Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)

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Image eiga.wikia.com

“Godzilla’s Revenge”, also known as “All Monsters Attack”, is the worst movie in the Godzilla series, in this reviewer’s humble opinion.  It was deliberately aimed at children, with much of the plot centering around a child’s daydreams and adventures with Godzilla’s son, Minilla.  However, the main problem with the film stems from the fact that most of the action is stock footage, especially from “Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster” and “Son of Godzilla”, which weren’t the best films to begin with.  While a person unfamiliar with the previous Godzilla movies might not notice, someone who has seen the previous films will definitely feel like they are watching a re-run.

Young Ichiro’s parents often have to work late, and as such, the boy has a lot of time to himself.  He has troubles with the local bully, Gabara, and sometimes visits with the local toymaker, Shinpei.  To help pass the time he has to himself, Ichiro will fantasize about visiting Monster Island, where Godzilla and the other monsters live.  He imagines Godzilla fighting some monsters (composed of scenes from past films), and is himself chased down a hole by Kamacuras.  He is helped out of the hole by none other than Minilla, Godzilla’s son.  Minilla reveals that he is having trouble with a bully of his own, also named Gabara, who happens to be a large ogre-like creature.  Ichiro is then woken up by Shinpei, who reveals that his parents will be gone for the rest of the day, and that there have been reports of a pair of bank robbers in the area.  He goes out to play, but has another run in with the local bully and runs off to hide in a local warehouse, where he finds a dropped driver’s license and just misses a run-in with the two robbers.  The boy heads back to his home to return to his imaginary Monster Island trip, where he is immediately chased by the monster Gabara.  After escaping, he finds Minilla, who is about to have a fighting lesson with Godzilla.  Apparently, Minilla is something of a coward, and Godzilla wants him to learn to fight his own battles, especially against Gabara.

After Minilla attempts a losing battle against Gabara, Ichiro wakes up to find out h has been kidnapped by the bank robbers since the license he found belongs to one of them.  As he is tied up, Ichiro falls asleep and dreams about Monster Island.  The boy has a pep talk with Minilla about facing his fears, and Minilla is able to outwit Gabara by launching him from a seesaw-like log.  Gabara comes back for revenge, but Godzilla appears to chase him off.  Ichiro then wakes up and, using some ideas from his dreams, is able to outwit the robbers Home Alone-style until the police come to arrest them.  The next day, Ichiro stands up to his own Gabara and defeats him in a fight, gaining his friendship in the end.

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Image theskyhasfallen.blogspot.com

Eiji Tsuburaya, the famous special effects director, was slated to handle the effects for this movie, but was unable to in the end, mostly due to illness and his duties to his effects studio which was busy with TV at the time.  Director Ishiro Honda handled the effects in his stead (Tsuburaya received a credit out of respect), and the difference is glaring.  There is little new monster footage, and the fight scenes between Minilla and Gabara are much more acrobatic than the wrestling-like matches from the previous movies.  Honda’s lack of experience with effects may have led to the decision to use so much stock footage from previous movies.  The human plot with the boy Ichiro is a plot that has been seen in many TV shows and cartoons for years (the moral is “stand up for yourself”), although I find it a bit odd that Minilla is supposed to learn to fight his own battles, and yet, Godzilla is the one to defeat Gabara in the end.  Seems to defeat the moral.  Many fans would suggest this as a good film for children, which are the intended audience, but PLEASE make sure to remind them that it is a  bad  idea to play in abandoned buildings!  This one is my least favorite of the bunch, and I would suggest it for hardcore fans and completists only!

Trivia

This was the lowest grossing Godzilla film at the time of its release.

The toymaker Shinpei is played by Eisei Amamoto, who was best known for playing violent and sleazy gangsters.  He did not enjoy his role in this movie.

The Japanese version features a song over the opening credits, while the American version has a newly arranged jazz piece based on other musical cues from the film.  For all the things wrong with the movie, the music is actually quite good.

In press photos, Gabara is shown to be able to fire a beam of electricity from his palm.  He never does this in the film.

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Image godzilla.stopklatka.pl

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~ by Chris on April 26, 2014.

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