The giant robots vs. giant monsters movie Pacific Rim hits the big screens this weekend and perhaps you’d like a little background on a few of the books, movies and comics from which director Guillermo del Toro may have taken some influence.
Released only a decade after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Godzilla, the grandfather of the Japanese giant monster genre was clearly a grim metaphor for nuclear destruction. The original Japanese film holds little in common with the American re-edit or the campier sequels and is well worth a watch.
Although Pacific Rim draws influence from many Japanese science-fiction animation series, the one most similar, Neon Genesis, tell the story of a group of young people recruited to pilot huge robots in the defense of Earth from giant inter-dimensional monsters. If you like Pacific Rim, drop by the Library for our screening of the recent Evangelion movies on July 30th and August 6th.
The giant robot limited series from comic book master Warren Ellis is considered a western-centric retelling of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and like Pacific Rim, has been criticized for perhaps being more appropriation than homage. Despite that, it is a pretty enjoyable read.
Del Toro is an outspoken fan of the horror writer H.P. Lovecraft , having planned a big budget film version of At the Mountains of Madness which he hopes to direct. The monsters threatening Earth in Pacific Rim are thought to be directly inspired by Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos.
Of course, Del Toro’s own film’s should be seen to put his recent work into context. Plus they’re all pretty good. The Devil's Backbone, Hellboy, and Pan's Labyrinth shouldn’t be missed.