Back in the day, being a Godzilla fan could be a difficult affair. Getting your hands on the Kaiju movies could be quite tricky and most of us were at the mercy of local TV networks to provide appropriate amounts of monster fun. This made books that detailed the subgenre rather invaluable, especially if they contained copious amounts of information about the various features themselves.
The Godzilla FAQ is a book that harks back to the days of needing one source of information for all your rubber monster suited goodness. Despite the name, it’s less an FAQ and more a comprehensive manual that details the history of all things Godzilla, from the very first movie all the way to recent efforts, covering 2016’s Shin Godzilla and covering this year’s Kong: Skull Island as best it can.
Solomon’s style is detailed and yet friendly. It’s a bit like having an exceptionally well-informed Godzilla fan in the room with you. The text is absorbing and the author grasps how to tell the various production stories in a fun and entertaining way. For example, the dash to re-edit and distribute the original Godzilla movie is presented in an accurate yet fun way, so much so that the tale behind the movie sounds worthy of a feature in and of itself.
Solomon’s take on the disastrous 1998 American movie featuring Matthew Broderick is especially entertaining, and we get a good look at that other famous giant monster, King Kong. Of course, every movie is covered, and the whole thing is stuffed with information that will turn a passing fan into a hardcore kaiju expert.
We get a real feel for the various eras of the movies, with the bulk of the love being poured onto the first and longest Showa era. We also get a strong insight into what these movies mean across the world, and how different the attitudes shift between West and East. There’s also a comprehensive look at how different the original 1954 Japanese release is from the subsequent American edit, and how much has changed between now and then. The message and motivations behind the movies have changed, but the monster remains. An excellent source for film buffs and a gift for fans.GODZILLA FAQ: ALL THAT'S LEFT TO KNOW ABOUT THE KING OF THE MONSTERS / AUTHOR: BRIAN SOLOMON / PUBLISHER: APPLAUSE THEATRE BOOK PUBLISHERS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW