Godzilla Movie

GMK, What it Could Have Been

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Mech Rodan

MemberMothra LarvaeOct-27-2014 6:34 AM

GMK, Giant Monsters All Out Attack. It's one of my favorite Godzilla movies and some of your favorite movies as well. Ghost eyed Godzilla, Baragon in a new design, deep meanings! This was a great movie, but what could have it been? In the development of this movie, like many of you know, Toho was origianlly going to have Godzilla fight Baragon (which he does), Anguirus, and Varan. My question for you all is this. Would GMK had been better if Toho used Varan and Anguirus insted of Mothra and "Good" King Ghidorah? Would it have better fights or would they be worse since Godzilla would be fighting smaller monsters? AND WOULD THE DOG STILL BE SAVED FROM THOSE HORRIBLE TEENAGERS? Let's hear what you guys have to hear. Small monsters Unite!



Also as a side note, if you think Varan and Anguirus shold have been in GMK, give a description on what they would do and how they fit into the story.

Edit: I can't stop adding pictures. I can't stop!

18 Replies

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaOct-27-2014 9:27 AM

To be clear Shusuke Kaneko wanted to use Varan and Anguirus, but Toho told him he could only use one of the three monsters he wanted (Baragon) and the other two had to be Mothra and King Ghidorah. Toho also told Kaneko he had to use the Satsuma submerine in hopes it would another super-vehicle like The Griffon and Super X. He used the subermines, but instead just made them mass produced, deep sea recovery vehicles. (Take that Toho.)

Fans would have probably prefered the version with Varan and Anguirus, but ultimately I think it would be non-consequential for the story which would still largely remain intact. I do wonder if the final act would be as rushed, as it tends to be the weaker act of the film.

Still, I don't mind the diverse monster roles for Mothra and King Ghidorah. Toho saw their monster cache as actors more than characters during this era which is something I flip flop with. I think this film is strong enough to look past that though.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberMothra LarvaeOct-27-2014 11:34 AM

It would of been almost the same, but comercially i tink it would of been a failiure, this whas tohos last atempt to make a comercial succes godzilla movie, if it would to been a succes toho would of brougth back the heisei timeline

Evacuate?, Godzilla is just a Legend!-Woman in GMK


MemberBaragonOct-27-2014 12:03 PM

I would have preferred the movie more, but not by a huge margin since the story would stay roughly the same.

The King of the Monsters

MemberMothra LarvaeOct-27-2014 4:53 PM

I just assume that Anguirus would have played Mothra's role while Varan played Ghidorah's without any major changes to the final film. I used to have trouble accepting this film for its radically untraditional portrayal of King Ghidorah, but over time I've been able to look past it and enjoy the film as it truly is, one of the best entries in the entire series. I still think Varan and Anguirus were more fit for the movie, but it's not a big issue for me anymore and I still see Mothra and King Ghidorah's portrayals in the film to be some of my favorites.

"When man falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born." - Professor Hayashida, The Return of Godzilla


MemberMothra LarvaeOct-27-2014 7:25 PM

I read a synopsis of GVA (Godzilla, Varan, Anguirus), the would-have-been Shusuke Kaneko Godzilla film, in the outstanding Japanese Giants No. 9. This issue, edited and supervised by Ed Godzszewski, is a must for fans of Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. The 25th entry in the Godzilla Series is covered wall-to-wall in this issue. It's a great read and compliment to the film and all things GMK-related. There's Ed's great review of the film; GMK staff profiles; GMK cast profiles; screenplay evolution; which discusses the development of the story in a feature subtitles, "What Might Have Been..."; Suit Making; an interview with Director Shusuke Kaneko; a feature about GMK Suit Actors: Mizuho Yoshida  (Godzilla), Rie Ota (Baragon) and Akira Ohashi (King Ghidorah); and an on the set feature by Norman England, entitled "My Year of Godzilla."

With the exception of the coverage of the iconic, genre-starting classic Gojira in Issue No. 10, I have not seen a film covered like this, in such depth, as the coverage in Japanese Giants Vol. I Issue #9 of GMK.

Anyway, it seems that the story with Varan and Anguirus is similar to what was eventually filmed.

This issue also includes mini-reviews of other films, including Super Atragon, Iron Armor Mikazuki and Shusuke Kaneko's CrossFire (Pyrokineses). 

