King of Kings

King of Kings by Frank Scoblete

He was 10 years old and in the fifth grade at Our Lady of Angels in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and it was Lent, the time Catholics gave something up to show God that they loved Him with their whole hearts and souls.

He had given up candy last year and he had stuck with it for the entire Lent. It wasn’t easy, but he showed God that he loved Him and his Son, Jesus Christ, the savior who had died for the sins of the world.

He knew he was a sinner. The nuns and priests had made that clear; man was born in sin and had to work hard to stay good. Nuns had made it clear that boys were bigger sinners than girls, so it was even harder for boys to stay clean of sin.

God the Father was a man. God the Son was a man too. So, men could be good too.

He did have guilt though. He really didn’t get the Third Person of the Trinity, named the Holy Ghost. He couldn’t grasp that at all. Why do we worship a ghost he asked Sister Jerome Drake when he was in second grade. She yelled at him that he had better believe or it was an eternity in Hell.  So, he believed even though he didn’t understand why he believed. Better to believe than not believe, considering Hell.

It was the day before Ash Wednesday and they were all being brought to the church for a pre-Lent confession to wipe away their sins. On this day he should tell God what he was giving up.

“What are you giving up for Lent, young man?” asked the new priest, Father Sullivan.

He had struggled with this for several weeks. He didn’t just want to give up something that was easy like his friends did. His friend Stevie was giving up “torturing my sister” but Stevie had a big hole in that because he defined torture as dumping water on her. All else was not torture.

Jimmy was going to help his father more. Jimmy’s father was the custodian of an apartment building.

But you should give up something that showed God how much He was loved. It had to be something important, something that meant something.

“I am giving up television,” he said. “I am giving up television for Lent, father.”

“Very good,” said Father Sullivan. “You are a child of God for doing that.”

Now, he felt good. It was good to feel good. Not all boys were big sinners. God would see that in him now. He was thrilled going home because he was a “child of God.” He was far, far away from Hell now. He was clean.

For two weeks he did his Lenten duty and he felt so good.

And then King Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World was announced as the movie on Million Dollar Movie for next week.

King Kong? King Kong!

He could hear the announcement because his mother and father watched the Million Dollar Movie every week.

Million Dollar Movie showed the same movie twice a night at 7 o’clock and 10 o’clock all week and usually four times a day on Saturdays and Sundays. It was like going to the movies. You didn’t have to pay. All you needed was a television set.

And now King Kong. Every night and weekends too.

But he had given up television for Lent. He had done it for two weeks already. He was a good Catholic. God liked him. Jesus liked him. And he assumed that that Holy Ghost liked him too, whatever that Holy Ghost was. Now? King Kong on the Million Dollar Movie.

He and his friends had talked about how they would love to watch that movie. All three of them had monster scrap books where they kept clippings of horror and science fiction movies. These clippings came from the newspapers when a new movie was coming out.

“King Kong. The greatest monster of them all,” said Jimmy.

“King Kong! Yeah!” said Stevie.

“Didn’t you give up T.V.?” asked Jimmy.

“Yeah,” he said.

“You’re gonna miss King Kong?” asked Stevie.

“No big deal,” he said.

“We’ve waited our whole lives for this,” said Jimmy.

“No big deal,” he said.

“Screw that,” said Stevie. “Just watch it.”

But he had given up television for Lent. He told Father Sullivan that too. His friends would get to see the greatest monster of them all. And he wouldn’t. Why couldn’t he have just given up candy or tormenting his sister Susan? Did he really have to give something up as important as television?

But he was trying to please God. And God had destroyed whole cities and He even drowned the whole world except for Noah’s family. God made everyone on Earth have to die, too, when Adam and Eve ate a fruit and were running around naked. Kong couldn’t do any of what God could do. God was more powerful.

It was now Friday. In three days, King Kong would be on Million Dollar Movie. Other kids were talking about it at school now, not the girls because they must have something wrong with them. But the boys were. It seems that’s all they talked about.

“I heard King Kong is bigger than a building.”

“He destroys a plane!”

“He kills dinosaurs.”

“He climbs up the Empire State Building.”

“He’s coming. He’s coming right into our lives!

That Friday afternoon after school he went into the church and sat in the back.

Our Lady of Angels church was on Fourth Avenue extending from 72nd to 73rd Street. It was a huge church with immense lights hanging from a high ceiling. It would be hard to hit that ceiling with a baseball, that’s how high it was. When there weren’t many people in the church, everything echoed.

There were always the ladies wearing black praying and lighting candles. They had their stockings rolled under their knees with a big rubber band holding them there.

The school was behind the church. The priests would walk in the area behind the church reading the bible. It was all concrete. You never saw the nuns, except in school or if you were in trouble and you had to work in the convent by scrubbing floors or cleaning the basement.

The nuns stayed in the convent. He didn’t even know if they had a television. What did they do when they weren’t teaching or praying?

He made the sign of the cross. In his head he said, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of, uh, the Holy Ghost.

“Dear God, you know I am a good kid… I hope… and that I do not want to go to Hell with the bad people in the world. I haven’t done too much bad, not like some of the other kids. I hope you know that because you know everything, right? So, you do know that, right?

“I am going to get right to the point. You must be very busy watching everyone to see what to do with them when they die. I don’t want to bother you so I will be quick.

“You see, King Kong is on next week on the Million Dollar Movie. I don’t know if you follow television. It is a movie I have wanted to see my whole life. I have pictures of King Kong in my scrapbook. But now the movie is going to be on.

“I have a problem. I gave up television for Lent. That was to make you and Jesus happy at my sacrifice. Maybe the Holy Ghost would be happy too. I don’t know him that well.

“Father Sullivan…I am sure you know him…was very happy too when I told him.

“I want to see the movie. If I see it, will I go to Hell? Sister Jerome Drake says that anyone who breaks their vows to God, to You, I mean, will probably go to Hell.

“I don’t think that is fair. I mean I am not like Hitler or anything that bad, right? My father fought Hitler in The War so that is good for the whole family, right? That is like Noah, right?

“God, I just want to see King Kong. That’s all. I need to break my vow just a little bit to see him in the movie. I won’t even tell anyone. This will just be between me and you. No one has to know. So, I would break my vow a little but no one has to know.

“I don’t want to go to Hell because I saw King Kong.

“I don’t know how you speak to regular people like me but can you tell me I am okay by doing this? Just tell me in some way if I can do this. Give me a sign. I don’t want to go to Eternal Damnation. Or be drowned.

“I will say a lot of prayers to make up for it too. I will also give to the Church my money that I earn by working in my parents’ store. How about two weeks’ worth?

“Thank you, God. For listening to me.”

He made the Sign of the Cross, stood up and left the church.

He went to church again on Saturday to speak with Father Sullivan in Confession.  “Bless me Father for I have sinned. Actually, not too much this week.” He gave his usual list of teasing his sister, disobeying or thinking of disobeying his parents.

Then, “Father, I gave up television for Lent.”

Father Sullivan said, “That is a wonderful gift to the King of Kings in this time of his trial on Earth.”

“Uh, well, you see, I have been really good these last two weeks. I don’t even listen to the T.V. when my parents are watching it. I keep my head under the pillow if I am awake.”

“Excellent,” said Father Sullivan. “God loves you for this.”

“But King Kong is going to be on Million Dollar Movie next week,” he said. “I have waited my whole life to watch that movie.”

“What are you telling me?” asked Father Sullivan.

“I am thinking of taking a break so I can watch the movie next week.”

Father Sullivan did not respond. There was silence.

“Uh, are you still there?” he said.

Father Sullivan coughed. “You are thinking of breaking your vow to God and to Our Lord Jesus Christ? Is King Kong more important to you than the King of Kings? Our savior?”

“No, but I see that I take this week off, uh, and watch King Kong and then, you know, I get back to not watching television after that. So, I am only missing a week.”

“You going to watch the movie every night next week?” asked Sullivan.

“Well, it’s on twice each night but I’d only be watching at seven o’clock except maybe Friday I can watch it twice if my parents let me.”

“And your parents will allow you to break your promise to God?”

“Uh, no, I haven’t told them I want to do this,” he said. “You know, I thought I’d talk to you first.”

“You are Judas! You are the man who betrayed Christ to death, if you do this. You are the soldiers hammering the nails into Christ’s hands and feet and stabbing him with a spear in his side and blood and water flowed from the wound. You see Mary, God’s mother, standing at the foot of the cross watching her beloved son die a horrible death.”

“Uh, Jesus does, you know, rise from the dead,” he said to the priest.

“You are a bad person if you do this,” said Father Sullivan.

Now, the big question. He had steeled himself for this question.

“If I do this, Father, will I be condemned to Hell for all eternity?”

Sullivan was silent.




“Say five Our Fathers and ten hail Mary’s,” said Father Sullivan. “Young man, your soul is in danger. You will be bathed in blood. You will become an atheist.” Father Sullivan slammed the screen shut.

He waited a moment and then left the Confessional. He knelt at the altar railing and whispered his penance.

Would he go to Hell if he violated his promise about Lent? Was he Judas? What did it mean to be “bathed in blood” he wondered? What was an atheist?

Billy, another friend from down the avenue, whose father also owned a television shop, didn’t even have to do Lent because he was a Protestant. Yes, Billy would go to Hell eventually because he was a Protestant but at least in this life Billy could have more fun. He’d be watching King Kong without worrying about Eternal Damnation.

If he gave in and watched King Kong?

He wouldn’t give in.

He didn’t give in.

He continued his Lenten vow.

At the end of his junior year at St. John’s Prep High School, where he had a full scholarship for sports, he became an atheist.





Awesome Monsters in Awful Movies


I make no bones about it; I love monster movies. Yes, indeed, I do.

Still many monster movies that are awful have terrific monsters in them. These monsters have become somewhat legendary even though the movie or movies in which they appear are terrible. Here are a few awesome monsters in awful movies:

The Blob: This 1958 movie is the pits. It has a bunch of annoying 1950s teenagers that you want to see killed immediately. Yes, it does star a young Steve McQueen but other than that, the only thing it has going for it is the Blob. And what a great creature the Blob is!

Coming down in a cheesy meteor, the Blob was a small, gelatinous mass (akin to red jello) that attached itself to some dull, old, drunken guy who lived in a old, ramshackle house deep in the old woods. The Blob attaches itself to the old guy’s arm and starts eating him slowly. When he dies, it is no loss.

When the Blob has finished devouring the old guy and it has grown proportionally, it eats a doctor and then begins to eat dogs and other townspeople. Finally, the monstrous Blob gets into a movie theater and all hell breaks loose. How can they kill the beast? Don’t worry the annoying teenagers have figured out a way!

Yeah, they freeze the damn thing and the movie ends with the question of whether the Blob will return. (It does…in more awful movies.)

But this monster is a great idea. If it keeps eating it can devour almost all living things on the entire earth. Wow! A wonderful concept; the entire earth consumed by a look-alike to the dessert you get in a hospital. The movie is awful but the Blob is awesome.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon: A 1954 movie about a creature from—where else?—the Black Lagoon. It was originally presented in 3D and I saw it way back when, but the only thing I can remember from that viewing was some hand stuck in a rock of a mountain range of some type. I have seen it several times now in 2D as an adult. The movie rots in either format.

Even as a kid, I had to stifle the yawns until the creature actually appeared. It was the gill man, partly a water creature but with a human physique.

The creature fell in love with one of those pretty 1950s women who enjoyed swimming in a dark, murky lagoon somewhere in the Amazon jungle. Okay, so women back then were portrayed as idiots but I really didn’t care. They were pretty and that was enough for me. It was also enough for the creature who took to her immediately. In the Black Lagoon there was a dearth pretty gill girls.

Needless to say, he tries to kidnap her and make her his bride (or whatever such horny creatures made women in the Amazon) but he is stopped and then brought to civilization and, like King Kong, things did not go well for him.

This is one great monster and he appears in two more films, each worse than the one before. The creature is 0 for 3 in movies but he is a memorable guy.

Christopher Lee as Dracula in a host of movies: Christopher Lee played Dracula in a host of movies beginning with the quite good Horror of Dracula (1958), a Hammer films production. Then he made sequel after sequel, each one suckier than the one before it.

Lee was a magnificent Dracula; tall, sexy, masculine, who commanded every scene in which he appeared, even in movies that should have been eaten by the Blob.

