Friday, March 19, 2021

Son Of Godzilla - The Criterion Colletion!

Imagine Christopher Lee's Dracula starring in Father Knows Best, or Mighty Joe Young on What's My Line? There are some venues which strike at the very essence of a character and undermine what that character represents. Alas such is the case with director Jun Fukuda's Son of Godzilla. Now I know that apparently they seemed to be running dry on  Godzilla ideas and that the target audience was skewing ever younger, but really. This is harmless movie that is as close to being about nothing as I can imagine. We have a hapless gaggle of sort of hapless scientists wanting to tinker with the weather (for the good of all mankind of course) and in the process irradiate the island they are on and make already horse-sized insects into literal block busters. Not to mention that aforementioned bugs (a bevy of praying mantises called "Kamacuras")  unearth an egg in which resides the titiular offspring. He's goofy as can be, and watching him wriggle and  doddle around seeking comfort from his parent, a literal engine of utter destruction, is a bit hard to process. There is a pretty girl, a Japanese Honey Wilder of sorts so that helps. 

The Godzilla in this flick has not much to do with any Godzilla who has come before. We see a creature with paternal instincts who likes to laze around napping while his kid nips at his talons. He rears up to fend off a deadly mantis here and there and ultimately takes on "Kumonga" a ginormous trapdoor spider.  They do have him show up early, in the first few minutes in fact, but it's not really for any specific purpose. (I suspect they were stung by criticism from the last one in which he was not seen for nearly an hour.)But as the movie ends, he's cuddling his kid as the artificially manufactured snow drifts down and covers them until the next flick arrives. 

Godzilla is presented here as a father figure of sorts and I guess his popularity made that seem like a great idea, with notions of merchandising dancing in Toho's collective heads. But I wish they'd made a more interesting movie. Turns our they did, but that's later. 

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