Kong, Godzilla and the Living Earth

Gaian Environmentalism in Daikaiju Cinema

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About the Book

During the 2010s, science fiction’s immortal adversaries Kong and Godzilla, representing our psychological paleolithic conflict per Carl Sagan’s “dream dragons” analogy, made comebacks in American cinema. The blockbuster Kaiju resurged onto the silver screen, depicting these solemn protectors of an Earth plagued by mankind’s technological hubris, folly and fury. With Earth’s future inevitably hanging in the balance, their climactic 2021 staging settled a score between the two giant monsters, resolving Toho’s classic 1963 film King Kong vs. Godzilla.
As formidable creatures emerging from Time’s Tomb and bowels of Mother Earth, metaphorical Kong and Godzilla are considered here in light of New Millennial environmentalism’s stark reality. This book, nostalgic in tone, scours the meaning of Kong and Godzilla as planetary saviors—Titanic protectors of a theoretical “living Earth” Gaia—defending the globe from a prehistoric plague of adversaries symbolic of a self-destructive Medean entity.

About the Author(s)

Allen A. Debus, a retired environmental chemist, has long been infatuated with dinosaurs, paleontology, science fiction, Godzilla and King Kong. He’s authored several books addressing prehistoric creatures—both real and fictional—in popular culture, and attends Chicagoland’s Wizard World and G-Fest. He lives in Hanover Park, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Allen A. Debus
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 45 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8721-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4653-4
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Allen Debus’s newest abounds with perceptive, well-informed prose exploring the intersection between Gaia’s apocalyptic overtones and Legendary’s Kong and Godzilla clashes. Nostalgia plus insight—a win-win combination!”—Mike Bogue, author of Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951–1967

• “Another deep dive into the shrouded origins and hidden meanings of giant monster movies that other scholars often miss, this book proves once again that nobody does it better than Debus when it comes to deconstructing dai-kaiju eiga!”—John LeMay, author of Kong Unmade: The Lost Films of Skull Island and The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films

• “More than 99.99 percent of every species that has ever lived on this planet is extinct. Extinction seems to be, not something evil, but the inevitable fate for all living things, giving way to something else. Will Homo sapiens be next in line for extinction, succeeded by some other dominant form of life—i.e., the Kaiju? Read Allen Debus’ latest book, then decide for yourself.”—Donald F. Glut, author of Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia