It all started with the warnings…
“Godzilla has been on the move!”
“HIGH ALERT! Godzilla advancing toward San Diego!”
I have to admit…I was curious about what was going on. Which is something that is instilled in most humans, the internal need to continue watching and poking our noses into monumental events that promise to bring destruction and chaos. The inablitiy to turn away.
In front of it’s May 2014 movie release, Legendary Films set up shop in a warehouse not far from Petco Park, on 7th and J Street. The building had been repainted on the outside, with art and signs hinting at the contents of it’s walls.
Those who obtained tickets to the Godzilla Encounter were encouraged to download the accompanying app for their smart phones. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to use the technology, but it added a great deal of specalation and hype to the event.
There was also a website set up (Godzilla Encounter) to provide fans with articles and information about Godzilla.
Upon entering the Godzilla Encounter, one is already on high alert. You find yourself on a street in Tokyo, among bikes, store fronts, and even a walk-up ramen/sushi bar. You meander among others, somewhat aware that something is going to happen, but you don’t know what. There are also artificats from previous Godzilla movies and lore, including many action figures and comic books dedicated to the People’s Monster. One big hit is the original costume.
So there you are, wandering “the street” when suddenly all the lights flicker and an alarm sounds. Uniformed people rush out and usher you into a work station area that could very well have been a part of a NASA control room. You see images and dopplers — something is approaching and everyone is panicking and speaking in hurried tones. Suddenly, the room shakes a bit and there is what sounds like an explosion. Again, you’re being ushered out of the room and into what appears to be a service elevator.
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking “Don’t go in the elevator!!!”. And I admit, I hesitated. But we all ended up there and rode until it came to a stop, rather abruptly. The doors open and we’re in a office, with a bank of windows in front of us. We are asked to stay still and quiet. “Don’t make any noises or take pictures, you’ll only anger the beast!” were our instructions.
You can feel the floor tremble under you and as you watch the windows, Godzilla saunters (as best a large lizard can) right past the windows and you. He makes it all the way past and you breathe a sigh of relief that he didn’t see you or that his tail didn’t swipe the building off the map. Just as you’re about to turn to exit the office, you feel a rumble again… you look back at the windows and you are face to face with Godzilla.
He let’s out a scream, announcing he sees you. He huffs, turns and continues on his path of destruction. And you finally exhale.
To say I enjoyed it is probably an understatement — I loved it. Having little knowledge of the stories and legend of Godzilla, it provided enough story for me to follow and get a sense of what was going on and it did it’s part to hype up the new movie as well.
I can’t wait!