Baby monster Minilla talks to a little boy in "All Monsters Attack"
(Toho)

After Some Great Godzilla Movies, Let’s Rank the 10 Worst

It was the best of Godzilla movies; it was the worst of Godzilla movies. 38 films? There’s bound to be hits and clunkers. Godzilla is at his best when he serves as some sort of greater metaphor for human evil, or is at least entertaining. These movies missed both memos.

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10. Godzilla vs. Megalon

Godzilla tailslides into battle in "Godzilla vs. Megalon"
(Toho)

Qualifying as a “so bad it’s good” sort of film, Godzilla vs. Megalon tail slides in as the best worst Godzilla flick on this list. It’s a Showa Era Godzilla film, a period when Godzilla stopped becoming a nuclear war metaphor and started becoming a kid-friendly force of cartoonish destruction. Godzilla teams up with the flying mammal monikered Jet Jaguar—a humanoid robot force of good—in order to do battle against Megalon and Gigan. Five flying kicks out of five … hundred.

9. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

Godzilla and Space Godzilla square off in "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla"
(Toho)

Loving the creativity here. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is exactly what’s written on the can. Godzilla has to fight a spacefaring version of himself that dropped in from beyond the stars, because plot. Unlike the other monsters that Godzilla fights, SpaceGodzilla provides not one iota of creature creativity. Just slap the word “space” on a Godzilla clone and you’ve got something that only the kids can tolerate. Lazy writing at its worst sort of best.

8. Godzilla vs. Gigan

The robotic monster Gigan in "Godzilla vs. Gigan"
(Toho)

Godzilla vs. Gigan gets half a creativity point for the robo-hook-handed parrot cyborg that serves as the antagonist of this film. It then loses all of those points due to the slapped-together writing and a “giant monsters punch each other” plot. The film’s silver lining is the buddy-buddy relationship between Big G and the monster Anguirus. Bafflingly, they are able to communicate with each other through speech bubbles, an idea that no doubt made the coked-out writers’ room jump with stimulant-addled joy. It’s charming like a hickey—cute until you have to deal with it for any extended period of time.

7. Godzilla 2000: Millennium

Godzilla faces off against a giant monsters in "Godzilla 2000"
(Toho)

The redundancy of the title alone betrays Godzilla 2000: Millennium for what is it: a creatively braindead rehash of a decades-old good idea. Godzilla shows up, screws around with the city’s architecture, and then fights a giant monster called Orga. This film’s only saving grace is that it is marginally better than the Godzilla tragedy masquerading as a film from the year before. Don’t worry; we’ll deal with her later.

6. Invasion of Astro Monster

Godzilla dances in the mountains in "Invasion of Astro Monster"
(Toho)

Invasion of Astro Monster is so bad that Godzilla was too embarrassed to have his name in the title. The movie is a one-year-later rehash of a half decent flick, bringing back King Ghidorah from his debut in an earlier film. Monsters battle. Godzilla wins. The only saving grace (or damning sin) is the part when Godzilla dances. What’s not to love? Turns out a lot, actually—the rest of the film, for instance.

5. Son of Godzilla

Godzilla teaches his son Minilla how to shoot radiation breath in "Son of Godzilla"
(Toho)

Why do I even have to call attention to this junior monstrosity? Can’t we just let things die in the dark corners of cinema history? Son of Godzilla is predictably about Big G’s adventures in parenting. Enter Minilla, the Scrappy Doo of the Godzilla universe—equally hated. You knowhow babies are cute as an evolutionary advantage so parents don’t abandon them in the wild? Minilla decided not to take a dip in that part of the gene pool. The little guy has a face that not even a mother could love, considering she isn’t in the picture anymore.

4. All Monsters Attack

Baby monster Minilla talks to a little boy in "All Monsters Attack"
(Toho)

Yegh. More “kid friendly” Godzilla nonsense. All Monsters Attack takes the franchise to the G-rated extreme by featuring the morphologically maligned Minilla striking up a cross-species friendship with a local boy. The pair commiserate over the fact that they are both bullied. Yes, Minilla is inexplicably bullied by the other monsters. Honestly, it might be just the thing that the little monster needs to build some destructive character. The worst part? The movie isn’t even original and heavily features footage from other lesser Godzilla titles. Try as they might, this turd remains decidedly unpolished.

3. Godzilla: The Planet Eater

An animated Godzilla does battle with the spectrail King Ghidorah in "Godzilla the Planet Eater"
(Netflix/Toho)

How did Godzilla: The Planet Eater snatch defeat from the kaiju-sized jaws of victory? An anime film about Godzilla 20,000 years in the future? That. Sounds. Awesome. And yet, the reality was disappointing. Godzilla: The Planet Eater is the final nail in the coffin for a trilogy of Godzilla films which, like a child athlete with two broken legs, had a lot of potential that it couldn’t live up to. For a genre known for its fight scenes, somehow the final battle between the world ruling Godzilla and the star scourge King Ghidorah is unconscionably boring.

2. Godzilla Raids Again 

Godzilla does battle with a giant turtle monster on a Japanese castle in "Godzilla Raids Again"
(Toho)

Godzilla Raids Again in the same way that diarrhea does. Just when you think it’s gone, it comes back worse. This film pits Godzilla against his future frenemy Anguirus. It’s the first time that Godzilla was pitted against another monster, which began the slow death of the franchise. Gone is the human element, replaced with a special effects slugfest that lacks the metaphorical weight of the original film.

1. Godzilla (1998)

Godzilla stomps through NYC in "Godzilla 1998"
(Toho/Sony Pictures)

Surprise, surprise! The first-ever American attempt at a Godzilla film is the worst travesty in the history of the franchise. 1998’s Godzilla is a root canal of a film. Despite all of Hollywood’s resources, the movie can’t even be considered “so bad it’s good.” For a monster that levels any target with its atomic breath, this Godzilla keeps missing one thing over and over: the point. The film lacks the one of two things that make a Godzilla movie good: metaphorical merit, or cartoonish camp. For a film about a giant lizard laying waste to New York City, the film is bafflingly antiseptic. Like Godzilla himself, it would be best for humanity if this film sank back down to the bottom of the sea, never to return.

(featured image: Toho)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.