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godzillavsmegalon

“We don’t have the time to invent them.”

I have often felt, if I’m going to watch giant monsters, I want Godzilla or King Kong. Everyone else is a pretender to the throne; those two are my kings of the monsters. I’ve not seen the new Godzilla, but it will be in my Netflix queue.

But even Kings go through their ‘goofy’ phases, and this is part of Godzilla getting a little silly. A few years after this we’d get the Godzilla cartoon with Godzooky, the Scrappy Doo of giant monsters. Say what you will about Godzilla 1985 and 1998, they were at least a move (at least here in America) back to a monster worthy of respect.

One of the things I have never understood about the Godzilla/Gamera/etc movies—how is there only one of everything? I get they are mutation or space creatures or mystical whatiz, but everything is a single. I know it shouldn’t matter, we are talking about giant imaginary creatures, but it does not feel well thought out. I am also not a huge Kaiju fan, this could all be explained in another movie.

Not to mention I don’t get the hold Monster Island would have on the creatures. It seems more like a place they hang out between attacks on Tokyo.

Jet Jaguar was the winning entry in a Toho ‘create a creature’ contest. The realization that Jet probably couldn’t carry a movie lead to a very rushed Godzilla tie in.

We’re 10 plus minutes in, and all we know about the three main characters (Goro, Rokuro and Hiroshi) is they are hanging out at the beach. Are they brothers, friends, more? Give me some context movie.

Close ups do save the director the trouble of staging an actual car chase. That is a fun little car Hiroshi is driving around. Hiroshi so could have been a TV Detective in the 70s. He has the hair, jacket and car.

One indication of how rushed this script must have been: how little dialogue there are in extended places. At times there are smooth transitions, for example from studying the Seatopians buttons to Goro working on Jet Jaguar, which make no sense. How can you make such a non-sequitur look so seamless?

Very upsetting shorts on that kid.

A new twist on an old cliché. The invaders know exactly how our technology works and can figure out how to work a brand new robot without trying.

The dance sequence is like Moon Zero Two goes disco.

I know most of it is the voice actor but Rokuro is one of the most annoying kids in a MST3K related film. He is Bobby of Rocky Jones level of annoying.

The second car chase reminded no one of Bullitt. Complete with Keystone Kop ending for the kiddies.

If you put Jet Jaguar in a line up with Gigantor, Ultraman, the Shogun Warriors and any other famous giant robot, I probably couldn’t tell you who was who.

Another visit to HO scale Japan.

Wow, this has more ‘silent’ sequences than Lassie. Plenty of stock footage and reused footage in this movie.

So, the two truckers throw the Seatopian thug out the window, but still almost finish his job and dump the crate? Not very well thought out.

Megalon at the dam. This is what I want in my giant monsters. Now we got ourselves a movie I want to watch!

Megalon swatting the container: Goofy!

Megalon vs the army—another extended sequence with NO dialogue. This has to be one of the thinnest scripts in movie history.

Gee super scientist, why don’t you ask the army to go and get the evil guy back in your laboratory so you can take control of Jet Jaguar?

So the Seatopians can suddenly contact the space people who control Gigan? At this point the ‘writers’ are just throwing anything they can at the wall to get this movie made. Goofy.

Robot to monster sign language? Goofy!

Take the villain out with a model airplane? Goofy!

A robot which can reprogram himself at will? Goofy! And, Mr. Super Scientist, if you build that function into him, why is it a surprise Jet Jaguar did do that?

A robot which can ‘decide’ to grow gigantic? Goofy!

And pretty much, the movie is a robot/monster battle from here on out. Not that I’m complaining. At this point even the goofy flying kick of Godzilla is too much fun to rip on.

And no one ever heard from Jet Jaguar again.

Watchability: 3 of 5. Far far from the best Godzilla movie out there. The first 30 minutes establishing the plot, such as it is, are a drag. But after Megalon hits the surface, the movie delivers on the giant monster action. Over goofy at time, but a lot of fun.

Missing the Riffs: 2 of 5. Not an episode I know very well, but have been giving an extra spin of late because of the recent Godzilla movie hype. At this point in my knowing of that episode, I’d rather watch the MST3K version. Another movie where you come away with a greater appreciation of what the SOL Crew’s talent.

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