The Kaiju Film: A Critical Study of Cinema’s Biggest Monsters Publisher: McFarland February 17, 2016 Pages: 212 Author: Jason Barr Language: English
The Kaiju (strange monster or strange beast) film genre has a number of themes that go well beyond the “big monsters stomping on cities” motif. Since the seminal King Kong 1933) and the archetypal Godzilla (1954), kaiju has mined the subject matter of science run amok, militarism, capitalism, colonialism, consumerism and pollution. This critical examination of kaiju considers the entirety of the genre—the major franchises, along with less well known films like Kronos (1957), Monsters (2010) and Pacific Rim (2013). The author examines how kaiju has crossed cultures from its original folkloric inspirations in both the U.S. and Japan and how the genre continues to reflect national values to audiences.