Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

For the discussion of Toho produced and distributed films or shows released before 1980.
User avatar
LSD Jellyfish
Kwaidan
Posts: 5879
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:57 pm
Location: 富士山

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Sat May 04, 2019 10:09 pm

Just rewatched this, remains one of my favorite Godzilla movies, but each time I’m increasingly surprised by how inconsequential Godzilla and co are, minus the destruction scenes.

The two fights with Ghidorah, the one midway, and the one at the end are laughably short. It is also kind of underwhelming how the fight takes place after the Xilliens are killed, where all the dramatic tension sort of dissipates.

One big missed opportunity, would probably have the UFOs take a more proactive role in the destruction scenes. It would’ve added some variety, and I realized despite how many aliens exist within the showa series, how little aliens ufos that actually attack are. We get a brief scene of the Xilliens attack the space base, but not much else. Even Godzilla or Rodan taking a brief swipe at them would’ve been cool.

Again, none of these really detract from the movie for me because it’s a great sci-fi film and I love a lot of little elements within it.

I haven’t really seen many people talk about this, but Fuji’s brother in law to be, is an inventor, who like Serizawa has some love drama, and ultimately makes a weapon that undermines the main antagonist of the film. Of course it’s a less tragic story in this case, but I realized in a way he’s a funny play on Serizawa. And, what really strikes me as interesting is how this film has two live issues, the other being with Namikawa and Glenn. While it’s not as fleshed out, it’s a really interesting element, especially with the whole tonal backdrop of the Xilliens being run by a computer.

What’s also interesting is that while yeah Glenn and Fuji are technically scientists, they’re primarily astronauts; a unique profession throughout the Godzilla franchise. To further them being interesting, they also have separate side plots from one another, and while clearly being friends, clearly also bicker throughout the story, with Glenn actually taking Fuji’s sisters side.

And yeah, the Xilliens look a little goofy, but really they have remarkable standout and iconic designs. While minute, the minor detail with the radio antenna sticking out the back of their cap reinforces the idea that they’re controlled by a computer. I actually would say for the alien invasion genre as a whole, the Xilliens are actually the quintessential alien invasion force. And that’s where IATOM wins, Id argue for the time it was one of the best films in the alien invasion genre.

This time around, I also noted a brief, sortve genius by then standards, editing moment. There’s a shot of Fuji and Glenn in space, leaving for Planet X, and it shows a background of space. Cut to a backdrop of the fancy resturaunt that Fuji’s sister is meeting her boyfriend in, which has space themed wallpaper. A minor detail but a cool one nonetheless.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

User avatar
eabaker
Seatopian Daikaiju
Posts: 10990
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:16 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby eabaker » Sun May 05, 2019 9:17 am

LSD Jellyfish wrote:Just rewatched this, remains one of my favorite Godzilla movies, but each time I’m increasingly surprised by how inconsequential Godzilla and co are, minus the destruction scenes.

The two fights with Ghidorah, the one midway, and the one at the end are laughably short. It is also kind of underwhelming how the fight takes place after the Xilliens are killed, where all the dramatic tension sort of dissipates.


Yeah, I'd say the primary purpose of the monsters in this movie isn't as much to provide monter-vs-monster spectacle as it is to provide disaster porn during the Xillien attack.

That said, while it's brief, the Planet X fight is one of my favorites in the series. It's economical; every moment matters.

What’s also interesting is that while yeah Glenn and Fuji are technically scientists, they’re primarily astronauts; a unique profession throughout the Godzilla franchise. To further them being interesting, they also have separate side plots from one another, and while clearly being friends, clearly also bicker throughout the story, with Glenn actually taking Fuji’s sisters side.


Sekizawa wrote few different takes on guys' friendships in this era, with Sakurai and Furue, Glenn and Fuji and Komai and Mark Jackson standing out as the most distinctive of the lot, in large part because the amount of bickering or competition between them.

This time around, I also noted a brief, sortve genius by then standards, editing moment. There’s a shot of Fuji and Glenn in space, leaving for Planet X, and it shows a background of space. Cut to a backdrop of the fancy resturaunt that Fuji’s sister is meeting her boyfriend in, which has space themed wallpaper. A minor detail but a cool one nonetheless.


