Godzilla’s Revenge 1969 Movie Review

Written by Danny Toth


godzillas_revenge_poster_01

Movie Information 

  • Title: “Godzilla’s Revenge”
  • Actors: Kenji Sahara, Machiko Naka, Tomonori Yazaki, Hideyo Amamoto, Sachio Sakai
  • Directors: Ishirô Honda
  • Writers: Shin’ichi Sekizawa
  • Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka

Kaiju-Japanese-Movie-Posters-012-Godzillas-Revenge-1969 After it was concluded that 1968′s DESTROY ALL MONSTERS was not to be the final Godzilla epic, Toho began to work another film into the series. It’s first concept was to return Godzilla to his evil roots (hence the original Japanese title GODZILLA’S REVENGE, which was the U.S. release title), and to maybe turn the series back to the tone of the 50s. However, special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya’s ailing health complicated the project, and he passed away during production.

A totally new film was then worked out. Titled ALL MONSTERS ATTACK in Japan, GODZILLA’S REVENGE told the touching story of little Ichiro, a chunky Japanese boy (a Kenny) who is being bullied by a kid named Gabra and neglected by his parents who must work hard to put sushi in his round belly. Ichiro is one of the more likable Kennies, and doesn’t get irritating too quickly as did the latter ones. In fact, one will even develop sympathy for him, since his life is so dull.

So, Ichiro lays down after stuffing pastries in his mouth, and then dreams of being on an airplane en route to Monster Island. The pilots are the Invisible Man and Harvey the Rabbit. Finally, he lands and sees his idol: the ultimate badass, Godzilla, whaling on the pesky feeble monsters via stock footage. And, what a lot of stock footage we see. Thing is though, the use of stock footage in this film is sort of fun, making the movie seem like a clip show (I kind of see it as one in memory of the late Tsuburaya), unlike the cheap excuse the fill in gaps during battles in the love or hate GODZILLA VS. GIGAN and the atrocity GODZILLA VS. MEGALON.

After a while, the mantis Kamakera chases Ichiro, and he falls in a hole, being saved by Minya, downsized to Ichiro’s size and talking like Don Knotts (however, in the Japanese original, a renowned actress provides the voice for cuddly Minya). Minya has a problem too. He is also being bullied by a fiend named Gabra. Only this Gabra is meanner, bigger, and way uglier. Anyways, Minya and Ichiro watch more clips of Godzilla fighting other kaiju, and then the all-out rising action…the demon Gabra tries to push little Minya around (who can grow back to his normal height).

When Ichiro is in the real world, he humps a used car and is then taken hostage by some pedo bank robbers. They threaten him, tie him up (yikes), and try to make him stop squirming and wiggling to get free. 

Again, he falls asleep and goes back to Monster Island, where Gabra is once again knocking poor Minya around. Then, when it looks like the fat little monster must surrender his lunch money, Godzilla steps in and fights the ogre. But, Gabra has a weapon that only the Toho Kong can match…electric hands (and a roar that can make you die from laughing so hard)!

Gabra uses his power on both Minya and Godzilla, but then the tables turn when Minya catapults the ugly son of a bitch through the air, making him land flat on his already flat face. As soon as Gabra gets his second wind, another funny battle ensues in which Godzilla just beats the hell out of him. Gabra cowers like the sad loser he is and hides in the jungles, never to be seen again (literally).

Ichiro wakes up, foils the robbers HOME ALONE style, and watches gleefully as the local police take them to the slammer (support your local police by order of Dr. Hoo’s white glove!!!).  Ichiro goes and beats up his Gabra bully, almost breaks a poor city worker’s neck, and runs off into the polluted sunset of Tokyo’s industrial area.

This film gets so much heat from everyone. Why that is will certainly be a mystery to me. GODZILLA’S REVENGE is a chock full of fun monster epic that is perfect for youngsters to watch. No one can keep in mind that the monster sequences are a kid’s dreams. The morals of GODZILLA’S REVENGE are a little outdated though (I don’t think that beating your bully up and almost killing a billboard painter is good therapy), but are quite entertaining. Basically, I can simply put it that this movie is just so odd, that it’s fantastic (I can say that because last time I watched it, I was stoned out of my mind and it opened up a whole new world for me that I really don’t want to take the time to explain…don’t do drugs).

Ishiro Honda, though having directed the film, including the new special effects sequences, was kind enough to credit Tsuburaya for the monster scenes (since all the stock footage was also his earlier work). I appreciate the film very much for more than just respect for the great special effects genius, though.

Music wise, Kunio Miyauchi’s score is so pumped-up and jazzy. I think it has a lot to do with making the film so fun and light-hearted. It definitely lets you know that it was made in the late 1960s. I like it even as a stand alone listening experience (although it is widely disliked by many fans).

I’m sure that most of you hold a grudge against me for my positive review for GODZILLA’S REVENGE, and my somewhat negative review for GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II… but hey, that’s the point of writing a review…to tell everyone what you think about a certain film, television show, album, or video game. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and my opinion is that GODZILLA’S REVENGE, though being somewhat of a stray, is one of the most memorable films of the series.

GODZILLA’S REVENGE is mindless fun with a message, and is the most underrated Godzilla film in the series. Fans hate it just to hate it, or many just say they do for fear of being picked on by fellow G-Fans. Well, I am proud to admit that I respect the film and all of its child-like aspects and teachings of self respect and how to stand up for yourself no matter how gloomy life can be. Still, I’d rather sit and enjoy melees like TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA and TOKYO: S.O.S., but GODZILLA’S REVENGE has a special place in me that sort of draws me in during every viewing, messed up or sober (I don’t do drugs anymore because of the movie, and because my fiancé would hang me by a rope), and because it’s such an innocent and charming film that gets a lot of laughs out of me. Godzilla + 60s kiddy cheese = harmless fun.

So, kudos to those who share my beliefs. To those who don’t: well, I tried to make a difference in the kaiju fandom.

Written by Danny Toth

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