Gojirathon 2: Gojira no gyakushû (1955)

G: minus 36 days

Gojirathon is me just writing up some thoughts about the movies I see while I conduct my little marathon of Godzilla-movies in anticipation of the new Hollywood retooling. Why Gojirathon and not Godzillathon? Well, because Rolfe already did his Godzillathon as part of his Monster Madness, and I don’t want to steal his work. I’ll be using the terms, G, Big G, Godzilla and Gojira somewhat interchangedly… since I can be a bit lazy at times, when it comes to these things.

Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

Ah. He returned quite quickly. This being only the year after the first one.  Still in Black & White and still in Academy Ratio. Though if memory serves. This is the last of those.

I probably need to correct myself from the last entry. Because according to IMDB-trivia (and we know they are never wrong). The Maninasuitasaurus, or Suit-Mation-technique for short, might have been a cheaper alternative. But the production was not exactly cheap. Acording to that entry, Toho was on the brink of bankruptcy while helming that lavish production alongside the famous Shishinin No Samurai epic of the great Akira Kurosawa. Fortunately, for Toho. Gojira was a big hit (and I heard the Samurai-romp made its money back too). So maybe a sequel was inevitable?

Well. Return he did. And with him he brought what would become the mainstay of the genre. He now had an enemy of his own size. A spiky-shelled turtle-dinosaur named Angilas (or Angirus in later movies). And the humans take the seats as bystanders to this feud that is hinted at having gone on for the last two million years since the jurassic period (what, you question their knowledge in archaeology at this point?). The humans have a hunch that Gojira might be pissed at bright lights, so they start filling the air with flairs. Gojira finds this nuisance quite annoying so he continues his fight and kills Angilus. Then he sees fit to enter a tiny canyon on a glacier-filled island where the pilots of the film hatch the idea to bury the big one in ice. It works. For now at least.

Now let’s keep score, shall we? I’ll only count the kills and knockouts one per film. Since I don’t want to overcomplicate things.

Gojira vs Angilus: 1:0 (took a big bite out of Angilus neck)
Gojira vs Humans: 0:2 (oxygen destroyer in the last one and buried in ice in this one)

Oh, and I made a fuss about him dying in the first movie. Well. Technically they are going with the story that he is of a species called something like Gojirasaurus. So basically we have a twin-brother solution to the whole annoying got-killed-in-the-last-one.

And I think it’s quite telling that they suspected they might have a long franchise on their hands, since they didn’t so much destroy the body of Gojira this time. Only bury it in ice.

I have also heard that according to legend, they were supposed to film the fight-scenes in slow-mo as usual. But a mistake made it so that they filmed a few reels of takes in fast motion instead. The filmmakers prefered this movement, so they went ahead and filmed the rest of them. The story is a bit dubious. But seeing the finished film, there is undeniable switch from the realistic slow movements of the last one to really fast motion here. Almost verging on goofiness. I don’t know. In a few shots it kind of worked. But most of the time it’s more goofy than awe-inspiring. And they are still going for a dark and dire tone.

Now I’ll see if I manage to push myself through the next one called Kingu Kongu tai Gojira. Yes, you read it right. Godzilla battled King Kong. And if memory serves… it was glorious!

Till next time, Be seeing you!

Gojira55

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