Monday, 2 March 2015
Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)
A nuclear weapons test in the Aleutian Islands unleashes a shockwave so massive that it rocks even Monster Island in the distant South Pacific.
... that's quite a bomb.
Anyway, in addition to sending Godzilla staggering and making Anguirus look like even more of a chump than the last film, the shockwave also unleashes devastation on the ancient, underwater civilisation of Seatopia.
The Seatopians are justifiably unhappy about this, and in an impressive display of double-think, they decide to "declare war on the surface world in order to preserve peace". This requires them to dispatch their 'god' Megalon. If you imagine a garishly colored, bipedal rhinoceros beetle eighty feet tall, you've got some idea of what ol' Megsy looks like. Though I doubt most rhinoceros beetles can fire electrical blasts from their horn or spit explosive pellets from their mouths.
I actually like Megalon. He's just the right kind of goofy to make for a fun kaiju without crossing over into eye-rolling territory.
Powerful it might be, but Megalon is apparently not too bright, so the Seatopians go to Japan to steal a robot named Jet Jaguar as a means of controlling it. Quite why they wouldn't have their own control method already, what with Megsy being their monster, is the kind of plot point this movie is good at ignoring.
Presumably because that's where Jet Jaguar was, the Seatopians decide to send Megalon to attack Japan. The film never says as much, so I'm making that up myself, but it's at least an in-narrative reason for the lunacy of attacking Japan to punish the world for using nuclear weapons. Obviously the real reason Tokyo is immediately on the hit list is "this is a Japanese movie".
When the robot's inventor manages to regain control of Jet Jaguar, he sends the robot to fetch Godzilla. The Seatopians respond by calling on the aliens from last movie to send Gigan into battle once more. Because that worked so well for those guys.
On the other hand, a mob that use a beetle kaiju being allies of space cockroaches is almost thematically appropriate, so I will let it slide.
Jet Jaguar grows to kaiju size to battle the bad guys as well, so we have a four way scuffle on our hands. It's pretty dire, to be honest. Several sequences from Godzilla vs Gigan get recycled into the battle, and the new stuff is weak. "Oh no, the bad kaiju started a fire! Godzilla is trapped!" Except for Big G having an ally who can fly, and being able to fly himself (though that was in Godzilla vs Hedorah, which they might have been pretending didn't exist), and you know, being frickin' Godzilla.
This is not very good.