Godzilla Raids Again

GodzillavsAnguiris
Don’t ask what’s happening here…

Just because Godzilla was reduced to a skeleton doesn’t mean that you should count him out.  Plenty of others have undergone hardships and come back, stronger than ever.  I remember a time when I had to make chicken gravy…but, I was out of broth; did I give up?  No!  I strained the broth out of a can of chicken soup and persevered.  Being reduced to a skeleton was Godzilla’s chicken gravy moment…

And, he failed.  Actually, the first Godzilla is forever dead, his gravy only an abstract concept…his soup unstrained.  The Godzilla in this movie is a second Godzilla, ALSO mutated from a nuclear test.  This is as good a time as any to invoke my prime rule for any modern civilization:

Never Test Your Nuclear Devices in the Same Place that You Keep Your Dinosaurs

 These words are as true today as they were when I mailed them to President Ronald Reagan two and a half decades ago.  [If you really want people to notice your letters, write the words “I kill you” in nail polish where the return address should be.]  Despite Reagan’s many faults, you can say one thing for the man:  He has never tested nuclear devices near dinosaurs.  And, he’s never chain-sawed anything higher than a spotted owl, even in self-defense…

Godzilla is spotted by two men who are hunting tuna from airplanes.  Now, you might be wondering why anyone would put spots on a one hundred and sixty foot, flame-breathing lizard; or, you might be wondering how you hunt tuna from airplanes.  Either way, there are questions to be answered.  But, no time for questions!  Godzilla is about and he’s not…alone…

Godzilla is seen fighting Anguirus on an island near Japan.  Anguirus is also from prehistoric times and looks like what a giant spike-shelled turtle would look like if it were also a dog.  The two are fighting because they have been enemies since the Jurassic period.  If you’ve suddenly been made five times larger and radioactive, you’ve really got to hate someone if attacking them is the first thing you think about doing afterwards.

 If two reptiles can hold a grudge for millions of years, and their brains are the size of avocado pits, what chance does that give the human race and our abnormally large brains, long term memories and restless leg syndrome?  Is revenge really that primal an urge?  Or, when creating the script for this movie, did the writers just free-associate a story based upon special effects needs and codeine-based hallucinations?  I, for one, refuse to believe either contention…

 The two pilots tell the authorities that they’ve just seen two giant monsters fighting on the beach.  Oddly enough, they are not fitted for straightjackets and pumped full of Thorazine.  In fact, Dr. Yamane (again played by Takashi Shimura) distinctly remembers a similar giant monster wrecking the entire city of Tokyo just the year before.  And, the stuff they used to kill it last time is safely sitting on a shelf in a small room in Nowhereville because the scientist who created it DESTROYED THE FORMULA.  If they’d kept the formula, every subsequent Godzilla movie would have been fifteen minutes long:  The monster would show up somewhere; an official would ask, “Now, which drawer did I leave that deadly formula in?”; a diver would row out to Godzilla and turn him into a skeleton.

Actually, some of the movies would be even shorter than that because the same Godzilla was portrayed in multiple movies.  The film would consist of just a few minutes of Japanese fishermen NOT being attacked; then, credits…

 Yamane comes to the conclusion that Godzilla doesn’t like bright lights; in fact, he dislikes them so much that he attacks them without hesitation.  This might be a way to control Godzilla; or, at least to torture him for the amusement of the defense force officers.  Either way, it is decided that flares will be used to lure Godzilla back into the ocean.  Once he is in the ocean, he will have no choice but to stay there…or risk looking indecisive.  The plan is perfect in almost every way…but…

 As nearly always happens in this situation, while they are luring Godzilla into the open sea, inmates escape from a prison bus, steal a gas tanker truck and crash into a building, causing an explosion of such magnitude that people use the term “magnitude” when describing it.  Godzilla notices the bright flash…he is intrigued…even a little aroused.  He wades back onto land, which is incidentally the part of the earth that isn’t the ocean.  Before he can do anything that might cause him embarrassment later, Godzilla is attacked by Anguirus.

 IMPORTANT:  If you are ever attacked by a turtle, there is one sure-fire method of killing it:  Roast it with your atomic breath.  If you have no atomic breath, try walking briskly away from the turtle; or, if you don’t feel like breathing or walking, just kick it down an embankment.

 Godzilla opts for method number one and burns the dog-turtle to death.  The city of Osaka is saved from being crushed by a giant turtle and happily resigns itself to being immolated by a giant lizard.  After a little half-hearted carnage, Godzilla reluctantly returns to the sea…

 The two pilots, out of a job due to the fact that the tuna factory was trodden on, take turns looking for Godzilla.  The giant lizard is spotted heading towards an icy island.  Bombs rain down.  A woman screams.  A shot rings out.  And, a lone piper appears on the foggy hill.  One of the pilots tries to distract the monster with his plane.  Godzilla lets his guard down for a split second…but, so what?  He is, for want of a better word, indestructible.  He could let his guard down as long as he wants…even give his guard a three week vacation and shorter work hours.  It is a futile gesture by the pilot who ends his aerial acrobatics by politely exploding…

 But, the other pilot, just after it would’ve been just in time, comes up with an idea:  Cause an avalanche to bury Godzilla and hope to hell it doesn’t irritate him very much.  Missile after missile brings the snow and ice down upon the hapless monster (he’d lost his hap at near Osaka).  Ultimately, the destructive reptile is buried either forever or at least until the spring thaw.

 The Japanese people are once again free to live their day-to-day lives in their little eight by eight apartments.  Not only that, but someone got to kill himself, which is important to a Godzilla movie.  Someone must at least attempt suicide in the quest to destroy the monster.  If the monster dies before anyone can kill himself, one of the characters makes up for it by driving a straight slot screwdriver into his thigh…

 American producers, possibly in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack, reedited Godzilla Raids Again and released it under the title Gigantis, the Fire Lizard.  Most of the Japanese actors were edited out of the film and replaced with American actors and some Oompah Loompahs.  Because the monster’s name was now Gigantis, they redubbed the voice…because, what are the odds of two different fire-breathing lizards sounding the same?

 You should see the American version only if sawing off your own foot isn’t a viable alternative.