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Saturday, March 29, 2014


Still trucking along through the big list of movies (HERE) to watch before Godzilla (2014) opens.

Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975) is up now.

My son, James, will go first:
Well, this is part 2 of our MechaGodzilla Marathon, and it's the last of the first era of Godzilla and it's starring Titanosaurus, Cygirl, and The Humanity Hater. And the end was awesome! we thought that it was positioned exactly right when they were walking and everything was exploding in their path! But, Godzilla ripped the new Mecha's head off, but it didn't help. 
So, rating wise, i'll say 3.7 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!! 
This is the last film of the first era of Godzilla films ... and it's directed by Ishiro Honda with a hefty helping of Akira Ifukube's music. 
Basically, the aliens from the previous film are back (but they never revert to ape form) and they've repaired MechaGodzilla with the help of a human-hating scientist.  Yes, the scientist is himself human.  Oh, and he found a large "dinosaur" underwater which he aims to control to destroy mankind. 
The American version of the film includes a fairly pointless seven-minute prologue that tells us who Godzilla is.  Then, after a brief Titanosaurus attack, there's a full thirty-odd minutes of spy shenanigans and scientific wrangling.  It drags a bit, especially after the more cracking pace of the last movie. 
There's more spy stuff and quite a bit of time spent with the human-hating scientist -- who is played by Akihiko Hirata, aka Dr. Serizawa, who was in the last film as a different character.  And we learn a bit more about his daughter who turns out to be a fembot. 
Blah-blah-blah.  The fun kicks in about an hour and change into the film.  Yes.  It's a long haul to get to the excitement. 
The last twenty-odd minutes are nearly full with monster fighting.  There's some really good stuff in here, particularly when MechaG destroys the city: 
My favorite shot has him firing his Lee Press-On Nails of Death at a city block, causing the whole thing to rise and crash.  It's pretty spectacular.

Titanosaurus whips some wind up with his tail and cackles with glee at times.  MechaG has lasers a'blazin' and Godzilla himself fights the good fight.  Fun to watch. 
Honda gives us several shots from a low angle, showing the monsters towering over the camera with the actual blue sky (and clouds) overhead.  It's a rare shot in these early films that attempts to give some scale to the kaiju.  The quick movement of the actors, though, detracts from the effect. 
The music isn't the odd '40s swing music from the previous movie.  It's often an Ifukube recycle or something new and more orchestral.  More fitting but not as memorable. 
I'm sad to see this era of Godzilla come to an end ... but I dearly love the Heisei series. 
Terror of MechaGodzilla ... Good, but it lacks the fun and pacing of its predecessor.  3.5 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's the trailer:

Next, we encounter some Star Wars knockoffs, beginning with War in Space.

(GIFs from DestructionMode)

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