Godzilla will be here before you know it, so now's a good time to get into the Godzilla spirit. With that in mind, here is a list of Godzilla films available for legal streaming online. There aren't as many as I'd like. In fact, there were tons more going when I watched the entire series this time last year. So I feel really sorry for you youngers (age in this case being determined by when you watched a bunch of Godzilla movies).
A couple notes. One, you need Amazon Prime to enjoy the Amazon offerings. Two - and this one really sucks - a lot of these are on Crackle, a website I find plagued with technical problems. To make matters worse, all the Crackle offerings save for Godzilla vs. Mothra may expire tomorrow. Crackle's so hard to deal with that I don't know if that warning is legitimate or not! If it is the case, I highly recommend you skip all these movies tonight and jump straight to Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Other than the original Gojira, it's the best movie on the list, and you might not have the opportunity to watch it tomorrow!
So here we go!
UPDATE! A handful of Godzilla films were just added to Netflix Instant. Some are already on this list, but a couple are brand new! And as I warned, the Crackle entries have been erased from existence completely. At least I think they have. Some go to "Oops!" pages, while others take me to a Crackle page that looks operational but does not load all the way. Crackle sucks! Because of this confusion I'm going to leave the Crackle entries as they are.
Gojira - Amazon Prime (American version available on Hulu)
You've already seen this right? It's almost boring to put this one up because it's the golden standard, but if you haven't seen it yet, you must get to that as soon as possible. This isn't the Criterion, so I don't know what kind of transfer you'll find.
Godzilla Raids Again - Amazon Prime (also Hulu)
This is one of those sequels were they didn't quite know they had a real franchise yet with its own aesthetic or rules. As a result, it's a very strange entry. But I love it! First of all, Anguirus is one of the more underrated Kaiju out there. He's basically a spiky ankylosaurus, but he's super scrappy and has one of the series' best roars.
The big thing about this film is the fighting. It's really fast and brutal and doesn't look at all like the fighting found in the rest of the series. Raids is an anomaly, but I highly recommend it.
Godzilla vs. Mothra (aka Godzilla vs. the Thing) - Hulu
I'll just tell you up front that I'm not the biggest Mothra fan. This movie enjoys classic status, but I've never been all that into it. So what I'm saying is you probably shouldn't listen to me.
Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster - Netflix
Totally classic in every way and difficult to dislike as a result. You got your Ghidorah (though he's no King yet!), along with fairly decent Mothra and Rodan action. There is a super badass bit where Mothra, Rodan, and Godzilla have a big monster conversation in which Mothra tries to convince the other monsters to protect the Earth from Ghidorah. It is seriously one of my favorite Godzilla scenes ever.
Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (aka Invasion of Astro-Monster) - Amazon Prime (also Hulu)
This one's a cold hard classic. When people talk up the Showa era of Godzilla films, this is the kind of thing they're talking about.
Monster Zero provides one of the rare Godzilla films where the plot is actually as interesting as the monster fighting. Aliens from Planet X want to "borrow" Godzilla and Rodan (who somehow manages to not suck for once) from Earth to help them out with their planet's massive Ghidorah problem. Whoops! It was all trick. They actually want to get all three monsters together to help them take over the entire planet! Godzilla does a funny dance. It is incredible.
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (aka Ebirah, Horror of the Deep) - Hulu
I hated this movie. Sitting through it was one of my most excrutiating Godzilla experiences, so I highly recommend you hold off on this entry until you have a bunch of pals over or at least a small battalion of unopened beer bottles.
Godzilla's Revenge (aka All Monsters Attack) - Hulu
Ha! Everyone hates this movie, but I think it's great!
So this lonely, bullied kid hits his head, which magically transports him to Godzilla's island where he befriends Minilla, Godzilla's kid. Together they watch Godzilla fight other monsters and learn to take out the bullies in their own life.
This movie is adorable, super short, manages to employ fun kid logic without totally sucking like Son of Godzilla, and also has one of my favorite goofy Kaiju: Gabara! But like I said at the top, everyone hates it, so you have to be a little backwards like me to enjoy its charms. But there are TONS of charms!
Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster) - Hulu
This is one of the big ones, an absolute must-see for any Godzilla fan.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah marks Yoshimitsu Banno's one and only Godzilla entry, and the director really tried for something different with his film. It's hard to explain this film's uniqueness, however. It's a somewhat harder edged Godzilla entry, yet features a lot of silly additions as well, such as Godzilla's sudden ability to fly. The monster action is good, but the primary draw comes from the film's other, weirder pleasures. I watched it late in my Godzilla marathon and found myself shocked and enthralled by it in equal measures. Definitely check this one out. In fact, I'm probably going to rewatch it tonight.
Godzilla vs. Gigan (aka Godzilla on Monster Island) - Hulu
My ringtone comes from this film, so right there you can probably assume that I love it. I don't actually love it, though. But I do like it a lot.
Godzilla vs. Gigan has a lot going for it: Aliens, King Ghidorah, motherfucking Anguirus(!), and Gigan himself, a Kaiju with hook-things for hands and a chainsaw for a tummy. Plus, the movie takes place at a Godzilla theme park. What's not to like?
Terror of Mechagodzilla - Netflix
A direct sequel to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, this one features Godzilla fighting not only his metal twin but the kind of awesome Titanosaurus, a Kaiju created by a mad scientist who wants to destroy the world. He teams up with aliens and just like that we have a pretty good monster throw-down on our hands. I like this one a lot. It's also notable for being the last entry of the Showa era.
Godzilla vs. Mothra - Crackle
From 1992, I honestly have a hard time remembering this one. That's what happens when Mothra's involved. There's a kind of cool new baddie named Battra, but the film didn't leave much of an impression overall. I really love the way the giant monster action from the Heisei era feels, and this is the only Heisei film available for streaming, so it's worth a look for that alone. Maybe it's great, and I'm just a big jerk!
Godzilla 2000 - Hulu
Really, really boring. Stay away.
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus - Crackle
Not as awful as Godzilla 2000, but still pretty bad. I don't recommend it until you're just down to the really awful ones.
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack - Crackle
I think this is far and away the best Godzilla film save for the original. I could go on and on about its greatness. Good news! I already have!
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. - Crackle
I do not remember liking this. But I also do not remember why. It has Godzilla, Mothra, and Mechagodzilla, so it seems like it should be awesome, especially since it's a direct sequel to the pretty good Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. If you choose to watch this one, or if you've seen it before, please remind me why I don't like it in the comments.
Godzilla: Final Wars - Crackle
Final Wars is tricky. On one hand, it has so so so much awesome giant monster action. On the other, it's way too long and overly pleased with its non-giant monster malarkey. Overall I like Final Wars a lot, but the film has serious flaws I can't really defend. If nothing else, you get to see Godzilla take out his American counterpart. Plus: King Caesar!
So many classic films! But a lot of great ones aren't on this list, which is a shame. Luckily, many can be rented for just a few dollars at Amazon. Have fun!