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

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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.
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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. ;)
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