TALKBACK #6: Invasion of Astro Monster

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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TALKBACK #6: Invasion of Astro Monster

Postby lhb412 » Mon May 04, 2009 12:30 pm

I'm naming these films by their current U.S. release titles, baby.

I love this movie. I love, love, love, love this movie, baby. Their are two types of perfect films. There are artistic acheivements that encapsulate aspects of the human experience (like, say, Ikiru or Citizen Kane) and then there are the films perfect in entertainment (like Hellboy 2 or The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad - and Monster Zero).

I remember as a little kid being in a hotel room (I think in another state due to my brother's basebal tournament or some such) with the sound down really low and trying to watch Monster Zero on TNT's Monstervision late at night, baby. I went to sleep about 20 minutes in, but I'll allways remember what Joe Bob Briggs (the host) said; "most Godzilla fans hate this one 'cause its got so little monster footage."
:?

Of course, we know that the characters are so likable, the models so neat, the galaxy-trotting and extratesrestrial encountering so entertaining that having Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah show up at all is just icing on the cake, baby.

This film really has a distinct visual look. It's spacious and clean and streamlined. This extends to everything, just look at the scenes in the capital compared to the ones from the previous film.

It took me forever to figure out what the blue dots vs. red dots thing was all about. Watching the Japanese version when I got the new DVD helped clarify that the computer predicts the future with all avaliable data and when it's blue dots it means if things continue as they are then there is a great probability of success while red dots means probability of failure and that a change of plans is in order.

I wonder if there was much fun at Glen Glenn Sound when Fuji is yelling "Glenn? Glenn? Glenn!!!"
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Monster Zero

Postby Xenorama » Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm

i missed MONSTER ZERO the first time it aired on channel 2 (KWGN) in Denver, i believe i was in the mountains at the time. i also didn't know it was a Godzilla movie (despite one of the coolest titles ever) until the next day at school (had to be 1975, probably, i was in 4th grade) the kids were talking about it and i was greatly upset that i had been left out.

damn my family for making me hike and climb and have fun instead of sitting in front of the tv! :lmfao:

anyway, the next time it aired was a school night a few years later. it was on at 8, so i had to receive special permission to stay up that late for a two hour movie. it was a Tuesday night, i think. and waiting until then was nearly unbearable for me! it's really nice to be able to pop a DVD into the player any time you want, but the anticipation of seeing a movie for at least a WEEK is missing. kids will never know that feeling. which is sad.

and the movie was so worth the wait. i did wonder when the monster fights would be at one point, when i realized it was 9:30 and the heroic monsters hadn't driven Ghidrah from the Earth yet, but it all worked out in a splendid fashion.

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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon May 04, 2009 3:24 pm

ahhh yes, Just watched this a couple days ago (again, letting you have the first crack to open up the talkback thread...hehehe)

I used to despise this movie when I was a kid. Although, to be fair, when I was younger, my favorite films were of the 1970s variety, with the monsters going about slugfests and performing wrestling style moves...

Watching it (for the first time) on Classic Media's subtitled original version...really has changed my opinion.

I still wouldn't call it a favorite, but it's so much better than I'd remembered.

Though there's some flaws that make NO and show a touch of lazy filmaking (ghidorah is in the US, oh wait, he's actually right next to Godzilla poised for the final battle)

I also actually enjoy the ending to the final battle. Honda isn't afraid to leave us wondering just who won...and i think it's neat that basically (IMHO) it feels like all the monsters were just confused and got in a scuffle, and then after falling into the water, they kinda just called it quits, each one going off to collect its thoughts/figure out what the hell just happened...

it might be a stretch, but like i said, i like to think of the monsters as characters in the films sometimes...

also, watching it without the dub really helps one appreciate the humor a lot better...the inventor character (sorry, i generally suck with names in these films) comes off as much less of a doofus

I'm giddy with excitement though, up next is the first Godzilla movie I ever saw, lets hope a repeat watching holds up as well (or better as in the case of Monster Zero) so many years later...
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Postby lhb412 » Mon May 04, 2009 3:36 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
I also actually enjoy the ending to the final battle. Honda isn't afraid to leave us wondering just who won...and i think it's neat that basically (IMHO) it feels like all the monsters were just confused and got in a scuffle, and then after falling into the water, they kinda just called it quits, each one going off to collect its thoughts/figure out what the hell just happened...


That's what I've always thought.


Oh, and as for Ghidorah in the US: that's where he was poised originally for intimidation purposes, but the aliens had to change their plans and attack our heroes in Japan because their computer figured out that's where the threat to them was coming from.
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Postby McGodzilla » Mon May 04, 2009 4:12 pm

I tend to like Monster Zero a bit more than Ghidrah it's predecessor. I find that the pacing of the film is a bit better. However, the big thing that makes it stand above Ghidrah, for me at least, are the human characters. I like the fact that an American has a lead role in the film, not just the inserted scenes of Raymond Burr in the original US version of Gojira. The back and forth between Adams and Takarada makes this film one of my favorites, but still not as good as Gojira or Mothra vs. Godzilla.
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Postby Gwangi » Mon May 04, 2009 4:25 pm

Here in So. Cal in the 1970s, KTLA channel 5 played it all week at 8:00 p.m. (although, honestly, I only remember them playing it for a couple of days rather than the entire week).

