The current edition of my movie marathon book claims that box sets don’t make for good 24-hour movie marathons because, among other reasons, none of them have runtimes long enough to support a 24-hour movie marathon.
However, childhood memories of guys in rubber suits wrestling each other came bubbling up, and a quick internet search confirmed it – Godzilla is one of the longest running film franchises with an astounding 28 films. 15 were made between 1954 to 1975 (the “Shōwa” series), seven between 1984-1995 (“Heisei” series), and six between 1999 and 2004 (the “Millennium” series).
The Godzilla Movies
Here is the complete list with movie length in minutes (Your mileage may vary. These are the Japanese version times):
My take: The movie that started it all. Despite how hokey many of the entries in the franchise would get, this movie was filmed with utmost seriousness and gravity. To get the full effect, seek out the original Japanese version, not the splice-and-dice American version starring Raymond Burr.
Runtime: 82 minutes
My take: Godzilla is back and fighting Anguirus, a giant, prehistoric….hedgehog? Unusually spiky Armadillo? Spoiler alert: After this movie Godzilla and Anguirus are best friends who have lots of adventures fighting other monsters.
My take: King Kong gets a 3x-5x size boost and lightning powers for some reason to take on the big G. Legend has it who wins depends on what release you are watching.
My take: Mothra is a giant moth. Thus, is the lamest of the giant monsters. Sure, she’s got those two fairy girl sidekicks and an island full of worshippers. Plus, she’s got cocoon spinner powers and whatever that magic dust stuff is. But c’mon. That versus atomic fire breath? Please. Mothra would fly right into it. Its her nature!
My take: Godzilla takes on his coolest foe: a three-headed space dragon. Oh wait, did I say Godzilla? I meant a trio of monsters take him on: Rodan, Mothra, AND Godzilla. A sweet classic Godzilla smackdown.
My take: Aliens control some of the giant monsters in a bid to take over earth. A highly non-memorable entry in the franchise.
My take: Godzilla takes on a rogue island nation and its guard-crab. Oh, and Mothra is in it too. This movie was goofy enough to get the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.
My take: Godzilla has a son! Which means Godzilla is a female, right? Who reproduces asexually? And how did an egg that size come out of Godzilla’s rear end anyway? Oh, and they battle giant preying mantises. Because why not?
My take: All monsters in the franchise get controlled by aliens (again) but this time they are all fighting!! Awesome!
My take: Don’t get too excited by the title. This movie is all about a boy who is bullied and imagines how Godzilla and his son are strong and stuff and don’t let themselves get bullied in stock footage of earlier Godzilla movies. Also features “King Ceasar” – a furry lion-monkey monster thing.
My take: Godzilla goes all Captain Planet on us and fights a monster made of pollution. Hands down the weirdest Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen.
My take: King Ghidorah returns with a new space friend: Gigan! Gigan is…a cyborg with hooks for arms, a buzz saw for a front, flight powers, and a laser cyclops eye. And fins. Gotta have speed fins. Why? I guess this is our alien overlords’ ultimate weapon. They don’t stand a chance.
My take: The most awesomely cheesy Godzilla movie of all time. This movie comes complete with heroic robot sidekick Jet Jaguar and villains Megalon (a giant cockroach with drill hands) and Gigan again – mostly because they could reuse stock footage of Gigan fighting Godzilla. Another Mystery Science Theater 3000 favorite!
My take: Ape aliens with infinite resources construct a ridiculously inefficient weapon: Mechagodzilla. Godzilla has to team up with Angulus and King Seesar to defeat him.
My take: The last of the Shōwa series returns somewhat to the darker roots of the original, but still has giant goofy monsters like the newly minted “Titanosaurus”.
My take: Godzilla is back with the same basic formula as the original, but updated with 1980s technology and geopolitics. Fun fact: the Russian launches the nuke in the American version but tries to stop the nuke from launching in the Japanese version.
My take: Godzilla vs….a very large and angry plant. Not just any plant mind you. It is a plant infused with the essence of Godzilla and the spirit of some dead girl or some nonsense.
My take: Sure its a retread of the original, but everyone knows reboots are better than the original right? Features a dude poetically killed by the very same monster that saved him decades ago. Ironic.
