Review done by: Nightmare Child
Starring: Nick Adams, Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Haruo Nakajima, Takamaru
Sasaki

Directed by: Ishirô Honda

Story: Aliens from Planet X request the use of Godzilla and Rodan to fight off
King Ghidorah, but have a better use for the three monsters.



Review:

Invasion of Astro-Monster is a direct sequel to 'Ghidorah, the Three-Headed
Monster.' It is the sixth movie in the Godzilla series, popular in the West for
having the Japanese series' only Hollywood lead, Nick Adams, who's vocals are
dubbed over in the Japanese original Japanese cut. Invasion is the first Godzilla
film to feature human-like aliens and the last to feature the popular 1960's
tokusatsu team of director Ishirō Honda, screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, and
special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya. If you're a big fan of the previous film,
'Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster,' then you may be a bit disappointed with
this one. Don't get me wrong though, this movie is still enjoyable. It just
doesn't live up to its predecessor. In the movie astronauts Glen and Fuji travel
to Planet X, a planet just on the other side of Jupiter. The planet has been
transmitting radio waves to Earth. When the astronauts land on Planet X, they
are ordered to go down to the caverns where the aliens living on the planet are
forced to go. The man-like space aliens on Planet X are troubled by a large
visitor.

The leader of the space men tell Glen and Fuji that they need help to get rid of
a creature they call "Monster Zero." When attacked again, the numbered
monster appears to be King Ghidorah, the same monster that was driven away
at the hands of Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra. Ghidorah is wreaking havoc on
Planet X by using his electric attacks to destroy parts of the world. Desperate
for help, the space men ask Glen and Fuji for a favor. The aliens wish to borrow
Godzilla and Rodan from earth to drive away King Ghidorah. The aliens send
the astronauts back to earth to see if they can make an agreement with
government officials. A deal is made, and in return the aliens promise to give
earth the formula to cure cancer. The aliens head to earth, borrow the
monsters and send them to Planet X to fight King Ghidorah. On Planet X both
Godzilla and Rodan battle the space monster and sends it flying back into
space. Later, the space men reveal their true plan and use all three monsters to
try and destroy planet earth. With the monsters in their control, they ask the
people of earth to listen to their demands.

Will the nations of the world give in to the demands of the aliens or will they be
destroyed? Of all the films in the Godzilla series, this is one of my favorite
stories. It's just a shame that it has a few holes. First of all, it should have
been known already that these aliens from Planet X are up to no good. With
their "advanced technology," why couldn't they just get rid of the monsters
themselves? If it were easy for them to capture Godzilla and Rodan and send
them to another planet, why couldn't they have done the same with Ghidorah?
It's not like that was their true intention, it's just that if the people of earth
would have been a lot smarter, they would have seen the invasion coming.
Advance space aliens from outer space having problems with just one monster
seems very unlikely. It was just too obvious. Unlike the previous films, Godzilla
in this movie seems to be a bit more kid friendly.

Even so that he even looks kid friendly. Apparently the suit was tweaked a bit
after 'Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster.' Godzilla in Astro-Monster looks
more as if he's trying to impress the kids. Makes sense since Godzilla does a
happy dance after he and Rodan drive off Ghidorah. As much as I wish I was
joking, it's true. It's silly to me, I don't find it all that amusing. Well, as long as
it makes the kids happy I'll try to look past it. These films were for the mass
audience anyway. No Godzilla film has ever went past a PG-13 rating. Kids can't
help but love these movies. The action in Astro-Monster is great. We get to see
Godzilla and Rodan fight together to stop the menacing space monster King
Ghidorah. The only thing missing was Mothra, who seemed to be absent. The
stories main focus were on Godzilla and Rodan. As cool as it sounds, that
aspect even has its painful moments. Rodan in this film acts more as a side kick
to Godzilla. Not too much of a bad thing, just something I noticed as I watched
the movie.

Rodan is a popular monster on its own, why have him reduced to the boy
wonder? In the American version, 'Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero,' Nick Adams is
given top casting credit. That's mostly due to his popularity as an American
actor in a Japanese picture. In the US cut of the film his dialog is the same,
nothing is changed. But in the original Japanese cut of the film, Adam's voice is
dubbed over by a Japanese voice actor. I'm not sure about the reasons why
but I guess that's just how it works. Cultural differences tend to get in the
way, which is why the US cuts of the film are different from the originals. As
much as I liked Nick Adam's role in the movie, he doesn't make the film. I can't
say that he's the reason why the movie is good, because that's really not the
case. For some reason I'm always more attached to the Japanese cuts. Hearing
the original voice work just makes it seem more authentic. Still, the American
cut of Astro-Monster is very faithful to the original.

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this review. As a direct sequel to
'Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster,' it doesn't necessarily hold up. It has its
flaws, but it's still very enjoyable. The film isn't perfect; then again what movie
is? The Godzilla franchise later grows to be more campy and kid friendly. This is
just the start of that. Things will go downhill from here, but there are a lot of
exceptions. This beloved franchise is one to remember; This film included.
Although it's not the best of the series, it's still very memorable. The story is
good, the acting is good and the action is incredible. Even though we all know
it's just a bunch of models and guys in suits. As much as I enjoyed the action I
just couldn't get over the errors and holes in the plot. Still, it's a good movie
that holds a special place in viewers hearts. I just hope I never see Godzilla do
the happy dance again.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overall: 7/10
Genres: Action, Fantasy,
Sci-Fi

Rated: Not Rated

Country: Japan

Year: 1965

Runtime: 94 minutes

Studio: Genius Products
Llc

IMDB Page

Amazon Page
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Hosted by:  Yahoo!
Home Page - Plug Me! - Icons of Fright - Amazon - Last Doorway Productions - Youtube - Myspace