Background & History

I own copies of every Godzilla film on video, including the "old" (1954 - 74) and the "new" (1985 - present) Godzilla films. The two series are widely disparate! The original series include all the movies I used to watch as kid every Saturday afternoon on Channel 56's "Creature Double Feature." Although the original Godzilla movie ("Godzilla, King of the Monsters") was a serious attempt at a cautionary tale, with a truly frightening monster, later entries in the series were notable for their cheesy plot lines, funky looking monsters and increasingly "humorous" portrayals of Godzilla himself. I have many fond memories of these films and still enjoy watching them as long as I remember to keep my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.

The later Godzilla movies, however, are a whole other kettle of radioactive lizards! Beginning in 1985 (actually 1984, but it took a year to make it to the U.S.) Toho Co. Ltd., the company which "owns" Godzilla, began releasing a new series of Godzilla films. These films had a much higher budget than any of the preceding films, and made use of state-of-the-art Hollywood-type special effects. Well, maybe not QUITE state-of-the art [keep in mind that these films are still all made for about $10 million each], but still a big step up from the 60's and 70's. To completely distinguish between these new films and the "cheesy" films of yore, the first of the new series, Godzilla 1985, completely rewrote Godzilla's history to invalidate all the previous films except for the original. Godzilla 1985 is a direct sequel to the original and starts with Godzilla reappearing after having been out-of-sight for almost 30 years. The American version of the film even has new footage of Raymond Burr added to it in order to directly link it with the American version of the original. Although Godzilla 1985 still has its cheesy moments (let us never forget that we're talking about some guy in a large rubber monster suit, after all), it recaptured much of the feel and message of the original, and formed a bridge to the later movies in the series.

Since that time, There have been a host of new Godzilla films released in Japan, including one released December 1995, in which Godzilla dies [again]. Then, in 2000, Toho started up again with a series of "Alternate Universe" Godzilla movies, each one ignoring every other film except for the original and presenting the big lug in an entirely new light. As of August 2001, all of these newer movies have been officially released on video here in the U.S., with the exception of the last two Alternate Universe titles [the last of which is due out in Japanese theaters in December of 2001]

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I got "on the Internet" for the first time in the summer of 1995. I soon discovered the now defunct Mark's Godzilla Page, which first informed me of the existence of modern Godzilla movies out of Japan. Needless to say [although I'll say it anyway], I was hooked.

In addition to rushing out and buying every Godzilla video I could find, I started scouring the Web for other sources of Godzilla information. I found tons of references to the big galoot, but was suprised to discover that most of them were simply links to Mark's page! The general consensus seemed to be that Mark's page was the definitive Godzilla page, the end-all and be-all of all Godzilla pages. One other page, Bob's Godzilla Shrine, apparently used to have a lot of stuff, but all that was there was a note saying that he had to remove the pictures and would be putting them up again shortly. That message stayed up for over a year, and then the page finally disappeared altogether.

When I decided to create my own web page in December of 1995, I tried to think of something unique or different I could do that would attract visitors. I thought of having a Star Trek page, but figured there were already a couple hundred of those. Finally, it dawned on me -- why not Godzilla? Surely there's room on the Web for two Godzilla pages, especially if I try and do it differently than Mark's.

Of course, now there are many other Godzilla pages on the Web -- some big, some small, some original, some not. I'd like to think the quality and popularity of my page had something to do with that.

Originally, this page started out as simply a place to review the various Godzilla movies I happen to own. Things have grown a bit since then, of course. Although The Photo Gallery contained many pictures culled from a variety of sources on the Web, my ultimate goal was to make this page a source for unique Godzilla information. This includes scanning in the actual covers of many of my Godzilla videos for the Reviews page, as well as Godzilla pictures from various books and magazines. I also included a section of Original Art, which featured Godzilla-modified versions of some of my ownaward-winning Nature Photographs. In addition, I created my own Godzilla-related backgrounds, icons and lines. Above all else, I wanted to make this page fun!

In addition to the reviews and the pictures, I wanted to create a sort of "mini-forum" where I could respond to some of the numerous questions and comments I have received concerning Godzilla. Hopefully, people will find my responses humorous, entertaining, and perhaps even enlightening (even if not always particularly informative).

One final note -- I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, any sort of "expert" when it comes to Godzilla. I just really like the movies! Many people write to me asking all sorts of questions, ranging from "what gender is Godzilla" to "how come the continuity between the various films is so messed up". Unless the answer can be found somewhere within one of the actual movies, your guess is probably as good as mine! That doesn't mean I don't have an opinion about these topics, of course -- just don't be disappointed if mine is not the "definitive" answer for which you were looking.

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The History of the Temple

The Temple of Godzilla has had numerous incarnations over the years. It first appeared in 1995 as a single page at when they started offering free homepages. It was basically reviews of the 13 or so Godzilla movies I then owned on tape and some general background on Godzilla. A few months later, however, announced that they were turning into a commercial-only server, and all non-commercial pages, including the Temple, were given the old heave-ho. Fortunately, however, they gave everyone a little warning, and I was able to find a new home for the Temple at...

