Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Lost In Cyberspace

By Devin D. O'Leary

JUNE 1, 1998: 

Oh No! There Goes Tokyo!

Godzilla on the WWW

As if you didn't already know: The very first American-made Godzilla film was released last Wednesday. Doubtless it will be eating up the box office for weeks to come. Godzilla, of course, has a history dating back more than 40 years. This temperamental lizard has spawned several generations of rabid fans who collect monster movie win-loss records and other meaningless stats like crazed baseball fanatics. Naturally, these same rabid fans find themselves drawn to the Internet to share their obsession with other like-minded individuals. With the release of this American 'Zilla thriller, Godzilla sites are multiplying like mutated rabbits. Here is a small sampling of some of the better G-fan pages.

Barry's Temple of Godzilla (www.stomptokyo.com/godzillatemple/)--Barry is undoubtedly a big Godzilla fan, and for that we've got to respect him. His devotion is so great that he was even quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the new movie and was consulted by the Hershey's company on the design of their new Godzilla chocolate bar. All of this is not to imply that Barry is anything more than a slobbering fanboy with a computer. From this attractively designed page, you can check out Barry's reviews of assorted films and books (all Godzilla-related, of course), ogle his collection of Godzilla toys and thumb through his stockpile of Godzilla pictures. Barry has recently added a brief review of the new Godzilla movie (he liked it, but doesn't really consider it a "Godzilla" movie). The cartoon graphics are a nice touch (even though Barry went a bit crazy on the colors here), but the little animated icons (like a walking baby 'Zilla) tend to slow page-loading to a crawl. The best part of the Temple is probably the short movie clips you can download to your desktop. The strangest? How about Barry's two online Godzilla novels. Oh boy, fan-fic! The Big B's obviously put a lot of work into 'em--all I can say is don't quit your day job, Barry.

Alan's Kaiju Room (www.parlorcity.com/awiterrowd/kaiju/)--Alan is another fanboy with a mission. He wants to be a sort of repository of Godzilla info on the WWW. The Kaiju Room has the usual pile of Godzilla pictures and lore but also includes a fine selection of links and the most up-to-date info on Godzilla conventions around the United States. Alan's has also become the resting place for two important documents--namely, "The Monster Gallery" and "The Guide to Kaiju Biology." Both documents were rescued from Mark Melon's late, lamented Godzilla page and contain loads of stats, pics and sounds (woo-hoo!) from nearly all the monsters in the Big G pantheon. "The Guide to Kaiju Biology" is especially entertaining, running down the finer points of Godzilla's internal organs and pondering the flight capabilities of Mothra. "Kaiju," in case you're not up on the lingo, is Japanese for monster. "Kaiju Eiga"--essentially "monster movies"--is the term used to describe the films of Godzilla and his gigantic ilk.

Official Godzilla Movie Site (www.godzilla.com)--This 100 percent officially licensed homepage for TriStar Pictures' new Godzilla film offers quite a bit more than expected. Granted, the multiframe browsing system, the overload of graphics and the abundance of Java programming makes for one sloooooow load. Still, with a bit of patience (and a powerful Pentium), there are some nice rewards to be unearthed here. First off, there's all the usual stuff (a store to buy Godzilla crap, a bunch of soundbites from the soundtrack, loads of presskit info for the movie). But dig a little deeper and you'll find some interesting additions. There are not one, but two Godzilla-related chat rooms. There's a very impressive multiplayer Godzilla game to download and play over the Internet. Best of all, there's the G-Database. I wouldn't have expected so much as a mention of the old-school Toho stuff from TriStar's Web page, but there it is. Click on your favorite Big G film or your most beloved Japanese monster, and you'll be greeted with a wealth of information. This thing's got everybody. We're talking Varan the Unbelievable. We're talking Oodaka--monsters so obscure few hardcore fans even recognize them. Kudos to TriStar for tossing a meaty bone to us aging Godzilla fans as well.

--Devin D. O'Leary

devin@alibi.com


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