More Godzilla reviews continuing my Godzillathon, as well as a gem from my childhood.
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See full review here: fav.me/d767vp1
What I'm Watching:
-20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954, or, the only good interpretation of Verne's masterpiece story )
Before Alien, before Jaws, before any of the dark horrific films I watch today! This, is the film I was single handily raised on. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on the Jules Verne novel by the same name, was the first live-action film that Disney made. It ended up being so expensive that they nearly had to close down the studio. But I think all their efforts paid off in the end. The story follows 3 men: Ned Land, Professor Aronnax, and Conseil. All of whom are on a sea voyage on a warship that is on the hunt for a "sea monster" that has been destroying ships on their trading routes. It turns out that the "monster" is only an advanced submarine called the Nautilus, crewed by men who aren't too fond of the common man and were once slaves. Their leader, Captain Nemo, decides to let the 3 men live on board the Nautilus as long as they never try to escape and go home. While they are on board, the Professor is taught by Nemo how the sub works and he becomes fascinated by the vessel. Meanwhile, Ned and Conseil start plotting a way to escape. On their voyage, they come across an island of cannibals, a Giant Squid, and many other adventures. The Giant Squid battle is one of the most memorable scenes in cinema history and was always my favorite scene as a kid. The scene was what nearly closed Disney down. Although they did finish the scene, they ended up flooding the Studio. Someone even walked in and had a panic attack because of how real the squid appeared. They definitely deserved the Oscar for best Special Effects that they won. All that said, this is a gem from my childhood that I shall never forget and I am moving this back into my Top 10 films list after watching it again. HIGH Recommend. 10/10
-Mothra vs Godzilla (1964)
This one was the very first Godzilla film I ever saw. This is the one that got me hooked onto the franchise.
Toho Studios (the studio that makes all the Godzilla films), made a monster film in 1961 titled "Mothra". It was about a giant Moth that protected the Earth and Nature and answered only to two twin fairies. I was a commercial success and they decided to make another film starring her as the hero. At the same time, Godzilla was waiting to add another film to his name. So Mothra vs Godzilla was born. A film that portrayed Mothra as the hero, saving Japan from Godzilla. Another important thing to note about this film is that it's the first time Godzilla's most iconic theme was used. And this won Akira Ifukube the Japanese Film Award for best original score. This one feels a little slow at moments, but it quickly wins your attention back for the finale with Godzilla battling against Mothra's twin larvae hatchlings. This is one of the best of the series, solid recommend. 8.5/10
Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964)
After the grand Mothra vs Godzilla, Toho Studios did another film that same year. This time, they would pack it with two more monsters. Rodan, a giant Pteranadon who had his own film. (the first film Toho did in color) And a monster that would become Godzilla's most famous recurring villain. Ghidorah. (or Ghidra or King Ghidorah. It's your damn choice )
Ghidorah is a giant, 3 headed, golden dragon from space that shoots lightning from his mouths. He lays waste to all planets and is the reason Mars no longer has any life as we find out. If Earth is to be saved, it's up to the last Mothra larvae to rally Godzilla and Rodan to join her fight against the space monster. This one is surprisingly just as good as Mothra vs Godzilla, making it an instant recommend. 8.5/10
-Godzilla vs Monster Zero
Before Star Wars, before Star Trek, and before 2001: a space odyssey, this film was the first ambitious film about space travel of its time. What's the plot? A new planet is discovered beyond Jupiter. Planet X. Two astronauts journey there to find that the planet is inhabited by a civilization. However, the population is being driven into hiding by a creature they name "Monster X". But wouldn't you know it, it is Ghidorah. After being driven away from Earth, he decided to go bother the people of Planet X! The people of Planet X ask Earth if they can borrow Godzilla and Rodan to drive him away. They agree to let them. And the two monsters battle on the surface of Planet X. This fight ends with one of the most notorious moments in the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla's hilarious victory dance:
The aliens then return to Earth with an Army and UFOs. It turns out, Ghidorah was being controlled by them all along. They now have control of Godzilla and Rodan and unleash all of them upon the earth. It's up to the humans to release the monsters from the aliens' control and save Earth.
This one's pretty damn goo, but feels a little slow on a first viewing. But it's very ambitious for its time. I give it a recommend. 8.25/10
Next time, we'll look at the last Showa series films that I will be reviewing.