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Nightmare Fuel: Godzilla (2014)
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The way Godzilla is portrayed in the trailers almost puts him squarely into Eldritch Abomination territory.
The SDCC teaser trailer for the film manages to use a J. Robert Oppenheimer quote to frightening effect. The unused parts are in brackets.
"We knew the world would not be the same. [Few people laughed.] Few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, [the Bhagavad Gita.] Vishnu [is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him,] takes on his multi-armed form and says 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds'. [I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.]"
The teaser shows the wake of Godzilla's destruction. Everything looks wrecked, there's smoke all over the place, and, worst of all, bodies lying dead in crowds on the streets. It reminds one of the destruction◊ the atomic bomb made when it flattened Hiroshima.
The wrecked train (cars crumpled and flattened like beer cans) looks like it's lying across a highway. No train tracks in sight. Meaning whatever did that apparently picked up the train.
In the officially released trailer... oh yes, something did pick up that train.
Made even worse with this still◊ from the original 1954 film, showing that Godzilla may have done just that.
From the Wondercon footage, it was the Muto.
One panning shot shows what looks like a mountain and as it pans shows parts of it are burning. As it pans further it reveals that it's not a mountain, but a dead kaiju. Smash to Black, and then.... THE ROAR. Then we finally see Godzilla emerging out of the dust and then roaring again.
A news report on a missing Japanese vessel en route to San Diego, the Sun Five, mentions that the crew radioed in about an encounter with a massive "black iceberg". The final words from the captain of the ship? "The iceberg... it saw us."
The M.U.T.O. Research website contains some spooky things to discover:
Typing in "NUCLEAR BOMB" or "ZONE FIGHTER" will get this:
SCANNING FOR NEAREST M.U.T.O INSTALLATION TO "TOKYO, JP". 35.6895N, 139.6917E. PLEASE DO NOT DISCONNECT...SHOWING TOP RESULT MATCHING YOUR REQUEST: Q-ZONE PERIMETER-SECURE FACILITY. [NETWORK MESSAGE] M.U.T.O SEC ALERT: YOU DO NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY CLEARANCE LEVEL TO VIEW THIS FOLDER.
The next one is even scarier. Type in "ATOMIC BOMB" and:
(1) ATOMIC FACILITY IN YOUR AREA. STATUS: ACTIVE. LAUNCHING PROFILE OF ACTIVE OPERATIONS: ERROR: YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO VIEW THIS CONTENT. IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE IN ERROR, PLEASE CONTACT MONARCH-DIGITAL SECURITY DIVISION.
Typing in "DOOR TO HELL" (the real life place that is featured in one of the promotional screenshots for this film) gets you this cryptic message:
GAS RESERVES HOLDING. FIRE LAYER OBSCURING MEMBRANE LAYER AND FUELING INCUBATION.
Related to the above, typing "SINKHOLE" will bring up the following:
PLEASE BE ADVISED: SEVERE WEATHER ALERT ISSUED FOR THE NORTHEASTERN PACIFIC SEABOARD, WITH POSSIBLE ELECTROMAGNETIC DISRUPTION. NO FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.
Typing in "GODZILLA", "HEDORAH", "RODAN", "KING KONG", "KING GHIDORAH", "GIGAN", "MECHAGODZILLA", "BIOLLANTE", "OODAKO", "EBIRAH", "DESTOROYAH", "MOTHRA", "MATANGO", "DOGORA", "SANDA", "GAIRA", "GOROSAURUS", "GABARA", "MEGALON", "ANGUIRUS", "MEGAGUIRUS", "VARAN", "SHOCKIRUS", "KIRYU", "MANDA", "ZILLA", "MINILLA" or just about any other Kaiju related to the Godzilla or Toho franchise gets you this:
SYSTEM CANNOT CONFIRM OR DENY THE EXISTENCE OF THIS LIFEFORM.
Finally, typing in "MONARCH" leads to this:
LAUNCHING 'MONARCH' ARCHIVES ... SYSTEM COMMAND OVERRIDE: YOU LACK THE SECURITY CLEARANCE TO ACCESS THIS CLASSIFIED DATA. MONARCH HAS FLAGGED THIS USER PROFILE FOR POSSIBLE DIGITAL INCURSION. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Typing in "CHONGQING" leads to this:
ABSEIL TEAM DESCENDED INTO SUBTERRANEAN CHAMBERS. INITIAL READINGS SUGGEST ANOTHER DEAD END. FULL REPORT PENDING.