I've always really liked that moment. Though I do think "genius by then standards" slightly underestimates the sophistication of editing techniques at the time. I mean, this was nearly 40 years after Battleship Potemkin, and more than 20 years after Citizen Kane and Sanshiro Sugata. ;)
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

User avatar
attilagodzilla
Interpol Agent
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:40 am
Location: Netherlands

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby attilagodzilla » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:43 am

watched it again for the first time in years 2 days ago. I didn't remember much, but seeing it again I really enjoyed it. I love the xiliens, the look sorta silly, but I still think they are pretty cool. I guess I also liked it because it reminds me of the mysterians, wich is my third favorite Toho movie after Gojira and Mothra
one of the few Godzilla fans from holland
Top 5 godzilla movies:
Gojira
GMK
Godzilla 2014
Godzilla vs mechagodzilla 1974
The return of godzilla

User avatar
Orichalcum
Interpol Agent
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:52 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby Orichalcum » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:45 am

This film feels distinctly Western to me.
*Formerly known as Stump Feet*

User avatar
JesstrK
Interpol Agent
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby JesstrK » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:38 am

I like this one because it's the one movie where Ghidorah arguably wins (if only just barely) or at the very least pulls a draw. Same logic as Godzilla vs. Kong: All combatants fall into the water, only one emerges while the others are nowhere to be seen - the one who emerged from the ocean is the winner. Ghidorah probably left because he was too tired/injured after knocking Godzilla and Rodan out to finish them or continue an attack on earth. It also would explain why Godzilla was dormant in Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster.

User avatar
UltramanGoji
Seatopian Daikaiju
Posts: 13782
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:42 am

But Ghidorah objectively didn't win. Godzilla and Rodan beat him up enough to scare him away. If he won, he would've continued rampaging around Japan.
Image

User avatar
JesstrK
Interpol Agent
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby JesstrK » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:49 am

Like I said, knocking out Godzilla and Rodan would have taken too much out of him. He was in no shape to attack anything, if he had tried there would be the risk that Mothra or some other earth kaiju would come and finish him in his weakened state. So he retreated to space or wherever the heck he goes to recuperate. I also said that perhaps it was a draw, which against both Godzilla and Rodan is still a pretty impressive feat.
Last edited by JesstrK on Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Terasawa
Futurian
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:27 am

That's just conjecture. The film only gives us the absence of Godzilla and Rodan and Ghidorah's retreat.
-- 寺沢 --
YouTube

Image

GojiDog
Interpol Agent
Posts: 731
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby GojiDog » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:30 am

If Kong coming out of the water after tumbling off a cliff with Godzilla counts as a win for him, then Ghidorah emerging out of the water after tumbling in with Godzilla and Rodan counts as a win in my mind. That was what I always told younger myself anyway.

But now I'm willing to be flexible and chalk it up to a tie where Rodan and Godzilla got knocked unconscious on the way down, and Ghidorah just got the hell out of dodge.

Why didn't Ghidorah continue attacking Earth afterwards? Well, I've always kind of had the head-canon that Ghidorah was not the great destroyer he was played up to be in his debut film. As a kid, I believed that his attack in the previous film was under the control of the Xilians and he was fully under their control until it was broken at the end of IOAM. Having his new found freedom and probably a certain level of confusion with that and just decided to flee to do what he wanted.

Every other time we see Showa Ghidorah, he is acting under the influence of some alien force. The Kilaaks and Nebula M aliens took control of him, and even when their control was broken at the end of Godzilla Vs. Gigan, Ghidorah just tries to beat up Godzilla (that monster that is always fighting him) rather than trying to destroy the world.

User avatar
UltramanGoji
Seatopian Daikaiju
Posts: 13782
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:37 am

I like how nobody bothers to address the actual story the films are telling.

Kong emerged from the water and was considered the winner because he is the "hero monster" of the story. Even though both were rampaging monsters, it was Kong who was portrayed more sympathetically, being taken from his home to Japan as opposed to Godzilla who came to Japan on his own accord.

Ghidorah was the pawn of the antagonists of the film. They were destroyed so Ghidorah, by association, also lost. His retreat is objectively a loss, Godzilla and Rodan emerging or not.
Image

User avatar
JesstrK
Interpol Agent
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby JesstrK » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:53 am

I don't see how who the hero or the villain of the story is has anything to do with the outcome of a fight if the result is the same. If Godzilla and Rodan were knocked unconscious in the fight (as Godzilla presumably was in Kong vs Godzilla), then I don't see how we can count it as a legitimate win for them. A draw, you could argue, but certainly not a win. So we may just have to agree to disagree on that point.

Due to the ambiguity of the scene in KvG (we are not shown if Godzilla is unconscious), you could also argue that Kong had had enough and was retreating from Godzilla's turf which is why he left. But we count it as a win for Kong is because they said so in the movie, whereas in Invasion of The Astro Monster it's not explicitly stated who won, although the characters appear disappointed when Ghidorah is the only one to emerge and they even worry out loud that Godzilla and Rodan may have been killed by Ghidorah.
Last edited by JesstrK on Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
UltramanGoji
Seatopian Daikaiju
Posts: 13782
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:57 am

JesstrK wrote:I don't see how who the hero or the villain of the story is has anything to do with the outcome of a fight if the result is the same.


