Monday, May 26, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Showa Series Part Five- Awesoming Robots- continued

Don't miss the best one! It inspired a painting:




Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
(aka Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster, Godzilla vs. the Bionic Monster)
1975


A mountain unceremoniously explodes. Anguirus goes to check it out, but is interrupted by the opening credits.  Suddenly, we’re in Okinawa, where a priestess of the Izumi has a weird vision that inspires a prophecy and freaks out her loopy Grandfather.  Nearby, a spelunker finds a shiny thing in a cave.

The DPW finds another nearby cave, this one with ancient art and a statue that a pretty young Archeologist Girl links to the same prophecy about monsters, mountains in the sky, red moons, and the sun rising in the west.  The Izumis talk of King Caesar (amidst some foreshadowing focuses on guardian statues) and some shifty looking guys spy on the archeologist.  One of them identifies himself as a Sleazy Reporter on the plane she’s bringing the statute to Tokyo on.  She also meets the spelunker, or maybe his brother. Both of them are nephews of the Professor she’s heading to meet so it doesn’t really matter which one it is.

As they fly, they see a black cloud shaped like a “mountain in the sky.” Apparently, none of these people have seen a thunderstorm before, because they’re all convinced it’s linked to the prophecy.

Shifty people continue to lurk around the statue, in fact one tries to steal it, but it looks like the Sleazy Reporter helped out.  Also, the Professor's friend the Scientist identifies the shiny metal from the cave as “Space Titanium.”  So that was helpful. He has a pipe made out of special metals that can disrupt electrical equipment…that’s probably going to be more helpful.

Hey, remember that mountain that blew up?  Well a big chunk of it flies to Japan, and Godzilla comes out of it.  However, he sounds wrong. Not just his roar, but his breath and stomp are kinda on the squeaky side.  The Loopy Grandfather decides Godzilla is the monster going to destroy the world from the prophecy.  Though his actions in the last couple of outings have most people doubting this, the Big G’s current behavior looks to be proving the old guy right.

Anguirus burrows up from under his old buddy and attacks him, much to everyone’s surprise.  To no one’s surprise, the little spiky dude gets completely creamed again, as Godzilla beats the snot out of him before breaking his jaw and sending him scurrying away.  Anguirus gets one good shot in before his humiliation, exposing a shiny bit on Godzilla’s shoulder.

The Scientist wants a closer look at “Godzilla” after finding more Space Titanium at the battle site.  Oh, and some shifty looking guys in shiny space suits are watching the carnage on their televisions.  A correct sounding Godzilla bursts awesomely through a building, and confronts the squeaky one.  The Scientist wonders if one is a cyborg, which the correct sounding (and real) Godzilla proves by a blast of radioactive breath.   Seeing a fifty meter tall robotic monster destroying the city isn’t the clincher for Mr. Science Man, no it’s identifying the “Space Titanium” in its make up that convinces him Mechagodzilla is from another world.  Glad he came along.

A mutual blast from both Godzilla’s explode on each other, knocking the real one into the now blood filled ocean and seemingly out of commission, and sending the robot one home for repairs.

Both the Space Titanium and the statue are pointing towards the caves and Izumi Castle on Okinawa, leading everyone back. The cave exploring part of the group flies, while the archeologist and her chosen Nephew decide to return via the Love Boat.

The cave team gets captured by the shifty shiny suit people who identify themselves being from “the third planet of the black hole, outer space.”

Thanks for that last bit. 

They threaten his daughter to make the Scientist help fix Mechagodzilla, because they can only build giant death dealing robot dinosaurs, not repair them.

Godzilla washes up on shore half dead, but luckily it’s the middle of a giant thunderstorm - possibly from that “mountain in the sky” they saw from the plane.  The lightning recharges and heals him, which I still say is because of the Kong infusion eleven films ago.

A shifty guy on the boat steals the statue. When injured in a tussle with Nephew, his face turns into that of a gorilla. Yes, it’s evil Space Apes from the third planet of the black hole.

I believe Tim Burton made a movie about that when trying to restart a different franchise.  Sleazy Reporter sort of saves the day. He shoots the alien monkey, but makes him fall overboard with the statue.  Archeologist girl freaks out for a while, until they leave the ship and she learns Nephew had a fake statue and put the real one in the ship’s safe without telling her.

What a jerk.

By the time the cruise ends, their friends have been captured long enough to fix Mechagodzilla.  The Scientist is thrown in with his daughter and the other nephew to be scalded to death in a steam room of doom…Oopsie.

Archeologist Girl frets in the hotel while Nephew heads back to the cave, and gets caught immediately after finding the Scientist’s pipe.  He’s saved by Sleazy Reporter again, who turns out to be from Interpol and investigating the evil Space Apes.  They eventually help the rest of the gang escape, and then everyone sees a red moon.  Nephew takes the two girls to Izumi Castle while the others head back in to take out the Space Apes…and get captured immediately again, this time by a lightning shooting heat lamp.

Don’t worry, the Izumi Castle gang get captured too, because the Space Apes are there already.  Luckily, so is the Interpol guy’s partner, who hasn’t been in the movie at all up till now.  The sun is seen to rise in the west, the last part of the prophecy.  It’s a mirage, because the light is reflecting off…um…something. 

Anyway, it’s time to put the statue in its place, making the eyes light up and blow a little island open to reveal a sleeping King Caesar.  The Space Apes panic and launch Mechagodzilla.

Their giant dinosaur cyborg, however, is a true patron of cultural arts. Therefore he lets the Izumi priestess sing her entire very long song on the beach to wake up King Caesar before attacking.

King Caesar has an extremely cool song. It says a lot about these movies, that it’s only about the third most awesome song for a giant monster in the franchise.

Education time:  The statue is a Shisha - a guardian lion/dog thing in Okinawa that derived from the Chinese "Foo Dogs."  Which explains why I start singing whenever we go to Hunan Taste.


The bat eared, puppy faced, Okniawan guardian rises, and at first does pretty well. He absorbs Mechagodzilla’s eye beam in one of his own eyes, and reflects it out the other.  Weird but effective.  The effectiveness drops substantially when the cyborg switches to his finger rockets, and chest lightning.

Godzilla, once again picks a moment when his buddy is getting hammered to show up, providing enough of a distraction that the captured Interpol guy can get out of his handcuffs.  Godzilla’s opening attack with his radioactive breath misses his foe, but wakes up King Caesar, who had managed to get himself buried under rubble.

With two targets, Mechagodzilla starts to expand his arsenal. He spins his head 180° to shoot eye beams at one opponent and toe rockets at the other.   Yeah, that’s right, I said toe rockets, and he isn’t even warmed up yet.

Though they aren’t really hurting him, the cyborg spins his head to create an energy shield that knocks the King of Monsters on his tail yet again.  The Space Apes gloat while Interpol guy continues his slow escape.

Godzilla and King Caesar are reduced to hugging each other looking for cover when Mechagodzilla unleashes EVERYTHING:
Eye beams
Finger missiles
Toe rocket
Chest lightning
Knee shooters

I’m surprised he didn’t lift his leg and sent an atomic-mountain sheering-whiz at them.

To finish off the Big G, Mechagodzilla does a flying eye beam attack, which sends Godzilla’s blood “spuuurting out.”  Then he fires a bunch of finger missiles into the King of Monsters that stick and turn him into a pin cushion.

That’s all the Greatest of Kaiju can take, and he turns himself into a giant electromagnet, because…
um,,,

Well, how the heck else was he supposed to win this time?

He pulls Mechagodzilla back to him, holds him to let King Caesar charge in a couple of times, and rips off the cyborg’s head.

Interpol Guy finally makes his move, throwing the Scientist’s pipe parts on either side of the control console.  While this does cause some short outs at the base, the main effect is it makes Mechagodzilla explode.

For those of you not paying attention, Godzilla had already soundly beaten his Space Ape created foe, meaning all the explosion did was blast the snot out of the heroic monster still holding the robot remains.

The good guys shoot some Space Apes, to let us see their black blood before the lab blows up.

