As my quest to see more of King Ghidorah continued, I decided to watch Invasion of Astro-Monster, another film to feature a certain three-headed flying space dragon (I love saying that). This is the second film to feature King Ghidorah and while I did enjoy it, I didn’t like it as much as Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. The story is set in the near future and sees humanity make first contact with an alien race, the Xiliens, on Planet X (a previously unknown moon of Jupiter). Claiming to be under constant assault from King Ghidorah, the Xiliens beg for the use of Godzilla and Rodan to keep their small planet safe. It seems like a straightforward situation and a reasonable request, but this is a Godzilla film and nothing is quite what it seems.
One of the things that sticks out to me right away are the Xiliens themselves. Even if I hadn’t read the film summary beforehand, I would’ve been immediately suspicious of the Xiliens, simply because of their appearance. From their stiff mannerisms, to the fact that you can’t see their eyes, everything about these aliens screams “Do not trust them!” Therefore, there’s very little surprise when the double-cross occurs. The other giveaway? That first fight between Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah is over way too quickly.
Another detail that I found more awkward than anything is the presence of Astronaut Glenn (Nick Adams) in the story. I hope this doesn’t come out wrong, but it was more than a little jarring to look at the movie and suddenly realize there’s a non-Japanese character in the mix (the ONLY such character, I might add). Maybe I just found it awkward because all of Glenn’s lines are dubbed in Japanese, it’s just something I wanted to comment on.
I did find the monster action to be quite satisfying, though I was also sad when Godzilla and Rodan were left behind on Planet X. You could literally feel the monster’s sadness at realizing they’re being left in a strange place. Again, it amazes me that these monsters could wring such feelings out of me considering they’re men in rubber suits (more or less).
As I mentioned before, Invasion of Astro-Monster is an enjoyable film, with plenty of monster action for everyone. However, it’s just not as good as other Godzilla films that I’ve seen. Let me know what you think of Invasion of Astro-Monster in the comments below and have a great day!
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