Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Morning Blogging: Godzilla: "The Sub-Zero Terror"

In “The Sub-Zero Terror,” a scientist named Dr. Roark goes in search of new geothermal energy sources in the Himalayas, and ignores a warning by the locals not to tread into the forbidden terrain of the region’s ancient guardian, a monstrous yeti.

The Calico arrives, and its crew attempts to help Dr. Roark in his quest. Unfortunately, the yeti turns out to be more than a mere legend.  In fact, a whole race of Yeti protect a green valley hidden in the ice.  Godzilla is summoned to protect the Calico’s team, and must defeat the snowmen as well as cork a volcano threatening to erupt.

The second-to-last episode of Godzilla’s first season, “The Sub-Zero Terror” is not one of the better installments of the Hanna-Barbera series. The plot seems rote, right down to the presence of a scientist who needs the Calico’s help, and the appearance of a mythical monster guarding local secrets.

And once more, the thin-ness of the series’ premise is. Godzilla pops up in waters in the Far East, the instant after being summoned.  It doesn’t take him minutes to show up; it takes him seconds.

Does Godzilla always follow the Calico so closely? If so, why?  Is he worried about Godzooky?  

Why does Godzilla consider it so important to protect this group of humans, besides the obvious fact that it tends to stumble into trouble?

Here, Captain Majors presses the Godzilla button and the giant green monster literally appears a second later.  He must have been present the whole time.  A little background, in this case, would have helped to explain why Godzilla is always close-by, when called.

Intriguingly, this episode also reveals that Godzilla can use tools, and boasts a strong enough intelligence to use them.  Specifically, he uses a giant stick to pick up a rock, and then cork the erupting volcano.   This act says a lot about his capacity to problem solve, and again, it seems a shame that in this early season, the series never devoted any time to the Calico crew studying the Earth’s greatest resource…Godzilla himself.

Next week: “The Time Dragons.”

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