Invasion of Astro-Monster ~ 1965, Ishiro Honda – Japan
Rocky waters for the Godzilla franchise!
Following the awesome Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster we have Invasion of Astro-Monster, which is actually weirdly similar, but not anywhere near as good. Like the last film. We again have Godzilla and Rodan VS King Ghidorah, almost like they didn’t want to go get any new monsters costumes out of the garage, but we’re missing Mothra this time out, so in a sense it’s even a step back from it’s immediate prequel. Weird!
THE PLOT- A new Planet, called Planet X, is discovered in our solar system. We soon learn that Planet X is inhabited by an advanced race of humanoids, and they want our help. It seems that after he had his ass handed to him by our Earth monsters, King Ghidorah retreated to Planet X, a land where he could ruin everything indiscriminately without interference. The people of Planet X offer a trade; they can’t deal with Ghidorah’s shit anymore, so if we loan them Godzilla and Rodan they’ll give us the cure for cancer. Long story short, they’re a bunch of treacherous A-holes, and soon we end up with an invasion force from Planet X forcibly attempted to colonize Earth, and they happen to control Godzilla, Rodan AND King Ghidorah using electro magnetic waves now. It looks grim for Earth, but since most of you are aware that there are another twenty or so sequels to this film, I don’t think it’s out of line for me to spoil the end and say that they figure it out okay.
So, Invasion of Astro Monster feels way too much like it’s predecessor to be fresh. WAAAY too much like it. Also hindering the film is the light monster content; there just isn’t enough kaiju clobbering action to carry this picture. What we have instead is a greatly expanded role for extra-terrestrials, something that was hinted at in the prior film, but relatively unexplored. This time around we certainly get our fill of aliens, but they feel boring and they eat up way too much run time. Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster had so much going for it, but Invasion of Astro-Monster just feels like an inferior sibling.
Also, this is the movie where Godzilla does his weird victory dance. I don’t know what in the hell that was about.