Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The American Godzilla that never was

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Perpetually in production between 1983 to 1985, this Americanized film (called Godzilla: King of the Monsters) came close to, but didn't due to budget concerns.

Of course it's impossible to judge a movie that was never made, but are there any indications? Would it be worst than the 1998 remake(Personally, I'm pretty sure that hit the bottom of barrel).

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Well, as usual for an 1980's production, the art side credentials are impeccable. First and foremost, the great William Stout (who did concept art work on Conan the Barbarian[film], Return of the Living Dead, Pan's Labyrinth, Invaders from Mars[1986 remake]) was assigned for the conceptional designs and storyboards. Famous special effects wizard Rick Baker [Star Wars, Videodrome, An American Werewolf in Paris) did work on an expressive animatronic head. And finally stop-motion expert David Allen(who already did convincing reptile movement for Q:the winged serpent, as well as Robot Jox, and the Stuff) was brought in for animation.

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The script was a big maybe: Fred Decker(co-writer of both Monster Squad and Robocop 3) designed an idea strikingly similar to Gorgon, where Godzilla is a monster looking for its child, this time the location being San Francisco. It would ravage the golden gate bridge, before meeting for a showdown on Alcatraz Island.

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But the real buzzkill was Steve Miner who, in my opinion, is a a poor director; responsible for trash the likes of Friday the 13th II-III,Halloween H20, Lake Placid, and the absolutely terrible Day of the Dead remake[2008]. All of which are poorly directed and lack any real punch. However, he did direct the decent House[which involved Dekker and Stout] around the same time as this proposed movie, so at least he knew how to leave good art direction alone.

But that still leaves the question of cinematographer(something very important to the believability of the film) and the fact it was to be in 3-d(which made Allen unsure if the motion would translate well to the 3rd dimension). Maybe it was for the best that it never got made. The word will never know.

All art above by William Stout

Note: I forgot that Miner did the quite good Warlock, but that is more attributed to the writing of David Twohy, who wrote and directed Pitch Black, amongst other good genre fare.

A big thank you to Be still my Blog of war !

Edit: Now, a Godzilla film that keeps all the art staff, but tosses Miner and replaces him with say. . . John Carpenter and have Dean Cundey as dp, that would be a Godzilla film worth watching!


RR said...

How can I contact you ? I have an odd request. I have a photo of a friend and I would like to know if you could find a similar comic book character to match his face.

RR said...

Do you have a link to a perhaps compendium of comic book hero images where I could find a match ? Thanks in advance.