He is the undisputed King of the Monsters, and Bram Stoker Award ® winning author, Rena Mason, loves him. Of course, we’re talking about Godzilla.
When asked if Godzilla is the greatest monster ever, Mason has a very succinct answer. “Hell, yeah!”
She explained that Godzilla represents everything a monster is: “an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.” The giant creature is more than just nightmare fuel. He metaphorically represents so much more. Godzilla, like so many other classic monsters, has reached beyond his menace to draw attention to numerous ills the world faces. “Godzilla is a monster created from the result of nuclear warfare,” Mason points out. “He represents unknown effects/mutations stemming from that post-nuclear warfare and technological advancement.” At the time Godzilla first emerged from the ocean and started stomping his way through Japan, the world was very concerned with effects of nuclear weapons.
Mason points out that as the franchise surrounding the monster grew, the character of Godzilla grew as well. He changed from an almost mindless killing machine to the protector of those who “had once tried to destroy him.” Mason points out that he shows an “empathy” and adaptation to situations that allow him to survive—“much like Japan” where the king of the monsters was created and crowned.
For Mason, Godzilla is more than a giant monster and metaphor for the dangers of the nuclear age. For her, he represented a culture and people she did not often see on television and movies when she was child. Mason is Thai-Chinese American. Growing up, she saw very few Asians in popular American culture. “I wanted to watch actors and actresses on TV that looked like me, that weren’t caricatures,” she says. This drew her to Godzilla movies, Ultraman, and the late-night kung fu movies. “I believe they have influenced my stories and will continue to do so into the future.”
If it weren’t for an aunt, Mason might have never discovered her beloved Godzilla. When she was 4-years-old, her aunt immigrated from Thailand and stayed with her family. “She would stay up late and watch scary movies,” Mason remembers. One night, 4-year-old Mason crept out of her bedroom and hid around the corner while her aunt watched Godzilla Raids Again: Enter Anguirus. She explains, “After seeing a scene of him tromping through Osaka, I couldn’t sleep for a couple of weeks, thinking that every time I heard a noise, Godzilla was on his way down the street to step on our house.” That was her first “horror” movie and still her favorite Godzilla movie followed by Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964).
Keeping up with nostalgia of remembering how great Godzilla is, Mason says she prefers the rubber suit monster as opposed to the CGI creations. Her favorite Godzilla giant monster fight is the main fight from Ghidorah, The Three-headed Monster. “You just can’t beat Godzilla, Rodan, and Baby Mothra kicking some Ghidorah butt,” she says of the scene and also describing it as “epic!” Mason likes this scene so well that she found a link so that everyone can watch it to enjoy the glory as she does. Here it is:
Mason believes, like many other classic monsters, that Godzilla “will always be around.” She thinks that he will be here to remind people of the dangers of misusing technology and that will make him immortal. “Long live, Godzilla! He’s a monster that truly rocks!”
Mason began writing after a summer of “bad reading”. She describes her writing as “dark fiction that crosses and mashes genres,” but she also writes nonfiction including the Haunted Travels column for the Horror Writers Association’s monthly newsletter. Her award-winning first novel, The Evolutionist, has just come out on audiobook from Encyclopocalypse Publications. Its narrated by Carol Schneider, who “does a stellar job.” Mason has a lot of writing and editing going on right now. A re-release is coming soon as are numerous new stories. If you want to follow what is happening in Mason’s world (and you should), here are her social media links.
(Author Photo by John Urbancik)