Thursday, May 8, 2014

Godzilla All in a Row Part 2

Phew (wipes brow). It's been a decent bit, hasn't it? Yes indeed, kiddies I have been busy of late. Within the past few days I have accomplished over half of my goals for the entire month of may. Not to mention possibly getting a job and having some fine times with friends & family. I hope you'll forgive my bragging. Honestly it's a rare treat in life to be this satisfied with ones own progress and personal standing and I'd feel remiss not to give that feeling a shout-out.
Of course what most likely brought any of you here was a shoddy web search for monster movie information and I have no intention of disappointing you with my own personal details. So pop a squat and join me for another wave of Giant lizard mayhem.

Godzilla vs Hedorah
After the abomination that was All Monsters Attack there was a severe need for a fresh perspective. As luck would have it, a new director was brought into the franchise who spiced up the sagging series with one of the wildest entries around. From psychedelic musical numbers to hippie camp outs and even multiple animated sequences this one never fails to surprise. Chief among its triumphs is Hedorah himself. Made entirely out of pollution and mock this is possibly the most evil son bitch to ever face off against the big G. Hedorah kills people by the score, never lets up, and proves to be a nasty adversary. He's such a nuisance that Godzilla actually resorts to tearing the evil bastards balls out. Absolutely nuts and a fine adventure that any giant monster fan should check out. Two bits of trivia on this one. It is the only film in which Godzilla can fly. Also it's director, Yoshimitsu Banno was reprimanded by the producers and told that he would never direct for Toho again, let alone touch Godzilla. Banno is now the producer of the new movie so I'd call that a win.

Godzilla vs Gigan
This one attempts to follow in the wild style of its predecessor but just doesn't have the strength to pull it off. The plot revolves around a Manga artist and his karate kickin girlfriend as they try to stop a mysterious group from overtaking the world with their evil theme park built around a laser blasting zilla statue. Sounds like it should be fun right? Well sometimes it is, just not enough of the time. Lots of monster footage is recycled from earlier films (a practice that had begun a few entries before) and there's a general lack of energy. One standout bit is the part where the bad guys are revealed to be giant cockroaches from outer space. Even that isn't enough to save this from being totally skipable.

Godzilla vs Megalon
Ask as many Godzilla fans as you want and you'll get one of two answers about this one. A: It's the worst thing to ever feature our favorite emerald lizard. Or B: It's so amazingly stupid that it boarders on genius. I lean more towards the B camp overall. The story is about a subterranean race that releases their monster supreme, Megalon upon the surface dwellers...and I think they enlist Gigan somehow to back him up. Meanwhile a renowned scientist and his crew of flunkies find out about the evil plot from below and get drawn in along with their super robot, Jet Jaguar who is just a really creepy Ultraman knockoff. Lacking much in the way of subtlety or common sense this one drifts from one goofball moment to the next. I'd tell most of you out there to skip it unless you're in the mood for something so lame it's wonderful.
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla
You'll have to cut me some slack on this one as it is incredibly similar to the movie that follows which creates kind of a blending effect in my mind. After years of being a good guy, Godzilla suddenly takes up his old hobbies of murder and terror. People are in shock until another Godzilla shows up to fight the evil one which is revealed to be Mechagodzila. Ol Mecha was created by a race of space apes in order to overrun the earth. Of course those dumb monkeys don't plan on the original king of the monsters to enlist a little help from the mystical King Caesar. Can't say as I remember much but I know it was a good one. Good enough that this match-up ends up appearing multiple times over the history of these films. Wouldn't say you have to watch it but it couldn't hurt.

Terror of Mechagodzilla
A rematch so soon? Picking up right after the last one we have more monkey men working with a scientist to rebuild mechagodzilla while controlling new contender Titanosaurus. As I said before, this can blend with the previous one fairly easily so forgive me if I completely mix things up. From what I recall it is a bit better than the first match-up against the mechanical monstrosity thanks in part to a more emotional bent. Of course I could have some rose colored glasses thanks to this being the last one I had to watch in order to finish the franchise. The ending where Godzilla marches out to the ocean marked an accomplishment for me and the end of the original series. A solid adventure. Give it a shot.

The Return of Godzilla (AKA Godzilla 1985)
After almost a decade in exile Toho decided to return the big brute to his rightful place in the world. In a move that modern Hollywood would just love, this one is a direct continuation of the first film, ignoring all the sequels that came in between, thous beginning the Hesei series. Similar to the first flick there are no other monsters for the big guy to fight. It's just a simple classic giant monster slaps shit down event. Haven't watched it in years so what made it special is tough. Still; I remember it being good easily digestible fun that makes decent entertainment. Check it out if you can but be aware that it is extremely difficult to get your hands on, especially in it's proper Japanese form.

Godzilla vs Biollante
After letting a few years pass it was time to continue the big dudes new adventures and introduce some new threats. Biollante is a marvelous creature to behold. The product of supernaturally infused roses and Godzilla DNA known as G-Cells this towering she beast is downright freaky. The G-cells later become a recurring element to this second series as does a psychic girl who tries to connect to Godzilla. There's already a lot to like here thanks to all the new ideas but what really makes it shine is that the human story is truly entertaining to watch. There's international espionage, twisted experiments, and threats of mankind getting too big for its britches. An outstanding kaiju movie for anyone interested.

Godzilla vs King Ghidorah
Ohhhh boy. As if the reset continuity from a few movies back wasn't bad enough, they bring in time travel to screw things up a little more. So some folks calling themselves the futurians show up with a plan to prevent Godzilla from ever existing. They take some of our people back in time to remove a dinosaur known as a Godzillasaurus from an island that was destroyed by an atomic blast. They also dump off a few lil creatures in his place. Arriving back in the present the futurians use King Ghidorah, who formed from the small critters. To subjugate Japan because it becomes too powerful in the future. Little do they know that the island they moved the dinosaur to was the resting place for an atomic sub so Godzilla still exists! Did I mention that King Ghidorah becomes Mecha at one point? Or the freaky android dude? Or how about the weird flirtatious relationship between a modern guy and a future girl who later reveals herself to be his granddaughter? Convoluted, messy, but still pretty fun. Maybe check it out if you have the time.

Godzilla and Mothra; The Battle for Earth
Keeping it simple......this movie sucks balls. Turns out there's another version of Mothra named Battra who chooses to destroy humanity because they've become too much of a threat to the Earth. That's about as in depth as the story gets. This thing is just boring and preachy with the soundtrack being it's only redeeming quality. I don't want any of you fine folks suffering through this dull excuse for a monster movie. Stay away!
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II
After the boring mess that was the battle for earth it was time to revisit a few more nasties. Rodan, Mechagodzilla, and even Manilla (now called baby) all return. There's lots of city crushing action but very little in the way of story. We do learn that the king of the monsters has a secondary brain in his that's something. A lot of folks consider this to be a superior entry in the series but I find the lack of a decent story makes for a lackluster time. You could check it out but I wouldn't recommend it.

That's it for the second part of our countdown. Come back next time for the end of the second series, all of the third, and the horrid All-American abomination sandwiched in between. Peace!

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