I will still occasionally watch the Horror of Dracula, a movie that pits Lee’s consummate Dracula against Peter Cushing’s intense Dr. Van Helsing. These two were great in one movie that was worth watching until Hammer’s Dracula vehicle went steadily and speedily downhill. But Lee was awesome and I think of him as the best Dracula of all time.

Godzilla: A 1954 film that mimicked the terrific American movie The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953). Admittedly, the movie has a great monster that is 300 to 400 feet tall; a fierce creature that can spew fire, but the movie itself goes up in smoke. The American producers dumped Raymond Burr into the film as a narrating American journalist for American audiences and based on his performance, Burr deserved what the teenagers in The Blob deserved. Until recent Godzilla movies, the entire series of Japanese films starring Godzilla as well as movies featuring other truly awesome monsters (Rodan among them) unfortunately need to be dumped into the radioactive part of the ocean from whence Godzilla obviously came. The awesome monsters cannot overcome a terrible screenplay, bad directing and lousy acting.

May modern filmmakers hear my prayer and give awesome monsters the films they deserve!

Frank’s web site is His books are available from, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.




The Empire State Building is Still the Tallest!


It is now common knowledge that the Empire State Building is listed as the 38th tallest building in the world. It isn’t even considered the tallest building in New York City anymore, having given way to the One World Trade Center, which is 1776 feet high and is in sixth place on the world’s tallest-buildings list.

Yes, look at the list and check out how many of the tallest buildings are in China and in the Middle East. Supposedly the United States just can’t reach for the sky anymore. We have been surpassed by a host of buildings-come-lately.

Utter nonsense! The Empire State Building is still the tallest building in the world—without question.

How do I know that the Empire State Building is the world’s tallest? Because King Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, clearly demonstrated this.

Do not fall into the logic-trap by saying that King Kong is merely a fictional character in a 1933 fiction movie bearing his name. In fiction there is often massive truth and King Kong, the movie, and more importantly, King Kong the character, actually transcend all time limits.

He was the most powerful beast that ever lived and he climbed the world’s tallest, strongest building, New York’s now iconic Empire State Building, where he met his doom. What damage was this massive, super-powerful beast able to inflict on the building? None.

Now go to the Internet and look at the 37 buildings that claim to be taller than the Empire State Building. Can you picture any of them standing up to the power of Kong? Of course you can’t! None of these buildings could withstand the mighty simian.

Look at these buildings: mostly glass and steal and some concrete. Kong would have put his hand through all of them. They are fragile compared to his strength! I doubt he would have gotten a quarter of the way up their sides before his destructive power would have stopped him as the building started to crumble.

Keep in mind that the only fictional character to ever go up the side of today’s supposedly tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, was action star Tom Cruise who busted a window to get back inside the structure. Tom Cruise versus King Kong? Come on now. Yes, Cruise is a fine action-actor, but Kong would have squished him. At any time Kong could have crashed through the façade of the Burj Khalifa, something he could not do to the Empire State Building.

There stands the case: King Kong could practically level today’s tallest buildings but he could do no damage to the truly greatest of them all—The Empire State Building, the structural equivalent to the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Kong clearly demonstrated what was—and is—the tallest, mightiest building in the world.

So don’t be fooled by today’s statistics of the tallest buildings on earth; as Mark Twain once wrote, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Take that quote to heart.

Frank’s books are available on, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores. Follow Frank on his web site at

The Best and Worst of the Big Monster Movies

They are big, some gigantic, and most have bad personalities because they kill people and destroy cities and other sites. Yes, these creatures can be experienced in full glory (gory) in our big monster movies.

