31 Days of Guilty Pleasures – ‘Godzilla’

Jason McDonald

A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies. This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being listed, so the placement on the countdown doesn’t denote any sort of ranking. Also, my definition of guilty pleasure is a movie that ranges from either being not very good to outright bad, but there’s something about it that still makes it endearing to watch.

It was 1998 and I was a young impressionable Godzilla loving nerd.  I was an optimistic fool.  When I learned that the guy who made “Independence Day” was going to make a big budget Hollywood “Godzilla” movie I was out of my mind with excitement.

The 1998 “Godzilla” movie had an insane amount of promotion riding behind it.  Probably because the studio knew it was gonna be bad so they had to get as many people as they could into the theater before word got out. Regardless, all the promotional material leading into the movies release was well thought out.  At the time Taco Bell had these commercials with a wildly popular chihuahua so they used the dog’s advertising power to run a successful promotion.

Notice that you couldn’t see Godzilla very clearly? That would be a running theme for how they promoted this movie.  You could argue that they were trying to build up hype for the final reveal of Godzilla by hiding him as long as they could.  They did something similar with the 2014 Godzilla.  You might also argue that they were hiding it because they thought people would judge it harshly.  Either valid is option.

I very rarely remember the trailers for movies, but “Godzilla” had some really distinct ones leading up to it’s release.  I believe one of the very first trailers put out was this teaser which you could interpret as taking a shot at “Jurassic Park.”

Even the more regular trailers hid exactly what “Godzilla” would ultimately look like.  This one below also featured the tagline “Size Does Matter” which you would see plastered everywhere.  I’m pretty sure they used it at Taco Bell to promote supersizing meals as well.

So did teasing the reveal of Godzilla create a fervor amongst the population? Did people run to theaters to see what Godzilla would look like? No. Instead it earned a modest $55 million during its Memorial Day opening weekend.  Ultimately the film wasn’t a flop, but it wasn’t the blockbuster they had hoped it would be.

“Godzilla” holds a special place in my heart because as a dumb kid I enjoyed the movie and I watched it a LOT when I got the VHS.  Every sick day or rainy day I would put it in and fall asleep while watching it.  Even now I get the warm fuzzies when looking at the trailer and seeing how atmospheric and rainy the movie is. It’ll never by my favorite “Godzilla” movie, but it will always be the one I have the most nostalgia for.


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