Typing in "OXYGEN DESTROYER" leads to this:
3181811XX 9XX0 SERIZAWA (SXAQ11-XC)
Typing in either "SIMA MARTEL" or "SIMA HUMBOLDT" will get this:
DUAL SIGNATURES DETECTED. DENSE JUNGLE ENVIRON PRECLUDES GROUND PERIMETER. AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE RECOMMENDED. NO-FLY ORDER SUBMITTED TO MONARCH FOR APPROVAL.
Typing in "DEVIL" yields this:
HAZMAT CREW DISPATCHED TO MOJAVE SITE (14.333.21)
Typing UNIVERSAL MINING will get you this message:
OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION RECORDS OF THE MINE COLLAPSE ARE CLASSIFIED. ALL WESTERN UNIVERSAL PAPERWORK HAS BEE SEQUESTERED. NO PUBLIC STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED
CASUALTY will get you this message:
Imagine you're one of the guys involved in a HALO jump in one of the trailers, seeing the city in ruins as you reach closer is bad enough, but having an up close encounter with what caused it gives a whole new meaning to the words Oh, Crap.
Just the way the whole scene is shot. It looks like they are descending into Hell, and in a way they are.
During the HALO jump scene, Godzilla can be seen moving in the background while the soldiers, all of them letting out a small red glow due to the flares, are descending into the city. For a brief moment, due to the placement of both Godzilla and one of the soldiers, it almost looks as if Godzilla's eyes are glowingred.
The shot of some... thing biting a train in half and people seemingly falling out.
Godzilla looks absolutely ENORMOUS in the teaser. While he always is, the clever camera angles only make him look that much bigger, far bigger than anything in existence should ever be.
As of the February 25th trailer, it is clear Godzilla really is◊ far bigger than anything in existence should ever be. How big? Big enough that his emergence from the sea causes a tsunami which entirely swamps a nearby city.
Joe Brody sounds rather distraught in his "send us back to the Stone Age" rant.
In the second theatrical trailer, there are a few shots in which fighter jets plummet from the sky into the ocean.
Another thing: you know all those nuclear tests done in the 50s and 60s? The second trailer reveals they weren't just testing new weapons, they were trying to kill Godzilla. The government has known about Godzilla for sixty years and tried to kill him before... and failed. Not only did they fail to kill him, the tests are what gave him the signature atomic breath.
The glimpses we see of Godzilla and the Mutos.
The ribcage the humans are walking in implies that there were other monsters out there besides Godzilla.
Is the ribcage of a Godzilla. Godzilla in the film isn't the first of his kind, he's the last.
One of the teasers also reveals that some of the Mutos are barely up to Godzilla's knee in height, meaning this Godzilla is going to be unstoppable. Think about this; this is the largest Godzilla in film yet, and nothing is going to be able to put it down.
That last shot of the second trailer, Godzilla roaring not that far away while a metal door closes and most likely that door will not do one bit of good against something that big.
The scene of the tsunami that a monster causes. The most recent trailer shows a little girl turning around at a luau to notice that all of the water is retreating, heading far out to sea (a telltale tsunami warning sign). Then her dad notices. Then a siren starts going off, people run through the streets as it gets closer before the street is finally completely covered in water.
In the leaked Wondercon footage, we can actually see people getting swept away by the water. Also, if you look closely, you can point out dead bodies in the water.
Worse. The winged Muto is right alongside the train track
As seen here, the train on fire. There is nothing scarier than staring into the blackness and seeing that thing coming towards you. You'll be burned or crushed, and you don't really have a choice but to run.
A meta-example: One particular Youtube commentor, while watching this TV Spot, had the "Error has occurred." screen come up after "STOPPED."
Archie M Ticehurst: Oh Jesus that was creepy. My screen said a "Error had occurred" on the end of It cant be Stopped. Shivers
The browser/IOS/android game Strike Zone uses this in a surprisingly effective way, you don't see the Mutos at any point, although you do get to run away from Godzilla trying to crush you like an ant, but you do hear their roars near constantly which when combined with the toppled buildings, raging fires and shaking ground makes for a surprisingly but genuinely unnerving atmosphere.