Which are the best of those movies? Which are the worst? Which have great ideas for monsters but the movies these monsters are in just don’t cut the mustard. Here goes:

The Best Big Monster Movies 

  1. King Kong (1933): This movie is magical for me. Modern movie goers might sniff at the special effects but to me the seediness and fog create a truly other world. I’m sure you know the story; it’s about a giant gorilla that falls in love with a beautiful woman named Ann Darrow played by the truly beautiful Fay Wray. Robert Armstrong is the fast talking movie director who takes her on a journey to an unknown but forbidden world of Skull Island where they meet Kong, the gorilla god. Kong enjoys killing and eating the natives…until he meets her and falls in love. Kong is no match for the chloroform that renders him paralyzed. He is taken to the big city, New York, to be exhibited on Broadway and he ultimately meets his fate – to die from airplane shots as he stands atop the Empire State Building. His fall crushes him. A cop says, “The airplanes got him.” But Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) replies, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.” Wow! Magic!
  2. King Kong (2005): Now this is arrogance. Producer/Director Peter Jackson had the gall to think he could remake King Kong. Can you believe that? Did he really think his special effects of dinosaurs and his rendering of a 25-foot tall gorilla along with stars such as Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody could bring the real King Kong back from the dead? Other King Kongs had been tried before this and what happened? I can’t even remember the names of those movies without looking them up. Jackson, Jackson, Mr. Peter Jackson – what did you do? Here’s what. You in fact created a brilliant movie that takes us back in time to the 1930’s and lays out the Kong story wonderfully. Not a false step in this movie from cinematography, direction, special effects and acting, each perfectly in its place. Jackson’s King Kong brings back King Kong!
  3. Jurassic Park (1993): I certainly do have a thing for dinosaurs and Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park brings us dinosaurs aplenty. How scary can dinosaurs be? Very scary! The movie equals Michael Crichton’s book in excitement and terror. I usually hate movies with children having leads (I rooted for the shark in Jaws II) but this movie puts the young ones in real trouble and we root for them to be saved. Oh there is a great fat villain (all villains are better if they are fat, right Mr. Potter?) and he screws up everything because of his greed. Terrific movie with good sequels as well.
  4. Jurassic World (2015): There are two separate iterations of the Jurassic Park story. We have the first trilogy ending in 2001. Then we have a second one starting in 2015 that picks up where the first trilogy let us off. This is the beginning of what will be the second trilogy and it is excellent as it introduces a manmade dinosaur called the Indominus Rex which is slightly bigger and slightly meaner than even the T-Rex. It kills for fun, not just to eat. We have somewhat tamed raptors and a great cast trying to save everything as everything falls apart again. Yes, we do have some teenagers in lead rolls but once again they do a fine job. Join the fun and excitement but don’t get eaten.
  5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018): This is the second movie in the current trilogy (the third movie will be coming soon) and the writers do us an unusual favor: they start with a “big bang” opening which is usually the “big bang” closing of a big-budget movie. The island where the dinosaurs live is about to be destroyed by a volcano. There is no stopping it. Our main heroes (played by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) try to help out in capturing and saving as many of those dinosaurs as they can but they are betrayed by another bunch of greedy bastards. Ba-boom! The volcano blows and all hell breaks loose on the island. Some dinosaurs are saved and brought back to civilization where we see the machinations of the greedy ones in all their ill-splendor. Now, the intricate story reveals itself. Can a house – even a very large house – house so many dinosaurs? Oh, yes, and they ultimately get their chance to run rampant. And we get another new dinosaur as well. And cloning too! Join the fun as dinosaurs are let loose on the modern world in the closing scene.
  6. Lost World: Jurassic Park II (1997): This movie is the sequel to Jurassic Park and it ends with a T-Rex running wildly in, of all places, San Diego. Lesson to be learned is do not leave your dog tied up in the backyard. That T-Rex is looking for its offspring. Lost World: Jurassic Park II has shades of the movie Gorgo in its theme but this movie is handled well in stark contrast to Gorgo, a rotten movie. Jeff Goldblum reiterates his character Ian Malcolm, ably abetted by Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn and a great team of villains. Doesn’t have the full kick of Jurassic Park but it is still a super movie. What do you think happens to the lead villain?
  7. Jurassic Park III (2001): An annoying boy falls from the sky as his mother’s annoying boyfriend takes him on a parasailing trip above the dinosaur island. Shouldn’t this annoying adult know better? The annoying kid’s parents, played by William H. Macy (prior to his real-life wife allegedly bribing a college to let their daughter in) and Tea Leoni, convince Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neal) to go back to the island. He soon discovers what’s really happening. They are hunting for their annoying son. A new dinosaur is introduced, the Spinosaurus Aegypticus which kills a T-Rex in a one-on-one battle and ultimately comes after them. Also a bunch of raptors wants them because one of their company, an annoying 20-something, stole some raptor eggs. There is drama and also running galore. Fun movie which would have ended the franchise except the franchise rediscovered itself and thankfully continues.