Because the intentions of the authors of the film are more important than speculative fantasy match bullshit.
Image

User avatar
Terasawa
Futurian
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:01 pm

We don't know Godzilla and Rodan were knocked unconscious or not, nor do we know if Kong was "beating a hasty retreat" for whatever reason. As I said, all we actually know is that Godzilla and Rodan do not surface and Ghidorah retreats to space.

The victor isn't named in either film, either. The 1963 volume of Toho Films, however, confirms a Kong victory in KKvG.
-- 寺沢 --
YouTube

Image

User avatar
eabaker
Seatopian Daikaiju
Posts: 10990
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:16 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby eabaker » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:02 pm

JesstrK wrote:I don't see how who the hero or the villain of the story is has anything to do with the outcome of a fight if the result is the same.


Because the story of a movie is defined by more than just the events visually depicted, read in isolation. The tone of the movie, the reactions of characters, the music, these things all contribute to our responses. KKvsG is a movie that establishes Kong winning as a desirable outcome, the characters react happily at the end, and we are meant to emotionally identify with those characters, so we typically interpret the ending as the one that would merit that reaction. Likewise, at the end of Monster Zero, all signs point to a happy ending, and thus we can read the outcome of the battle as the one that would represent a happy ending.

That said, the tone of Monster Zero's ending is a little more ambiguous than that of KKvsG's ending, and throughout the characters have displayed a fairly ambivalent attitude about Godzilla and Rodan. The important thing is the defeat of the X-Seijin; the outcome of the monster battle is really more of a footnote. That being the case, I do think that the outcome of the fight is more open to interpretation than in KKvsG. My reading has always been that the crash into the water basically broke up the fight, and Ghidorah took off rather than continue to engage, but that there was no real "winner." (And, really, there are no winners in a Great Monster War, only losers).
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

User avatar
JesstrK
Interpol Agent
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #6: Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965)

Postby JesstrK » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:05 pm

Terasawa wrote:nor do we know if Kong was "beating a hasty retreat" for whatever reason.

Never said we do know that. I only said that you could speculate as much if you were using the same logic that Ghidorah flying off at the end of Invasion means he for sure lost. I suppose I could have been more clear on that.

Added in 30 minutes 28 seconds:
eabaker wrote:
JesstrK wrote:I don't see how who the hero or the villain of the story is has anything to do with the outcome of a fight if the result is the same.


Because the story of a movie is defined by more than just the events visually depicted, read in isolation. The tone of the movie, the reactions of characters, the music, these things all contribute to our responses. KKvsG is a movie that establishes Kong winning as a desirable outcome, the characters react happily at the end, and we are meant to emotionally identify with those characters, so we typically interpret the ending as the one that would merit that reaction. Likewise, at the end of Monster Zero, all signs point to a happy ending, and thus we can read the outcome of the battle as the one that would represent a happy ending.

That said, the tone of Monster Zero's ending is a little more ambiguous than that of KKvsG's ending, and throughout the characters have displayed a fairly ambivalent attitude about Godzilla and Rodan. The important thing is the defeat of the X-Seijin; the outcome of the monster battle is really more of a footnote. That being the case, I do think that the outcome of the fight is more open to interpretation than in KKvsG. My reading has always been that the crash into the water basically broke up the fight, and Ghidorah took off rather than continue to engage, but that there was no real "winner." (And, really, there are no winners in a Great Monster War, only losers).

I don't know that I'd call the monster fight a footnote, when you consider that even if the X-Seijin are defeated, you still have an angry planet killer on the loose that has tried to and probably would destroy earth on his own if Godzilla and Rodan weren't there to stop him. But other than that, yeah, I see what you're saying, and based on what we were shown it's probably premature to count it as a definite win for Ghidorah (though I would like to point out that some people, not you, are acting like I called it a definite win for Ghidorah, which I did not. I said it was "arguably a win or at least a draw"). But when the characters say things like "Do you think Ghidorah killed Godzilla and Rodan?" after Ghidorah emerges, we definitely can't call it a surefire win for Godzilla and Rodan either, it's a draw at best.

And my whole point in bringing this up in the first place was simply to point out that, whether he won or it was a draw, Ghidorah battling a team of both Godzilla and Rodan and not straight up loosing is a pretty impressive feat which is why I liked this movie.
Last edited by JesstrK on Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.


Return to “Showa Series (1930's-1970's)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest