Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby edgaguirus » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:28 pm

The puppetry for Kumonga was very good. The movements were smooth and realistic looking.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Grievous » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:35 pm

Honestly...I think this one cops a lot of flack...and perhaps with a better Godzilla suit &
less Minya it wouldn't.

It follows on well from "Ebirah" & once again has the Big G on a tropical island fighting
multiple different foes while a cast of scientists (& one hot island babe) try to escape
the chaos.

Much like "Ebirah" I think this film is a great "change of pace" & is often overlooked.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed May 08, 2019 1:22 am

So I watched this last night.

A cool thing I noticed is that Minya is a catalyst for the film. Obviously Minya causes Godzilla to show up, but Minya’s calling out to Godzilla also causes the experiment to fail; which in turn leads to the Giant Mantises becoming the Kamacuras, which also eventually leads to Kumonga waking up. Despite not being the main brute of the film, Minya does play an intergral role throughout the film, and can actually be seen as the true protagonist of the film. He gets the most development.

One thing that I noticed is Saeko plays the role of Minya’s adoptative mother throughout the film. While Godzilla sortve teaches Minya to fight, she’s the one that feeds him and shows him attention. This of course ties into a great quality that it’s predecessor also possessed, how much humans and monsters interact with the humans and are more tangible.

While of course Kumonga’s claw scene is memorable, it’s easy to forget that the first half of the film actually features the surviving Kamacuras chasing the protagonists with his claw also in frame. The villainous Kaiju of the film actively appear as tangible threats, like Ebirah. While different in nature, in many ways it makes Kamakuras and Kumonga definitively more scary then monsters such as King Ghidorah. This with the Minya and Dayo scenes makes it feel like a more lived in monster world and adds to the immersion.

I think that the Kamacuras and Kumonga puppets are done exceptionally well. Like Ebirah, they offer unique non humanoid opponents, or at least monsters that are not obviously “men in suits”.

In addition, the fight with Godzilla vs the three Kamacuras, while a curb stomp fest, features one of the most intricate battles in the series, considering for the era how many monsters are being operated by wires at once in addition to Godzilla.

A lot of people complain about Kumonga being weak in comparison to Godzilla. It’s true, that Kumonga is no Ghidorah, Gigan, etc... However, Kumonga is primarily intended as a threat to both the human cast, and more importantly Minya. Kumonga, like Ebirah, is also underrated in that in a few key moments Kumonga would be able to at least prove a decent opponent to Godzilla. Kumonga was able to briefly almost ensnare Godzilla in its webbing, and would’ve most likely been successful if not for Minya. Likewise, when Kumonga gets up on all it’s legs and lunges at Godzilla, if not for Minya, it would’ve been harder for Godzilla to get up. It’s easy to forget by the end of this film that Minya is a little Godzilla, so Kumonga sortve fights two Godzilla’s. Kumonga also has two unique weapons, it’s string shot (which for arguments sake we can assume is on par with Mothra’s if not stronger, and it’s poison stringer. I’m not saying that Kumonga is even a strong Kaiju, but I am saying that it’s a fine antagonistic Kaiju for the film.

A lot of people also seem to deride the film for not really being important threat wise to greater humanity. While yes the events on the island are isolated, and Kumonga unlike Ghidorah isn’t going to take over the world, the expirement on the island is indeed important, and could save many people.

As for the humans of the film, unfortunately I think it’s a little cluttered. Beyond Saeko being Minya’s mother, she’s sortve your stock exotic character, which is strange because she is Japanese. Goro Maki has some humor to him, but likewise he remains the same throughout the film. The only real stand out is the seriousness of the Professor, and Furukawa who really sortve gets the point across how isolated and crazy they could all become. His build up is also well done. While beyond that there’s no crazy development, it is fun seeing everyone interact.

I would argue that the previous film is an adventure film, where a group of people overthrow an evil organization, while this is more of a survival film. The group survives:
-Giant Mantis’s
-The weather expirement gone wrong
-Godzilla
-A Kamacuras attack
-Near Insanity
-The Fever
-Kumonga
-The Second Expiremental

And yeah, this film has the worst Godzilla suit, I don’t think that’s a controversial opinion. Minya isn’t as ugly or as annoying as people make him out to be. Due to the later film, people also tend to forget that Minya by the end is firing Godzilla beams left and right, and is a serious Kaiju.

While not my personal favorite, a very solid entry in the series.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Gothicserpent » Wed May 08, 2019 9:34 am

I've posted my opinions before, but after rewatching it I must emphasize that this is one of the absolute best in the franchise. Almost everything about it works.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Godzillian » Wed May 08, 2019 9:37 am

Gothicserpent wrote:I've posted my opinions before, but after rewatching it I must emphasize that this is one of the absolute best in the franchise. Almost everything about it works.

Hell yeah man, everything just clicks so well. Easily one of the best in the franchise
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Gothicserpent » Wed May 08, 2019 9:41 am

Godzillian wrote:
Gothicserpent wrote:I've posted my opinions before, but after rewatching it I must emphasize that this is one of the absolute best in the franchise. Almost everything about it works.

Hell yeah man, everything just clicks so well. Easily one of the best in the franchise

Also, I might be exaggerating, but I think the ending is one of the most heartwarming I've seen in a movie.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby King of the Monsters » Wed May 08, 2019 9:54 am

I've always had a fondness for Jun Fukuda's entries in the series, and think they always have gotten a bad rap and dismissed unfairly for superficial reasons like Ebirah supposedly being a lame enemy and the fact so many fans hate Minilla. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep and Son of Godzilla have stood among my favorite entries in the series for a while, because as others have mentioned I feel like they have the best integration between the humans and monsters and some of the most entertaining human stories.

A lot of stuff people have already said here sums up why I think Son of Godzilla is such a great movie. The characters are fun albeit not too deep, Minilla is a lovable character who is used brilliantly in the film, Kamacuras and Kumonga look great and exude a great deal of personality and menace despite being bugs, and of course the ending is one of the most powerful scenes in the franchise, at least in my view. I also have to acknowledge Masaru Sato's excellent score. I've always considered him the second best composer in the series after Ifukube, and I think this is his best work on a Godzilla film.

Overall, I just agree with pretty much everything being said here and just think this movie is an excellent entry in the Godzilla series on virtually every level. I've always been kind of baffled by how hated it is; people seem to completely overlook every aspect of the film except for Godzilla's ugly suit and Minilla, a character they just inherently dislike without bothering to pay attention to how he is used in the film. I think a lot of people less familiar with the series often confuse this movie with All Monsters Attack, another movie I think is unfairly hated but more understandably so than this one.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Gothicserpent » Wed May 08, 2019 10:13 am

Even Godzilla's appearance in this film grows on you. It helps that it some shots it looks nice.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:43 pm

So I watched this with my girlfriend last night, and she absolutely loved Minya, and started doing some of the small hand gestures he does. Minya (and Godzilla) is so well executed. There isn’t a static shot of Minya just looking dull. He’s always emoting and doing something. She was laughing a lot by it, and got visibly worried when Kumonga was about to eat Minya.

I think a lot of problems people have with this film is solely based on the fact that they want Godzilla to be badass, or are annoyed that Godzilla isn’t the main monster in this film, it’s Minya.

Also I love it when they countdown to the experiment, each different second is a different shot is a focus on Godzilla, Minya, the scientists, etc..what a great choice. I also realized how much great humor is in this film.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby eabaker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:44 pm

LSD Jellyfish wrote:Also I love it when they countdown to the experiment, each different second is a different shot is a focus on Godzilla, Minya, the scientists, etc..what a great choice.


Both of the countdown sequences are really cut well for tension.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:51 pm

eabaker wrote:
LSD Jellyfish wrote:Also I love it when they countdown to the experiment, each different second is a different shot is a focus on Godzilla, Minya, the scientists, etc..what a great choice.


Both of the countdown sequences are really cut well for tension.

That’s the thing, a lot of people say this film is too silly/childish(and it is!) but there’s just as many tense and scary moments.

Also I realized that despite being both on an island, EHOTD and SoG are two completely different genres. EHOTD is more of an adventure film, while this is more of a survival film. The crew is repeatedly faced by hardships (the Monsters, the fever, the mutiny, etc...) and persevere. I feel like there’s such a good variety of genre in the Showa series, while pretty much every film in the heisei series after King Ghidorah is pretty much all the same.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Terasawa » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:26 pm

I like Yoshio Tsuchiya's little arc throughout the film, although I think he's a bit too unrestrained by Fukuda when he's maddened by their predicament. I like that he's the one that motivates the scientists to complete the experiment the second time, despite the monster battle going on overhead. He also gets a nice little moment as he shares the success with Takashima once it starts snowing.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby eabaker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:12 pm

The movie has a really strong ensemble, with the human characters only really able to drive the plot forward when they're acting collectively.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby TitanoGoji16 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:41 pm

LSD Jellyfish wrote:A lot of people complain about Kumonga being weak in comparison to Godzilla.


Wait, really? I've always considered Spiega (it saddens me that his American name seems to be fading more and more into obscurity) one of the strongest of the Showa kaiju. The implication of the final fight always struck me as Godzilla would've lost (if not flat-out died) had Minya not been there to help. He never seemed too bothered by Godzilla's atomic breath and his stinger, whether from the poison or the stinger itself, blinded Godzilla in one eye for roughly the rest of the film. Plus he was able to web Godzilla up much faster than the two Mothra larvae were. I'd definitely put him up there in the higher tier of "ordinary"/Earth Showa monsters, along with Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Kong, Titanosaurus, and maybe Gorosaurus (and you could reasonably argue putting Spiega above a few of those). Sure, Spiega is no Ghidorah, Hedorah, or Mechagodzilla, but no kaiju from the Showa series is.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:16 am

TitanoGoji16 wrote:
LSD Jellyfish wrote:A lot of people complain about Kumonga being weak in comparison to Godzilla.


Wait, really? I've always considered Spiega (it saddens me that his American name seems to be fading more and more into obscurity) one of the strongest of the Showa kaiju. The implication of the final fight always struck me as Godzilla would've lost (if not flat-out died) had Minya not been there to help. He never seemed too bothered by Godzilla's atomic breath and his stinger, whether from the poison or the stinger itself, blinded Godzilla in one eye for roughly the rest of the film. Plus he was able to web Godzilla up much faster than the two Mothra larvae were. I'd definitely put him up there in the higher tier of "ordinary"/Earth Showa monsters, along with Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Kong, Titanosaurus, and maybe Gorosaurus (and you could reasonably argue putting Spiega above a few of those). Sure, Spiega is no Ghidorah, Hedorah, or Mechagodzilla, but no kaiju from the Showa series is.


Sure definitely. But look how the following movies treat him: DAM, an afterthought/cameo. GR: another monster to fight. Godzilla Final Wars: complete jobber (although most monsters in the film are complete jobbers).

Then, in most if not all Godzilla supplementary materials, such as the IDW comics, Kumonga is sort of treated as a big joke and doesn’t win or contribute any much to the fights. I think the fandom sleeps on Kumonga.

My point isn’t even to say Kumonga is powerful or anything, just that he works well as an antagonist to Minya more specifically than Godzilla.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby GojiDog » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:19 am

This is the closest Godzilla ever felt to capturing the feel of a Disney movie.

Whether or not that's a good thing is up to you, but I always appreciated it.

And as I always say, if you want to get your kids into Godzilla, I think this is the ideal entry to start with.

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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:23 pm

It certainly has family movie vibes but I don't know if I'd say it particularly feels like a Disney movie.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:12 pm

Terasawa wrote:It certainly has family movie vibes but I don't know if I'd say it particularly feels like a Disney movie.


I think it has some atmospheric similarities to older live action Disney films. Namely 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Of course, that's just me.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby edgaguirus » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:13 pm

I would agree with that. SOG has that same mix of cuteness, drama, and fright as those films. 20,000 Leagues had comedy, wonder, and that squid provided a significant threat. Minya gives us the comedy with his antics; The visual of the freezing island provides some wonder; And the big bugs ( and spider) bring danger to the equation.
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Re: Talkback Thread #8: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Postby UltramanGoji » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:03 am

I often see this one cited among the more hardcore fans as one of the best and while it is good, I don't think it reaches that high for me.

Rodan made some good points a few pages ago about the more humanistic aspects of this film (god, I miss his posts...) but I don't think the film ever fully embraces them, I saw it more as a passing almost expository reference more than anything. But the fact that those are at least acknowledged gives it far more credit than a few others in the franchise.

I think the characters for the most part are well done, especially Furukawa and Goro Maki, but they don't really hit the same marks as other casts, especially not Jun Fukuda's last Godzilla film.

I really liked the puppetry effects for Kamacuras and Kumonga. It kind of gave them this unique motion that hadn't been seen before in a Godzilla film. Minilla is perfectly fine and suits his role well.

Masaru Sato's score is great, light-hearted and whimsical and it fits the tone of this movie well. I love Kamacuras' theme.

Overall, it's a solid B+ for me, not as fantastic as it's often praised by the bigger fans but nowhere near as bad as the more casual side likes to claim.
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