Godzilla now officially a middle-aged monster

By Mark Vitale

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Here's some trivia to get the brain rolling. Godzilla, that big, green Japanese monster who likes to smash things, turns 40 this year.

Godzilla was created in 1954 for the movie "Godzilla, King of Monsters." As the story goes, Godzilla was born in a nuclear test gone wrong, after which he proceded to destroy Tokyo. Since then, Godzilla has appeared in 20 films sparring against such foes as King Kong ("King Kong vs. Godzilla," 1963), pollution ("Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster," 1972) and a huge cockroach ("Godzilla vs. Megalon," 1975).

Godzilla was orginally a symbol of post WWII Japan's nuclear nightmare. But recently the character has shed much of that symbolism and reverted to basic smash 'n' trash techniques.

The original Godzilla movies were very popular about 10 million people saw "King of Monsters" in Japan alone. More recent movies (such as "Godzilla vs. Megalon") have been less popular, only attracting about 2 million.

What do UA students think about Godzilla? Well, for starters, no one realized that Godzilla had been around for 40 years.

Sixty percent of students informally polled said that they liked Godzilla. As Jana Marvel, a pre-med sophomore put it, "He's a cool dude ANY guy with that many scales (is a favorite of mine)."

Julie Jurgens, a junior in biochemstry, was initially unaware of who Godzilla was, but said "Godzilla would have to win King Kong is a little too sensitive about things like women and he's shown it."

Students also had some thoughts as to what Godzilla should do in the future.

Patty Fesmier, a molecular and cellular biology junior, mused, "Godzilla should get a lifetime achievement award at the Oscars."

Is the Acadamy listening?

Actually, Godzilla may be arriving in Hollywood soon. According to the Associated Press, Tri-Star, a U.S. film company, bought the rights to Godzilla a few years ago and plans to make a new version of the original film.

So even though Godzilla is middle-aged, he sure hasn't retired himself.

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