12/9/06

213 Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster

(1966, Children-Rubber Monster, color)

How could something sarong be so right?

Rating: ***1/2

In a nutshell:

Godzilla battles a giant lobster while Mothra rescues slaves from a neighboring island.

Summary:

Touchdown!A giant lobster rises up out of the boiling sea and destroys an anonymous fishing boat. Later, the fisherman’s mother consults a chanting mystical woman, who tells her that her son is still alive. She sends her surviving son, the brash and stupid Ryota, to find him.

First he looks at a strange Japanese disco where people dance until they pass out. Two brash and stupid guys pass out and then stagger off the floor. He asks them for a boat. They don’t have one, but take him to the pier anyway. At the pier, they wander through the sailboats, until they find a bank robber hiding out in one of them. He makes them stay the night in the boat. Everyone falls asleep except Ryota. He sets sail, and by the time the robber and the disco boys wake up they’re all far out to sea.

A sudden storm comes up, and the giant lobster pinches their boat in half. They all wash up on shore. As the only halfway intelligent member of the group, the robber becomes the de facto leader. They wander aimlessly through the jungle until they find a highly organized military terrorist group (their enforcer even has an elaborate eye-patch). They enslave natives from a neighboring island to make a special fruity juice. This juice pacifies the sea monster so that they can sail to and from the island unmolested. A beautiful native girl escapes and joins them.

They try to find Ryota’s brother and rescue the natives by sneaking into the terrorist base. This involves a lot of lockpicking, a fake bush, and a live bird. They discover it’s a heavy water factory and then try to sneak through the reactor core by accident. When they’re found out by security they throw Molotov cocktails made from heavy water and run. In the course of their escape, one of the disco boys gets captured and thrown in with the native slaves, and Ryota gets tangled up in a weather balloon and floats away.

While incarcerated, the captured disco boy convinces the native slaves to make fake lobster juice instead of the real stuff. Ryota’s balloon comes down on the native island, where he finds his brother. He’s helping the Japanese aborigines throw a wild interpretive dance party, while tiny twin girls sing to wake their beast god, Mothra. They want him to defeat the sea monster and save them from the terrorist slavers. Ryota and his brother grab an outrigger and head back to the terrorist island.

Meanwhile, terrorist soldiers hunt the robber and his pals up in the hills. They hide in a cave, where they find Godzilla sleeping. Even though it’s a beautiful sunny day, they get the idea that lightning might wake up Godzilla. The beautiful native happens to have a long spool of wire, so they rig it to the top of the hill, right down to Godzilla’s head. Fortunately for them, Ryota and his brother are paddling over to the island, which wakes the sea monster, which summons a storm. The monster breaks their outrigger, and Godzilla wakes up.

For the rest of the film, Godzilla and the sea monster duke it out not once, but twice, with similar footage. The first fight ends with Godzilla using his radioactive breath to boil the monster in its own juices, and the second one ends when he rips off one of the monster’s claws and beats him with it. Then Godzilla gets really cheesed and stomps all over the terrorist base.

While this goes on, Ryota and his brother meet up with the robber and his crew. They go back into the terrorist base together, freeing the other disco boy and the slaves. The terrorists set the whole island to explode and sail away, but since they’re using fake lobster juice, the one-armed lobster kills them all. Back on the native island, the aborigines finally wake up Mothra, who flies off and carries everyone to safety. Godzilla leaps into the water and swims away, the island explodes, and the robber decides to turn over a new leaf.

Introduction:

Tom and Crow are no Mothra Twins.Joel reads The Velveteen Rabbit to the ‘Bots.

Host Segment One:

Joel invents the mind control guitar, which allows you to think the music to the guitar. The Mads invent the squeeze toy guitar, and do a music video complete with stomach-churning camera movement. They smash their guitars at the end. Quoth Frank, “Cheap Trick says goodnight!”

Host Segment Two:

Joel and the ‘Bots make a genealogy chart and sing about Godzilla’s descendants, who include Ernest Borgnine, Kermit the Frog, and Karl Malden’s nose.

Host Segment Three:

Joel loses his mind and starts making models of famous landmarks out of household garbage. He uses Gypsy’s mouth to park his toy cars. The ‘Bots smash the model buildings while his back is turned.

Host Segment Four:

Tom and Crow dress up as the Mothra twins and chant their devotion in unison. Mothra shows up in the Hexfield Viewscreen and chats pleasantly for a bit about Alan Thicke’s defunct talk show.

Host Segment Five:

Joel and the ‘Bots reflect on some famous lines that have been falsely attributed to famous films. For example, Bogart never said, “Play it again, Sam,” in Casablanca. The line was actually, “Play it, Sam.” They read some letters. TV’s Frank suggests that Dr. Forrester should spearhead a committee.

Stinger:

Interpretive dancing Japanese aborigines.

Thoughts:

The smaller, hotter Mothra Twins.I loved The Velveteen Rabbit as a child. Joel does not read The Velveteen Rabbit at the beginning of the episode. It doesn't even remotely resemble The Velveteen Rabbit. Still, the sketch was pretty funny.

All the host segments in this episode were solid. The Godzilla Genealogy Bop was pretty good, and the Mothra chant was hysterical. Mike Nelson showing up as Mothra was kind of bizarre, though. Smashing that garbage city looked like a lot of fun.

Maybe it’s just me, but Godzilla looks kind of glassy-eyed in this film. He also has really bad teeth. I guess that’s understandable since they just woke him up; he hasn’t had time to floss, or drink his morning coffee. The poor guy just wanted a nice five-year nap, but enterprising bank robbers won’t stop electrocuting him. He tries to go back to sleep, but then there’s the giant birds, and the terrorist air force to deal with. No wonder he’s peeved. He even takes a pot shot at Mothra at the end.

Where did these terrorists come from? They’re better armed than the present day Chinese military. Where did they get a giant lobster, anyway? Also, Japanese people do not make convincing south pacific aborigines. Oh well, the film is brightly colored and moves quickly once they finally get to the islands. The whole plot’s pretty nonsensical, but then, what do you expect from a Godzilla film?

Joel and the ‘Bots keep up very well, with plenty of seafood jokes, dancing jokes, and the obligatory Gilligan’s Island reference when a boat wrecks. Crow can’t stop quoting Planet of the Apes, though it doesn’t seem to be related to the movie at all, and Tom acts as the voice of God whenever there’s a shot of the sky. Granted, this episode isn’t as good as the last one but it’s still a very solid episode, and one I wouldn’t mind seeing again.