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Kaiju Daiosenso

Monster Zero
Invasion of Astro-Monster / Godzilla vs Monster Zero

Japan 1964
produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Ishiro Honda
starring Nick Adams, Akira Takarada, Jun Tazaki, Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Keiko Sawai, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Takamaru Sasaki, Gen Shimizu, Kenzo Tabu, Yoshifumi Tajima, Nadao Kirino, Koji Uno
written by Shinichi Sekizawa, music by Akira Ifukube, special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya

Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Rodan

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A new satellite circling Jupiter has been discovered, and earth scientists are quick to imaginatively name it Planet X. Astronauts Glenn (Nick Adams) and Fuji (Akira Takarada) are sent up to Planet X, a barren rock where they are attacked by the three-headed monster King Ghidorah in no time at all but saved by the locals, a bunch of computer-controlled aliens, who ask earth for a favour: They want earth monsters Godzilla and Rodan to defeat King Ghidorah in exchange for the cure for cancer. Glenn and Fuji don't like it for whatever reason, but they agree.

Back on earth, inventor Tetsuo (Akira Kubo), the fiancé of astronaut Fuji's sister Haruno (Keiko Sawai), who still has to prove himself in Fuji's eyes), has invented some weird alarm system that emits an especially ghastly noise - which against all odds is bought by a big toy corporation, but then Tetsuo waits for the money for his invention in vain, so much so that he follows one of the representatives of the corporation, Ms Namikawa (Kumo Mizuno) to its secret headquarters, only to have to realize the corporation is run by aliens from Planet X and be captured and incarcerated by the aliens.

As coincidence has it, Glenn is Ms Namikawa's boyfriend, but upon paying a second visit to Planet X, he has to notice that all women there look like her, and thus she must be an alien. Back on earth, he confronts her with his knowledge, and she confesses to being an alien, but also confesses her undying love to Glenn, for which she is soon shot by her fellow aliens, but not before slipping a note to him pointing out the aliens' Achilles' heel. Of course, the aliens make Glenn their captive and throw him into a cell with Tetsuo, but as it happens, the sound emitted by Tetsuo's alarm are the aliens' very weakness, and since Tetsuo carries a prototype of his alarm with him they are out in no time, and immediately pay a visit to the army with their newfound knowledge.

The army of course is in dire need of a weapon against the aliens, because the aliens have not only started to attack earth, they have also returned Godzilla and Rodan but put them under mindcontrol to help them, and have imported King Ghidorah as an extra bonus. However, the amplified sounds of Tetsuo's alarm quickly shoot the aliens' UFOs out of the skies, and once the mind control over Godzilla and Rodan are broken, they quickly take care of King Ghidorah and chase him off earth ...

 

Not one of the better films of the Godzilla-series, this movie still has quite a few things to go for it: The pseudo-futuristic spaceships and the interiors of the alien base are endearing, most of the miniature work is brilliantly done, and the silly script is hilarious in a good way. The problem of this film quite simply is that there are not enough monster fights in there: Most of the movie's running time is eaten up by human subplots, which are actually a bit boring and childish, and it isn't until halfway through that Godzilla makes his first appearance. Only in the final quarter of the film are Godzilla and pals allowed to do their worst to whatever comes in their way, and these scenes are really well done (some of the destruction scenes are actually quite breathtaking) - but unfortunately that's too little too late.

Still a trashy but fun trip down memory lane, just by no means a classic, even within the realm of monster movies.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD