Friday, April 12, 2013

Exploitation/B-Movie/Drive-In Challenge 2013 - Day 11

It was an unplanned Kaiju day today. Giant Japanese monsters made up the entirety of day 11.

First up was the only Godzilla film from the Showa era that I hadn't seen, GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH. Hedorah is a monster made up of sludge, and smog and all forms of pollution that are plaguing Japan and he seems to be nearly unstoppable. He creates sulfur burns on humans and if he passes too close they drop dead. Hedorah passes through solid objects and decays them like acid. Hedorah is pretty much a wrecking ball that is ready to totally decimate Japan, even Godzilla can't stop him. It takes the teamwork of mankind, science and Godzilla to finally inflict pain on the smog monster. I don't think I've ever seen Godzilla get more personal with the fight than after this one, he really let loose. This is the trippyest Godzilla movie I've ever seen, a definite reflection of its time. Really enjoyable flick.

I followed that up with another 'Zilla flick, one I hadn't seen since it ran on cable when I was a kid. GODZILLA VS MEGALON is pretty slow going in the beginning. Megalon is pretty much useless in the beginning, just a big lumbering monster with no real mission other than to squash houses, and the Jet Jaguar plot is pretty much just thrown together but it all becomes worth it in the end. The end battle is up there with some of the best tag team wrestling matches of all times. I'd give it an easy 4.25 or 4.5 stars. While Megalon and Gigan are destroying Jet Jaguar, just pummeling him ala the greatest heel factions in wrestling history using the numbers to their advantage, Godzilla is walking up to the fight like a man on a mission. His facial expressions and body language were nothing short of Stone Cold Steve Austin and I half expected to hear the glass break and then the entrance music to come on as Godzilla comes in and starts to turn the tables. The fight told a story by itself, like the best wrestling matches do. It was excellent. Hell, even the celebration by Godzilla and Jet Jaguar was something out of WWE... All it was missing was a beer toss to Godzilla and a final Stunner on Jet Jaguar from Godzilla. Overall not the best but damn that last fight was a lot of fun.

I closed out the night with WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, directed by the legendary Ishiro Honda. This is the story of a giant human-like beast terrorizing the seas, and he bares a striking resemblance to another gargantua that was thought to be dead in the forests of Mt. Fuji. The team of scientists responsible for the Mt. Fuji monster, who was very peaceful and never hurt humans, try to clear his name from this new sea monster until they come face to face. This was another winner, with high entertainment value. The contrast between the two Gargantuas was great, and you've never seen any Kaiju move like these beasts do. They're fast and agile which is a nice change from the slow plodding pace that usually comes to being weighed down with heavy rubber suits.

Today's Rundown
Godzilla vs Hedorah - 7.5/10
Godzilla vs Megalon - 6/10
War Of The Gargantuas - 7/10

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