Ultranet, where I kept my personal home page for many years. I signed up with Ultranet for an e-mail account because they offered 5 megabytes of Web space with each account. I quickly filled up my space with an expanded Temple, adding such things as sound clips and animations. Because I still had my original page up at, I jokingly called the new site "Son of Barry's Temple of Godzilla" [which led some people to start calling me "Son of Barry"]. Everything was fine for awhile. In March of 1996, however, the Temple was designated as InfiNet's "Cool Site of the Day" and received more than 10,000 visits on that day alone. It was then that I discovered that Ultranet has a restriction on the amount of "file transfers" allowed, and bills for any amount over 100 megabytes a month. I found this out when I got a credit card bill for almost $200. Well, this was far too much for me to be paying for what is essentially just a hobby, so I got a new account at....

PCIX. I called them up and was told that they didn't have any policy regarding excess file transfers, so I decided to move the Temple there. I kept my original account at Ultranet, primarily because I had my e-mail address there and didn't want to have to tell all my friends my new address. Things went fine for a couple of months. Then, without warning, my page disappeared. I wrote the folks at PCIX and actually spoke to the president. Apparently, my site was just getting too darn popular, and was taking up too much processor time on their apparently cheap-ass server. Technically, they didn't lie to me, since they didn't actually bill me for the excess traffic. They just shut me down. According to their president, I had signed up for a non-commercial account and, based on the amount of traffic I was receiving and the professional look of the page [gee -- thanks!], I no longer qualified. They were willing to reactivate my site, but only if I agreed to pay commercial rates. This would have cost hundreds of dollars per month. Well, I said "screw you" and moved the Temple back to....

Ultranet, albeit in a greatly reduced state. Basically, I got rid of all the graphics and sound clips, and just kept it to text and a few funky icons. It was depressing, but at least I was keeping the Temple alive. And then, one day, I heard about....

Geocities. I had heard about them before, and knew that they offered free web pages to anyone who wanted. However, they only offered 1 megabyte of space, which wasn't enough to host the glory of the Temple. Well, they then started offering their Geoplus plan, which gave you 10 megabytes of space for $4.95 per month. Now that I could afford! So, I moved most of my files over to Geocities. As time went by, Geocities expanded the GeoPlus program to 15 megabytes of space, with the ability to puchase additional space. I ended up buying another 5 megabytes of an extra $5/month, bring my total amount of space to 25 megabytes. As a result, I started adding more stuff, like video clips and my on-line novels. Well, everything went smoothly for over a year. And then, on February 20, 1998 [a day that will live in infamy], Geocities cancelled my account without notice. As of yet, I still haven't received an explanation, even though I have written and asked them. Needless to say, I was depressed and very upset. I even considered letting the Temple fade away. I didn't count on the huge amount of support I would receive, however. I was inundated with e-mails from fans of the Temple, begging me to find a new home for it, and eventually got an offer to host the Temple from those wonderful people at....

Stomptokyo. They've got their own server and are big fans of the Temple. A match made in heaven, eh? I certainly thought so! The folks at Stomp Tokyo were kind enough to host the temple of Godzilla for free starting in March of 1998. Things went swimingly for the next four years, until....

June 2002 -- The guys at Stomp Tokyo have informed me that the excessive bandwidth was finally just getting too much even for them. Part of the problem was simply that the site had always been very popular, and I included a lot of pictures, sound files, animations, and video clips. Another part of the problem, however, was the large number of people who kept linking directly to these files and placing them on their own websites, posted them on various newsgroups, etc. And so, faced with having to cough up over $50/month to host the Temple myself and keep it in its current state, I decided that it was finally time to close the doors for good. The Temple is simply too popular and too graphic intensive for a non-commercial site, and I can't afford to pay commercial rates to keep it up and running. And so, I officially "closed" the ol' Temple, in the sense that I stopped updating it or adding to it and removed the vast majority of the graphics, video clips, sound clips, etc. What remained were the Movie Reviews, the two Online Godzilla Novels I wrote way back when, the Unofficial Godzilla F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions), and sundry reminders of the Temple's past glories for those who care about such things. I also decided to keep the "Trading Cards" up because it was one of the things that made this site so unique and really does provide a good overview of the changes that Godzilla underwent over his long career as a film star. Finally, I reorganized the "Random Shots" page to highlight the best of the best of what was there, including some notable fan contributions not found elsewhere on the Web, and even added a new feature entitled "Godzilla Song Lyrics" to that page. I realized the ol' Temple isn't the "ultimate multimedia Godzilla experience" it once was, but I hoped there was still plenty left to enjoy.

March 2003 -- Aaaaaand, we're back! Well, more or less.... Those chipper chaps at Stomp Tokyo had a change of heart and decided that the world really does need a Temple of Godzilla after all. They purchased some additional bandwidth and have come up with some (hopefully) effective ways of keeping people from linking directly to the files on this site. Whether or not I can put EVERYTHING back up remains to be seen (the video clips are on hold, for example), but it looks like the ol' Temple will be a living, breathing site once again. To be honest, I no longer have much time to devote to the Temple (getting married and buying a house will do that to you), and the Stomp Tokyo guys have graciously offered to maintain the Godzilla News and Rumors section (bless their little souls). I will, however, continue to post reviews of the new movies as I see them, and hopefully will have time to tweak the site a bit every now and then.

Thanks to everybody who has visited and contributed to the Temple over the years, and for all the kind words of support. It's certainly been quite a ride!

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