Son of Godzilla (1967)

aka Kaijut no kessen: Gojira no musuko
Article 2752 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-19-2008
Posting Date: 2-24-2009
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Featuring Tadao Takashima, Akira Kubo, Bibar Maeda
Country: Japan

A group of scientists experimenting with weather control encounter difficulties when they discover the island they are working on is the home of Godzilla and his newly hatched son.

There’s only so much you can do with the concept of a giant monster, but I have to give Toho credit for trying to find as much variety as they could with the premise; all of the Godzilla movies for the first fourteen years or so were somewhat different from each other. It wasn’t until after DESTROY ALL MONSTERS that the series began resorting to formula. Some of the attempts to find something new to do with the Godzilla were pretty far out; I tend to place this movie, GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, and GODZILLA’S REVENGE in a group by themselves as ones that gave us the most radical departures from the usual giant monster mayhem. You have to have a high tolerance for cute with this one; the scenes of Godzilla trying to teach his comic-relief son could be either delightful or painful, depending on how you feel about Minya. I have to admit to having a weak spot for Minya, and I was highly amused by the fact that he originally blew smoke rings and had to be trained to use his radioactive breath. Plotwise, it’s a mess, though; between the scenes of the monsters, we have an extremely episodic and not very interesting human story about scientists experimenting with weather, and this story really has no forward momentum and only cursory interest level; they’re just there to fill in time between the monster scenes. Still, whatever its weaknesses, the final shot of Godzilla, covered with snow, cradling his son in his arms, and preparing to go into hibernation, is somehow more powerful and moving than you might think; it’s one of my favorite images from the series.


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