Godzilla swims home, without a token wave, after being exploded on by friend and foe alike,  King Caesar goes back to sleep in his cave, and Nephew comforts the Scientist’s Daughter that her Dad and the others “achieved a victory,” insinuating that they died well.

This is kind of odd, since we saw them all run out of the exploding lab. Since he lied about the duplicate statue, maybe he’s just being a jerk again.



Mechagodzilla’s Counterattack
(aka Terror of Mechagodzilla, Terror of Godzilla)
1976

Godzilla’s classic march plays over footage summing up the last movie. Yeah, baby, Akira Ifukube AND Ishiro Honda are back for the end of the Showa series.

A Spooky Girl seems connected to a submarine searching the sea floor.  It is trying to find parts of Mechagodzilla.  This is odd because, in the montage we just watched; Mechagodzilla was destroyed on land, and blew into Space Titanium confetti when it happened.

Unsurprisingly, they do not find bits of the robot. Surprisingly, they do find a giant fish-dinosaur-duck looking thing. This hugs them and squeezes them and blows them up.

Interpol calls in Ichinose, a marine biologist to listen to the tape of the people on the sub screaming, “A dinosaur!”

Oh, and the Space Apes are still around. They hate people, hate traveling by plane, and also hate Tokyo.

Both the Space Apes and Interpol are talking about Dr. Mifune, a marine genius who was trying to control sea life to farm it, or be Aquaman, or something. Whatever it was, he was drummed out of academia for pushing things too far and claiming to have found a dinosaur, which you’d think in Godzilla’s world wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Now Dr. Mifune hates people too, making him an ideal ally for the Space Apes, who also helped him when his daughter, the Spooky Submarine Girl, was hurt a while back.  In a bit of casting coolness, he’s played by Akihiko Hirata, Doctor Serizawa in the original Gojira, and about a million other roles in subsequent films.

Ichinose and Interpol go to the local haunted house, and find out from Spooky Daughter that Dr. Mifune died five years ago.  This is contradicted in the next scene when we see the not so good doctor being toasted by the Space Ape Captain because the Titanosaurus controller works.
 
Mifune’s maniacal laugh inspires the Space Ape to bring him to the new secret underground base and see the oddly intact Mechagodzilla.  The Space Apes need the scientist’s expertise as they still aren’t good at repair, which ends up involving him doing things that look a lot like closing drawers.

Ichinose and the Interpol gang are working on a new submarine with longer range sonar, the better to stay out of Titanosaurus's hug range.  He also finds one of Mifune’s notebooks that talks about the dinosaur being gentle.  He tries hitting on Spooky Daughter, telling her he’s going to redeem her late father.  When she reports this to her not as late as he’s supposed to be dad, he says they’ve come too far.  So have the Space Apes, who now wear funny helmets, removing any coolness they may have possessed.

Spooky Daughter wants to warn Ichinose, but the Space Apes have a remote control for her. Turns out she died years ago during one of dad’s experiments and the Space Apes put her brain in a robot body that controls Titanosaurus, and remind her she can only feel vengeance… as per usual.

She directs the fishy dinosaur to attack the new submarine, but they repel it using high powered sonar.  Amazingly, that weakness almost makes sense compared to other ones in this series.  Interpol begins work on a super sonar gun while Ichinose heads back to the haunted house.  He follows some guys in space jammys, and is almost captured.  A conveniently placed Interpol agent saves him.  The shiny suits, the laser guns and calling everyone “Earthling” has shown the Space Apes cards too soon once again.

Spooky Cyborg Daughter tries to help Ichinose by giving him some of her father’s notes. Coincidentally, at the same time someone has sabotaged the new sonar gun.

Doctor Mifune defies the Space Apes to prove his living brained dinosaur is better than their giant robot.  The Space Apes don’t really care, as they expect Godzilla to wipe the coast with dino-fish but be weakened, allowing Mechagodzilla an easy victory.   Titanosaurus gets to pretend he’s in the original Gojira for a while and break stuff while ignoring the army.  He doesn’t have any distance attacks, but handles planes by having some severe hang time when he jumps.

