Friday, June 12, 2020
Kaiju Watch: Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster (1964)
Viewing: second or third
Director: Ishirō Honda
This movie is straight up nonsense and is, therefore, ideal.
January in Tokyo sees 82 degrees temperatures and an encephalitis epidemic. People are all about UFO's. A Princess is seeking asylum from her small country in Japan because (a) there is an assassination plot afoot before she can be coronated and (b) everyone is wearing Elizabethan collars and it is a fashion nightmare. The Faeries are touring Japan and appearing on gameshows?
Anyway - we get way, way into the movie before there's even a hint of kaiju. Instead, there's a plot about the princess jumping out of her plane before it explodes and then appearing in Tokyo possessed by a Venusian and predicting calamity (see: Ghidorah). A reporter and her brother are stepping on each other's toes. There's a hit squad of 4 very hep cats after the princess.
Eventually Rodan shows up and picks a fight with Godzilla and they sort of just engage in horseplay around Mount Fuji and beyond for a while until the faeries convince baby Mothra to go tell them to join her and they'll all fight King Ghidorah together.
And it's all mayhem.
Look, I straight up just start laughing during parts of this movie just looking at it - it's just madness. Clearly ten years in they were like "oh, this is for kids" and they went berserk. There's maximum use of the faeries, Venusians with a flat affect, and those Infant Island locals who seemingly spend all their time focused on what Mothra is doing RIGHT NOW. And WILL MOTHRA COME BACK?
Anyway - Ghidorah is just a terrific villain, and I'm always happy when he shows up to freak out the squares, shimmying his way around and shooting lightning bolts. Lot of personality, he's got.
Is he causing a heatwave and encephalitis? The movie never says! We'll simply just have to believe that is the ongoing state of all subsequent Godzilla movies, I suppose. Shorts-weather and brain swelling.