SON OF GODZILLA (1967)
aka. Monster Island's Decisive Battle: Godzilla's Son
|Kill it! Kill it with fire!|
|"Gimantis" is a little on the nose, don't you think?|
Don't worry if that plot didn't make any sense. Son of Godzilla is more interested in setting up gags where Minilla can fall down or Godzilla can roll his eyes at his son's wimpy antics while Masaru Sato's bumbling Manilal theme loops endlessly. Save for one or two sincerely funny scenes, the Minilla shtick is embarrassingly pathetic and wears thin faster than Minilla's own cheap rubber suit. How did we come to this? Only 13 years earlier, Godzilla was a powerhouse of nuclear destruction. Now he's literally face-palming himself and cuddling with a character who's barely more tolerable (not to mention better looking) than a Garbage Pail Kid.
Minilla isn't the only aesthetic abortion. The new Godzilla suit used for Son of Godzilla is without a doubt one of the worst Toho ever constructed. In an attempt to make Godzilla more human-like and taller to accentuate Minilla's small stature, this Godzilla was designed with eyes placed at the front of an elongated head (like a frog) and with a mouth that sports a full complement of flat teeth. It's hard to shake the impression that this Godzilla was inspired by something the special effects crew found floating undefeated in the toilet bowl of the men's room. Total garbage.
|I think the Japanese call this the MuSUCKoGoji suit|
There are two bright spots in Son of Godzilla: the Kumonga and Kamacuras puppets. Sadamasa Arikawa's expert wire work helps bring the giant spider Kumonga and the various giant Kamacuras mantises to fantastic life. They're agile, flexible, and really well-designed. Kumonga in particular feels like a real spider because the puppeteers manipulated each leg in a series of coordinated moves. They look fantastic and really help spice up an otherwise dull and insipid story. Too bad the same can't be said for Godzilla and his little bastard.
|If Godzilla's supposed to be the hero, why am I disappointed Kumonga didn't eat his little butter ball?|
Obviously, I have no love lost for Son of Godzilla. It's probably the worst Godzilla movie ever filmed. No use dwelling on that now, however. What's done is done. We have to soldier on because tomorrow we get back to the classics. That's right, for the next post in our 30 Days of Godzilla series we will be tackling the legendary monster smashup DESTROY ALL MONSTERS!