Suddenly, Titanosaurus’s games are ended with a familiar blue jet.  Godzilla shows up with some impressive back lighting, and takes him out without being weakened, or even breaking a sweat.

Spooky Cyborg Daughter ends up chased off a cliff.  The Space Apes revive her (again) and this time build the Mechagodzilla controller into her inner workings, which appear to consist of linkages, phone cords, and Christmas lights.  Now the Space Apes don’t need a secret base, yet they set up a new one anyway.

Ichinose is well beyond smitten by this point, heads back to the haunted house, and gets captured for real this time.  Interpol, meanwhile, has found the old base in time to rescue the prisoners.  They all have neck scars and can’t talk, indicating there’s bits of this story that fell out somewhere along the way.  Everyone gets away from the old base before it explodes, but they have no idea where the Space Apes could be now.

Spooky Cyborg Control Base Daughter launches both Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla on Tokyo, and there is much boomage.  Turns out Titanosaurus does have a distance attack:  he shakes his butt and makes a mighty wind with his fishy tail…

Perhaps he’d have been better off without one.

While everyone else in Tokyo is running and screaming, a teenage boy named Ken wants to go for a closer look…directly before Godzilla shows up. 



The fish butt wiggle turns out to be fairly effective, especially combined with Mechagodzilla’s energy attacks.  The giant robot is content to watch the fist fight until his partner is losing, then he starts shooting again. 

Some jets provide enough distraction for Godzilla to get a few hits in, but it doesn’t last. He gets beat and blasted again, culminating with Mechagodzilla’s new finger missiles (that look exactly like his old finger missiles) exploding in the Big G’s mouth. 

Godzilla is down, out and buried.  Titanosaurus adds insult to injury by literally dancing on the King of Monsters’ grave.

Thanks to the tech guys meeting management’s insane schedule demands yet again (ask me how work has been lately) the super sonar gun is ready and mounted on a helicopter.  It immediately causes Titanosaurus to run in pain, but Mechagodzilla draws a bead on the copter.

The Interpol Sonar Firing Squad is saved by Godzilla’s timely bursting from his tomb, breath weapon at the ready.   Mechagodzilla faces his foe and once more launches energy weapons and explosive death from every orifice at his organic enemy. 

However, after sixteen movies of dealing with humans, aliens and other monsters, Godzilla has had enough of everyone’s crap.  He pulls off the most awesomest charge ever through the barrage. By the time he reaches his cybernetic opponent, his dorsal plates are fully ablaze, but he hasn’t even slowed down.

Godzilla attacks Mechagodzilla with a combination of boxing, wrestling, judo, and plain old animal viciousness, leaving the robot reeling. 

Ichinose frees himself, strangles a Space Ape with his own ropes, and appeals to Spooky Cyborg Control Base Daughter’s human side. It doesn’t work at all, and she’s about to shoot him.  Interpol breaks in to save the day yet again, and shoots her. 

Perhaps using Dr. Mifune’s basement as their secret base was a tactical faux pas by the Space Apes.

During the chaos at the base, Godzilla tears off Mechagodzilla’s head…again. But this time, the thing keeps fighting, much to Godzilla’s surprise. 

At that point, Ichinose confesses his true love for Spooky Cyborg Control Base Daughter, which seems to finally kill her, leading Mechagodzilla to explode on poor Godzilla a second time.

He recovers quickly and holds Titanosaurus to let the Interpol Sonar Firing Squad shoot at him. Since this only seems to cause the creature pain, and not break control or anything, we can chalk it up to how fed up Godzilla finally is with everything he’s had to deal with.

The last Space Ape is bullet proof, for reasons that aren’t adequately explained, and leaps off a cliff into the sea.  Two flying saucers take off from the ocean where he landed.  Again, Godzilla is having no more or this foolishness, and breathes on them without having to release Titanosaurus. 

Then he smacks the fish dino a couple of times, breathes to blow him off the edge of the cliff for good measure, and stomps off.


The Showa Godzilla walks back out to sea, never to be seen again.

But we're far from the end, Kaiju fans.

Click here for the Return.

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