gaijin1 profile image

Japanese Monster Movies

Welcome to Kaiju central!

Japanese monster movies have been a fan favorite for more than 50 years. Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra, and all the rest have been reaking havoc on downtown Tokyo for more than half a century. The first film, "Godzilla", was first released in the United States in 1955 in Japanese-American communities only. In 1956, it was adapted by an American company into "Godzilla: King of the Monsters!", edited and with added principal scenes featuring Raymond Burr, and this version became an international success.

The original Godzilla was greatly inspired by the popularity of the 1952 re-release of King Kong, and the 1953 success of "The beast from 20,000 fathoms". "Godzilla" would go on to inspire "Gorgo", "Gamera", "Coverfield", and many others.

The name "Godzilla" is a romanization by the film production company Toho Company Limited, of the original Japanese name "Gojira" — which is a combination of two Japanese words: gorira - 'gorilla' and kujira - 'whale'. The word alludes to the size, power and aquatic origin of Godzilla. "Gojira" was allegedly the nickname of a large employee of Toho, but in the 50 years since the film's original release, no one claiming to be the employee ever stepped forward and no photographs have ever surfaced.

Some of my fondest movie watching memories as a kid was sitting in front of the tube every Saturday afternoon. Channel 11 showed three movies in a row. The first was a Charlie Chan movie, the second was aways a Tarzan movie, and then came my favorite, the monster movie!

Every Saturday afternoon, some guy in a rubber suit would stomp on Tokyo for two glorious hours. I don't know how many times I have seen these movies, but it doesn't matter. I will keep watching them forever! No matter how many times I see them, they still make me laugh. My kids seem to get just as big a kick out of them as I do.

I will try to bring you a decent selection of these old classics. Some are hard to find these days, but I will do my best. I hope you enjoy these as much as I still do. 

GODZILLA DVDs

Godzilla, the king of all monsters! Since about 1955 the Big "G" has been stomping through Tokyo on a regular basis. He has faced some pretty fierce opponents and a few pretty lame ones, but to a true fan, they are all great movies.

Here is a selection of some of the best Godzilla movies out there. Starting with his first appearance, and on to his most recent.

Godzilla - Final Wars
Godzilla - Final Wars

The most recent Godzilla movie. The effects aren't bad in this. And the frustrated punk alien kid is a hoot!

 
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

They changed Godzilla's appearance a bit for this, by giving him these weird milky white eyes. We also get a new heroine named Uri. Good effects.

 
Godzilla 2000
Godzilla 2000

This was a nice surprise. It was an interesting idea to make the alien a shape changer. Very original.

 
Gojira / Godzilla, King of the Monsters
Gojira / Godzilla, King of the Monsters

The original is still the best! See Big G in his first car crushing, building stomping, Raymond Burr whipping appearance. Though I hear he did a little off-broadway before he moved to the big screen.

 
Godzilla - Tokyo S.O.S.
Godzilla - Tokyo S.O.S.

This one focused a bit more on the people in the story, than on "Big G". Given the cultures reluctance for public displays of affection, I was a bit dubious on how a love story would work. But, I did ok.

 
Godzilla Vs. Gigan
Godzilla Vs. Gigan

They spend a bit to much time on unimportant junk in this one for me. But, this is the one and only time you get to hear Godzilla talk. Yes, I said talk.

 
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

It took a long time for this one to get going, and the fight scenes were a little blah. But the main storyline, and the effects were good.

 
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla / Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla / Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

2 for 1 special!!! These are both pretty good. You get to see Godzilla jr. in both of them. And as always, the lovely mickey is their to try to help, faint, and shed a tear for our hero.

 

Bambi vs Godzilla

I laughed my ass off the first time I saw this. Yeah, I know it's old news now, but it's still funny!

GAMERA DVDs

A flying turtle dammit! How can you not love that? The forces of good will not be extinguished! I think Gamera popped up in the 60's. There was quite a few of the old black and white movies made, but then he disappeared for a while. But in the 90's he came back bigger and better than ever, sporting more spikes, and spitting more fire.

Gamera - The Brave (Widescreen)
Gamera - The Brave (Widescreen)

Toru Aizawa, a 11 year old boy suddenly finds a tiny egg on a red mysterious stone. the egg hatches and comes out an abnormal little turtle (Toto) which not only grows rapidly, but also flies in the air and even blows fireballs. At the meantime, a series of mysterious ship wrecks are reported. Later on, even more disasters happen when a huge evil ferocious monster Lizard (Zeus) suddenly comes out from the sea and attacks, wrecks and demolishes the world. the last hope of mankind relies on the fr...

 
Gamera - The Ultimate Collection
Gamera - The Ultimate Collection

This has 3 of the old classic Gamera movies in it. A definite must have if you liked the first old ones.

 
Attack Of The Monsters
Attack Of The Monsters

You wake up, have breakfast, and watch a flying turtle whoop butt on yet another big angry lizard. Just another day in Tokyo.

 
Gamera  - Attack of Legion
Gamera - Attack of Legion

Check out our favorite titanic terrapin put a stop to the advances of a legion of big bugs.

 
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

The Gaos are Back! There's 3 of them this time and they seem hell bent on chowing down on us humans. Luckily for us, Gamera isn't putting up with such foolishness!

 
War of the Monsters
War of the Monsters

Why doesn't this Barugon guy just give up? He has had his butt kicked by everyone except the local girl scout troop.

 
Gamera Limited Edition Box Set
Gamera Limited Edition Box Set

This is a great deal. I jumped on it as soon as I saw it. It has all 3 of the new era Gamera flicks. The stores may have 1 or 2 of them, but I could never find all 3 at one place.

 
Gammera the Invincible
Gammera the Invincible

This Gamera movie has a lot of action. It's one of the better new era movies.

 
Gamera 3 - Revenge of Iris
Gamera 3 - Revenge of Iris

This one is weird, even for a Japanese monster movie.

 
Gamera vs. Monster X / Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
Gamera vs. Monster X / Monster from a Prehistoric Planet

These oldies are just plain funny. I am not sure how the actors kept straight faces during the shooting.

 

MOTHRA DVDs

A giant butterfly? Are you kidding me? A big butterfly doesn't seem nearly as menacing as a 240 ft tall lizard with radioactive death breath. It took me a long time to warm up to Mothra, but after seeing that these monster moth movies are made the same way as my old favorites, I took a liking to the big bug.

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

They changed Godzilla's appearance a bit for this, by giving him these weird milky white eyes. We also get a new heroine named Uri. Good effects.

 
Rebirth of Mothra 1&2
Rebirth of Mothra 1&2

I think there are 3 rebirth films for Mothra. I am trying to find a supplier for the 3rd. This is a great 2 for 1 deal for any kaiju fan.

 
Godzilla Vs Mothra
Godzilla Vs Mothra

This is where it all started. Rumor had it that Godzilla was hitting on Mothra, there was a big misunderstanding, blah blah blah. You know how these things go. A must have classic!

 
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth

2 more great classic old monster flicks. Grab them while you can at this killer price!

 

A 50 Year tribue to the big guy

It's amazing that a guy in a rubber suit has had a longer film career that most actors. It hasn't always been the same guy in the suit, but it's always the same Godzilla.

MISCELLANEOUS MONSTER DVDs

This list is going to be the toughest to get. Many of the old "one time only" monster movies have disappeared it seems. I will do my very best to dig up all the "one hit wonders" for you.

Please keep checking here regularly, as I will update the list with any new movies I find A.S.A.P.!

20 Million Miles to Earth (50th Anniversary Edition)
20 Million Miles to Earth (50th Anniversary Edition)

Yeah, I know this isn't Japanese, but it was by Ray Harryhausen, so it was fantastic! Special effects genius Ray Harryhausen (<i>Jason and the Argonauts</i>, <i>Clash of the Titans</i>) brings you one of his earliest groundbreaking films, now available for the first time in vibrant color! When an American spaceship crash-lands off the coast of Sicily, a rescue team discovers that the crew has brought back a gelatinous mass that soon hatches and evolves into a strange bi-ped creature which increases in size rapidly. Soon 20-feet tall, the creature rampages...

 
Rodan
Rodan

He's big, he's bad, and he's a bird. There are actually 2 Rodans in this film. It is pretty good stuff.

 
King Kong Vs Godzilla/King Kong Escapes
King Kong Vs Godzilla/King Kong Escapes

Yes, this is probably the worst ape suit ever worn on TV, but you can't help but laugh as the producers try and give these big goofs such human qualities.

 
Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster
Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster

Another first appearance of an old Godzilla foe. Ghidorah went on to become King Ghidorah. I didn't vote for him, so i'm not sure how that happened.

 
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth

2 more great classic old monster flicks. Grab them while you can at this killer price!

 
Gorgo (Widescreen Destruction Edition)
Gorgo (Widescreen Destruction Edition)

This was the first Japanese monster movie I ever saw at the theater. I thought it was the most incredible thing. Definitely a nostalgic collectors item.

 
It Came from Beneath the Sea
It Came from Beneath the Sea

Do you remember the old black and white shot you see of the giant octopus pulling down the San Fransisco bridge? Well, this is where it came from. Not Japanese, but still worth collecting.

 

 Last updated on August 2, 2012

Useful Funny Awesome Beautiful Interesting 
Click to Rate This Article
Please wait working