Godzilla vs Monster Zero

8. godzilla vs. monster zero
Just when it all looks hopeless, something happens to make it even more hopeless

This movie is a special favorite of mine.  I’m not going to say that it kicks ass and takes names; but, if you watch it, be sure and cover your buttocks and any photo id you might have on your person.  Unfortunately, Mothra had to be written out of the script due to an extended stay in rehab.  She had become addicted to pain killers after she injured herself falling from a ledge while trying to steal a friend’s Percocet.  Rodan is back, though. 

If this movie has an underlying message, it is this:  Japanese revere astronauts as gods.  They meet with the president, walk past police lines, invent things, act as ambassadors, order the military around…Astronauts in Japan, are, for want of a better word, avatars.  It reminds me of a Mexican movie I saw once (The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy) where a medical doctor moved seamlessly from medicine to archeology…entering and leaving ancient pyramids at will and reading ancient hieroglyphics.  In the United States, we tend to specialize a bit more.  I cannot imagine many scenarios where police around a disaster area might be moved by the phrase, “Let me through, I’m Buzz Aldrin”…

The movie opens with two astronauts on their way to Planet X.  One astronaut is Japanese (Fuji).  And, the other is so American that, if you cut him, he would bleed apple pie…and probably vomit baseballs and cry tears of red, white and blue.  It would most likely be best NOT to cut him, because it sounds like a pretty gruesome way to die.  Anyway, Glenn and Fuji are on their way to a new planet, discovered on the other side of Jupiter.

I hear the name “Planet X” thrown around in a lot of science fiction movies.  I find it difficult to believe that, after all the thought that goes into naming objects in our solar system, that a new PLANET would simply get the name “X”.  Perhaps the astronomer who named the planet was interrupted by a fatal coronary while telling everyone what to call it.  He’s dead; but, at least he named the planet first…

With banter so snappy that it qualifies as sex, the two men land on Planet X.  Fuji goes off to explore and, when he comes back, Glenn and the space ship are gone.  It is not a time to panic; in fact, it is actually a perfect time to give up entirely, take off your helmet and let your head explode naturally.  Before Fuji can do that, however, a voice directs him to an underground compound where Glenn is being held.  It is there that they meet the controller.  The controller has moved their spacecraft because Ghidorah is about to attack.  The monster attacks every so often when it looks like one patch of barren terrain is just a little bit higher than the rest.

When the attack has finished, the controller gets down to brass tacks.  They want to borrow Godzilla, Rodan and, if one of the astronauts has an edger that they could use that would be great.  They want to use the two monsters to kill Ghidorah.  In return, they will cure all diseases on Earth…except for chicken pox, which, it turns out, is not a disease at all, but simply very aggressive acne.  The two head for Earth again, prepared to convey the alien’s offer to whoever is in charge of Godzilla and Rodan…

Back on Earth, Fuji’s sister Haruno is suffering from great anxiety over her boyfriend Tetsuo and his inability to sell his invention.  Certainly there has to be a market for a device that produces a horrible noise that can be heard from over a block away.  An educational company wants to buy the rights to the device, then, destroy the plans for it.  What could possibly be the motivation for THAT?  How could this be related to the main story line; or, is it just a “slice of life” vignette that shows the director is maturing as an artist?  Perhaps Tetsuo’s problems with the giant corporation are simply a metaphor for the conflict between the monsters and the nation of Japan.  Maybe it will all turn out to be “just a kooky dream”…

The two astronauts tell their story to whoever is boss of the astronauts.  Immediately, scientists set out to find Godzilla and Rodan; but, like most creatures that are the size of skyscrapers, they find it easy to blend in.  The controller from Planet X stops by, explaining that he was picking up some tomatoes and just happened to be in the area.  He offers to find the monsters himself which is an offer that is not sinister in any way.  We also find out that Glenn is dating the company representative that is dealing with Tetsuo (Ms. Namikawa).  The two plots, like hostages during a rope shortage, are tied together…

Well, the controller finds the two monsters, lickitty split and transports them to Planet X, where parking is not a problem.  The two astronauts follow, in their slower craft, with scientist and fish-juggler Dr. Sakurai riding in the child-seat.  When they arrive, they see a battle of biblical proportions; in fact, the battle is so horrifying and huge that it makes those battles in the Bible seem like those found in Buddhist sutras.  Ultimately, Ghidorah is vanquished and flees the planet like a cat flees an all-Rottweiler production of Rent …

The three men are given a box that they are assured holds the cure for all diseases; moreover, the aliens have included a wonderful recipe for a low-fat applesauce cake.  But, when they get the audiotape back to Earth, they find simply an ultimatum of surrender from Planet X.  They will use the monsters to destroy civilization if the inhabitants don’t transfer power from the corrupt, war-mongering sociopaths that currently run things to the aliens.  Like a goth girl who fell asleep on the beach, the inhabitants of Earth got BURNED…

Meanwhile, Tetsuo follows Ms. Namikawa hoping to find out what she is up to; failing that, he hopes to take things from her underwear drawer.  Turns out that Ms. Namikawa was an alien all the time.  And, Tetsuo’s invention produces a noise that kills the aliens from Planet X.  Tetsuo is captured and put into a cell.  Glenn, the American astronaut, is nabbed as well, probably because the aliens cannot concentrate due to his AWESOMENESS.  The two are put in the same cell and must share a bar of soap.

Ms. Namikawa, enraptured by Glenn’s boyish charm and goyish arms, gives the astronaut the secret to destroying the aliens just before she is blasted to atoms.  Tetsuo just happens to have a smaller version of his obnoxious invention on his person and uses it to incapacitate the guards and make their escape.  The nations of the world broadcast the frequency on all radios, televisions and Rob Zombie albums.  Space ships explode.  The three monsters, no longer under alien control, fight it out:  Rodan and Godzilla against the horrifying and silly-looking Monster Zero.  At the high point of the battle, they crash into the ocean and only Ghidorah emerges.  The three-headed dragon flees the Earth for a planet with more organic grocery stores. 

Are the other two dead?  Is the world finally free of the threat of Godzilla and Rodan?  Is my cat spitting into my mouth while I sleep?

The answer may terrify you…especially, if you are terrified of simple, one word sentences…