Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Godzilla vs Monster Zero - Planet X....More Like Planet Judas!

Godzilla vs Monster Zero
Directed by  Ishirô Honda
Written by Shin'ichi Sekizawa
 Starring  Nick Adams, Akira Takarada & Jun Tazaki

G -  Runtime 96 MInutes / 74 Minutes (Reissue)

Tag Lines
None that I could find.

Alternate Titles:
 Kaijû daisensô (The Great Monster War)  -  Japan
Battle of the Astros
A Guerra dos Monstros (War of the Monsters)  -  Brazil
Befehl aus dem Dunkel  (Command From the Darkness) -  Germany
Los monstruos invaden la Tierra  (Monsters Invade Earth)  -  Spain
Avaruushirviöt hyökkäävät  (Space Monsters are Attacking)  -  Finland
Invasion planète X  (Invasion of Planet X) -  France
Αστρο-τερατα επιτίθενται  (Astro Monsters Attack)   -  Greece
Μυστική βάσις AZ3, επιχειρησεις Κεραυνος  (Secret Base AZ3, Business Thuderbolt)  - Greece
L'invasione degli astromostri  (Invasion of the Astro-Monster)  -  Italy
Inwazja potworów  (Monster Invasion) -  Poland
Godzilla vs. Monster Zero - USA
Invasion of Astro-Monster - USA
Monster Zero - USA

"We're going to fight to the last man, baby!"
                                                     - Astronaut Glenn

Godzilla vs Monster Zero is how I grew up knowing this movie.  As you can see by the myriad titles above, it goes by many different names, most hilariously the Greek title, Secret Base AZ3, Business Thunderbolt)  Granted that's a Google Translator translation, so I'm sure that it actually means something slightly more coherent, but still, that's just wacky!

Humans discover that there is a secret planet orbiting just behind Jupiter and the World Space Organization (I think that's what it's called) sends out a manned mission to explore the planet.  Apparently they don't believe in probes.  Anyway, our two heroes, Astronauts Glenn Amer and K. Fuji land on Planet X and almost immediately they get the feeling they're not alone.

Nothing like getting your spaceship jacked as soon as you land on a new planet!

Apparently the aliens on Planet X new that the 80's fashions were gonna be big!  Look at them shades!

Turns out they're right.  The aliens, lead by the mysterious Controller of Planet X take our heroes underground and plead for their help.  Turns out that King Ghidora is wrecking havoc on Planet X and the aliens want to "Borrow" Godzill and Rodan to combat him.  The aliens refer to Godzilla as Monster Zero-One and Rodan as Monster Zero-Two.  In exchange, they will provide us with a cure for all disease.  Seems like a fair trade.

The Earth agrees to this offer and the aliens arrive in their glowing UFO's and pull Godzilla and Rodan (still in hibernation) into force fields and then transport them through space to Planet X.  Once there, they are woken up on Planet X, they have a throw down with Ghidorah and win the battle.  This is where we are treated to Godzilla's hilarious victory dance.  This is definitely the turning point between Godzilla being a horrifying allegory for nuclear war and a children's matinee idol.

Now THAT'S an alien abduction!!!!!!!!

Well, as it turns out, the aliens take Godzill and Rodan into their control and threaten the Earth with mass destruction if the people of the world don't agree to be Planet X's slaves.  Being the strong willed beings we are, we don't bow down to tyrants, even if they are in control of three powerful kaiju!  We come up with a way to counter the alien's mind control of Monsters Zero-One and Zero-Two.  Once they're free of alien control, they turn on their alien captors and Monster Zero for a final Battle Royale.

Rodan swoops in, dodging Ghidora's lightening attack.....

It's the Kaiju version of Tango and Cash!

Midnight Cinephile Tally:

Death Toll:  Well, it's a kaiju flick which means that there's cities getting stomped, so yeah, there's quite a bit of death I'm sure....but that's all implied off screen.  On screen deaths would total a whopping ONE!

Nude-O-Meter:  No sir.....kiddie stuff, remember?

Monster Party:  Ooooh man.  You get three monsters.  You get Godzilla, Rodan and the "Demon of Our Galaxy!", King Ghidorah!

Final Thoughts
There are some people who dislike the "Silly Zilla" so to speak and don't like his little victory dance.  As a matter of fact, there were several key people on the production that were against it initially.  There are some who prefer the more light-hearted, goofy goofy monster stomping fun of the 70's.  Then there are people like me who will watch them all and love them all.  Sure some are better than others....and Godzilla vs. Monster Zero is definitely one of the better ones!

Final Rating
Three out of Five Pizza Rolls!

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