Article: WHY DO GROWN MEN WATCH GODZILLA FILMS?

Godzilla 1954
The original Godzilla was a serious movie with a message. The sequels? Not so much…

Why Godzilla films?

Many people may ask “Why do grown men watch Godzilla films?” My wife and daughters don’t understand. When a Godzilla film is on, they roll their eyes and make quick passage through the living room, lest I stop them to explain the ridiculous plot, for no apparent reason.

 

Aside from the original 1954 Gojira, with its serious tone, sociopolitical statement, and allegory sentiments, the entire franchise is not exactly aimed at adults. The films are a myriad of pseudo-science, hokey plots, simplistic storylines, and fantasy elements. They often contain plot-holes big enough to drive a monster truck through.

 

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster
Mr. G picks out a big one for his surf and turf dinner!

So, why the infatuation?  I will attempt to answer that burning question.

 

Give a young boy (age’s two to ten) a set of blocks and what will they do? They will stack them as high as they can, stand back to study their accomplishment, then run up and kick them down. If you have two boys in the room they will race to be the one who will kick down the blocks first.

 

It’s the conqueror ego. It’s the desire to level the playing field. It’s a release of frustrations in a somewhat controlled environment.

 

Godzilla vs Mothra (aka The Thing!)
What’s in the egg?

Man is born with an inherent penchant for aggression and destruction. It’s part of the survival instinct that keeps him fighting even when the odds are against him. Throughout man’s existence, natural violence was a part of his struggle. In the most recent 100 years, man has taken much of that natural violence out of his life. We have secure homes that shield us from predators and violent weather (most of the time). We don’t have to hunt for food or compete for hunting grounds against other men/tribes/clans. We only have to walk into a supermarket where meat is laid out in trays and packaged in plastic, under bright lights and light FM, elevator music.

 

Some men will turn to sports, throwing their hands in the air and roaring when their team beats the opposing team into submission. Young men will turn to loud music, banging their heads, waving their fists and even mosh-ing to release pent-up aggression. And an even smaller percentage of men will turn to giant monster movies. They see Godzilla kick down a building and relate that to themselves as young boys, kicking down that stack of blocks.

 

Naturally, we don’t want to see this kind of destruction in real life. We love to see tornados on film from a safe distance, ripping a roof off a barn. But we are saddened and empathetic when we see the devastation up-close and see the hardships they cause real people and families. We like to see buildings topple, explosions burst into giant fireballs and laser-beams or heat-rays cut through city streets, but are taken aback when we see the real devastation of an earthquake or the loss of innocent lives in a terrorist attack.

 

Battle Royale
Kaiju battle royale!

What we see in these films is fantasy. Sometimes we cheer for mankind, up against what seems to be an unstoppable force. Sometimes we cheer for the giant monster that can destroy the arrogant man’s world and re-teach him to have respect for mother earth and her adept system of balance.

 

We are happy to be out of the constant violent struggle of nature but we still have that adrenaline induced instinct that needs to be called upon during emergencies. And that muscle needs to be flexed. So stand back from the Blu-Ray/DVD remote and let us kick our blocks down…metaphorically speaking.

6 Replies to “Article: WHY DO GROWN MEN WATCH GODZILLA FILMS?”

  1. I think you have put WAY to much thought into this. It’s not just men who like watching Godzilla (and other cheesy monster movies)
    First off whats not to like? No real plot’s, and 2 hours of a giant monster smashing everything in sight. as a fan I am often amazed at the complexity of the set desighns and thoughtfulness of some of the special FX. (despite the cheese factor) Some things are not meant to be “understood”, rather they are meant to simply enjoyed for what they are.

    1. I am generalizing, I’m sure it’s not just men watching Godzilla films, just as its not just men watching sports, but it’s mostly men. I’m the biggest fan and own every Toho Godzilla and related film in the Kaiju genre, so I hope you don’t think I was putting down the films in any way. But you must have been asked the question yourself by friends or family members, “Why are you watching this?” 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading this article very much as for myself I liked Dinosaurs when I was 5 years old then I saw Godzilla King of the Monsters and Godzilla represents the ultimate Dinosaur on film and the most powerful. So when watching a Godzilla movie I really enjoy it. I don’t think anyone can out grow Godzilla its kind of like watching StarWars once you see it you want to see more. The reason men watch Godzilla movies is because they are entertaining.

  3. These, “grown men” grew up with Godzilla on Saturday afternoon cartoon and action-flick channels, “Mom’s busy doing housework” and “Dad is doing buddy stuff, yard work or sleeping” so “Johnnie-me-a-lil-one” play G.I.Joes and watch T.V.

    …The T.V. the little kid wants to watch but never gets too.

    It is a return to childhood and with modern CGI and movie budgets every once-in-a-while the remakes are friggen awesome! So you get to use, “Jr.-Johnnie-me-a-lil-one” as an excuse to go play.

    Sunday mornings were Kung-Fu ticket, weekday mornings were Transformers, Robotech and G.I. Joe but Saturdays were the serious live-action monster stuff…

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