It's a great read.


MemberMothra LarvaeOct-27-2014 10:03 PM

I have often wondered how GVA (Godzilla, Varan, Anguirus) would have done box office-wise. GMK was a success. But would Kaneko's original choice of monsters have attracted an audience? In his review of GMK, Ed Godziszewski mentions that Shuske Kaneko mentioned at an elementary school reunion that he was making a kaiju film featuring Anguirus and Varan. The reaction from his former classsmates was, "what?" Plus, Anguirus and Varan had been off the radar, so to speak, for decades prior to the time GMK was filmed. So, maybe Toho had a point in insisting upon Mothra and King Ghidorah be placed in roles originally written for other monsters.  

Fans, otaku, were going to see a Shusuke Kaneko Godzilla film not matter what. I mean finally, the director of the Heisei Gamera Triology helming a Godzilla film. This was the dream of many fans, including this one. The dream started in 1997 when I saw Gamera: Guardian of the Universe for the first time. So, I feel that GVA would have been an excellent kaiju eiga. The designs for for Anguirus and Varan can be seen in various books about GMK, including the chouzenshu published by Shogakukan. In fact, I'm looking at pictures of the maquettes for them now, and they are beautiful. One wonders how striking they would have been given the needed time and attention by the directors and the rest of the production staff.

But, I love GMK, as it is. For me it's a kind of bookend to Gojira.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaOct-27-2014 10:49 PM

Agreed, Jammal. Despite any misgivings, GMK is still one of the very, very few "great" Godzilla movies of the last thirty years. As a fan, yeah, Angirius and Varan might have been preferable, but Toho had two movies prior with failed "new" monsters. It makes sense they wanted to do something tried and true.

Plus, the inclusion of Mothra and King Ghidorah arguably helped people talk about the messages within the film. Had they not drawn in audiences would they have talked about the film as deeply?

I remember Japanese news outlets talking about historians and college professors pointing out the film's warnings of revisionist history / denying events. How interesting is it that 13 years before Miyazaki got really, really active in this kind of thing Kaneko had already created a post-9-11, revisionist protest. The risks he took with the monsters in GMK were well worth it and such a breath of fresh air for the series. But it's also nice that he was able to craft extremely relevant social commentary around it-- Something every Godzilla movie since then has tripped up on.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberMothra LarvaeOct-28-2014 12:11 AM

I don't know if anybody has talked about this, but GMK was basically supposed to be GvK which is short for Godzilla vs Kamacuras. Then, it was going to be Godzilla vs Uchijin or whatever you want to called it, then GAV and finally GMK


MemberBaragonOct-28-2014 7:40 AM

I totally understand why ToHo wanted to go with Ghidorah and Mothra, but as a fan I would rather have seen the "B list" monsters Kaneko wanted to go with. I'm bored to tears with them re-hashing the tried and trues and I think it would have made more sense that three smaller monsters team up against this terrifying destroyer. Baragon completely steals the show, but then he's dispatched rather quickly. After Godzilla, Ghidorah is my second favorite ToHo monster, but this version of Ghidorah is by far my least favorite. I understand he's not supposed to be fully developed but  I was so disappointed  with his look in this movie, especially after seeing the wonderfully illustrated poster before the movie came out.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaOct-28-2014 8:28 AM

I know I'm in the minority with this, but I like King Ghidorah's look in this film. The Varan-esque face, scale texture, hunched look, fangs and middle crest on each head really rock it for me. I wish the wings had been bigger, but otherwise I've never had a problem with it. Happy to see they brought it back out against the Mire-Goji in the pachinko games.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberBaragonOct-28-2014 8:32 AM

I thought I was in the minority for not liking it.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaOct-28-2014 9:25 AM

I think that even for fans of the film it's a fairly common complaint.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberMothra LarvaeOct-28-2014 8:24 PM


I know what you mean and how feel regarding GMK.

Parts of it, especially in the Third Act, feel rushed, not quite right. It is as if there was a decision made, and it was, we’ve got to finish this and finish it right now. The one resource that Shusuke Kaneko did not have at Toho, that he had in abundance at Daiei, was time. Ed Godziszewski mentions in his review of GMK in Japanese Giants Issue #9, a small bit regret for what could have been if more time had been available.

