Honda's Godzilla sequels

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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Choose 3

King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
9
8%
Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
29
25%
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
25
21%
Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
26
22%
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
10
9%
All Monsters Attack (1969)
2
2%
Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
16
14%
 
Total votes : 117

Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby tbeasley » Fri May 30, 2014 1:15 pm

I decided to exclude the 1954 original and focus on Honda's remaining entries in the first Godzilla series. The original is almost an anomaly, starting with Kong vs. Godzilla the series takes on a more lighthearted, fantasy oriented tone that would impact the remainder of the franchise. This approach would be perfected in 1964 with Mothra vs. Godzilla and Ghidorah, and a more straight sci-fi tone would be introduced in Astro-Monster and DAM. His final two entries would be smaller in scope but I find their stories to be some of the strongest emotionally.

I always think it's a shame when people write off the films that came after the original, and while it's true Honda wanted to make films outside giant monsters, I think he compromised and made those other films in the confines of Godzilla. There's a lot more variety to these movies than some people realize.

I also wonder how Honda felt about the Godzilla films he didn't direct, and his thoughts on Godzilla's changing character during his lifetime.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby Giganfan » Fri May 30, 2014 4:03 pm

I think Honda's best Godzilla movies are generally the ones where Eiji Tsuburaya's special effects are given the full stage, while the director himself meticulously crafts a real-world backdrop for the fantasy elements of the story to blossom. In his own way, Ishiro Honda was a very subtle cinematic virtuoso.

All eight Godzilla flicks, directed by Honda are the cream of the crop, in one way or the other. And he had a considerably beneficial creative partnership with Tsuburaya, Ifukube, all of the screenwriters he worked with and even the tokusatsu successors, Arikawa and Nakano.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby lhb412 » Fri May 30, 2014 8:22 pm

tbeasley wrote:I always think it's a shame when people write off the films that came after the original, and while it's true Honda wanted to make films outside giant monsters, I think he compromised and made those other films in the confines of Godzilla. There's a lot more variety to these movies than some people realize.


That's something I've always thought. Honda was typecast as a sci-fi director, but that really isn't what he was, and while it may have contained the creative expressions Honda was able to create in his lifetime it ended up bringing something very unique and beautiful to those sci-fi films. Things that probably would never have been there had anyone else been in the driver's seat.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby angilas » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:39 am

The documentary of Honda, the soul of Godzilla in the classic media set is very well done and sheds some light on this. He wanted to do other films as well but never complained as a director and had a gentle nature that made him the favorite if actors and actresses. He was great friends with Kurosawa and despite moving further away for
The studio after the death of his good friend Tsubaraya and only returning for ToMG, he was the director who congratulated Kurosawa on screen on behalf of Toho for his academy award for ran. Honda was such a good director of spfx films he was almost typecast in those roles though his potential far exceeded them. I think you're right to say he made the films he wanted within those.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:56 am

Mothra vs. Godzilla...light-hearted?

Balderdash.

Also, Godzilla is one of the series where people DON'T write-off entries besides the original. Many people don't put the original at the very top of their lists. I did a podcast with MouthforWar, king_ghidorah, and a friend not on MZ, and I don't think any of us had the original as our favorite.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby tbeasley » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:42 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:Mothra vs. Godzilla...light-hearted?

Balderdash.


Certainly more lighthearted than the original. It has more in common with the tone set by Mothra.

Also, Godzilla is one of the series where people DON'T write-off entries besides the original. Many people don't put the original at the very top of their lists. I did a podcast with MouthforWar, king_ghidorah, and a friend not on MZ, and I don't think any of us had the original as our favorite.


Well yeah because you're fans. Ask most people and Godzilla became goofy Godzilla vs. Megalon stuff after the original, if they 'get' the original at all.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby MouthForWar » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:59 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:Mothra vs. Godzilla...light-hearted?

Balderdash.

Also, Godzilla is one of the series where people DON'T write-off entries besides the original. Many people don't put the original at the very top of their lists. I did a podcast with MouthforWar, king_ghidorah, and a friend not on MZ, and I don't think any of us had the original as our favorite.


The 1954 film was my #1.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby angilas » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:05 am

tbeasley wrote:
jellydonut25 wrote:Mothra vs. Godzilla...light-hearted?

Balderdash.


Certainly more lighthearted than the original. It has more in common with the tone set by Mothra.

Also, Godzilla is one of the series where people DON'T write-off entries besides the original. Many people don't put the original at the very top of their lists. I did a podcast with MouthforWar, king_ghidorah, and a friend not on MZ, and I don't think any of us had the original as our favorite.


Well yeah because you're fans. Ask most people and Godzilla became goofy Godzilla vs. Megalon stuff after the original, if they 'get' the original at all.


