Sunday, December 23, 2012

GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II (1993)

Please believe that I have not cheated and jumped ahead in the Godzilla lineage.  I watched GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955 - notable only because it's the first time Godzilla fought another monster, Anguirus, and because it has at least 20 minutes of hand puppets biting each other) and GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1974 - pretty fun, if somewhat Brady Bunch-ish/Land of the Lost-like kaiju craziness), but neither felt sufficient enough to stuff a blog post.  So...


90s GODZILLA, if memory serves, marked a turn into dark territory for a series that has allowed giant monster Godzilla to become a defender of humanity and single parent.  GODZILLA VS. MECH II isn't exactly a big cry-fest and in some ways retains the older films' charming insanities, but the production values are much higher and it's much more of a real narrative film instead of a bunch of dialogue scenes strung around big-monster battles.  If anything, this movie goes way in the other direction—not since the intrigues of Tudor England have plots been this complicated.


The UN assembles an anti-Godzilla team to construct anti-monster weapondry.  They salvage pieces of Mecha King Ghidorah from the future to make a flying battleship called Garuda and the new Mechagodzilla (this entry apparently doesn't have any connection to the first G VS. MECH).  This is all explained in voiceover as a prologue, btw.  When we get to the actual movie, giant flying dino Rodan is attacking everything and has left behind an egg.  Scientists retrieve the egg and theorize about it as shown in the image above.  It hatches into a baby Godzilla, which is the same species as Godzilla, but eats plants and such.

Just call me milk, 'cause I'll do your body good

I know, man, Ewoks, Jar-Jar, Baby Godzilla.  After I finish vomiting and scientists finish testing the baby, they determine that Godzilla has a brain in his hip, so they use baby as bait and send Mechagodzilla out to destroy Big G, but Rodan sacrifices himself and is absorbed into Godzilla's hip brain, allowing him to prevail, then take Baby G into the ocean to await the return to dominance of the dinosaurs.  WHAT.


Does this sound like an AWESOM-O pitch that got out of control?  I haven't even told you about the scene in which a bunch of students from the ESP SCHOOL show up to sing a beautiful song to Baby Godzilla.


I'm sure some would argue that things get too busy here, but I'd much prefer a GODZILLA film nine months pregnant with pure madness to cardboard characters frowning about science all day.  So this is all okay with me!  As baffling as the movie gets, it's never dull.  If you don't like monster battles (which are really well done!), you can enjoy the campy American expert's technical advice, like "Put that thing over there and then move these that way.  Yes, now Mechagodzilla is completely improved!"  Or you can awww at the theoretically cute baby Godzilla or be in awe of the BACK TO THE FUTURE-style hovercraft.  The movie has something for everyone and, while I wouldn't say it's a great film, I think it's inarguably superb junk cinema.  


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