Because of Nick Adams and that Ghidrah was the "Monster Zero" that was being referred to, this is the only G-film in the series that I always see as a movie that just happens to have Godzilla in it, rather than being a Godzilla movie per say.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon May 04, 2009 5:38 pm

Always prefered Ghidrah to this film...the comparison can't be helped because they are so similar in alot of ways...what saves this film in my book are the aliens(evil in both a flashy, over the top way and strangely tragic...the fate of Nick Adam's alien lover and her lack of any positive choices that she can make in life still kinda gets to me) and Nick Adams.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon May 04, 2009 7:06 pm

Gwangi wrote:Here in So. Cal in the 1970s, KTLA channel 5 played it all week at 8:00 p.m. (although, honestly, I only remember them playing it for a couple of days rather than the entire week).

Because of Nick Adams and that Ghidrah was the "Monster Zero" that was being referred to, this is the only G-film in the series that I always see as a movie that just happens to have Godzilla in it, rather than being a Godzilla movie per say.


see, if anything, I personally think "Ghidrah" is a movie that just has monsters in it...in all the other movies the monsters and specifically Godzilla serve to move the human plot along in some way...in Ghidrah, the monsters just exist...in monster zero though, they are a critical path to the aliens plan and an important part of the human drama, and Godzilla is definitely the most well characterized of them even if it comes at the expense of making him a bit cutesy with that celebratory dance
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Postby Legion » Mon May 04, 2009 7:25 pm

I love Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster very much, but it definitely looks like the rush job that it was. I can't get attached to the human characters the way I can with Mothra vs Godzilla and Monster Zero, there's too much going on and the film flip-flops back and forth a bit too much between all the unrelated action.

Monster Zero is a much more polished film. Ghidora looks fantastic and is handled better, the monsters aren't as silly, the human characters (including Adams, obviously) are much more engrossing, the villains (silly as they are) are entertaining as hell, the special effects are generally pretty strong and it's just such a damn fun movie that you quickly forget how little screen time the monsters get. The movie is just that good.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon May 04, 2009 10:12 pm

I actually saw this the same night, right after Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) and it's my favorite film that Ghidorah appears in. The Ghidorah suit looks much better, and I really like the alien costumes. This is also one of those Godzilla movies I can watch again and again and again.
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Postby Gwangi » Mon May 04, 2009 11:27 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
Gwangi wrote:Here in So. Cal in the 1970s, KTLA channel 5 played it all week at 8:00 p.m. (although, honestly, I only remember them playing it for a couple of days rather than the entire week).

Because of Nick Adams and that Ghidrah was the "Monster Zero" that was being referred to, this is the only G-film in the series that I always see as a movie that just happens to have Godzilla in it, rather than being a Godzilla movie per say.


see, if anything, I personally think "Ghidrah" is a movie that just has monsters in it...in all the other movies the monsters and specifically Godzilla serve to move the human plot along in some way...in Ghidrah, the monsters just exist...in monster zero though, they are a critical path to the aliens plan and an important part of the human drama, and Godzilla is definitely the most well characterized of them even if it comes at the expense of making him a bit cutesy with that celebratory dance


I could see that, but in "Ghidrah", Godzilla and Rodan both have much more screen time. And as I stated earlier, with Nick Adams as the main actor here, and with the emphasis on Ghidrah, Godzilla is virtually third billed!
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Postby skiddish » Tue May 05, 2009 12:16 am

How could any self respecting Sci-Fi fan not drool all over himself watching this movie?

You get to travel to a dark and mysterious planet by rocket ship. Where cool aliens pop up in underground elevators.
Then you get to see Godzilla and Rodan transported there in huge soap bubbles via flying saucers. Just to have a dookaroo with Ghidorah on the alien planet. :eek:

And if that wasn't enough. They all come back to Earth and duke it out again!
While the military shoots at em' with their new fancy new twist on the mazer cannon called the light cycle ray.

This movie is much more than just another Godzilla film.
It's a sci-fi lovers wet dream come true.
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Postby KaiserGhidorah » Tue May 05, 2009 11:38 am

Love this movie. My only complaint is the highland fling scene....I can easily live without that.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Tue May 05, 2009 11:49 am

This is certainly one of my favorites. Over the years, my love for "Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster" has dwindled to the point where I find it rather difficult to enjoy when taking this classic into consideration. As far as I'm concerned, it trumps the previous film in all categories. It looks good (effects are terrific), sounds good (love the music), and just as a whole provides a metric crapload of fun, especially with the cool characters.
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Postby Henry88 » Tue May 05, 2009 12:43 pm

"You rats, you filthy stinking rats, whaddidya do ta her?"

the devo aliens and the godzilla dance
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Tue May 05, 2009 1:11 pm

Though I won't deny that this is a superbly crafted film, it is one of my least favorites of Toho's Golden Age work. I prefer Ghidrah and The Mysterians over this one, to be honest.

