Tag Archives: monsters

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014) (3 *’s)

Godzillais one of the latest remakes of popular films from the past—well, actually the plot is unique, so perhaps it’s not a remake per se, but just a new story based on that most famous of all monsters: Godzilla. I was a big Godzilla fan when I was a little kid; I even had a big green Godzilla doll/toy that terrorized many a smaller dinosaur figurine in my sandbox in years gone by. Great fun. Anyway, there have been numerous Godzilla movies through the years. Sometimes Godzilla plays a big bad mean monster threatening to destroy the world. Other times he plays a kind of heroic monster that saves humanity from other nasties. In this movie, he plays a good monster.

 

The plot is pretty basic. There are two malevolent prehistoric beasties that kind of remind me of the monster from Cloverfield. They are out and about ravaging the world, heading on a b-line for each other to mate and propagate. And, of course, the female is carrying several hundred eggs which will devastate the world if allowed to hatch. These creatures feed on radiation; in fact, that’s how they were reanimated. Godzilla is an apex predator from those ancient times when such monsters were common on the world. Now, he rises again to hunt the creatures down. But can even he handle two such monsters at the same time?

 

Strengths: it’s always fun watching gigantic monsters tear apart human cities with ease. The plot was simple and easy to follow with a share of twists to increase the tension throughout. The acting was fine and there were no glaring loop holes in the plot. And perhaps the greatest plus: Godzilla used his breath weapon three times! Weaknesses: I think I may have outgrown my youthful zeal for Godzilla and other monsters. I found this film kind of boring. I’m sure the very young, however, will enjoy it. And it is clean—no sex or profanity; I believe it is PG-13 simply because of the violence. The human drama I found tedious. I go to see Godzilla to see Godzilla stomp things—kind of like the same reason I see The Hulk—not to see how normal people deal with the crisis of a moving mountain of death.Maybe I’ve just seen that type of movie too many times. It doesn’t do anything for me anymore.

 

Anyway, if you’re an adult this movie is worth maybe two or two and a half stars out of five. If you’re a little kid, it is probably worth three and a half or so.

Monster Mishmash: A Vampire Werewolf

This is a continuation of the train of thought started with my “Monster Mishmash: A Vampire Dragon” post. In that post, I examined what a creature that was the result of crossing a dragon and vampire would be like. So, I thought, why not continue the thought process and see what happens when you cross a vampire with a werewolf? Unfortunately, this one doesn’t work quite as well. Depending upon the tradition you start with, it might not be really that much of a change. I remember in Francis Ford Coppola’s film version of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” there were several instances where Dracula shape-changed into something, that to me, looked pretty much like a werewolf. A snarling, lust-ridden, beastie of fur, and claws. And if that’s the case, trying to make a vampire into a werewolf, might be something of a step down or just an insignificant change. The vampire can already control wolves, and assume the werewolf form: what would the werewolf aspect give him? Dracula is, also, already supernaturally strong. At most, the vampire might just lose-control of his shape-shifting faculties on the night of a full moon. And lack of control would certainly be a weakness gained. Alternatively, and perhaps more probably, he would just absorb the werewolf nature and continue on his way, relatively unchanged.

 

On the other hand, if you go with the “Underworld” series of movies, the notion of a vampire-werewolf is already central to the plot: they beat me to the punchline here. Underworld vampires are limited to human form, and not as physically strong (I don’t think) as the werewolves. In such a situation, both species benefit from the mix and you wind up with something that is “stronger than either.” There’s really not that much to add to the notion here, because the whole movie series revolves around that plot point. They have their vampire-werewolves and they have several two hour movies to develop the theme in, compared to my mere few hundred words of text. Still, I should probably say something. A vampire-werewolf in Underworld, if I recall, gains a limited shape-changing ability, and also loses the weaknesses of each respective species. He is no longer affected by silver or sunlight. So, the only way to kill him is to rip him to pieces. And if that is your plan, since he is unusually strong, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the vampire-werewolf. For myself, since I prefer my vampires like Dracula, I see only a limited benefit in the combination, if that. The vampire is already in possession of much of the werewolf’s strengths, so the combination is of limited utility.