No need to defend myself. My feature film Notzilla is first-and-foremost a comedy. And it’s rapidly building an avid fan-base among two groups of which I am a proud member: geeks and families. Geeks everywhere are embracing my kid as one of their own! One geek called the DVD “the best $12.99 I’ve ever spent!” Several others have made fan films, reenacting their favorite bits from the movie. Families too have embraced my kid as one of theirs! They’re grateful for the family-friendly content (although it’s not a “family movie” per se). The kids love the over-the-top gags while the parents marvel at the subtle witticisms that virtually dripped from my golden fingers when I wrote the…
(Note: the person responsible for that last line has been sacked.* ~The Management)
Both groups have discovered something a few intellectually overripe individuals flatly missed: Notzilla is “not Zilla.” One reviewer complained that the movie missed a chance to “deconstruct the Godzilla myth.” But Notzilla isn’t Godzilla—that’s the whole point. The suffix “zilla” has become a popular indicator of something monstrous. The TV series Bridezillas, for example, is about brides who become “monsters” destroying everything in their paths on the way to the perfect wedding.
Not my kid! Our heroine Shirley’s big “Aha” comes when she proclaims, “Notzilla isn’t a monster, Richard is!” (Her boss Richard Blowheart is bent on destroying Notzilla). Heck, I mean the subtitles even explain her line by adding the word “Symbolism” underneath!
This movie isn’t about monsters. It’s about outsiders. Notzilla, the orphaned offspring of a misunderstood species, is simply out to play. But he’s steered in the wrong direction by Dr. Blowheart–who feeds him beer! “You do not give beer to a baby!” Hiro shouts. Hiro, the paleontologist determined to save Notzilla, is an outsider too. Raised by a powerful general who pronounced him “not a real man,” he’s committed to saving creatures “no one understands.”
Shirley, the brilliant and adorably geeky young nuclear physicist, is an outsider too. Forced to serve as an assistant to the powerful Blowheart, and raised by a mother who told her, “Girls can’t be scientists,” she meets her soulmate in Hiro. They soon form a surrogate family, along with the ambitious young black reporter Pearl Stringer, who admits she’s up against “a double glass ceiling: I’m a woman and I’m from New Jersey.”
Interestingly, although my other feature film Healing River is a realistic drama, the virtual opposite of Notzilla, they share family DNA. Healing River, like Notzilla, is about understanding “strangers who may be angels in disguise” (Hebrews 13:2). So, although this kid may “just” be a comedy, somewhere along the line he got a heart transplant — I gave him my heart.
In fact, only now have I truly begun to appreciate just how profound this film is! Why, beneath every laugh is a veritable vein of philosophical treasure just waiting to be…
(Note: The person responsible for that last line has been sacked.* ~The Management)