Friday, August 12, 2011

Godzillapalooza #6: Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965)

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965)
Monster Profiles:


  • KING GHIDORAH (see movie #5)
  • RODAN (see movie #5)

Planet X, a mysterious new planet, is discovered close to Jupiter and a United Nations spaceship is sent to investigate. Onboard the shuttle are American astronaut Glenn and Japanese astronaut Fuji. Fuji is no-nonsense and protective, while Glenn is a smooth-talking maverick who enjoys a good time. Upon meeting the inhabitants of Planet X, Glenn and Fuji are told that Ghidorah (whom the aliens call Monster Zero) has been attacking their planet. The aliens request that they borrow Godzilla and Rodan from Earth to fight Monster Zero, and in return they would give the people of Earth a miracle cure for all disease. After much debate, Earth's leaders decide to grant the aliens request, but things look fishy when UFO's are already in place to extract the monsters. Godzilla and Rodan fight Ghidorah on Planet X for a fairly easy victory. Glenn and Fuji are given a tape which they are told contains the formula for the miracle drug, but in reality it holds an ultimatum of surrender for the people of Earth. It turns out that the aliens were controlling Ghidorah all along and now they had control of Godzilla and Rodan as well. Never trust aliens, they'll always screw you and try to take over the world. Anyway, the three monsters are set loose on Earth. Now before I continue the plot, there's something I have to explain: Fuji's sister is dating an eccentric inventor (Tetsuo) whom Fuji does not approve of, and Glenn is dating Miss Namikawa, who while posing as an executive for the toy company buying Tetsuo's invention, is actually a spy from Planet X. So anyway, long story way short, everyone finds out that the aliens weakness is the God-awful noise that Tetsuo's invention makes. So a scheme is devised to defeat the aliens and break their hold on the monsters' minds. Once freed, Godzilla and Rodan fight and defeat Ghidorah, saving the Earth yet again.

Monster Zero set the precedent for the most frequently recurring theme in Godzilla movies and Japanese fantasy in general: alien invasion and use of monsters to dominate Earth. The storyline of this film in particular is very entertaining and moves quickly to appeal to the younger demographic of Godzilla fans at the time. Another cool fact concerning aliens in this movie is that this is the only film in the G-series in which Godzilla battles another monster on a planet other than Earth. 

This would be the last time that Honda, Ifukube, and Tsuburaya would all three create a Godzilla film together, and they did very well for the dream team's last. It's is somewhat of a hot debate, but I am among those who consider Monster Zero to be better than the original Ghidorah. There is a heavy Sci-fi influence, which was popular in the mid-60s, but I believe that only adds to the fun. All the characters are great and well portrayed and of course the battles are awesome. After all, that's the main reason you watch a Godzilla movie.  There's a lot to love about this movie if your a G-fan and I'd recommend it as another introduction to the series for someone looking to get started.

Best Part:
Probably my favorite part of this movie is the battle between Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah on Planet X. It's a pretty awesome battle on a locale that is very unique compared to any other Godzilla battleground. What else can you say other than there's some awesome action and Godzilla kicks ass. Oh ya, there is one other thing. In one of the series most famous and weird moments, Godzilla performs a "victory dance" after Ghidorah retreats that is so strange and utterly unrelated to anything involving the plot or anything of relevance to Godzilla, it's just hilarious. You just watch it and that "Haha, what the hell is he doing?" Here it is...

My Ranking: #8

Up next, Godzilla takes to the high seas and Mothra makes a comeback.... "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster"

No comments:

Post a Comment