Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#Godzilla2013 Entry #9: SON OF GODZILLA (1967)

SON OF GODZILLA (1967)/ Kaijûtô no kessen: Gojira no musuko
Directed by: Jun Fukuda
Written by: Shin'ichi Sekizawa, Kazue Shiba
Starring: Tadao Takshima, Akira Kubo, Bibari Maeda, Haruo Nakajima
Synopsis: Godzilla has a wild night out and is forced to take responsibility by raising his kid, Minizilla. Also there's giant spiders and praying mantis that he has to fight.

Last week's entry left me a little bummed out since it was the first of the Godzilla movies so far that really left me bored by how mediocre it was. This week, with SON OF GODZILLA, we continue down the super goofy path by making it even more goofy since now Godzilla has a son just completely out of nowhere. I think that the novelty of seeing Godzilla as a parent is what really makes this movie stand out from an otherwise, almost carbon copy of GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER.

Once again, the film has an island setting. This time we are following a group of scientists who are looking to do some experiments to control the weather. Their reasoning is they want to control the weather in order to be able to plant crops in terrains and places where we couldn't before such as the Sahara or the North and South Poles. This is all to combat the impending food shortage attributed to the oncoming over population issue. This is actually a pretty terrible way of trying to fix the problem. Instead of trying to solve the problem of overpopulation and dwindling resources, the scientist's solution is to just to make more food? I guess they'll cross the line of having used up all of the viable terrain in the world in a few years. But I digress...

There's a reporter, Goro,  that's just trying to get a cool story, and he's annoyingly persistent and tries to acclimate himself with the group of scientists. Just like in the previous movie, there's a suspiciously well-groomed "native" girl. The plot really gets moving when the scientists try out their experiment, but due to some unknown interference, the experiment fails and thus destroys the ecosystem of the island. The reason it messed up is because there's interference that messes up the instruments. The source of that interference? A huge egg that contains Godzilla's son.

The most amazing thing about this movie is the fact there's no actual explanation as to how Godzilla (who we assume is a male lizard) came to lay an egg, and also somehow abandons him, so mini-G gets beat up by giant mantis who then proceed to beat him up AS SOON AS HE COMES OUT OF THE EGG. Even if mini-G is a completely hideous man/lizard abomination, this was a pretty hilarious movie. If you couldn't tell, the movie is not at all serious. There are very little repercussions, the bad guys have very little personality, and Godzilla looks very creepy and humanoid this time around.

This movie definitely has a rather sweet aspect to it where you see more of Godzilla's parenting style. He goes from seemingly abandon the baby Godzilla to his own devices to being super protective. As I mentioned before, he gets beaten by some giant mantis, dubbed Kamacuras by the annoying reporter character, who, along with a GIANT SPIDER called Kumonga, are the main antagonists of the movie. They seem to continually mess with mini-G, and it's a little sweet seeing Godzilla take care of his own kin. I'm not sure why, but I enjoyed the hell out of the sequence where Godzilla teaches mini-G how to do things like his signature energy blast and rock-throwing kick moves. Speaking of Godzilla, seriously, this is such a weird suit. I'm not a fan the more human proportions. However, this more "human" look that they gave him seemed to go hand in hand with his more human movements which led to some of the more brutal fights I've seen in the series. He tears off Kamacuras arms, he slams them, and burns them alive and seems to be less restricted.

The human's actions in the movie were a little disturbing from a moral point of view, all which culminates to an ending that is probably one of the worst written ones in the series so far. After destroying the island and in part creating the Kamacuras, the humans decide that it's time to go because it's so dangerous to them, so they decide to freeze the damn island. So even though Minizilla and Godzilla weren't exactly messing with them, they didn't care, and left them frozen at the end of the movie. If there's a theme of the story, it's that humans have zero care about their environment and their effect on it. The fact that the premise of the experiment was misguided to begin with to the cop out ending where they just freeze and destroy an island because of the monsters just feels like an awful way to end the film.

As I mentioned before, this was pretty similar to the GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER with its island setting and giant animal enemies along with the pretty forgettable cast of humans. However, the novelty of having Godzilla with a baby is one of the most amusing things I've seen since the weird "victory dance."


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