The Beasts of Heaven and Earth

Akira Kurosawa wanted to direct a Godzilla movie.

The director of such classics as Rashoman and The Seven Samurai was a fan of kaiju flicks. I imagine they fit well with his dreamlike imagery and fascination with nature and weather. Godzilla — and all of the giant monsters — are manifestations of natural forces beyond human comprehension or control.

The bean counters at Toho sank the idea, as Kurosawa was notorious for going over budget. That he was also notorious for being brilliant made no never mind. And so the world is short one amazing monster movie.

Lamenting the lack of Godzilla films may seem silly, as there are  over 60 but it still makes one wonder a bit at what could have been.

Someone who did direct several Godzilla movies was Ishiro Honda, friend of Kurosawa and director of classic sci-fi/monster movies as Matango, The Mysterians, and The H-Man. Pick a your favorite Japanese monster movie form the 60s and 70s and chances are Honda was the director. About giant monsters he said, “Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy, that is their tragedy.”

About the same time Kurosawa was trying on a rubber monster suit in Japan, Sherwood Schwartz, in America, was plotting ways to strand a bunch of idiots on a deserted island. The island was in the South Pacific, or so we’re told. That’s a large area and Weather can be weird. It’s never been stated just where our castaways ended up but it’s possible that they were blown further off course than even they suspected and ended up in the Polynesians.

There are numerous tiny volcanic islands there and it’s easy to get lost. One such island has, for generations of locals, been the home numerous tales of strange creatures and monstrous shapes looming in the mist.

Anyone familiar with the Mothra films knows that one of these islands is home to a unique indigenous culture with some peculiar religious icons and a secretive caste of tiny priestesses. It’s possible our castaways could have landed there instead. If they had, Giligan’s shenanigans would have been the least of their worries.

A major concern among island nations today is the rising sea levels and erratic weather caused by global warming. The changes in sea temperature have upset the migration and breading patterns of fish and other animals and seen an influx of non-native species, drawn further afield by warmer climates and changing weather patterns. A few years ago, all the bees started to go missing. Not just die off, but vanish.

No one ever did find a satisfactory explanation for this.

I bet Sherwood Schwartz and Ishiro Honda would find this all very interesting. I know I do. Kurosawa would too of course, but he would probably be distracted by other matters, leaving the rubber suits and dreams of nature gone mad for others to play with.