Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

Godzilla Raids Again, aka "Gigantis, the Fire Monster(1955) is an "ok" sequel to the original Gojira (1954) film.  This entry in the series finds a second Godzilla battling another monster called "Anguirus" that kind of looks like a giant turtle with spikes on his shell.  The only familiar face that I spotted from the first film was Takashi Shimura making a reappearance as "Dr. Yamane."  Unfortunately this film seems more amusing at times than "terrifying" or "exciting."  This time the heroes are two pilots who work as spotters for a Japanese fishing fleet, and the city of Osaka has the misfortune of being the battlefield for the two monsters.

One thing I really did like about the film is the nice work that the production team does with miniatures.  They do a really nice job, again keeping in mind the budget and time of production.  The editing and scene transitions are not as smooth as they were in the first film and translation of the subtitles is a little rough in some spots.  I think the problem may be with the actual storyline.  The military and local authorities seem to be on the verge of constant retreat. The prison escape scene and the getaway are like something straight out of a "Keystone Cops" slapstick short.  And the ending is very long, dragged out, repetitive, and not very suspenseful.  Again, not even close to the previous film.

Hiroshi Koizumi stars as "Tsukioka" and Mindru Chiaki as "Kobayashi", the two pilots.  With Mayuri Mokusho as "Yasuko" the radio operator.

If you're a fan of the series then it's definitely worth watching.  It's not broadcast very often but it shouldn't be too hard to find a copy.

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