Since I’ve started MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD in 2014, something wonderful has happened: a new kaiju/giant monster boom in mainstream moviedom on both sides of the Pacific. Maybe “boom” is too strong a word considering that superheroes still maintain their box office dominance, but since I’ve started the blog, mon-stars have come back in a (heh) big way. There have now been three new Godzilla movies (the reviews for the other two are here and here), a new Kong flick, Ultraman is slamming out top-notch series, Pacific Rim did well enough to spawn an upcoming sequel, and we’re even getting “me-too” movies like Power Rangers, Colossal and Rampage. Maybe it’s not a full-on monster boom, but it’s certainly a hearty, bassy rumble. (One that will include Gamera sometime soonish? Please!?!)
With all this monster money and kaiju kash pouring in it was a pleasant non-surprise when Toho announced they had more Godzilla films planned after Shin Godzilla. What was a surprise is that said films are a trilogy of anime movies set 20,000 years in the future, starring a 1000 ft. tall, plant-based Godzilla & released straight to Netflix. The first installment, Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters hit Netflix this month, so practice your best perma-scowl, hop into a robot suit, and get angsty as fuck, because we’re gonna watch some cartoons!
It’s a whole new year, homies! I want to kick this one off with something a little different. Looking back at my last five reviews, three of them star established franchise monsters (my personal
unholy trinity of Godzilla, King Kong, and Gamera), four were made in Japan, three were made in the glory days of the 1960s monster boom, and four were high-flying monster-mashing battle royales.
For real, at the rate I write these, I could probably review nothing but 1960s Japanese kaiju films and be flush with content for years. I would also be flush with fun, because those are the best movies in the universe. BUT that’s not the sole point of MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD! I like to sweep the greater giant monster moviescape and yak about shit from different regions and time periods. In addition to perusing Japan’s kaiju collection, I’ve also sampled monster fare from the good ol’ US of A, jolly old England, and even
mother-fucking real-life Mordor North Korea! So this month I’m reviewing another really unique entry in the colossal creature canon: The Iron Giant. It’s an American movie from 1999 that focuses more on heartwarming, unusual friendships than city-shattering mayhem. It’s a little more E.T. than Godzilla. And even weirder: it’s animated!
So grab your vintage Superman comics, chew on some scrap metal, and get ready to duck and cover with the Iron Giant!