Saturday, October 04, 2014

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Godzilla (1978): "The Magnetic Terror"

In “The Magnetic Terror,” the Calico crew detects an enormous magnetic force near the South Pole, and its crew comes face-to-face with a gigantic turtle monster that has attacked a drilling rig and downed a plane.

The Calico summons Godzilla, who battles the turtle, which boasts powerful “magnetism.”  The final battle occurs at the magnetic pole, and the turtle swallows a submarine with Carl and Brock aboard.

As the monster grows to ten times Godzilla’s size, Quinn realizes that the magnetic pole contains the secret to the monster’s destruction.

After three very compelling episodes in a row, “The Magnetic Terror” is return to the previous formula, with no fantasy elements beyond Godzilla and the monster of the week.  This (first) formula is inferior because after you’ve seen one episode in this style, you’ve virtually seen them all.  

The only things that change are the picturesque locale, and the nature of the monster and its powers.  Here, we travel to the South Pole and get a magnet monster.

Otherwise, it’s the same story as “Attack of the Stone Creature” or any other early episode. 

That fact established, there is a moment that I really enjoyed, and “humanized” Godzilla, if that is the right choice of words.  Summoned by the Calico crew, he bursts up from the ocean through a layer of ice, and lands on a glacier.  But then, he slips on the ice, and catches his balance.  That’s a moment that feels like it could have come right out of the live-action Toho movies, and it reminds us that even goliaths like Godzilla slip on ice.

Next week: “The Breeder Beast.”

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