Film Scouts Diaries

1998 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
A Kaiju Goes to Cannes #3: Godzilla Arrives in Cannes

by Hirama-Gon

My trip to France over thousands of miles of water ends at the Palais, where Godzilla plays to a skeptical audience of filmgoers who have been trapped in their nice and plush theater chairs to watch the new King of the Monsters.

While it's nice to know that Roland Emmerich and Rob Fried tried to pay hommage to Japan's monster treasure, perhaps they mistook this entire Godzilla genre for Jurassic Park. There isn't much more to say about a movie that features a giant lizard that runs away from tanks and pushes down buildings in the process, since that is most un-monster like behavior that is never found among the citizens of Monster Island. There is a certain amount of pride among the monster community, and cowardice is a realm reserved for the Tokyo citizenry, who are always busy running away from us.

There is also something to be said about the monster's looks.

Aside from Mothra, who is simply a giant sized moth with interesting designs on its wings, most monsters don't resemble any known creature. Rodan looks like a giant bird, perhaps, but that's only because he has been given a set of wings that can go full-span. Otherwise, he can pass as an ugly penguin. King Ghidarah certainly doesn't resemble any known creature, although it can be argued its face looks like dragon images of Buddhist temples. Those dragons, however, don't have three heads and aren't attached to one big body that has wings. And our friend Angillas looks like he took the worst features of both the porcupine and the armadillo to make one strange looking monster that sings like Tito Jackson.

The new Godzilla looks like a mutated lizard, which is because it happened to sit through some unfortunate French nuclear testing. But the mutations haven't spread to its offspring, who all look very much like raptors. Japanese Godzilla's offspring - and there was only one of those - looked like no other creature and grew up with the same mutated features as dear old dad.

That aside, there are many reasons why the filmmakers should be invaded at night and have their homes bombarded by Godzilla droppings or Barbara Bush.

There is little joy in Monster Island today. Little joy.

Previous Installment

Back to Cannes Film Festival Diaries

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.