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The Unapologetic Geek


Top 10 Godzilla Battles

There are two types of people: those who watch Godzilla movies to see all the great giant monster battles, and girls. I am not a girl, so when I watch a Godzilla movie, I am anticipating the moment when the monsters are going to duke it out in the middle of a populated city. Since I have seen every Godzilla movie and carefully weighed each in terms of sheer awesomeness, I present you the top ten battles, the ones you just have to see.

Godzilla vs. Gigan

Godzilla vs. Gigan gets a bad rap, but it's unabashedly fun and it introduces the world to Gigan, one of Godzilla's best opponents. What makes the final battle in the movie so notable--aside from the fact that it's a tag-team battle with Gigan and King Ghidorah teaming up to fight Godzilla and Anguirus--is that it's the first battle to show blood. It's ironic that a movie known for being so childish and silly is also the movie that ups the ante for Godzilla monster battles into darker and more violent territory. The raw brutality on display in this battle paves the way for many of the other battles on this list, but even taken on its own merits, it's an awesome fight.

Godzilla: Final Wars

Due to its enormous budget and unmatched list of giant monsters, one would expect Godzilla: Final Wars to be all over this list. Unfortunately, despite having some good match-ups and memorable fights, most of them aren't shown in their entirety--they're interrupted to show us superhuman battles with aliens and stuff like that--and a lot of them are just too damn short to make this list. Despite that, the shortest battle in the movie--and probably the shortest giant monster battle in any Godzilla movie--is the one that deserves a spot. One of the many monsters under the control of the evil Xiliens is a familiar iguana-like creature called "Zilla," the name Toho gave to the monster featured in the American Godzilla from 1998. It would be an understatement to say that Godzilla fans aren't particularly fond of Zilla, and when he and the real Godzilla come face to face to fight it out once and for all, nothing gets greater cheers from the audience than Zilla's embarrasingly quick defeat. Godzilla just swats him like a fly, and then the bad guy controlling the monsters throws a temper tantrum that ends with the great line, "I knew that tuna-eating monster was useless!"

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

Though the original Gojira and a handful of other movies succeed in showing the human toll of Godzilla's rampages, most of the time, the movies shy away from showing you the danger and deaths that occur when giant monsters fight it out in city centers. That all changes, though, in Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, easily the darkest entry in the Millenium series. One battle, in particular, does not hold back in showing people unceremoniously squashed like ants during a schoolyard brawl: the fight between Godzilla and Baragon. The battle itself is pretty good on its own merits--Baragon is outmatched, but he makes up for it with some clever tactics here and there, only to be defeated in the end by this Godzilla's ridiculously overpowered atomic breath--but this movie shows it from a more human perspective than audiences are used to. We see it from the ground or from a news helicopter (one that is collaterally dispatched with prejudice), and it gives the whole scene an air of frightening intensity we don't usually get from these things.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

The climax of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II starts with humans trying to lay a trap for Godzilla using Baby Godzilla, only to have their plans thwarted by a resurrected Rodan, now imbued with fire for some inexplicable but awesome reason. Fire Rodan is very cool, but he is eventually defeated by the combined force of Mechagodzilla and Garuda (basically a Super-X-type ship). Then, with both human ships spent from the battle, Godzilla makes his grand entrance, not exactly happy that his offspring has been put in danger. Amazingly, though, Godzilla is defeated after the Garuda and Mechagodzilla form up to create Super-Mechagodzilla (hell yes) and use their electric tether to explode his secondary brain located in his belly. However, as the humans celebrate, Fire Rodan rises like a Phoenix from his ashes and gives his fire power to Godzilla, repairing the secondary brain in the process. With his new red spiral atomic fire breath (that's really what it's called, because that's the Japanese for you), Godzilla is more deadly than ever before, and he's pissed at Super-Mechagodzilla. The battle may not make a heck of a lot of sense, but it is pretty damn epic.

Mothra vs. Godzilla

In the early years of the series, Godzilla actually wasn't as big a box office draw as you might expect. That's why he fought King Kong, because believe it or not, King Kong was what put people in the seats. Riding that success, Toho decided to pit Godzilla against one of their other monsters, Mothra, who had already had a successful movie of her own. Mothra vs. Godzilla builds up to a showdown between a giant moth and a radioactive dinosaur, but in a shocking twist, Godzilla defeats Mothra pretty easily before the film's final act and it is up to the newly hatched twin Mothra larvae to take down Godzilla. This is a case of brains beating brawn and of appearances being deceiving, because these two larvae--who don't look like they could possibly win--eventually succeed by exploiting Godzilla's impatience, by using his own strength against him, and by cocooning him in an obscene amount of silk. Though it's a trick we'd see again and again from Mothra, this is the first time it happens and the most definitive defeat Godzilla faces at the hands of another monster (until Destoroyah in the mid-90's).

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-e. magill 5/6/2014


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