GODZILLA vs. THE THING Half-Sheet Poster! (American International, 1964)

The "before" (see bottom of article for "after").
There is hardly a more iconic American Godzilla poster than the one for GODZILLA vs. THE THING.  I'm referring to the one-sheet movie poster, which even today is the most common size in your local movie theatre.  So let's start with that!

This poster is one of my top 5 favorite American Godzilla posters.  It's endearing for several reasons to me.  Right away, it's an awesome and incredible piece of artwork, by prolific movie poster artist Reynold Brown.  It has form, motion, and composition that other posters could only dream about.  Secondly, I have a huge admiration for the completely bonkers and over-the-top ad campaign that American International dreamed up.  (I keep trying not to use the word "ballyhoo," but I just can't resist.  So: ballyhoo.)  Changing Mothra to "The Thing" was one, well, thing...but refusing to show her on the poster was a stroke of mad genius.  Especially because some people would possibly remember that Mothra had been in a film of her own a few years earlier (but released by a different studio, in this case, Columbia Pictures)...but let's not forget about the fact that there was already a monster laying claim to the title of THE THING, from the 1951 film.  I've never thought about it in this way before, but do you think that some movie fans thought Godzilla was going to be fighting James Arness? Probably not.

But I digress, as I usually do.  The one-sheet poster was amazing enough, but the half-sheet took it to another entire level.  If you know anything about movie posters, you know that it wouldn't be a huge overstatement to say that the majority of half-sheet movie posters merely present the same artwork of the one-sheet in a different layout.  However, the half-sheet for this film had secondary artwork that was so good, it got its own unique presentation. A squirming mass of thorny tentacles (ironically predicting Biollante 25 years early) loom forth from behind a huge label reading "CENSORED"...with a William Castle-like warning that this monster just may be too terrifying for you to withstand.  How's that for enticing an audience? It's so good, it just boggles the mind.

Now, the secondary artwork isn't confined to only the half-sheet poster.  It's on the window card, the pressbook, and about 1/2 of the newspaper ads!  AI had two stellar paintings, so they got plenty of use from both.

Here are both of Brown's original paintings, minus the graphics and lettering, from a very providential magazine article (it looks like STARLOG to me, but if anyone knows, I'll correct my assumption):

Imagine--somebody somewhere owns these glorious originals. I hope they are properly framed and displayed prominently!
This has been a long-winded way to get back to my own half-sheet poster, but as you can see, I'm quite excited about it.  What was very interesting was that the seller was the original owner, and, as a kid, had actually asked his local theatre in Ohio if he could have it, in the fall of 1964!  I assured him it was going to a house full of framed Godzilla posters and lobby cards--in fact, it's perpendicular to the wall displaying the one-sheet version--and he was pleased to know it would have a good home!

I use my local Michael's framers, because they are conscientious and use archival and acid-free materials.  They were kind enough to "iron" the poster for me in the dry-mounting press and get some of the wrinkles out!


The Godzilla Little Golden Book (Golden, 19??)

I am very pleased to present a little-known American Godzilla collectible today.  It's seldom discussed in fan circles, and some even deny its existence.  Legend has it that no one has ever even had a complete conversation about it, because somebody always runs away screaming...but here it is, for the first time anywhere.  Enjoy!

MAYBE if you watch Ebay for years and years, you might get your own!


Amazing Godzilla, Mothra, and Mysterians Lobby Cards!

Recently, I scored the following amazing lobby cards:
KING KONG vs. GODZILLA, featuring neither contestant as they would appear in the actual film!
Mothra's larva seemingly directs a terrified crowd!
Note she is hand-colored and yellow!
An extremely exciting Mysterians lobby card that features Moguera! (I always forget whether the vintage one's name has a "U" in it.)

And finally, ending a long era of searching, a KING OF THE MONSTERS card of my very own.  This card is shortly going to the framer's so that it can be on my living room wall as soon as possible.