Friday, May 16, 2014

Godzilla has inspired me to write my own kaiju story

When crafting kaiju stories, I think I most admire how writers and directors are able to deal with the immensity of the strange beast. It's easy to be a critic of these kinds of movies, to sit back and say with abandonment, "A monkey could string together this plot. It's a giant monster destroying a city." But in the latest reboot of Godzilla and in last year's Pacific Rim, I saw a brilliance that I'm hoping will inspire my own kaiju story (because I really want to write one).

For one, the monster has to have a plausible origin story (since what makes kaiju interesting is that they rampage on Earth). This is different than a zombie story, which can just happen "as is" with no explanation as to its origin. People that are into kaiju films are the same kind of people that like their fantasy with well-detailed magic systems where an author goes to great lengths to provide explanations of cause and effect. I think if you don't explain the kaiju well, then the whole story kind of falls apart like a bad souffle.

I admire how Pacific Rim handled this: creating an alternate dimension filled with hostile beings that used genetically-crafted giant monsters as their weapons of mass destruction. In a word? Brilliant. Godzilla is equally so because the monsters ended up being primordial beasts that fed on the radiation of a young Earth. As their food diminished over time, these kaiju were forced to dig deeper into the earth to search for it (and of course most of them died off).

I also think that there are certain rules that all would-be kaiju creators should obey. 1) They must have some kind of unique super power that is used sparingly but is pretty kick ass when employed. 2) They must be really difficult to kill. 3) They must be terrifying. 4) They have to destroy at least one human city.

With this in mind, I think I need to figure out if my kaiju is going to come from a different dimension, from outer space, or from Earth.

Anyway, enough of my musings. If you can't tell, I loved Godzilla (psst...he does have atomic breath). You would be wise to go and see it if you are a fan of huge monsters destroying cities. Have a great weekend.


  1. Just be sure the city they destroy is something besides New York City, as that one has been done to death...

  2. That will be one story I want to read!

    I've watched Pacific Rim twice now, and it's one of my favourites from last year. Can't wait to watch Godzilla.

  3. I'll look for your story in 2025.

  4. I'm a sucker for this type of movie and plan on seeing it soon.

  5. Hope the movie lives up to your hopes.

  6. I would so read your giant monster story. Your perfectly described how I felt when The Walking Dead aired, and how it gave me the idea of how to make writing a zombie novel possible for me. Enjoy the movie! :)

  7. I want to see this and Raid 2. Not sure there are any other summer movies that have caught my attention though.

    A novelised version of a monster movie would be quite interesting, not too many of them out there.

    Moody Writing

  8. How about this for a twist? The monster is ABOUT to destroy a city because it has brilliantly figured out how the city works and has set up a kind of domino effect. Then at the climax the good guys have to save the city simultaneously while trying to kill the monster.

    Or not--the monster just whacks everything and wins in the end.

  9. Hi, Michael...

    Glad to here you have a new project! Can't keep the muse down for long especially when there's such inspiration around you....

  10. Hooray! You love these stories so much you must write one of your own. And I think your "rules" will assist. Good luck!

  11. I didn't know the rules. Good to know and it makes me appreciate Godzilla a bit more. It was a pretty good monster movie I have to admit but I have ask... how did Godzilla get so chubby when he didn't eat the Muto or any humans?

    1. Not to disrespect, and just spreading an opinion. I don't like how people always see the new Godzilla as "fat". Have you seen any old Godzilla movie? Where he's bug-eyed and has an actual belly. Even the creator stated the look of Godzilla was a cross between a whale and a gorilla. The new Godzilla looks, to me, as if "fat" Godzilla was working out and bulked up on muscle. I'm very satisfied with how terrifying it looks.

  12. I would totally read your kaiju story.

  13. I myself am writing a "kaiju" story, and was wondering how you would write your fight scenes? I'm having a little trouble and would appreciate some tips. Good luck and thanks in advanced!