"Godzilla and his youngster, the Gimantises, and now a Spiga! Huh, it's an island of monsters!"
— Goro Maki, in the Titan Productions dub of the Walter-Reade TV version.
Titled Kaijū-tō no Kessen Gojira no Musuko
(Monster Island's Decisive Battle: Godzilla's Son
) in Japan, Son of Godzilla
is the eighth film in the Godzilla
franchise, notable for the introduction of Minya and further Godzilla development into a hero. At least in the English-speaking fandom, this recieved a mixed reaction. Minya became one of the least-loved monsters in the franchise, and the Lighter and Softer
direction isn't exactly welcomed by some
, but the movie itself isn't bad. It garnered a 71% at Rotten Tomatoes, and the scenes between Godzilla and Minya can be heartwarming.
The testing of a weather control system on Sollgel Island is hampered by a nosy reporter and the discovery of large mantises. A strange cry from the island makes things go further awry, exploding the weather balloon and spreading radiation that mutates the mantises into Kamacuras which dig up an egg. They are about to make the baby Godzilla into their meal when the King of the Monsters himself shows up, offing the two Kamacuras and adopting the baby called Minya as his son. The first day of parenting starts off awkwardly, with Minya being a bit too cowardly and Godzilla not having the patience to deal with children. When Minya defends a woman living on the island from the last Kamacuras, the Giant Spider
Kumonga is awakened and Godzilla must discover his Papa Wolf
nature before his son is dissected...
This film contains examples of:
- Beam-O-War: Minya actually engages in one with Kumonga briefly, using his heat-ray to deflect the monster's webbing.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Kamacuras, two meters tall even before hit with a dose of I Love Nuclear Power.
- Bottle Film: Sans the prologue (which still takes place away from civilization), the entire film is shot on an island, All the monsters are operated with wires, and only two monsters require suitimation: Godzilla and Minya.
- Cabin Fever: While the researchers are all a little flustered from being cooped up on Solgell for several months, Furukawa (played by Yoshio Tsuchiya) has it the worst. By the time the radioactive storm wrecks the island, he's so fed up with the place he begins threatening the others at gunpoint before literally trying to swim off the island. Godzilla showing up the moment he tries to doesn't make matters any better...
- Determinator: Dr. Kusumi continues his research for the benefit of the world in spite of increasingly unfavorable odds. Two Godzillas stomping around are just a few of those. Goro is also pretty determined to get a story out of the personnel when he drops in, being the intrepid journalist and all.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Dr. Kusumi is often seen ambling around with one.
- Dub Name Change: In the English dubbing script (also used as a basis for the Titan dub), Kamacuras and Kumonga were anglicized as Gimantis and Spiga, respectively. Saeko's name was also changed, to Reiko in the Frontier dub, and Riko in the Titan dub.
- Eye Scream: Godzilla gets a drop of Spiga's venom shot into his right eye after letting his guard down for a moment, resulting in a lot of agony and the first ever Godzilla Face Palm.
- Giant Spider: Kumonga.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The first radioactive sonde climate experiment goes awry after the mysterious radio waves from the center of the island jam the frequencies sending commands to the apparatus, and Kusumi and the others aren't able to detonate it in time, resulting in the opposite of the intended freezing effect: A fucking hot radioactive thunderstorm. Keep in mind that this is all Minya's fault.
- Intrepid Reporter: Goro Maki.
- Kill It with Fire: Godzilla catches on pretty quick that the Gimantises are extremely flammable.
- Leitmotif: This being a Masaru Sato scored picture, the soundtrack is a bit more of a Theme And Variations Soundtrack-type score than the usual Ostinato stuff, with several memorable motifs, like Minya's theme, Riko's theme, Godzilla and the Gimantises' jazzy dirges, and the whimsical experiment preparation march.
- Monster Popsicle: Godzilla and Minya are put into suspended animation by the final and successful test.
- Minimalist Cast: There are even fewer players in the U.S. TV version, which cuts the prologue.
- Mythology Gag: Minya accidentally swipes a boulder at a Gimantis with his tail, but it deflects it with its foreleg, hitting Minya in the face. The Gimantis then claps in amusement.
- Missing Trailer Scene: While he was a bit reluctant towards Minya after the battle with Spiga/Kumonga was over in the finished film, Godzilla actually tries to escape the freezing of Solgell Island in the trailer.
- The Other Darrin: This is the first film in which Haruo Nakajima doesn't play Godzilla.
- Papa Wolf: Godzilla.
- P.O.V. Cam: There's an out of focus glimpse of Kumonga seen through Godzilla's eye in the final brawl.
- Weather Control Machine: A rare instance of this being used for benevolent purposes.
- You Have to Burn the Web: The only real effective way of escaping Spiga/Kumonga's threads.
- You Look Familiar: Dr. Kusumi is played by Tadao Takashima, Goro is played by Akira Kubo, Fujisaki is Akihiko Hirata, Morio is Kenji Sahara, etc, etc...