Monday, May 12, 2014

Godzilla Week - Kaiju Cuts: Godzilla's Revenge (1969)


Godzilla's Revenge (1969) concerns a bullied young boy, Ichiro (Tomonori Yazaki) who imagines life on Monster Island because he is constantly bullied in real life by a larger child named Gabara.  

On Monster Island, Ichiro befriends Minilla, Godzilla's diminutive son, who is still practicing his atomic fire breath.  Like Ichiro, Minilla is facing down a bully named Gabara, but in this case the bully is a giant blue monster with electricity beams.

Ichiro draws strength from Minilla's travails on Monster Island in his real life, both in contending with bullies...and with deadly criminals.




Godzilla's Revenge (sometimes also known as All Monster Attack) is probably one of the most disliked films in the Godzilla franchise, in part because all of the monster scenes can be said to be occurring simply in the imaginative mind of a lonely boy. 

In other words, Godzilla and the others aren't "present" in the film except as the figments of Ichiro's imagination.

Godzilla's son Minilla (or Minya) would come to play an important role in Godzilla vs. Mecha Godzilla 2 (1993), Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995) in the Heisei Era.  

Similarly, the young Godzilla pup also helps his Dad forgive the human race in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) in the Millennium Era.

On the plus side, Godzilla's Revenge reveals some interesting peeks at life on Monster Island, even if it is all but a dream.  We meet Kumonga (the giant spider) and Karacurras (giant preying mantis), for example. 

More importantly, however, the (admittedly-minor) film might be commended for embracing the fact that Godzilla, by this point, is a beloved children's figure. Children see him not as a terrible threat or as a rampaging monster, but as a (slightly-awkward...) friend and father figure.  That's where the Godzilla franchise was at this point, and the film explores that more gentle interpretation of the beloved monster.


3 comments:

  1. Donald G12:29 AM

    John: I'm afraid that I'm going to be That Annoying Guy Who Points Out Simple Mistakes again, but "Son of Godzilla" (1967) and "Godzilla's Revenge" (filmed in 1969 but released in the US in 1971) are two completely different films with different plotlines and different characters. "Son of Godzilla" introduced Minilla to the world when he hatches from an egg. There is no bullied boy in "Son of..." and the monster action is not a fantasy in that film. By the time "Godzilla's Revenge" was made, Minilla had been around for a while.

    I'm not certain of the accuracy of the claim on imdb.com that "Godzilla's Revenge" has the alternate title of "Minya: The Son of Godzilla" in the USA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donald,

      Thank you for writing

      Yep! Apparently, I conflated the two films!

      Thank you for pointing out the error. I have now corrected the post to be more accurate.

      Thanks for keeping a close eye on me! :)

      Best,
      John

      Delete
  2. So this was the movie that ultimately inspired the creation of Barney the Dinosaur. :)

    ReplyDelete

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