Son of Godzilla 1967
This is the second movie of what I call “Godzilla takes a Vacation.” I do have to say it is a working vacation because we still see him fighting monsters. Although this movie shows how far the franchise was moving in the direction of kid friendly movies, there is still much here for adults to enjoy. Very shortly in the franchise the movies would be solely aimed at children. The movie debuted in 1967 and was directed by Directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Sadamasa Arikawa. The music was written by Masaru Satô. When the film begins and we reach the island where the events of the movie take place, the whimsical soundtrack alerts us to the fact that this is not a serious scary movie and that we are going to see something different.
Like all Godzilla movies they involve a human plot and a monster plot which are often, but not always, intertwined. The human element of the story consists of scientists on the island of Sollgel conducting weather experiments and working on a device that can create snow and ice and freeze everything. The scientists are invaded by a nosy reporter, Goro Masaki, who is trying to write a story about them. The reporter flew in on a plane that happened to run into Godzilla who seems to be heading toward the island. Also on the island are giant praying mantis, called Kamacuras, standing about six and a half feet tall. When the scientists detonate the balloon carrying their weather freezing device something goes horribly wrong and a massive radiation storm is the result. This causes the Kamacuras to grow to gigantic proportions (of course everyone else and other living things are not effected).
The super gigantic insects begin digging the side of a hill revealing a large egg which quickly hatches and out pops baby Manilla, Godzilla’s son. I wonder who the mother is? The Kamacuras begin to attack Manilla but soon Godzilla arrives to fend off the attackers. The scientists soon come across, Reiko, a beautiful island girl who befriends Manilla by feeding him. Soon Godzilla begins teaching his son how to fight like a monster. Manilla’s powers are not developed. For example, he only blows smoke rings when using his atomic plasma breath, until daddy Godzilla steps on his tail, then you can see the fireworks!
When Reiko is attacked by the Kamacuras Manilla comes to her aid and while doing so inadvertently wakes up Spiga, a giant spider, who attacks Manilla and the Kamacuras. Then Godzilla comes to save the day! Manilla and Godzilla defeat Spiga with their atomic plasma breath. As they defeat Spiga the scientists, who have perfected their weather experiment, once again detonate the device causing the island to freeze in a massive blizzard. Godzilla hugs his son as they sit on the beach and both are buried in tons of snow and ice. Not to worry, Reiko explains that Godzilla and Manilla will not be harmed but will got into hibernation.
This was another movie that has grown on me over the years. The reasons kids and many people watch these movies is not for the human story but to watch the monsters battle. This movie is very satisfactory in that regard. Godzilla is not fighting any of his classic foes like King Ghidorah, Mothra or Rodan, he is fighting giant bugs! I think he needs to speak to his travel agent about that! The acting is a little cheesy and corny and so are the scenes with Godzilla instructing Manilla and even though Manilla makes a few very annoying sound the movie is still enjoyable. I enjoyed this movie more than its predecessor, Godzilla vs the Sea Monster, because this movie is whimsical and it also has a heart. I really did care about the relationship between Godzilla and his son even though Godzilla will never win father of the year award! I also want to add this is one of the best looking Godzilla movie as far as cinematography, special effects, and the beauty of a tropical island. I also enjoy the scenes were Godzilla comes ashore and we see the humans also on the beach it gives me a good view of the scale of Godzilla. A solid entry in the franchise and I do applaud Toho for gong in a different and creative direction.
There was a new suit invented for this movie and it was only used once. It has been described as the worst of the suits by a majority of the fans. I do agree with that assessment. The eyes are set up high on the head with heavy lids and a stubby face with a pug nose. The neck is think with rounded dorsal spines and short stubby arms. I am thankful that this was only used once.
I rate this movie: B
Posted on July 13, 2012, in Godzilla Movie Review and tagged 1967, Godzilla, Goro Masaki, Jun Fukuda, Kamacuras, Kumonga., Manilla, Minya, Sadamasa Arikawa, Son of Godzilla, Spiga. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.