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With the release of the trailer for the much-anticipated new American production of Godzilla, starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe, we decided to look back at the best and worst film appearances of our favourite giant monsters. Godzilla (or Gojira in Japanese) has appeared in over 30 different films and is the poster child of the genre (generally referred to as Kaiju – which is Japanese for ‘giant monster’). The genre actually started in the US, though, with the 1952 re-release of the original King Kong (1933) and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) inspiring the Japanese to put on rubber suits and re-invent the allegory for their own post-war, nuclear-power fearing culture.

Basically, Gojira (and his ever-expanding crew) represent the uncontrollable force of nuclear technology (America’s bombs), and its effect on nature, threatening the powerless Japanese populous. It adds quite an interesting layer when you think that many giant monster movies are essentially pieces of anti-American propaganda.