Hello, my Groovy Ghoulies! It has been so cold, the joints and bones have a lot of problems moving about! As we attempt to thaw out, the movies here have only gotten hotter. It felt good to sit down and enjoy a Toho classic. Groovy Ghoulie Fan #1 and myself have been deep in the adoption process for Drooly Ghoulie, and that is scary enough! But, things seem to be on track. So, I thought a swim out to Monster Island would be in order, and check in my favorite Japanese Kaiju, Godzilla! Our feature was released in Japan in December of 1964 as San Daikaiju: Chikyu Saidai no Kessen. Here in the states, it debuted later on in the fall of 1965.
This was a turning point for Godzilla, in my opinion. For the first time, he defended the human race from a monster instead of trying to just stomp through Japan. This monster would become his arch-nemesis. The story centers around Princess Selina Salno played by Akiko Wakabayashi. There is an assassination plot to kill her, and she may or may not really be from Mars! The storyline is pretty cool, and made me look around to see who else might be an alien in hiding, and I’ve had some suspicions! The Princess, as a Martian, foretells the arrival of Rodan, Godzilla, and then Ghidorah! Rodan is, of course, a huge prehistoric reptile bird, and Ghidorah is a three-headed dragon! One of the coolest kaiju out there. Also, one of the nastiest! He has these huge wings, and can fire energy blasts from his mouth. I love a good Godzilla-King Ghidorah fight! It’s like Hulk Hogan facing Andre The Giant. They tear up the countryside pretty good. The fight between Godzilla and Rodan prior to Mothra intervening is a lot of fun.
Speaking of Mothra, it’s in moth form trying to convince Godzilla and Rodan to turn away from the dark side. Also along for the ride are the Shobijin, the tiny princesses from Infant Island who interpret what all the monsters are saying. This is actually one of my least favorite part of the film. It bothers me in the way later Godzilla and Anguirus talk during Godzilla on Monster Island. The twins were played by The Peanuts, who were a Japanese vocal duo. This was their last time playing them after other appearances in Mothra and Godzilla vs. Mothra.
The action is fun! Nothing bad about some Kaiju ripping up the countryside, unless you are under foot! And the story featuring the aliens kept my attention. This wasn’t my favorite of the Godzilla series, I’ll leave that to Destroy All Monster and Megalon; but grab some popcorn and jump into this one! This would be a great one for any monster kids to watch the moment Godzilla becomes the hero in his series. This is readily available on DVD with the Japanese and English versions.
Onto one of my favorite toys: The Shogun Warriors! I believe I got them for Christmas around 1978. I had Gaiking, Raydeen, and Great Mazinga. They were soon joined by Godzilla and Rodan. They were the coolest toys! They had missiles and fists that popped off. Godzilla had fire from his mouth, and for some reason his fist also popped off. Rodan’s wings flapped and I think his beak opened and closed. I spent hours mixing them up with the Alien monster, Star Wars, and G.I. Joe. It was always a great battle. The three warriors and Godzilla still stand silent vigil over my collection in the basement with obvious war wounds. Lots of fun, and I know there are other monster kids out there who had similar adventures. Thanks to my grandparents for these special monster memories!
That’s all for this time, Groovy Ghoulies! The countdown is on for our special 25th article and 3rd anniversary of the celebration of classic horror and sci-fi. It will be a double feature, but not sure what we’ll be watching yet for it. Keep an eye right here for more info. And make sure you check out http://www.horrorhaven.com for more great monster memories! You’ll never know when Uncle Death will be creeping up on you! Till next time, Watch the skies!