Godzilla has been on our minds lately, what with the huge beast’s appearance on our latest cover, that fabulous new trailer (our breakdown is here) and the general swell of interest in Gareth Edwards’ take this summer. But this is far from the first outing for Gojira, and there is a huge wealth of posters heralding the arrival of the fire-breathing, city-stomping menace. Here we have chosen a few of our favourites, from the artful to the awful…
Country of Origin: USA
A pleasantly arty offering for a film created when American entrepreneur Edmund Goldman found the original Japanese film playing in a cinema in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. He tracked down and sold the rights, resulting in a re-edited version with dubbing over the Japanese footage and new scenes shot with Raymond Burr as wounded American reporter Steve Martin (no relation). We rather like that this poster makes it appear that Burr is playing Godzilla.
Country Of Origin: Poland
Oh, Poland. You never let us down. Whether it’s this superbly surreal and really rather cool image for Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster (AKA Godzilla Vs. Hedorah) or this one, there’s always something to enjoy in how your artists see movies. Here, the city destroyer appears to more akin to Pete’s Dragon, a giant, but loveable blue pal who wants to cuddle with the Japanese buildings, not step on them. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with it? Except that now we’re thinking about Godzooky, and that terrifies us.
Country Of Origin: Spain
Godzilla, as anyone who has seen the original film knows, loves trains. And by that, we don’t mean in the sense that he hangs out at the end of his local station’s platforms with a flask of weak lemon drink making notes of their numbers. We mean that he uses them to floss his teeth. This Spanish poster makes full and, dare we say, colourful use of that moment, but also gives lead humans Akira Takarada and Momoko Kochi almost as much focus. Bet Godzilla was on to his agent about that one…
Country Of Origin: Czech Republic
“Hey kids!” the Godzilla-alike creature on this Czech image seems to be shouting, “I’m off down the discotheque to groove to some funky tunes!” Or, you know, whatever cool and trendy and fun people do on their nights out. Either that, or he’s pitching an atom at us, baseball-stylee. The slightly over-delighted visage aside, we do like the nifty use of the atomic imagery and the poster, designed by artist František Kardaus, definitely stands out from some of the more basic, destructo-tastic efforts.
Country Of Origin: Japan
Now this we like, a sort of proto-Mondo, stripped-down version of the full poster for this match-up between the world’s biggest ape and his angry reptilian pal. We say, “pal” because though this could be a wrestling move on Kong’s part, when you isolate it the picture almost looks like Kong and Godders are hanging out, having a right old time. We imagine Godzilla screaming, “swing me again! Higher! Higher!”
Country Of Origin: USA
Somebody call advertising standards! Hype is nothing new in cinema advertising, but suffice to say that the “thing” in question, coyly ‘censored’ to tempt audiences into their local fleapit, is Mothra. Sorry to spoil the surprise. You could argue that this was an attempt to cash in on John Carpenter’s The Thing but A) that was hardly a huge hit and B) it didn’t come out until 1982. For the record: Mothra is a lot more polite than this poster makes her out to be. And given that she is a gigantic moth, she doesn’t have tentacles.
Country Of Origin: Poland
Poland again, and we’re on cute watch once more. Some posters, such as this original Japanese effort, show the little guy as he actually appears - a candidate worthy of appearing with Earl and co. in Henson’s Dinosaurs series. But in Poland, the idea was apparently to make you think Godzilla had somehow mated with King Kong and that resulting crossbreed was off his face on… er… giant red bubbles? Is this a campaign to keep kids away from drugs? Or Tizer? Trivia note: one of the movie’s alternative titles is Monster Island's Decisive Battle: Godzilla's Son. Catchy!
Country Of Origin: Germany
Wait! No! Come back! We’re putting this one firmly in the “weird” category, showcasing the creature approved by Roland Emmerich for his effort. It’s not that Patrick Tatopoulos’ effort is that bad, just that he makes the star grin more like a game show host and less like a massive, monstrous threat to Manhattan. We prefer to think about the more famous, “Size Does Matter” teaser image, which only showed Godzilla’s foot. Ah, blissful days of ignorance.
Co**ntry Of Origin:** UK
A little bit art deco, a little bit Thunderbirds – this is great. We’d be happy to pin up this quad version designed for the UK re-release on our walls, as it shows Godzilla taking down the UK. The flame highlights around his spines are a great touch and it really channels the spirit of the 1950s and 1960s movie posters. It also came in more than one version; the green you see above and another in blue.
Country Of Origin: USA
Gareth Edwards' film has had some very cool posters already - the simple sky-divers with red flares, the brilliant demolished building - but the very best for our money is this painterly effort, making a direct link between the dreadful sight of the A-Bomb and our giant lizard hero. The colours are beautiful, and the silhouette of Godjira does all the heavy lifting in terms of identifying the film, since the title is quite literally sidelined out of the way.