TALKBACK #8: Son of Godzilla

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TALKBACK #8: Son of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Wed May 20, 2009 10:46 pm

I think this was the Godzilla movie I watched most recently that wasn't a new release (via Classic Media) or a part of my little project of watching them in order (which started last fall). I think I watched SoG either early last year or sometime in the second half of 2007.

This film is lumped together with Sea Monster as the two Jun Fukuda "Island Films," and all my life I've preferred Sea Monster - but now I find myself favoring this film! Sea Monster is a lot of fun, but's it's rather slap-dash and a collection of action-adventure scenes strung together. Son of Godzilla has a creative plot (with the scientists doing their weather control experiments), wonderful characters and the story just flows better.

Why then, is Sea Monster more well liked? It's obviously the aversion people have to Minya and the ugly Godzilla face design. Now, I like Minya. As a matter of fact I like Minya the most in this film than any of the other incarnations of Godzilla's son in any of the movies. He actually saves Godzilla when Kumonga is on top of him in the final battle, you know?

Kamakurus and Kumonga are wonderful creations. Kumonga especially is creepy as hell. He's a really evil thing and its threatening both the humans and the other monsters really ties the two storylines together.

The music is great in this film as well. All the people who worked on the last film seem to be giving twice as much in this one. The music for the ending, with Godzilla and Minya embracing each other and settling down for a long hibernation, is epecially moving and has a great, climactic, "end-of-movie" feeling.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed May 20, 2009 11:20 pm

I loved how they brought Kumonga and Kamacuras to life.
What's weird is how much worse the puppet for Kamacuras looked
in Final Wars. Well considering it's Final Wars, maybe that's not weird.
Despite hating this film when I was younger, as I grew up I started to
enjoy it more and more. Namely because of our big arachnid and insectoid
friends. Pretty fun, film, not a favorite, but definitely enjoyable.
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great

Postby Xenorama » Thu May 21, 2009 12:14 am

i quite enjoy this movie, and always have. good change of pace, not every movie has to be cosmic. it's too bad the Titra dub is now "lost" more or less, since it's much better than the international dub.

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Re: great

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu May 21, 2009 8:22 am

Up until the dvd release of this movie, i'd never seen the very beginning (with godzilla swimming toward the island) so that was a nice little surprise the first time i watched the DVD

i've always LOVED this movie...i dunno, it just works so well. The human plot is interesting and exciting, the characters are actually memorable, and the human-monster interaction is better here than in many other movies (the kamacuras arm looks incredible) The enemy monsters are great and kumonga (or SPIEGA as i grew up calling him) is a unique addition to the series

The godzilla suit is not my favorite, but I actually don't mind it at all

also, i have no problems with minya in this movie at all...he grows into a somewhat competent kaiju by the end (he saves godzilla AND he gains the ability to breathe fire on his own)

also...i just gotta say that i wish there were MORE godzilla movies that featured battles in the snow...


Xenorama wrote:i quite enjoy this movie, and always have. good change of pace, not every movie has to be cosmic. it's too bad the Titra dub is now "lost" more or less, since it's much better than the international dub.

David

ah yes, yet another dub that i've transferred from tape to dvd for those times when i'm hankerin for it...
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Postby McGodzilla » Thu May 21, 2009 10:12 am

I think one of my favorite scenes in this film occurs when a couple of the human characters are running from the place where Godzilla is fighting the three Kamacuras. Then as the people are running through the field you see the burning leg of one of the Kamacuras flying overhead. I always thought that scene was pretty sweet. Like some of you, I have come to enjoy this film over time.
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Re: great

Postby lhb412 » Thu May 21, 2009 10:48 am

jellydonut25 wrote:Up until the dvd release of this movie, i'd never seen the very beginning (with godzilla swimming toward the island) so that was a nice little surprise the first time i watched the DVD



I wonder why it was cut out in the first place. The cuts at the begining of Sea Monster made sense, but why would they cut out an interesting special effects scene that puts Godzilla on display from the get go?
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Postby kent » Thu May 21, 2009 2:24 pm

An enjoyable film that, I believe, is underrated. Yeah, the Godzilla and Minya costumes aren't the best, but like other people, I don't seem to mind. I've always enjoyed this one but seem to enjoy it more as I've gotten older. Kumonga and the Kamacurai are executed very well and, in my opinion, are probably the most well-executed kaiju in the entire franchise.

Masaru Sato's score is impressive as well! I've always loved his music.
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Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu May 21, 2009 2:25 pm

This has been one of my favorites all my life. Its replay value is endless.
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Postby metal_bryan » Fri May 22, 2009 10:22 am

Benjamin Haines wrote:This has been one of my favorites all my life. Its replay value is endless.


100% agreement. Like I said in the Sea Monster thread, the smile on my face is priceless when I watch these movies. Every time.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Mon May 25, 2009 8:39 pm

This is another one of my favorites. While the suit design for Godzilla leaves a lot to be desired, and the newborn Minilla may be the ugliest thing I've ever seen in a Godzilla film, the movie as a whole works pretty well.