I also am a fan of the GMK King Ghidorah. Suit Maker Fuyuki Shinada putting Varan’s face on KG’s heads was not only a clever way to get the design into the film somehow, but it was also a nice tip-of-the-hat. It’s little things like this (along with big things, really big things) that make GMK so special.

Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack carries a thought provoking social and political commentary, about WWII, set in the country that precipitated it. This theme and story background is set in a film that Showa-like in terms of color and atmosphere.

Even with the apparently inexorable Toho edits regarding time and schedule, GMK reflects the tremendous amount of artistry and craftsmanship that went into it. There is nothing better than taking in and being absorbed in the product of something made with love and care. Kaneko had more freedom than other recent Godzilla directors, and rightfully so, and it shows. GMK carries the awe and respect for the genre and title character that the filmmakers obviously have. Kaneko mentioned how Shinada, after having been asked how he would do Godzilla, talked to him the whole flight to Montreal on their way to a film festival.

GMK is a singular entry in the series. It has everything I love about Godzilla and the genre.

I would love to see another Kaneko Godzilla, made with Toho’s money and Daiei’s film schedule.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaOct-28-2014 11:08 PM

Agreed on all accounts, Jamaal. It's really a special Godzilla film and one that transends the series. Perfect? Far from it. But everything that was accomplished represents a standout effort from the prior seven entries.

I wish I could find that issue of Japanese Giants with the GMK overview. It really was some incredibly comprehensive research about the film and it'd be good to pull it back out for a refresher.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberBaragonOct-29-2014 2:05 PM

Ugh! GMK is so highly overrated. I'm sorry but GMK is a good godzilla film, but i just find 2000 to be better.

http://hugeben.deviantart.com/  check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on Twitter@thebigbadben90.


MemberMothra LarvaeOct-29-2014 2:58 PM

Actually, GMK and Godzilla 2000 Millennium are my favorite entires in the Millennium Series. They are 1.A. and 1B. And these positions are interchangable, depending upon the mood I'm in.  

I love both films for different reasons. I feel that Takao Okawara's direction of Godzilla 2000 Millennium is underated. The Japanese version is the one I prefer and it will always have a special place in my heart. I followed it's production from the time of the announcement of it in December 1998 until it's release, December 11, 1999. I looked for news of the film daily on the old Monster Zero site created and moderated by the late Aaron Smith. I remember a transcript from an event for the film that was held a place called Shinjuku Loft Plus One in June 1999. In it Producer Shogo Tomiyama said that he wanted Godzilla to have "an element of weirdness." That, coupled with the concept drawings and the posters promising "a shocking new century of Godzilla" had me intrigued. The Yuji Sakai maquette is one of the best kaiju designs I've ever seen. The character Yuji Shinoda, head of the Godzilla Predition Network (GPN) is a worthy sucessor to Professor Yamane in Gojira. Miyasaka's character played by Shiro Sano offers a nice tip-of-the-hat when he tucks his tie, in emulation of Dr. Yamane, into his jacket during briefing with CCI and the military. This gesture linked Godzilla 2000 Millennium to the film that started an entire genre. Then there are the two fire trucks responding in Nemuro during Godzilla's raid, recalling the fire trucks in Gojira.

Godzilla 2000 Millennium is one of my favorite entries in the series.


G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaOct-29-2014 4:14 PM

I tend to flip flop aobut Godzilla 2000. As overrated as GMK might be by fans, it's still a more technically balanced film than Godzilla 2000 which has Okawara's most mature directing decisions.

But what does that mean? His movies from the Heisei series are only special in concept and sloppy in execution. It's not like improving his directorial talent was going to be a hard task. And although Toho wanted a movie that competed with the Gamera Trilogy, they ended up with something that was fairly bland and slow.

I enjoy the movie a lot and I'm probably not giving it enough credit, but Godzilla 2000 is about as standout of a film as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth-- And there are days I enjoy that one more.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberBaragonOct-30-2014 2:19 PM

Well come to think of it, both films are the top 2 of the millenium series. GMK did have better special effects but 2000 was more of a family entertaining style movie.

Oh and jamaal, i sent you a PM through scified. You might want to check it out when you can. :)

http://hugeben.deviantart.com/  check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on Twitter@thebigbadben90.

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