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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Zombie Apocalypse" is Dead, "Kaiju Apocalypse" Looming

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One of biggest Horror/Sci-fi trends in the last few years has been a boom in zombie movies. Inspired by the original "Night of the Living Dead", movies about the re-animated dead in masses, with a hunger for human flesh have been all the rage in Hollywood, from highbrow movies like, "28 Days Later", to dark comedies like "Shaun of the Dead". Strangest of all are the
Zombie Romances such as, "Warm Bodies". All of this reached a peak with the immensely popular "Walking Dead" TV show and "World War Z" with Brad Pitt.

We will undoubtedly see more zombie movies, but I think the "Zombie Apocalypse" run is nearing it's end. AMC Theater's Movie Talk show host John Campea said it best, about zombie movies: "They're all the same. They really are." People want something different

Instead, I see a new Apocalypse looming on the horizon. The Kaiju Apocalypse boom has just begun. Movies about giant monsters trampling cities and battling each other are the next big thing. Of course, the word Kaiju or daikaiju comes from Japan and means giant monster. The original "Gojira" was released in 1954 and inspired a whole genre of fantasy films. Godzilla and other kaiju monsters movies and off shoots like Ultraman and Gamera are adored by fans worldwide.

The kaiju fever started with the release of "Pacific Rim", Guillermo del Toro's story of giant "mecha" robots fighting invading monsters. But that was just the herald announcing the return of the king. Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla" opens in theaters May 16. Legendary Pictures has promised a truer adaptation of the King of the Monsters than the disappointing American film by Ronald Emmerich. But that's not all! There is a kaiju TV show in development, "Enormous" adapted from the comic book series. Enormous is about a post apocalyptic future where giant marauding monsters (not zombies)have destroyed civilization.

So, the Kaiju Apocalypse is already in motion. We'll undoubtedly see the continuation of two franchises, Pacific Rim and Godzilla and will inspire lots of imitators. Instead of the living dead chasing and preying on individual humans, we'll be seeing more kaiju causing destruction on a much bigger scale. What's next? How about zombies vs. kaiju? Well, somebody is going to think of it. Let's enjoy the ride.




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