Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Magic Jack Nicholson bot to the rescue!

When I was a young man, I owned a VHS tape that had, confusingly, a picture of Godzilla fighting some strange insect monster on top of the World Trade Center buildings. While I still haven't figured out the World Trade Center thing, I have come to terms with the movie. Godzilla vs. Megalon, A.K.A. the best episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, is an off-the-wall, puzzling movie that pretty much embodies what everyone wants in an old Godzilla movie. The plot is a nonsensical mess, the action is goofy and the monsters fight in hilarious ways.

I've probably seen this film two dozen times over the course of my life, but it still makes no goddamn sense. Apparently an ancient undersea civilization, with the stunningly creative name of Seatopia, is pissed that humans are nuking stuff again. Their response? Send the monster Megalon to destroy earth. Unfortunately, Megalon is the retarded midget of the rest of earths monsters and must be guided to his targets. The solution is easy; steal some random dudes super robot and reprogram him. Luckily, the robot has more special powers and programing than expected and he breaks free of his control and calls Godzilla to help. The tag team monster action that follows it pretty stellar. The film is directed by hit or miss director Jun Fukuda, his Godzilla movies are really all over the place, and it is universally hated as being one of the worst movies in the series. This is most likely due to the exceptional Mystery Science Theater episode for the film because, all things considered, Godzilla vs. Megalon is really not a bad way to spend an hour and a half.

The reason the Mystery Science Theater episode for the movie is so good is that there is about an hour of absolute absurdity in Godzilla vs. Megalon. From the very beginning, with the kid riding the worlds strangest boat, everything is just falls further and further into hilarity. With a snarky attitude, it's a blast to watch. What people often forget, is that all of the Godzilla movies from this era are almost as bad as this one is. There's a lot to laugh about, make fun of and enjoy in Godzilla vs. Megalon. The fight is pretty entertaining and the monsters have really entertaining personalities this time around. Megalon hops around like a retarded rabbit for most of the movie and Godzilla's tail-slide fatality is one of my favorite goofy moments in the whole series. Godzilla vs. Megalon required me to rethink why I am watching these movies in the first place. I don't expect the films to be good, just that they keep me amused. This movie does as good as job of that, if not better, than almost every other movie from the era.

Personally, I would recommend watching the Mystery Science Theater version of Godzilla vs. Megalon. It's a riot. If your not convinced, here is the theme song for Jet Jaguar complete with subtitles. Enjoy.



Happenstance said...

Re the World Trade Center appearing in GvM's U.S. poster: Simple, really; the Twin Towers not only represent the two titanic monsters, but publicity for Dino de Laurentiis' King Kong had just turned the WTC into an exploitable pop icon.

South Korea's Kong '76 ripoff "A*P*E" took things the other way, throwing in a completely-unexplained and irrelevant "giant" shark and snake for its monkey-suited actor to shake briefly at the camera.

Alfindeol said...

Oh god yes. I just added a movie to my list.