical.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby lhb412 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:00 pm

I love that this movie has inspired such an in-depth discussion. Not sarcastic, love it.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby H-Man » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:29 am

Xenorama wrote:I recently rewatched this wonderful movie. Ben, if this is set in the same world Godzilla is in, how does Ichiro dream of scenes from Destroy All Monsters (when he's first on Monster Island)? The Manda that is in DAM won't exist for 30 years, yet there he is in Ichiro's dream. Add to that Toymaker Minami uses pictures from DAM for the moon scene in one of his toys.


I think the idea was that Ichiro was dreaming about Godzilla doing battle with other monsters and not necessarily events or battles that already happened in the Godzilla series. For example, he's not dreaming about the time Godzilla battled Ebirah on Letchi Island in 1966, he's dreaming about Godzilla battling Ebirah on the shores of Monster Island. They look the same to us because Tanaka wanted to save money by using old footage. We wouldn't be discussing this had Honda and Nakano filmed the same action again for this movie.

I don't get your point about Manda. Why shouldn't there be a Manda on Monster Island in the late '60s? Isn't this the same case as Angilas who was killed in 1955 but mysteriously reappears in later movies? There's absolutely nothing in these movies that suggests that either monster shouldn't appear before 1999.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby DannyBeane » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:11 am

I know this movie gets a lot of flack for being one of the worst films in the series but everytime I watch it, this film endears itself to my heart a little bit more. Gabara is a silly monster, Minya is exceptionally creepy, and the amount of stock footage used is unacceptable, but the core story of a bullied kid growing up in an industrial wasteland, whose parents are always busy and so he must learn to fight for himself is definitely top notch. I truly feel this is the most misunderstood movie in the entire series and I didn't always feel this way. When I first watched this film on TNT's Monstervision back when I was 9 or 10, I thought this film was awful. I didn't appreciate this film through rose colored nostalgia goggles. What happened was I grew up and watched this unpolished gem with fresh eyes. This is now one of my most watched flicks.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby battrafan » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:16 pm

I always thought Gabara was a great design with a unique roar.

I hope Toho brings him back one day with a different origin.

He would be perfect as some sort of ancient deity like King Seesar.
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Re: TALKBACK #10: All Monsters Attack

Postby Rodanex » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:08 pm

Anyone ever listened to the audio commentary by Richard Pusateri? I was recently at a screening of some Godzilla movies in San Francisco and he was one of the guests.
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