  8. Mighty Joe Young (1998): Look, I like movies with giant gorillas. Maybe in some alternative earth we humans evolved into such creatures. Jill Young (played by Charlize Theron) raises a giant mountain gorilla – maybe about half the size of Kong – and she brings it to civilization because she is convinced by a zoologist played by Bill Paxton that her monstrous pet is in danger in that part of the mountain. Nothing goes right once they make it to Los Angeles as the bad guys (there are almost always bad guys when you love a gorilla) try to capture Mighty Joe Young who now escapes the zoo and goes somewhat nuts in the streets of Los Angeles. Unlike King Kong, the story ends happily so the kids can watch this, although the opening scene is somewhat scary as poachers (the bad guys) kill some peaceful gorillas.
  9. Cloverfield (2008): A giant monster or two from space lands on earth. How? Why? What the hell is going on here? We are not exactly sure of the answers to these questions but the monsters and their offspring wreck New York City big time. I mean these monsters knock over whole skyscrapers, It is shot with a hand-held camera by one of the characters in the movie; a filming technique that can often make the viewer sick to his or her stomach but this movie, thankfully, is done with the idea that the creators don’t want members of the audience vomiting on other members of the audience as that would hurt popcorn sales. The movie starts off somewhat slowly until wham! all hell breaks loose.
  10. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953): Forget Godzilla because without this movie Godzilla and all those insects, worms, rodents, turtles, moths and other radiated creatures that grew to massive sizes wouldn’t exist. This is the first and clearly the best of those radiated beasts that is brought forth from atomic-bomb testing in the arctic to invade one of our cities and destroy parts of it and, yes, to also to creep us out. The special effects are quite good for its time period and when that monster eats the cop, oh, my god! Kenneth Tobey is the second lead and many of you who love those old movies think of him as a friend who is, sadly, almost always in danger from those things on the attack.
  11. Them (1954): Many of you have had ants in your house (my oldest son once had red ants in his pants – no lie). Perhaps you had carpenter ants trying to redesign your cabinets. That’s nothing compared to these rascals; radiated ants that become almost as big as houses. Future Gunsmoke star James Arness battles them in the desert and then in the sewer system of Los Angeles. Special effects are okay but the story about those miserable ants holds up well. You will need a lot of Raid to get rid of these buggers if they ever do attack.
  12. Mighty Joe Young (1949): The original with Terry Moore as the young Jill Young who is convinced to bring her ape to the big city by, come on, guess who? That’s right Robert Armstrong of King Kong fame. Seems this guy is always angling to make money off these immense simians. Things go wrong (yes, the always do) and Joe Young goes ape in a lavish nightclub. Just before that, the heavyweight champion, the huge Primo Carnera, punches Joe Young a few times with no effect and then the poor fighter is hurled across the nightclub. But don’t worry; this movie has a happy ending.
  13. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Truly stupid premise for the movie but the producers had to get these monsters all together in one epic monster-fighting-monster film. And the pacing and fights are great. The special effects are superb as Godzilla battles Rodan and the supremely powerful alien monster King Ghidorah. Yes, Godzilla does get some help from his friend Mothra. The fact that we accept the fact that such gigantic monsters are wrecking Boston (and Fenway Park no less!) how can a stupid moth be so strong and clever? Makes no sense. As I said, this is a stupid theme that nature needs to right itself because humans are destroying Earth and by sending us monsters that destroy whole cities everything will come out okay. Seriously? The villains are a man and a woman and soldiers constantly willing to die to push forward whatever they think they are getting paid to push. A minimum wage job would be better than this.
  14. Godzilla (2014): Godzilla fights two ancient monsters dubbed MUTOs for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms and he has a hell of a time defeating them. Great scenes of them fighting although we should have seen how these beasts destroyed Las Vegas as we only see what they did as opposed to watching them do it. This is the first iteration of the dumb theme of Godzilla being the beast that rights the wrongs humans have done to planet Earth. If he keeps this up humans will be back living in caves.
  15. Godzilla (1998): This movie has some good points as the monster, with a totally different look from the traditional Godzilla, is frightening and fast. He doesn’t breathe fire and he is pregnant. Yes, he is pregnant as this new spawn of the radioactive age is born pregnant. He is called “he” in the movie for some reason as opposed to her but that’s not my fault now is it? Matthew Broderick is excellent as the lead and Jean Reno is also excellent as the French secret-service agent who knows exactly where and how this Godzilla arose. However, Broderick’s cutesy-poo girlfriend is an awful character in the movie and detracts from every scene in which she appears. That one character almost made me put this movie into the eat-some-popcorn and you can kind-off kind-of enjoy this movie. But the flow of this Godzilla and the special effects did it for me.

