Sep 24, 2008

Godzilla vs. Gigan

An entry in the Shōwa series of Godzilla films, this story features the very similar brainwashing plot device and amasses a surreal feel throughout the film. This isn't the usual space invader film. This is due to the mystery element and the thought put into the philosophy of the cockroach being the species most likely to survive an apocalypse, which fits perfectly into the premise.

Cockroach spacemen (Ala Men In Black) create a giant Godzilla tower secretly armed with state-of-the-art technology and a low orbit Ion cannon solely with the intent of creating frequencies used to control the giant inhabitants of Monster Island; mainly King Ghidorah (Space monster), Gigan (Debut space monster), Anguirus, and Godzilla.

This is a worthy addition into the Godzilla archives even though much of the film is made from stock footage. Such is what Toho had to go through to get things done; See also: Toei's The Return of the Street Fighter. Much of that film features lengthy flash backs with no purpose other than to chisel away at the time frame. Although this is hokey and ridiculous, it's a classic Monster vs. Monster vs. Humanity story ever so apparent in Kaiju films, but it revamps this tale to create added destruction and a mellow suffering not often seen other than in this abstruse film.

Old animatronics coincide with the "Man in the Rubber Suit" aesthetic that differentiated Godzilla films from the likes of Harryhausen and King Kong. Some of the movements are extremely terrible and create a clumsy lizard who fights too human-like. Through out this film, Godzilla's appearance constantly changes and it becomes tedious. You can blame that on the incredibly low budget. I don't expect a perfect Godzilla sequel. You learn that after you come to terms that the war-torn monster you fell in love with is no more.

A surprising addition is the tag team effort and humanization of Anguirus: Godzilla's mortal and first enemy. The duo teams up to defeat an unstoppable menacing force. Both Godzilla and Anguirus almost perish in the blazing wrestling match. As Emperor Palpatine repeatedly struck down young Skywalker with his signature force lightning, Godzilla too was in grave danger from a similar attack. To add to the already sorrowful fact that I'd never seen Godzilla shed blood, Anguirus was inches from a cold death, foreshadowed by his stifling and quieting roar.

Five films into the collectanea of Godzilla, and I can manage to appreciate this one more than some others. An applaudable story with humorous characters and exceptional villains plus the debut of Gigan (who strikes fear into the heart of my childhood). Godzilla vs. Gigan is as monstrous as it sounds, plus I happen to enjoy a vulnerable side of Godzilla now and then. In regards to the scene of Godzilla talking to Anguirus, I only heard the roars. Thankfully I had nothing to do with the alleged speech bubbles.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the clumsy-man-in-rubber-suit-fighting aspect. Godzilla vs. Monster Zero is one of my favorites, and there are a few moments where Godzilla is so human-like, I can identify with him.

I haven't seen this one yet, so many godzilla movies, so little time!!!