Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966)

Godzilla fights a giant lobster, seriously.

I don't know if it was the dubbing, the poor VHS tape recording or the movie itself, but Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster is just plain bad. Somewhere between the 45 minutes of monster-less story and the fact that Godzilla fights a giant lobster lies the reason why this movie sucks so hard, but I don't think I want to dig that deep to find it. Suffice to say, this is, without a doubt, the worst film in the series so far.

Let's see if I can remember what happens in Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster. Some dude gets lost at sea, his brother tries to find him, but he's attacked by a sea monster and ends up on a weird island where some shady people are making some shady stuff. About an hour later Godzilla fights a giant lobster and Mothra shows up to rescue everyone before the island explodes. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster is directed by newcomer, Jun Fukuda and he certainly doesn't prove his qualifications here. I'm worried that he went on to direct four more films in the series, one of which I know is almost as bad as this one. The film has some familiar faces, it uses a lot of the same actors that were featured in previous films, and it brings back Mothra, for the last time until 1992. None of this matters though because the movie is truly awful.

Like all of the Godzilla movies, this one has a few great campy moments. Godzilla's game of tennis with the Sea Monster and the part where he rips off the monsters claw and claps it at him were moments that made me chuckle out loud, but those moments make up such a small portion of the film that you forget them amidst the sea of crap. Like many of the movies, Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster focuses way too hard on the human characters in the movie. This is always an issue, but unlike the last few movies, the characters here are just plain boring. Nothing about their lives or relationships is remotely interesting and you're left with an hour of plot development that doesn't make a whole lot of sense and is entirely boring. The other issue is that the movie just doesn't feel like a Godzilla movie. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster was originally supposed to be a King Kong movie, but the filmmakers couldn't secure the rights. Rather than do some rewriting, they just replaced all instances of Kong in the script with Godzilla. What you end up with is a bunch of King Kong motifs and ideas, like Godzilla having a crush on a human girl, and a disjointed movie. The combination of these elements makes for a film that isn't even laughably bad.

This is a time to be very blunt about a movie. Don't ever watch Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster. Unless you have some silly ambition, like me, to watch every Godzilla movie out there, this is an easy one to avoid. While I would never watch Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster again, it is one of the few Godzilla films to get a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode and I would suggest watching that instead.


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