I defintely need to watch it again, though.
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Postby kent » Tue May 12, 2009 12:37 am

Ibh really summed up how I feel about this movie: PERFECT! This is also one of my favorites out of the entire series. I prefer it over its predecessor any day.

I like the story, actors/characters, monster battles (even if they are brief), stages, the whole kit and kaboodle. I saw this back in 1994 when my brother and I went to a local video rental store and picked this, Mothra Vs. Godzilla, and Godzilla 1985 up. This film, and Mothra Vs. Godzilla, have remained at the top of my list ever since!

Great film!
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Postby jellydonut25 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:15 am

Full review for Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

My feelings towards this movie have definitely softened over time. This was one of the last Showa films I saw (I think only Hedorah and Destroy All Monsters cam after this) and I thought it was SO boring...

today, i find it to be one of the most fun entries in the entire series.
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Postby armandv » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Gwangi wrote:Here in So. Cal in the 1970s, KTLA channel 5 played it all week at 8:00 p.m. (although, honestly, I only remember them playing it for a couple of days rather than the entire week).

Because of Nick Adams and that Ghidrah was the "Monster Zero" that was being referred to, this is the only G-film in the series that I always see as a movie that just happens to have Godzilla in it, rather than being a Godzilla movie per say.


I first saw it in 1972 on television, most likely when KTLA played it a whole week because I remember seeing it more than once. It was a few years later that I saw Ghidorah. It became a favorite of mine from the beginning.

This is one of the reasons why I miss independent television stations.
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Postby Green Dragon » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:05 pm

Gwangi wrote:Here in So. Cal in the 1970s, KTLA channel 5 played it all week at 8:00 p.m. (although, honestly, I only remember them playing it for a couple of days rather than the entire week).

Because of Nick Adams and that Ghidrah was the "Monster Zero" that was being referred to, this is the only G-film in the series that I always see as a movie that just happens to have Godzilla in it, rather than being a Godzilla movie per say.


Yeah, I seem to remember Monster Zero as something they played multiple times in a weekend or something similar, while War of the Gargantuas got the week-long treatment. That made for fun conversations at school.

Those were good times, KTLA was very generous with the kaijus in those years, as well as KHJ Channel 9.

Monster Zero (or by any other name) was my very first Godzilla movie, it still has to be my favorite. Great production values and design, wonderful Showa charm. I even love the goofy (but very well done) dubbing.

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Postby MouthForWar » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:07 pm

Green Dragon wrote:"AHHHHHHHHHHH! LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!"


That part always cracks me up. :lol:
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Postby the_candidate » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:46 am

From a personal enjoyment standpoint, Monser Zero is okay. It's silly, harmless entertainment that's easy to poke fun at.

From a critical standpoint, the movie is jaw-droppingly awful. I mean really, really bad. The script seemed like it was written by a 10-year-old and was full of nonsense, such as the aliens infiltrating a toy company. The effects were laughable as well, even for 1965.
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Postby Legion » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:45 am

You're greenmachine from Toho Kingdom aren't you?
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Postby Robert Saint John » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:19 pm

To "the_candidate": you're free to dislike the movie and post as much, but that was just flamebait. Please don't think for a single second that such antics are tolerated here. Hereare the board rules. Please review again before posting further.

To anyone else: don't take the bait, please.
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Postby Rodanex » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:47 pm

I just watched this movie for the first time in years. It's always been a favorite of mine.

Upon re-watching it, a few things in the story struck me as a little odd. For instance, Glen dates Namikawa for about two days before asking her to marry him. The way the aliens are defeated is a little silly and raises a number of questions. How can you soundproof bars for a cell? If the cell really is soundproofed, how is it that aliens who are in another room can hear Tetsuo's invention? If they're holding Tetsuo prisoner, you'd think they'd search him to make sure he's not carrying a prototype Lady Guard. I mean...why put him in a soundproofed cell if they don't believe he's carrying it? Is the Lady Guard's sound the only thing that can harm them? Are there other loud noises that could work? How can the aliens hear the sound if they're inside spaceships and the mansion?

I was reading a review of this film in Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo and the author raises a good point. If the aliens are capable of controlling King Ghidorah, Godzilla, and Rodan, and they already had a team infiltrating human society...why not just launch their attack before Glen and Fuji arrive on Planet X?

However, I'm not bashing this film. Adams and Takarada have fantastic chemistry, Akira Kubo and Kumi Mizuno are wonderful as always. The score is great, the pacing is superb, and the city destruction scenes are among my favorites in the series. The monster battles are short, but sweet. Slightly illogical at times, but this movie is just too much fun.
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