Godzilla has worn many hats during his long career. Atomic destroyer, grumpy antihero and defender of the Earth are just a few of the titles The Big G has garnered over the years. Like most screen characters with any type of longevity, a star like Godzilla is going to have awkward moments and occasionally sink into the role of buffoon (think James Bond a la Roger Moore). Particularly during the original Showa era in the 1960s and 1970s, the King of the Monsters faced slapstick moments Curly Howard would have applauded. So for a good time, let us look at five of the big fella’s wackiest moments on film and remember that even monster superstars will receive the occasional pie in the face, or as in Godzilla’s case, boulder in the snout.
The Big G liked throwing boulders and the bigger the rocks, the better. But sometimes those chunks of granite were thrown back at him by a clever opponent, pushing Godzilla into a massive John McEnroe type tantrum with the desire to engage his adversary in a massive game of rock tennis or volleyball, During his prolonged battle with Rodan in GHIDRAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER, not only do we have the pleasure of watching Godzilla and his Pteranodon adversary slap and head butt rocks back and forth at each other, we also have the joy of watching Mothra, in caterpillar form, play spectator, complete with back and forth tennis audience head movements!
During Godzilla’s first battle with giant crab Ebirah in GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, the King takes up a game of catch with his opponent, this time during a raging storm at sea. The crab’s giant pincers make great catcher’s mitts, allowing the crustacean to grasp the boulder and actually wind up a good pitch! Eventually their play results in the destruction of a tower at a SPECTRE type villain’s nearby base, so all ends well.
Guessing this happened due to Godzilla’s jealousy of watching fellow co stars Mothra and Rodan show off up in the wild blue yonder. Taking place during the finale of GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER, The Big G actually uses his atomic breath as a means of jet propulsion to lift himself into the sky, allowing him to give chase to his fleeing garbage pile of an opponent, Hedora, who has transformed itself into a massive flying garbage saucer. Seems atomic fumes have a bit more punch than shit fumes, as Godzilla easily catches up with his adversary, instigating a forced landing. I guess we can at least be thankful The Big G didn’t try flapping his arms during the chase.
THE BIG G EATS A TREE
The epic battle between Godzilla and King Kong at the climax of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA was chock full of wonderfully wacky moments, none more so than the moment where Kong forces an uprooted tree down Godzilla’s throat. The move makes the giant ape appear quite the badass. Godzilla on the other hand looks as though he has swallowed a blue whale as he gags and flails his arms about in comical fashion. Luckily he quickly redeems himself as he blasts the tree out of his maw with that famous atomic breath, sending it flying into Kong’s chest hairs. I imagine the smell of burnt monkey hair hung over Japan for weeks afterwards.
THE DROPKICK (WELL, SORT OF….)
I had to create a GIF for this one. This move from GODZILLA VS. MEGALON has to be seen to be believed. Move over “Jumping” Joe Savoldi (look him up)!
A HAPPY MOMENT
Arguably the most infamous moment in Godzilla’s career is his victory jig or Godzilla “Shie” in MONSTER ZERO. After The Big G and Rodan beat up on King Ghidorah in a short but explosive battle on a remote planet (don’t ask how they got there), Godzilla celebrates by gleefully jumping into the air, imitating what looks like a five year old playing on a trampoline. Special effects artist, Eiji Tsuburaya, who had a lot of pull on these things, insisted the scene be shot as he wanted to make children happy. He may have got his wish, but diehard fans of the atomic badass who once laid waste to cities without a care still groan over the move to this day. We can’t place the blame on The Big G though; he was simply a victim of circumstance.