From the Main/Prequel comic, Godzilla: Awakening, we are given Shinomura which is basically a swarm of small cell-like creatures that can form together to create a winged, dragon-like monster that feeds on radiation and can remodify its body given its body composition. What makes it especially terrifying is the fact that even a single piece of it can regenerate into a new Shinomura. Not only that but it's implied that if it continues to feed on radiation, it will grow to a size that would make it impossible to destroy even for Godzilla. Thank God it was vaporized in the H-Bomb "testings".
One of the confirmed monsters that will be showing up in the sequel? King Ghidorah.
The meltdown at the plant, especially from Young Ford's POV. He knows something terrible had happened to someone he loves. It also serves as a Tear Jerker.
The death of the Mutos. The winged male MUTO is whacked into a building by Godzilla's tail and is impaled onto a building while the bigger female MUTO gets a load of atomic breath down her throat, torching her insides to the point that her head is easily ripped off afterwards like well-cooked meat slipping off the bone.
The way Hokmuto dies in the novelization is far worse. Godzilla basically bites off his wing and runs him into a building, impaling him
Both of those are tame in the original script which had Godzilla rip Hokmuto's wing off... and crush his skull in his jaws.
The entire sequence on the Golden Gate Bridge. The kids screaming their heads off as the military starts shooting at Godzilla makes it all the scarier. The worst part? The military shooting Godzilla was what caused him to cut it in half by accident. Then there's the part where he basically one-ups Trespasser and walks through the bridge like it was nothing.
The build-up to this scene. It all starts when Sam Brody is on a bus with a bunch of screaming and rambunctious kids acting like they're on a school bus when suddenly a loud moan causes everyone on that bus to go silent. Just then a seagull slams into the side of a window as an entire flock of them seem to be flying away from something. The military then spots what may be "Godzilla". At first they think it's not really big (Oh it's big, don't be mistaken just not as big as they imagined it). Then it turns out it's just the tail and the real Godzilla was underneath the blockade.
The scene prior to this with Stenz getting updates on the location of Femuto, Hokmuto and Godzilla, to which the response for Godzilla was that he would arrive in San Francisco within the hour. Stenz then notices footage of the evacuation on the Golden Gate Bridge before saying, "There are still people on that bridge."
The soldiers on the wrecked train track, hunkering down and trying not to move as the impossibly large female Muto passes by, her eye staring right at them at one point. Few films have ever so captured the sense of sheer helpless terror that kaiju would likely invoke.
Scarier? The shots imply the Mutos were waiting for them and smart enough to set an ambush.
There's even a brief moment where Femuto looked like she was about to eat Ford.
Godzilla kills countless people via tsunami just by walking out of the ocean.
Imagine that you barely made it indoors in time to avoid the tsunami, just to turn around and see several tons of water rushing by, as the glass wall keeping it out starts to leak and crack...
Godzilla, while he is portrayed as the lesser evil, seems to carry off a strong vibe that he could care less about humans getting caught in the crossfire which is especially evident in the destruction he causes just trying to hunt the Mutos down.
If the Mutos weren't scary enough, note the fact that the spores were apparently what killed another Godzilla. The Mutos are analogous to tarantula hawks, and Godzillas are the hapless spiders! The art book confirms that Mutos would hunt members of Godzilla's species as often as they would hunt them.
Godzilla emerging from a cloud of smoke just seconds before his fight with Femuto. The fact this scene is almost completely silent with only the sound of the wind being churned by his tail as he turns around and a single piano key noise as a bolt of lightning reveals his gargantuan silhouette followed by his face emerging from the smoke with a face that flat-out says, "You're gonna die. Slowly." Even Ford is a little bit disturbed by this.
Godzilla is portrayed as an Anti-Hero, and spends the film fighting the MUTOs instead of trying to harm humans, but let's face it: if you were on his bad side, the consequences would be horrific, especially seeing as this version of Godzilla really doesn't give a damn about humans.
Getting caught between Godzilla and his prey is almost a death sentence. There is nowhere to run, and even if there was, the monsters can walk hundreds of times faster than you can sprint. All you can do is close your eyes and pray.