The effects are generally pretty well-done, most notably Kumonga and the Kamacuras (and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Hiroshi Sekita play Godzilla for most of this film? I think it's a terrific performance). The characters and the plot they carry are sufficiently interesting, and the casting is terrific--I especially love Yoshio Tsuchiya as the tormented Furukawa. Masaru Sato's score is splendid, perhaps even better than the terrific work he turned out in the previous film. Just a remarkably fun, enjoyable movie altogether.
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Postby lhb412 » Mon May 25, 2009 10:07 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:The effects are generally pretty well-done, most notably Kumonga and the Kamacuras (and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Hiroshi Sekita play Godzilla for most of this film? I think it's a terrific performance).



Wiki says Yu Sekida (and they're always right). He was Godzilla for most of the film in the taller Son of Godzilla suit (made taller to make Minya smaller by scale). Sekida played Sanda, Mechanikong, Ebirah, and Angilas in DAM as well!

Nakajima was Godzilla in the two scenes using the Monster Zero suit.
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Postby fools-gold64 » Wed May 27, 2009 2:26 am

Wow yeah, despite the awful suit for Godzilla and the fact that infant Minya is grotesque and terrifying, this is actually a pretty sweet little movie. I've always liked this one, but looking back, it's a lot cooler than memory originally served. Little bit goofy for sure, but Kamacuras and Kumonga are both awesome, and seeing Godzilla in a blizzard is pretty exciting as well. Plus the jungle-girl in this is a babe-o-tron as well if I remember right, and the human story in this is surprisingly well-done... it's been a little while since I've watched it last, but this thread has definitely inspired me to bust out the DVD again.
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Postby KaijuZoo » Wed May 27, 2009 6:50 am

fools-gold64 wrote:... and seeing Godzilla in a blizzard is pretty exciting as well.

Yes, a very classic scene and powerful score, building to a poignant ending, one of my favorites!
This is the Godzilla and Minya snow set released by Bear Model in 2003 along with the 1983 Yamakatsu trading card.

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Postby Legion » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:51 pm

Cutting and pasting from elsewhere:

There's so much in Son of Godzilla that's so wonderful, and so much of it's success rests on the shoulders of the actors. They sell their situation (stuck on an ungodly hot island, no contact with the outside world, monsters everywhere, the situation progressively getting worse) so well and I believe in all of them and everything the characters go through. It makes it so much easier to look past the silly Minya and Godzilla suits when the actors are this fun and compelling. I've said many times that the ending of Son of Godzilla still provokes a (usually) internal emotional reaction from me, and that's just as much from the resolution of the human drama as it is from the monster stuff. And props to Masaru Sato.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:10 pm

The goofy and childish look of Minya may be what keeps me from liking parts of the monster scenes, but it works to its advantage. Legion mentioned the end causing an emotional reaction. I think the moment that I'm always affected by, or just think is well done is when Minya is trying to keep up with Godzilla. He falls, and tries to crawl. His whimpering and that look that I loathe at times is what makes that work.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:16 am

Well...having just watched it again this evening...I must say...this may be the most underated of the entire Showa series. Though one may have issue with the design of Godzilla and son, but to suggest this movie is poorly made flys in the face of common sense.

-Masaru Sato delivers what I consider to be his best kaiju score. Not coincidently his score for Son of Godzilla is about as close to an Ifukube score as he got. Love that jungle beat battle music.(So did Sato it seems...as he reuses the theme when King Seesar and MechaG tussle.)

-The insect effects are very good...especially Kumonga. Though they are obviously wire controlled...you almost never see the wires..and for Kumonga...that's quite a feat.

-Veteran Toho cast in this one. Yoshio Tsuchiya in another "outsider" role as crazy Furukawa. Akira Kubo is entertaining as Goro. Really...the whole cast is likable....though I'd have switched Hirata's and Takashima's roles.

-The monster fights are decent, but not fantastic. of course, given that the creatures generally are no match for Godzilla, they put up a decent tussle. Only real oddity is Kumonga taking several direct shots of Godzilla's atomic ray without real effect...and then suddenly going up like a bonfire later.

-Many parts of the film are goofy, but you never really feel like you're watching something so patently unreal....which is a credit to the filmakers.


Overall, I like this one a lot more than some people I imagine. To me..it's wonderfully scored and photographed with a high level of SPFX work. It's a great "popcorn" movie.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:12 pm

Question: What does WFPO stand for? I was never able to find out from the movie.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:35 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:Question: What does WFPO stand for? I was never able to find out from the movie.


I thought it stood for World Food Productivity Organization, but I haven't found anything to confirm that yet...
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Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:40 pm

Check it out
I've uploaded a review for Son of Godzilla now as well.

I'm only one review away from my goal to get all the films through Destroy All Monsters up before the new year and the review itself and screencaps are done, i just gotta put the page together...
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Postby msunz27 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm

Thought this might be the right place to put this. Nitpick geeky curiousity.

