Godzilla, Kong, et al: Stupid Fun or Channeling Deep Fears? Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #90

What’s the mean­ing behind the con­tin­ued inter­na­tion­al pop­u­lar­i­ty of kai­ju media in which giant crea­tures stomp on cities and beat each oth­er up? Is this just pro wrestling dra­ma with spe­cial effects, or does it relate to deep-seat­ed feel­ings of help­less­ness in the face of nat­ur­al dis­as­ters? Per­haps both?

Your Pret­ty Much Pop hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt reflect on the Mon­ster­Verse films: Godzil­la (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzil­la: King of the Mon­sters (2019), and chiefly Godzil­la vs. Kong (2021). We also go into the his­to­ry of Godzil­la in Japan from the 1954 orig­i­nal to 2016’s award-win­ning Shin Godzil­la. Do we care at all about the humans in these films? Are King Kong films too sad? Is there any legit­i­mate sci-fi or polit­i­cal com­men­tary in this genre? We touch on Pacif­ic Rim, The Host, Clover­field, Colos­sal, When a Mon­ster Calls, Ram­page, giant video game boss­es, and more.

Some sources we used to pre­pare:

Plus, here’s more on The Great Bud­dha Arrival and Wolf­man vs. Godzil­la.

Hear more of this pod­cast at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can access by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.