By PETER H. GILMORE
Godzilla achieved his 60th anniversary this past November and his name is known around the globe. Over the course of 30 films he has gone from the dark, lumbering embodiment of the hydrogen bomb to being a child-friendly defender of the Earth, even if he can’t help leveling a city or two in the process. How you relate to him often depends upon which film initiated you into the fandom of the King of the Monsters.
In 1954, Toho was inspired by the recent re-release of the 1933 KING KONG as well as the previous year’s THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS by Ray Harryhausen to want to enter into the profitable world of oversized animals raising havoc. But the Japanese filmmakers had a more serious premise since their own nation had been shattered by two nuclear bombs dropped on them by the United States’ militia. The horror of those ultimate weapons could safely be expressed through the allegory of a vast, prehistoric creature roused to punish mankind, whose nuclear detonations had disturbed this great beast. He was called Gojira, supposedly a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira).
|The Gojira puppet.|
|GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE, 1989.|
|GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, 2004.|
That stalwart Godzilla is alive and well at 60 with two series to be in progress simultaneously. He’s once again come ‘round to sounding the cautionary tone that made GOJIRA (1954) so effective. His new face looks upon us with a stern visage meant as a warning that we must be in harmony, rather than conflict, with nature. I suspect this always timely concept will keep Godzilla as a vital archetype for many decades to come.
the Church of Satan since “The Satanic Panic” of the 1980s, being interviewed on numerous television and radio programs dealing with the topic of Satanism, including appearances on The History Channel, BBC, The Sci-Fi Channel, Point of Inquiry, and Bob Larson’s Christian radio show. His audio, video, and print interviews are numerous and continue to grow, making him the most interviewed Satanist in history. In 2001 he was appointed High Priest of the Church of Satan by Magistra Blanche Barton. Gilmore studied music composition at New York University where he earned B.S. and M.A. degrees. His solo album Threnody for Humanity presents orchestral-styled electronic music composed and performed by Gilmore. His book The Satanic Scriptures was published in 2007 and is currently available in a number of translations.