What About All Those Japanese Monsters?

I did some homework for this article and I watched the original Godzilla with subtitles; it stunk. Then I watched the dubbed American version with Raymond Burr added as narrator to give an American flavor to the picture. It stunk too. I didn’t mind that the special effects were toy cars, toy tanks, toy armored vehicles and toy planes and crappy destruction of buildings but the total impact got me sneering. Sorry if I offend Godzilla fans. You may have liked these Godzilla films when you were a kid but now? Come on; grow up already.

You want a radiated monster? Go with the The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms upon which all the radiated monster films are based.

And what about Rodan and Mothra and King Kong and the rest of the Japanese monsters? All those movies stunk too. Japan made good cars but lousy radiated-monster films.

Movies You Might Enjoy with Buttered Popcorn

Your popcorn must be buttered with real, slightly salted butter. Then you can probably sit through these movies without screaming at the set: “Why can’t they make good monster movies?” The “they” in the previous sentence is anyone who makes these monster movies. I don’t have them in any order of non-greatness

20 Million Miles to Earth (1957): Alien creature keeps growing and finally fights a gigantic elephant.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955): Kenneth Tobey in this one. A big octopus or squid attacks San Francisco. I thought this was a terrible thing to happen to this city until I recently visited San Francisco and saw the hordes of the homeless.

Kong: Skull Island (2017): They (see above for who “they” are) have made King Kong really, really big; in fact, big enough to fight Godzilla in 2020. I have a theory about that fight and how the two of them become allies to fight against King Ghidorah one of who’s head remained at the end of the Godzilla: King of the Monsters movie.

Pacific Rim (2013): Loud and idiotic but big monsters fighting big robots. This will pass the time and might make you deaf.

Rampage (2018): Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson has a big old time of it with his own version of a white King Kong who must fight two other giant monsters, a wolf and an alligator or crocodile because I can’t figure which is which when it comes to these animals lizards.

Shin Godzilla (2018): Yes, an actual Japanese Godzilla film that is somewhat watchable. Get past the opening baby Godzilla which looks like a toy and instead enjoy how the bureaucracy in Japan is just as idiotic as the one in the United States.

Super 8 (2011): An alien monster screws up a movie being made by a bunch of kids. Watchable.

Awful Movie with a Great Monster

There is one awful big monster movie that has a monster that is terrific. Isn’t it sad to see a great monster in a rotten movie? The blob in the movie titled, well, The Blob (1958) is wonderful.

This jelly/jello monster sucks up humans by the crateful and grows to enormous proportions. Except for seeing the future superstar Steve McQueen in an early roll – all you can think when this movie ends is “ah, blob, you could’ve been a contender instead of a tomato can.” (The remake of The Blob in 1988 is a passable picture but some of the comic sequels are so bad I don’t think you can find them to view them anymore.) The blob’s grave is somewhere in the arctic. If you see it why not place some flowers on what might have been.

The Following Movies Stink to the Seventh Heaven

In mythology the seventh heaven is where god resides. The following movies are so bad their stench wafts its way to god’s nostrils. No order to their stench in this list:

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

The Beast from Hollow Mountain (1956)

Gorgo (1961)

The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Tremors (1990) and all its sequels

Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

The Giant Claw (1957)

Reptilicus (1961)

I’ve seen many more bad big-monster movies but these I’ve dug out of my memory. Tread carefully with bad monster movies as they can rot your brain. I have firsthand experience with that.

(All Frank’s book are available on, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.)