Just trying to evacuate a major city center while several sapient disasters bear down on your location would be a nightmare in itself. Chaos reigns as people start to panic, all public and private transportation is congested to the point of uselessness, there is no clear idea of where the creatures are headed or how much time you have left before one shows up, and then the whole city is plunged into an utter blackout. One can only imagine what it must have been like for the people trapped in the city, expecting to feel the ground start to shake at any moment...
Ford laying on a boat... to look up and see the gigantic Femuto standing over him.
That "...you!" Death Glare when she initially targeted him.
The HALO jump scene is even worse on the big screen. Not only is the haunting 2001 music kept, but the landing footage has been edited. Instead of Ford looking down and seeing the silhouette of Godzilla, he sees Godzilla and Hokmuto fighting, and Ford's about to land right in the middle of their battle, especially when we get a P.O.V. shot of Godzilla roaring which implies Ford is just three feet away from him.
Also there's just how fast Godzilla is in the water. He easily out speeds the navy ships trailing him when he feels like it, to the extent where they can't track him, and practically swims from Hawaii to California in an extremely short time. This adds to the Paranoia Fuel, at any coastal city, as it means Godzilla could pop up anywhere practically unexpected.
Femuto's rampage in Las Vegas. Let's just say you're spending some time in a casino, gambling fever is running through your veins, suddenly the lights begin to flicker on and off as though there's some sort of power failure. Then suddenly the sunlight is blocked out by something. You turn around only to see a giant beast that looks more like something from another planet and so big it shouldn't exist staring right back at you.
The entire sequence where Hokmuto awakens. Each of those cranes that collapses has an operator in it, and one is seen screaming and trying to get out before the crane he's in is dragged into the crater holding the winged Muto. Oh, it's not from far away, we get a nice good close up of the man panicking and trying to break the glass as he's subsequently dragged to his doom.
There's especially one part of that sequence where Hokmuto is rising up behind Ford. To him, it's almost as if a demon found its way out of Hell, especially given the Muto's size.
The aftermath of Hokmuto's awakening, with the facility in ruins, and Serizawa seeing the people he's worked with for years being put in body bags.
After a Russian nuclear sub goes missing, it is found quite a ways inland with its nuclear containers covered in white goop. That goop is Hokmuto's saliva, who just so happens to be munching on another container just out of sight.
Let's think this through, shall we? The smaller Male MUTO was capable of picking up a 10,000 ton attack submarine and carrying it like an eagle carries a fish.
Right after Joe shuts the blast door to keep radiation from flooding the rest of the area, the reactor team makes it. They're pounding on the door trying to get out, and Joe can't let them because to do so would flood the rest of Janjira with radiation.
The Femuto killing the soldiers that were trying to distract her from getting to Ford and the nuke by smashing her head through the dock where they were standing and eating them.
The looks of sheer horror exchanged by Ford and the other soldier on the tracks seeing the female MUTO pass by them with a bellyfull of thousands of eggs. Later on, we get a closeup of what's inside them. The entire movie drives home the destruction done by two of these things. Imagine the fate of the world if those eggs were allowed to hatch.
We see the aftermath of a plane crash caused by one of the Mutos. While it doesn't get to Knowing levels of horror since we only see a birds-eye view of it, we get plenty of phone calls calling for ambulances, talking about how devastating the crash is, and everything else.
The MUTOs weren't particularly interested in actively going after humans at first. It's only when the eggs are destroyed that the mother goes on a rage filled rampage through the city, cornering and slaughtering whatever humans she found. The scariest part is that she knew Ford had been the one to murder her children. We saw the destruction caused by the MUTOs just walking through various cities - and now Ford has its full attention.
Actually, the whole Muto train attack is frightening in its own right. When the lights come back on and the train starts working again, it turns out that in the distance the male Muto was unseen in the darkness of the night before the train lights made it visible. There was no way of escaping as the train rode straight towards the Muto as all the passengers panic and scream.
There were a few onscreen deaths during that scene, too.
The entire scene that precedes the H.A.L.O jump. Basically, Hokmuto is soaring around and ripping up buildings, sending people into a panic only for Godzilla to rise out of the harbor. As the two monsters fight, the doors begin to close before we are treated to nothing but darkness and the screams of the panicking people.
The plane scene. Elle looks up and sees a pilot parachute down through the smoke. Then a jet smashes into the building behind her. We return to the bridge and see at least a dozen planes falling into the water, some of them crushing ships, because an EMP blast took them out.