Gojira, released in Japan in 1954 and directed by Ishiro Honda, is one of first of the kaiju film genre. A Japanese word, kaijutranslates literally to “strange monster,” with films in this genre featuring typically enormous and strange creature. In Gojira, a creature named Gojira is awoken accidentally by nuclear radiation and goes on to attack Japan. In order to save themselves, what will the Japanese be forced to do?
The Host, released in Korea in 2006 and directed by Bong Joon-ho, is a film that makes its political commentary through the monster movie genre. It currently stands as South Korea’s highest grossing film of all time. In The Host another creature is born of science and causes terror in South Korea. This time there is foreign help for the South Koreans, but what will they have to accomplish on their own before they are rid of the creature?
Both Gojira and The Host feature creatures that are created when science is used for the sake of weaponry and destruction. In both films this science also finds its origins in America, making both films a commentary on the negativity that Western influence can bring as well as the misuse of science itself. Through these two monsters’ origins and designs, the human response against them, and the methods to their eventual defeat we will be taking a look at how these criticisms are represented in each film.