Ready, kiddies? We're back to Monster Movie 101. Time to dig back into the big daddy of everything to do with giant monsters. When last we left, what seemed to be more than just a storm destroyed an island town/village and the Young-Guy-Who-Spotted-The-Raft’s brother sadly died in their house’s collapse. Oh, and someone's toy helicopter got in front of the camera. Anyways, the aftermath!
Which consists of a bus arriving in front of a large, town-hall type building. Inside, they discuss the damages that the village (for so it is) suffered. Buildings, people, and…12 cows and a few pigs. Granted those animals were probably someone’s livelihood, but when most of the town is in ruins, it just seems like Arson Murder and Jaywalking
to mention the pigs last.
"So, what did the giant monster do?"
"Well, it knocked down our buildings!"
"Oh, that's not good, your homes are gone."
"It killed our friends and neighbours!"
"That's terrible! Those poor people!"
"It killed cows!"
"That's...well, not exactly good, but moving along..."
"And some pigs!"
"Are you just running out of things to say?"
YGWSTR takes the stand and says that he definitely saw a “large animal” which has me wondering at which point he’d call something a “giant fucking monster,” though he’d probably be more polite.
A Professor Yamane comes up and says that the earth has many deep pockets that have yet to be explored and they can hold many many secrets. Well then, perhaps, one day we’ll find out the true origins of Schnappi.
A fact-finding party is decided on. The next thing we’re treated to is a happy fanfare as people wave to others on a boat. Slightly out of place is a Creepy Man all in black, with dark glasses, and an eyepatch under those. Doesn’t he have a cheesy villain role to take on? Also, the music is a little TOO happy considering they’re out to find what might be a giant destructive creature.
Ah, and we get a name for our Creepy Man. It’s Dr. Serizawa.
The boat’s captain is apparently afraid that this might be their last trip. Seems he’s the only one to actually think about the slight madness inherent in what they’re actually attempting.
Radioactivity makes its first appearance by name, when the villagers are told not to drink from the well. They are saddened, and have apparently never realized that boiling sea water and capturing the steam can also be a useful technique. Perhaps my expectations are too high.
Now the big shocker: the big depression that these men are standing in and measuring is…a footprint! DUN DUN DUNNNNN! This is brushed aside somewhat casually in favour of investigating a trilobite that Dr. Yamane finds in a bit of water. Wait, weren’t we just told the water’s radioactive. So yea, giant footprint caused by a creature the likes of which humanity has probably never seen? Well yes, it’s there. But trilobite!
Alarm is sounded! Something’s on the hill! Could it be….?
Yes. Yes it is. The world is introduced to Godzilla. A head appears. And then. KREEEEEOOONK
. It looks cheesy now, but I must admit I find no fault with this scene. What bugs me is the next one, where the giant beast manages to…well…have disappeared somehow. It’s walked downhill, covered a beach and gone apparently back into the sea without anybody seeing. Perhaps GINO went to the same lizard ninja school.
Cut to: a slideshow! Oh how exciting, I've just been dying to see inactive pictures. That's what film is for! It’s a brontosaurus, and they (according to this film) lived 2 million years ago. Along with all the other dinosaurs. This was the Jurassic period.
Okay even back in the 50’s we knew the dinosaurs were older than that. It cannot be that hard to get the dating right.
Moving along from that epic research fail.
He says this Godzilla probably survived by eating deep sea creatures…fine, I can accept that. Atomic tests may have altered his habitat – yes, okay. Plausible enough. There is strong evidence, in the form the Incredible Trilobite. Ladies and gentleman, a round of applause for this plucky young fellow, who was brave enough to latch himself onto a giant lizard foot in order to facilitate humanity’s understanding of Godzilla!
Next we are treated to a rather emphatic discussion of whether or not to release this report to the public. Mr. Ooyama wants to prevent a panic, seeing as this is such a delicate matter and telling everyone the full details before this is all confirmed might have unwanted repercussions. I see no flaw in this. One of the women says that everyone must know the truth. Why? Because the report is important. That’s her reasoning. Ooyama (go ahead, just say that name a few times. Let it roollyama off your tongue. It’s a soothing mantra.) says (again, rightly so) that given the delicate balance of economy and diplomacy etc, they need to be sure to handle this properly. For this, the wonderful lady calls him an idiot. Perhaps some might disagree, but when your argumentation goes from “We must do X on principle” to “You idiot!” one should consider carefully if this is not hypocritical. Anyway, the whole thing devolves into a cacophony, and then it’s back to newspaper headlines, sadly not subtitled. But given that the person reading them then talks about radioactive sea life and Godzilla, one can assume they listened to the woman. Why, in the God-Emperor’s name, would they do that? Ugh, not dwelling on the point. It’d take up too much.
Dinner at the Yamane household. The television announces that a fleet has left port to depth-charge the heck out of anything in the area, in the hopes of killing Godzilla. The good doctor is incredibly displeased at this, and goes to his room – and I’m going to insert a quote from Ian Malcolm in The Lost World here: “The creature’s alive for the first time in millions of years and the only way you can express yourself is to kill it?” It’s appropriate enough, even if Godzilla is just [[Understatement slightly]] more destructive than a T-Rex. Okay, pre-emptive measure are also understandable, so it’s hard to fault the Japanese for wanting to safeguard again giant monsters.
Yamane is reluctant to talk about ways to kill the creature. He says it should be kept alive and studied. Okay, fine – you find a way to do it, then let me know. In the meantime, let’s see about not getting thousands of people vaporized, shall we?
But that’s where it’ll stop for now. Join us next time, when we find out just why Serizawa is such a creeper, and just how effective the Japanese army is against Godzilla.