I, like a lot of you, grew up with the American cuts of Ghidrah, Sea Monster, and Son of G. All with Walter-Reade Org. involved. All ending with that big white "THE END" with "Toho 196?" on the bottom.

In recent months, I've seen posted on YouTube the original ending card to Ghidrah with the same font as the title. Same thing with Sea Monster. Alright. So I'm assuming Son of G had an original "The End" card as well when it first premiered on TV.

Just curious. Don't understand why they were all replaced with that generic "THE END". Anybody got some history to lay on me? Thanks.
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Postby Goji 84 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:22 pm

msunz27 wrote:Thought this might be the right place to put this. Nitpick geeky curiousity.

I, like a lot of you, grew up with the American cuts of Ghidrah, Sea Monster, and Son of G. All with Walter-Reade Org. involved. All ending with that big white "THE END" with "Toho 196?" on the bottom.

In recent months, I've seen posted on YouTube the original ending card to Ghidrah with the same font as the title. Same thing with Sea Monster. Alright. So I'm assuming Son of G had an original "The End" card as well when it first premiered on TV.

Just curious. Don't understand why they were all replaced with that generic "THE END". Anybody got some history to lay on me? Thanks.


The original "the end" title card for Ghidrah I believe was only present on the original U.S. theatrical version. It was replaced with a new "The End" card in the 80's on VHS releases, which had large capital white lettering on a black background. This title card was used on the Classic Media DVD.

I wish I could help with the Son of G title card, but I'm not as knowledgeable on that one. (Haven't seen the Walter-Reade cut in ages)
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Postby Guardian7 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:15 pm

I have just recently watched the Japanese version of this film.
Odd how all of these films seem so much different than the ones we have seen in America.

The Open sequence with Godzilla and the plane took me by surprise.
Adding to the fact that it is the widescreen edition it almost seemed another film.
There also seemed to be a lot of either extended scenes or scenes I had not seen before (Mostly involving Kamacuras) - course this could be due to seeing it in widescreen for the first time and seeing so much might make it seem different.
A perfect example is: Kumonga - In the widescreen I got to see him really move about... I was so impressed with how well they puppeteer him. There were a few outstanding moments. Such as the widescreen of it climbing the cliffside after Goro Maki (Akira Kubo) & Riko Matsumiya (Bibari Maeda).
It looked awesome and the legs were moving in a fashion that made it look like it was actually climbing the cliffside.
The scenes were Godzilla blasts Kumonga were pretty neat as he kept balling up like a real spider does when it dies -- For some reason I don't recall him doing it as many times as he did in the Japanese version (But again... the widescreen could make a world of difference there as well).

The Japanese versions of all of these films are so superior to the English ones.
Manda of course is my favorite Kaijuu
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Postby Legion » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:29 pm

Really one of my favorite Godzilla movies and definitely one of the very best one's in the entire series. Most of the best Godzilla movies work as science fiction/monster movies. Son of Godzilla works as a film. Does that make sense?
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:08 pm

Legion wrote:Really one of my favorite Godzilla movies and definitely one of the very best one's in the entire series. Most of the best Godzilla movies work as science fiction/monster movies. Son of Godzilla works as a film. Does that make sense?


Yes. Completely. I think it's because so much of it hinges on the stresses involved with the experiment and how these people handle those stresses. The Kaiju just add to the isolation and frustration of their work.


In a lot of ways Sea Monster works really well on that level. These are films that work well on their own and instead bowing to the demands of the Kaiju we are presented with worlds that just happen to have Kaiju in them...
Now I wonder if that makes sense or if I'm just rambling.

Probably just rambling.
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Postby Legion » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:16 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:
Yes. Completely. I think it's because so much of it hinges on the stresses involved with the experiment and how these people handle those stresses. The Kaiju just add to the isolation and frustration of their work.

In a lot of ways Sea Monster works really well on that level. These are films that work well on their own and instead bowing to the demands of the Kaiju we are presented with worlds that just happen to have Kaiju in them...
Now I wonder if that makes sense or if I'm just rambling.

Probably just rambling.


No no, you make perfect sense.

Aside from a very small handful of Godzilla movies (such as Gojira and Mothra vs Godzilla) just about every Godzilla movie has parts that are stronger than the whole. Even GMK. Son of Godzilla is satisfying as a film, not just as a Godzilla movie. I think way too many people have this very narrow view of what makes a good Japanese giant monster film, as if they all have to be Gojira, GMK or Kaneko's Gamera series. Godzilla vs the Sea Monster and especially Son of Godzilla work as light-hearted, young adult adventure films that just happen to have monsters in them. Additionally, an Ifukube score wouldn't have worked for either film as it would have undermined the adventurous atmosphere of these movies. Give Son of Godzilla score a listen sometime. It works so well.

I'm so glad I'm old enough to appreciate these movies on a variety of levels, and not just like these films on a "wow monzters fighting lets rank theyre powers and play the atari games dood" level. Granted maybe when I was 15...
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