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50 Greatest Godzilla Moments

Bells And Whistles

The Moment: In Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), scientists create an armoured version of Godzilla, Kiryu (the "Machine Dragon"), only to see it go rogue and wipe out Tokyo with shoulder-mounted missiles, hand cannons and other hardcore weaponry.

Why It's Great: The spirit of the 1954 original lives on, as mankind's hubris comes back to bite it on the ass in the form of an unstoppable, pissed-off giant threat. Only this time he comes with added bells and whistles.

Saving The Best For Last

The Moment: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) - to date the last Japanese film - sees Godzilla battle just about every kaiju of note, before a climactic duel with the baddest of them all: Keizer Ghidorah.

Why It's Great: It's an inevitable set-piece but a welcome one, and a fitting end (so far) to a half-century of Japanese kaiju battles.

Not Alone

The Moment: In 1955's Godzilla Raids Again , two men stumble across a battle between Godzilla and new foe, horned beast Anguirus.

Why It's Great: The first sequel immediately raises the stakes by revealing that Godzilla isn't the only prehistoric threat to mankind. The kaiju genre is truly born here.

Switching Sides

The Moment: In 2001's Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (better known by fans as GMK ), kaiju royalty Mothra and Ghidorah are called upon to stop Godzilla's latest assault on Tokyo.

Why It's Great: What? Ghidorah is a good guy? Here's proof of the versatility of the long-running saga, as Godzilla's bad-ass credentials are restored, and then some, by having his most deadly foe on our side for once.

Drop Kick

The Moment: During the titular dust-up at the end of Godzilla Vs Megalon (1973), our lizard hero executes a has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed drop kick on his opponent by travelling at speed while balanced only on his tail.

Why It's Great: Godzilla is so psyched he does a little backwards run, puts up his fists and does the drop kick again .

Start Spreading The News

The Moment: Just to show he doesn't just have it in for the Japanese, Destroy All Monsters (1968) sees Godzilla travel across the globe to attack New York.

Why It's Great: As Godzilla's first attack on American soil, this predates Roland Emmerich by two decades, while also establishing the creature's fondness for making things difficult. Wouldn't it be easier, geographically speaking, to swim across the Pacific and attack America's west coast?

Flower Power

The Moment: A mad scientist combines Godzilla's DNA with a rose, creating a terrifying new threat for our lizard friend in Godzilla Vs Biollante (1989).

Why It's Great: The first Godzilla film made after David Cronenberg's The Fly , this sees the series flirting with genetic horror to create a new kaiju that couldn't be more relevant to the 1980s. That Biollante is scary as hell is a bonus.

Beware Of Vengeful Babies

The Moment: The titular scrap in Mothra Vs Godzilla (1964) ends with the latter victorious, but Godzilla hasn't counted on Mothra's offspring being mightily pissed off at their mother's death. The larvae trap him in silk spray until he collapses into the ocean, beaten.

Why It's Great: During the kaiju heyday of the 1960s, Toho couldn't allow any one monster to be unbeatable, so the outcome of any given film was never predictable.

Slam!

The Moment: How can Godzilla get the upper hand over the giant dino-dragonfly that is Megaguirus in Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000)? By executing an extreme body slam, of course.

Why It's Great: The production team know this is ludicrous and don't try to hide it, giving us the joyful sight of Megaguirus looking up and seeing Godzilla plummet back to earth very slowly.

Time Travel!

The Moment: In Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), visitors from the future (helpfully called Futurians) announce that they can help Japan travel back in time to avert the creation of Godzilla.

Why It's Great: A complex plot helps to explain for good that the Godzilla seen since the post-1984 reboot is in fact a second Godzilla accidentally created during the Futurians' evil scheme.