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John Carpenter Has A Harsh Criticism Of The American Godzilla Films

John Carpenter can certainly be considered an authority on monster movies. Having directed arguably one of the greatest monster movies of all time in 1982's "The Thing," Carpenter knows a thing or two about what goes into making monsters scary. Carpenter is known as a master of horror — if not the master — and besides being the film director behind many classics such as "Halloween" and "They Live," he is also quite a cinephile, particularly for older films.

"Godzilla" is a name synonymous with towering, giant monsters, also known as Kaiju. The king of the monsters himself has been the star of over 30 movies for Toho Studios. Within them, he is either the villain, menacing and destroying all of Japan, or he is the hero, saving Japan from incoming invaders. The monster's popularity has led to two American remakes as well as a monster mash sequel to the latest remake and a crossover with Kong, the king of the apes.

For "Godzilla" day in November of 2022, Carpenter hosted a slew of classic "Godzilla" movies for Shout! Factory TV. The streaming network's lineup for the marathon included Godzilla's first appearance on film in "Gojira," as well as other giant monster flicks "Rodan," Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster," and mashup "War of the Gargantuas." Nowhere to be seen in this Carpenter-hosted lineup will you find 1998's "Godzilla" starring Matthew Broderick or the 2014 "Godzilla" from "Rogue One" director Gareth Edwards. In fact, Carpenter has some pretty harsh words for the American-produced "Godzilla" fare.

John Carpenter thinks the American Godzilla remakes lack the charm of the originals

In an interview with Den of Geek, horror director and "Godzilla" fan John Carpenter harshly criticized the American "Godzilla" films. He said, "They just don't have the same charm of the original 'Godzilla' movies, the cast of the 'Godzilla' movies. Even though they brought over old has-been American actors to be in it. The actors were great, I guess most of them were under contract at Toho. American 'Godzilla' movies are a computer-fest. They lack charm, and I'm just not that interested."

One of the American actors being brought over to Japan to be in one of their monster movies that Carpenter is referring to is Raymond Burr, who appeared in a version of the original "Gojira" movie recut for American audiences with the re-titling "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" Carpenter suggested that Burr was brought in for American moviegoers to come to the theater for a Japanese production. "He does nothing much more than narrate what's happening, but he breaks up the mood of the original," he explained.

John Carpenter thinks it wasn't cool to be into Godzilla back when the U.S. films were being released

The mood John Carpenter referred to is that of the sadness portrayed in the film that stemmed from the nuclear weapons being dropped on Japan during World War II, weapons which led to the birth of the character Godzilla along with the films.

Carpenter went on to talk about his own fandom of the "Godzilla" series. He says that he grew up with the original films and shared them with his son when he was younger. He said of Godzilla, "He is the king ... These movies have been appreciated in silence for years. It wasn't cool to be a fan of Godzilla. It just wasn't. It was just a shameful thing. I'm not ashamed."

He said he saw a lot of the original "Godzilla" films alone in a theater when they came out because of this. But now, because of the marathon that he is hosting with Shout! Factory TV, he can share these films with legions of fans of both his work and fans of the original Kaiju films.