The popular series of Godzilla pics from Japan’s Toho Studios, with their tinker-toy special effects & goofy puppet monsters, supplied regular paychecks for all the people who made them, but only modest use of their talents. Who were these films being made for? Model train mavens? Certainly anyone over the age of seven was past being frightened, and the acting & plotting had become witless. Here, a space voyage to Planet X finds humanoid aliens who need to borrow Godzilla & Rodan (an economy-sized pterodactyl) to fight the 3-headed Ghidrah terrorizing their planet. They offer a cure for cancer as payment for the loaned monsters, but then come down to Earth with all three and try to take over the joint. The anti-militaristic/anti-nuclear elements of the original GODZILLA (GOJIRA/’56) gave off an unsettling and occasionally powerful undertone (they were edited out of the reshot American release), but whatever reverberation they once held had worn off by now.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: The original Japanese cut of Ishirô Honda’s GOJIRO/’56 has been restored on DVD and try another Honda nuclear thriller, THE H-MAN/’58, to see what he could do.