With the newest "Godzilla" movie arriving in theaters on May 16, now is a great time to revisit the classic monster movies that made the rampaging creature an icon in its native Japan and around the world. The 2014 "Godzilla" is the latest in a long line of pictures that began in 1954 with the original Japanese movie, "Gojira," which focused more on the nation's collective trauma following World War II than it did on the monster himself. Later films doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled the creature count with new additions like Mothra, Mechagodzilla, and Ghidorah, and the focus shifted squarely from national angst to huge monster battles.
On Netflix Instant -
"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" (1956) - This edited version of the original movie includes Raymond Burr in addition to the Japanese cast.
"Rodan" (1956) - Although not technically a Godzilla movie, this is another memorable Japanese monster picture directed by Ishiro Honda. Rodan does make appearances in later movies with Godzilla and his fellow monsters.
"Godzilla vs. Mothra" (1964) - In this installment, the moth creatures are actually the good guys, fighting against Godzilla to save Tokyo and humanity.
"Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster" (1964) - Mothra, Godzilla, and Rodan have to band together to fight a new alien creature, in spite of their earlier battles against each other.
"Godzilla vs. Monster Zero" (1965) - Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah return for this sequel that also involves aliens from Planet X.
"Godzilla's Revenge" (1969) - In this unusual outing, a bullied child dreams of befriending Godzilla's son,
"Terror of Mechagodzilla" (1975) -Godzilla takes on both Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus in another plot that involves alien schemes to destroy Earth's cities.
On Hulu Plus -
"Gojira" (1954) - This is the original Japanese version of the film, without the insertion of Raymond Burr or additional editing for US audiences.
"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" (1956)
"Godzilla Raids Again" (1955/ US release 1959) - Godzilla and another monster clash in a battle that threatens to destroy Osaka.
"Godzilla vs. The Thing" (1964) - Although the title is different, this is the same movie as "Godzilla vs. Mothra" (also known as "Mothra vs. Godzilla").
"Godzilla vs. Monster Zero" (1965/ US release version 1970)
"Godzilla's Revenge" (1969)
"Godzilla vs. Hedorah" (1971) - Also known as "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster," this installment makes Godzilla a defender of the environment against a hideous creature formed by pollution.
"Godzilla vs. Gigan" (1972) - Godzilla and another monster team up against recurring enemy King Ghidorah and newcomer Gigan.
Many of these same movies are also currently available on Amazon Prime Instant, including "Gojira," "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," and "Godzilla vs. Mothra." For more about Godzilla's lasting legacy, see Mojo.com's list of the top ten Godzilla movies of all time in the video at the top of this article.