(First published in Crack the Spine – Issue 151 – May 27, 2015)
With last year’s reprise, there have been 30 Godzilla movies made, fueling a franchise that rivals the James Bond series, which such memorable plotlines as ‘Godzilla Vs. Mothra’ (1964), ‘Godzilla Vs. Gigan’ (1972), ‘Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah’ (1995) and ‘Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack’ (2001). Early on, the producers of the series found Godzilla resonated more with audiences if the creature generated even the slightest pathos, often by quirky, vaguely anthropomorphic behavior. Some plots fairly humanize the beast as a de facto defender of humanity against the threats from other freaks of nature run amok.
However, there are some script treatments recently discovered in the archives of Toho Co., Ltd, for proposed ‘Zillas expanding on the concept of more sympathetic or vigilantist monsters that were never put into production. For now, that is:
1. CODZILLA – The only seaborne ‘Zilla, this 300-foot long mutant codfish is a friend to fisherman, as its transit through the oceans is shown to herd into waiting nets entire schools of fish fleeing in terror. Known affectionately in Italy as ‘Baccalazilla’, where yearly seaside feasts honor the creature with roasted potatoes launched into the sea from small catapults, and a steamed cavoli served in its name.
2. MAUDEZILLA – A retired, 40-story ‘Zilla with Bea Arthur’s face, the very definition of terror. Hugs it out on a South Seas atoll with her monster friends Blanche-san, Rose-san, and Sophia-san when Dotty-san isn’t laying waste to sexist Pacific Rim cultures, or terrifying overbearing former husbands or boyfriends.
3. ODDZILLA -The LGBTQIA ‘Zilla. While the nuclear dosage expands this creature to immense proportions, there’s some question about its sexual preference. Doomed to wander the landscape in search of its libidinous identity, “Oz” stalks Republican neighborhoods, stomping the shrubs and mailboxes of anti-gay activists, and sliming their cars with a sticky gel considered by many to be, well, fruit-flavored.
4. MOBZILLA – A Joe Pesce ringer, in office-building size. Stalks the planet seeking anyone who would give Italian Americans a bad name. Capable of melting clear plastic furniture covers, and limousines, with radioactive garlic breath; can kill offending monsters with just a pen. A giant pen. Joined for big jobs by giant Ray Liotta and De Niro clones, who say everything twice. Say everything twice.
5. RODZILLA – Rod Stewart’s microphone exposes the rock star to a near-fatal dose of radiation during a concert via the freak transmission of a mega-joule voltage spike from a nearby nuclear power plant. Stewart grows to the size of a wind-turbine, while, strangely, his ego retracts to that of a backup singer. He spends his days singing harmonies for bands at rock concerts, without the need for any amplification.
6. SHODZILLA – The only treatment to be openly slapstick, this attempt at comedy has Godzilla’s costume disintegrating during crucial scenes, with chunks of the latex suit falling away, revealing the actor inside. Big surprise.
7. BODZILLA – This creature expands the fallout of the atomic test to distant atolls in the chain, one of which is the site of filming of ‘Beach Blanket Bimbo’. This script calls for the Annette Funicello character to morph into towering tail of epic, well, proportions. She attracts the numbskull boys of rival bad-boy surf gangs with her prominent anatomy, then slimes their beaches with her radioactive suntan lotion breath while kicking sand in the faces of their squealing girlfriends.
8. SODZILLA – Takes the form of entire neighborhoods of sod, which lies dormant for years in the suburbs, until needed to fend off assaults from gangs of giant mutant ‘Hiboi Shibakariki’ (‘Terrible Lawnmowers’).
9. MOSSADZILLA – An undercover Israeli IDF officer who gets caught inside the blast zone and grows to mammoth dimensions, hunts down former Nazis living in far-flung regions of the world. A master of deception, the beast uses disguises ranging from office buildings to water towers and the occasional Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Runs joint operations with international espionage agencies, and reports directly to the Prime Minister.
10. iPODZILLA – Left behind on the atoll by a rigger of the blast-tower, a prototype version of the iPod was atomized and its elements fused into the stem cells of a gestating ‘Zilla. This treatment calls for the giant to be filmed entirely in silhouette, while listening to white-corded, truck-sized earbuds. The late Steve Jobs micro-managed the project into the red, to the point of insisting that a Ferris wheel in a crucial amusement park showdown between iPodzilla and a Windows-based enemy be constructed to resemble an iPod click-wheel.
11, BOTZILLA – Roams cyberspace, stalking multiplayer game hackers and assorted online criminals. When a group of bad guys threatens to release a variant of the Tomb Raider ‘nude code’ that would strip everyone online at that moment naked in real-time, take over their webcams and upload a selfie of them in their birthday suits to the world, ‘Bot’ teams up with Lara Croft to save the planet.
(Graphic by the author)