My life has been changed.
This past Tuesday, I went to the Hollywood Theatre to watch a movie in the ongoing Grindhouse Film Festival here in Portland with my friend Scott. This was a movie I remember seeing once when I was much younger (my memory is one of watching this on TV while visiting my grandparents in Arizona one summer afternoon). And it wasn't the kind of movie I really thought I'd ever drift back to.
But when it was announced that a 35mm print of King Kong vs. Godzilla would be playing, I knew I had to go.
And I'm so glad I did.
I'm a zombie movie guy. I love my Hammer Films. I'm a huge fan of horror movies of many different sizes, colors, stripes and eras, but there's been a huge lizard-sized hole in my monster movie experience for years.
The abbreviated version of how I became a monster movie fan involves a young Derek stumbling across the Crestwood House Monster Series of books in the children's section of the local library. My parents took movie ratings pretty seriously, and I wasn't allowed to partake of the scarier films, television or even books, but since these Crestwood books were in the library, I was allowed to take those home, and I devoured them. Each book was devoted to either a specific film or series of films, and while I did read the "Godzilla" edition and was able to etch a few names (Godzilla, Mothra, etc.) into my memory, I didn't really pursue watching all the films.
(One of these days, I'm going to go through eBay and places like Powell's to pick up these books and add them to my shelves. Oddly enough, the only one of this series I currently own is the "King Kong" installment.)
Once I had a car (okay, actually, once I had a driver's license which I could use to set up an account at the video store), I started renting horror movies left and right, but still never got into Godzilla or any of the other kaiju films. Mystery Science Theater 3000 introduced me to Gamera, but other than that, I didn't have much interest in checking out the rubber monster movies.
I feel sad for the younger Derek who didn't get a chance to enjoy these movies earlier. But now that King Kong vs. Godzilla has whet my appetite, I'm looking forward to diving into the Godzilla films. I started listening to Kaijucast, and I can't wait to start watching these movies in order. I haven't done a lot of research yet, but I'd think in the day and age of Blu-ray and region-free DVD players, I should be able to get my hands on most of them, right?