Yeah but if you show them KKvG they probably won't find it far off
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby jellydonut25 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:02 pm

MouthForWar wrote:
jellydonut25 wrote:Mothra vs. Godzilla...light-hearted?

Balderdash.

Also, Godzilla is one of the series where people DON'T write-off entries besides the original. Many people don't put the original at the very top of their lists. I did a podcast with MouthforWar, king_ghidorah, and a friend not on MZ, and I don't think any of us had the original as our favorite.


The 1954 film was my #1.

I can't remember the crazy things you do/say.

tbeasley wrote:Well yeah because you're fans. Ask most people and Godzilla became goofy Godzilla vs. Megalon stuff after the original, if they 'get' the original at all.
but the Godzilla that MOST people recognize/acknowledge/enjoy is the goofy stuff. MOST people don't realize that a Godzilla movie can be serious at all.

Hence, they acknowledge/consider the goofy sequels MORESO than the original, honestly.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby king_ghidorah » Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:29 pm

For the most part, I prefer Jun Fukuda's Godzilla sequels and Honda's non-Godzilla kaiju films as a general rule.

I'll watch all of Honda's Godzilla films, and enjoy them BUT they're rarely my go-to choices for lazy Saturday morning Godzilla fests.

I voted for KK vs. G, GTTHM and Terror of MG
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby lhb412 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:35 pm

... oh, *terrible Peter Falk impression* and one more thing : we identify certain themes that reoccur in Honda's films (maybe most purely exemplified in his 'humanity unites against common enemy' sci-fi films) but maybe Honda's greatest virtue was his ability to wrangle the extreme styles of the creative team into a cohesive whole.

To grossly oversimplify: Tsuburaya was a master artist and craftsman with a whimsical streak, Shinichi Sekizawa had his eccentric sense of humor and carnival-like storylines, Ifukube was a self-described megalomaniac, and Honda is the humanist haunted by what he saw in WWII. When I watch the films they all did together I don't think any one of those personalities crowds out the other, but you feel all of their distinct contributions. That's a hell of a trick.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby DannyBeane » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:51 am

1. Ghidrah
2. Mothra
3. Monster Zero
4. Godzilla's Revenge
5. King Kong
6. DAM
7. TOMG

The last 3 are fairly interchangeable. Godzilla's Revenge is a guilty pleasure of mine. I can almost always throw it on as featured entertainment or background noise.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby tbeasley » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:12 pm

lhb412 wrote:... oh, *terrible Peter Falk impression* and one more thing : we identify certain themes that reoccur in Honda's films (maybe most purely exemplified in his 'humanity unites against common enemy' sci-fi films) but maybe Honda's greatest virtue was his ability to wrangle the extreme styles of the creative team into a cohesive whole.

To grossly oversimplify: Tsuburaya was a master artist and craftsman with a whimsical streak, Shinichi Sekizawa had his eccentric sense of humor and carnival-like storylines, Ifukube was a self-described megalomaniac, and Honda is the humanist haunted by what he saw in WWII. When I watch the films they all did together I don't think any one of those personalities crowds out the other, but you feel all of their distinct contributions. That's a hell of a trick.


Yeah apparently Honda was able to 'tame' the larger than life personalities of Tsuburaya, Ifukube, even Kurosawa!
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby lhb412 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:06 am

^I know that when Kurosawa and Ifukube worked together on one film (The Quiet Duel) they really clashed and never worked together again. It's probably not a good idea to have more than one megalomaniac working on a film at a time.

The only time I know of where Honda went against Ifukube was in Mothra vs. Godzilla where Honda wanted the Godzilla Terror Theme to play when Godzilla makes an entrance. Ifukube said no, and that the scene had impact without music and should remain that way. Honda went behind him and had a stock track of the theme used for the scene, and when watching the completed film Ifukube was quite shocked, and (if I'm remembering this correctly) glared at Honda, who simply shrugged his shoulders in a 'what are you gonna do?' fashion.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby Geno » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:58 pm

Mothra vs Godzilla and Monster Zero are some of my favorite films of all time. The work Honda and Sekizawa did with the direction and writing are solid. Them and the rest of the crew were really at the top of their game for these films. Ghidorah is pretty good too, although it's a clear step down from it's predecessor. Still, they get the votes for being my personal favorites. Revenge and ToMG have some noteworthy moments, but they have some pretty big flaws that weaken them. DAM is honestly a slog, and despite some nice cinematography and effects sequences, its a prime example of the "just skip to the monster scenes" image people have of Godzilla movies.
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Re: Honda's Godzilla sequels

Postby DannyBeane » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Mothra, Ghidrah, and Monster zero, are to this day are still probably the best tokusatsu trilogy ever. Great writing, monster action, suits, special fx. When I watch one of them I have a hard time not marathoning the others.
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