Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Godzilla...Crapzilla? Or I'm Over Thinking Things

Last night I happen to catch the 1998 version of Godzilla on cable,  Racer was awake with me so we both watched it. As I’m watching this movie I remember working on this movie back in the day. Now many people don't realize that this movie was filmed majority in LA and not in New York where the movie is based off.

I remember the many nights watching sets and mini Dinos which were Godzilla's offspring in the movie. The many scary places in LA we worked just so they can get away with it looking like New York. I remember security guards getting sick from buying food from people who lived in the raunchy hotels in LA. I even remember working on the Taco Bell commercial they had for this movie. You know back in the day when food franchises backed Big Budget movies. This taco Bell commercial I didn't have the job babysitting the 2 Taco Bell dogs as I did in my (Life After Wrap) book. I remember people laughing at the fact that the Taco Bell dog was doing a commercial with Godzilla when they would ask what commercial we were shooting.

 I remember doing work on the P Diddy music video for Godzilla. Huge monster movie, huge Food franchise giving tons of promotions and even a huge music artist doing a music video for the film. 

So then I ask myself many times, why did this film flop? Yet 10 years later the movie "Cloverfield" didn't? Both movies are based in New York; both movies had Monsters destroying a bridge and a large Army attack scene. Godzilla had baby raptor looking Dino's attacking at Madison Square garden which was filmed in the sub station over in LA's Persian square. In Cloverfield the creature had little bug like creatures they came off it's body. Cloverfield had JJ Abrams backing the movie while Godzilla had the Boys Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich who brought us Independence Day. Both movies had trailer that hid both their Monsters from the public eye and not show their entirely til the middle of each movie. Godzilla had named Actors while Cloverfield had unknowns in their movie. Was it the Taco Bell Curse that gave Godzilla such a bad rap that it didn't make any money. If you don't remember Godzilla wasn't the first movie Taco Bell pushed in their promotions, they also had that big promoted push for films like Tim Burton's PLANET OF THE APES,  and even the long awaited Gorilla  movie CONGO, and DEMOLITION MAN all movies that flopped at the Box office. (Even tho Planet of the Apes came out in 2001 it still suffered the Taco Bell curse)

One thing that Cloverfield didn't have that Godzilla did was a Brand. Godzilla has been around for years and many generations have grown up liking the fire breathing creature. Do you think if they kept Godzilla's original look the movie would of been much more successful? Or did the studio ruined Godzilla while JJ Abrams had more say in his making in Cloverfield? 

Both movies I enjoyed watching just Godzilla for me I have a little more attachment working the streets of LA in places you wish never existed. I remember my father (Senior) giving me a piece of the Madison Square Garden that was blown up in the movie, or the little Taco Bell dog from the commercial they gave away after filming which I still have both today. Little Hollywood Treasures like that makes the movie watching experience much more enjoyable knowing I was there when they made this movie come to life.


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