My take: At this point, I think you know about my feelings about Mothra.
My take: I’m glad the United Nations is finally getting proactive about the whole Godzilla and Rodan thing and building some counter-measures. Sure, they built Mechagodzilla which seems to be about as effective as the Death Star in achieving goals, but at least they are trying.
Also, baby Godzilla goes through a cute phase and the UN builds another giant robot about as effective as the first.
My take: Sure, I’ve made a few snarky comments about the other movies in the Heisei series. But I loved this one. Godzilla…is melting down! Now the G-force has to focus not so much on defeating Godzilla, but getting him the heck out of town before he blows up! Novel concept, done well. Lots of fun.
My take: Godzilla series reboot of little note. Move along.
My take: Novel solution to the Godzilla problem: trap him in an artificial black hole. Unfortunately, all lessons learned from Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla have been forgotten because the series rebooted (remember?). Out pops Meganuron bug monsters and the fight is on!
My take: Role reversal! King Ghidorah and Baragon awaken to protect Japan against Godzilla, who is now less an impersonal force of nature and more of a personal, vengeful god.
My take: Mechagodzilla built to protect against Godzilla….blah blah blah – oh wait – Mechagodzilla is going crazy and turns on its masters! Will Godzilla be able to (more or less) save the day?
My take: And Mechagodzilla and Mothra again. I’m hankering for some new kaiju to be added to the series at this point.
My take: Godzilla takes on a litany of monsters around the world dispatched by the evil Xillian alien race. Features Godzilla smacking down “Zilla” (Godzilla from American 1998 movie) in mere seconds.
The Godzilla Movie Marathon Schedules
That is a grand total of 2,657 minutes (44.3 hours) of Tokyo-stomping, atomic-breath firing, rubber monster action. If you assume a 15 minute break in between each movie, then you tack on 420 extra minutes (7 hours) of break time. So all told, a Godzilla movie marathon would be a crushing 51.3 hours long (heh – “crushing” – get it?).
However, with a little creativity, you could still make the Godzilla franchise fit into the 24-hour movie marathon format. The Shōwa series is 1,314 minutes (21.9 hours) long. If you squeezed the break time between the movies to an average of 9 minutes each, you would end up with a 24-hour movie marathon like so:
|02:00 PM||Godzilla Raids Again|
|03:30 PM||King Kong vs. Godzilla|
|05:15 PM||Mothra vs. Godzilla|
|06:45 PM||Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster|
|08:30 PM||Invasion of the Astro-Monster|
|10:30 PM||Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster|
|12:00 AM||Son of Godzilla|
|01:30 AM||Destroy All Monsters|
|03:00 AM||All Monsters Attack|
|04:15 AM||Godzilla vs. Hedorah|
|05:45 AM||Godzilla vs. Gigan|
|07:30 AM||Godzilla vs. Megalon|
|09:00 AM||Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla|
|10:30 AM||Terror of Mechagodzilla|
The same is true for the combination of the Heisei series (732 minutes) and Millenium series (621 minutes). With an average of eight minute breaks between these 13 movies, you have yourself 22.5 hours of movies, 1.7 hours of break, and a 24-hour movie marathon!
|12:00 PM||The Return of Godzilla|
|02:00 PM||Godzilla vs. Biollante|
|04:00 PM||Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah|
|05:45 PM||Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth|
|07:30 PM||Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II|
|09:30 PM||Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla|
|11:30 PM||Godzilla vs. Destoroyah|
|01:15 AM||Godzilla 2000: Millennium|
|03:15 AM||Godzilla vs. Megaguirus|
|05:00 AM||Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack|
|06:45 AM||Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla|
|08:15 AM||Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.|
|10:00 AM||Godzilla: Final Wars|
One minor problem with this idea is getting all of the movies. I could not find a full box set of any of the 3 series on Amazon.com. The best I could find is this handy listmania list of Godzilla DVDs available on Amazon.com.
So now you know you can. But will you? Could you survive the relentless onslaught of Godzilla?
Any who have, or will, please comment and brag(?) appropriately.
UPDATE: 18 July 2017 – Added movie marathon schedule tables. Also, check out this report from The Flickering Myth – a group of people who completed a 15-movie Godzilla movie marathon. Go team!