Hail to the King: 60 Years of Destruction (2015) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2016]

hail-to-the-kingThis American documentary shows what the Japanese think of the King of Kaijus, the big G, Godzilla.  This documentary was shot using crowd funding to garner its budget.  Director and uber Godzilla fan Kyle Yount went to Tokyo in July 2014 to film this fan love letter to his favorite monster.

Throughout the film, interviews with Godzilla films cast and other uber fans give an insight as to why people love the big G so much.  The film, as opposed to mist documentaries, does not contain archive footage mast likely due to rights being particularly expensive.  It does however have a nice roundtable interview with cast members of the older films.  These interviews are informative and tell a lot about how things went when the films were shot.

The film is well shot with cinematography by Jim Ballard and J.R. Lipartito.  While its low budget, estimated at $20,000 per IMDB, shows in how it’s shot, what makes this of interest is the love put I n and behind it.  This love that Yount has is contagious and it comes through very well.  However, in a few spots, the film feels like it’s a bit too “fanboy”.  It’s clearly from a fanboy for fanboys which might turn some off of it while it might make it more interesting to others.

That being said, the film is highly watchable while giving an interesting view of Tokyo and its monster nerd community.  The fan angle will definitely turn some off, but Godzilla fan should see this and most likely will love it.  The film looks good and sounds good, the love for the King of Kaiju is palpable, and the excitement is contagious.  It’s a fun one to watch if you do not mind the fanboy-ing that happens through the interviews, meetings, and narration.  This fanboy-ing is part of the film’s charm.

The film is legally available on YouTube as it was put up by the filmmaker here.