PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
Ichiro is a highly imaginative but lonely latchkey kid growing up in urban (and at that time, polluted) Tokyo. Every day he comes home to his family’s empty apartment. His only friends are a toymaker named Shinpei Inami and a young girl named Sachiko. Every day after school, Ichiro is tormented by a gang of bullies led by a child named Sancho, whom Ichiro has nicknamed “Gabara.” To escape his loneliness, Ichiro sleeps and dreams about visiting Monster Island. During his visit he witnesses Godzilla battle three Kamacuras and Ebirah, a giant sea monster. Ichiro is then chased by a rouge Kamacuras and falls into a deep cave, but luckily avoids being caught by Kamacuras. Shortly afterwards, Ichiro is rescued from the cave by Godzilla’s Son, Minilla. Ichiro quickly learns that Minilla has bully problems too, as he is bullied by a monstrous ogre known as Gabara.
Ichiro is then awoken by Shinpei who informs him that his mother must work late, again. Down on his luck Ichiro goes out to play, but is then frightened by the bullies and finds and explores an abandoned factory. After finding some souvenirs (tubes, a headset, and a wallet with someone’s license), Ichiro leaves the factory after hearing some sirens close by. After Ichiro leaves, two Bank Robbers who were hiding out in the factory learn that Ichiro has found one of their drivers licenses and follow him in order to kidnap him.
Later, Ichiro dreams again and reunites with Minilla. Together they both watch as Godzilla fights Ebirah, Kumonga, and some invading Jets. Then in the middle of Godzilla’s fights, Gabara appears and Minilla is forced to battle him, and after a short and one-sided battle Minilla runs away in fear. Godzilla returns to train Minilla how to fight and use his own atomic ray. However, Ichiro is woken up this time by the Bank Robbers and is taken hostage by them for taking their stuff and as a means of protection from the authorities.
Out of fear and being watched by the thieves, Ichiro calls for Minilla’s help and falls asleep again where he witnesses Minilla being beaten up by Gabara again. Finally, Ichiro helps Minilla fight back at Gabara and eventually Minilla wins, catapulting the bully through the air by a seesaw-like log. Godzilla, who was in the area watching comes to congratulate his son for his victory, but is ambushed by a vengeful Gabara. Luckily after a short brawl, Godzilla beats down Gabara and sends the bully into retreat, never to bother Minilla again. Now from his experiences in his dreams, Ichiro learns how to face his fears and fight back, gaining the courage to outwit the thieves just in time for the police to arrive and arrest them. The next day, Ichiro stands up to Sancho and his gang and wins, regaining his pride and confidence in the process.
What in the blue hell have they done to Godzilla?!?
Godzilla’s Revenge is actually a misnomer, or should I say, an American re-titling. The actual Japanese title of this film is All Monster’s Attack. The problem with that title is it really has no bearing on the plot.
What did I like?
Story. Believe it or not, I actually did like the story. How often do you hear the word cute associated with a Godzilla flick? It is my understanding, though, that this is aimed more for kids than the usual sci-fi crowd. Don’t ask me why this is, considering how Godzilla is supposedly such a threat. I mean, there aren’t any kiddie Ghidoroh, Mothra, or King Kong flicks out there. Well, I guess you can make the case that Donkey Kong is a kiddie version of King Kong, but he doesn’t have any movies.
Friendship and imagination. One thing that cannot be said about this flick is that it lacks imagination. How else is it possible for this little boy to not only find himself on Monster Island, but also befriending Minya (Minilla in the Japanese versions), son of Godzilla.
What didn’t I like?
Speech. I realize that they needed to make at least one of the monsters audience accessible, but there was just something unsettling about him talking. On top of that, his voice didn’t work for me. I don’t know if it was that bad in the Japanese version, but the American version could sure use some work.
Epic fail. Godzilla has a big fight near the end with a couple of one-off monsters. It is pretty good, but tame by Godzilla standards. If this is supposedly Godzilla’s revenge, as the title states, shouldn’t be laying some major smackage down? I was highly disappointed in this.
Little boy, go home. I found the little boy endearing at first, but as the film went on, he became a bit of a nuisance, for lack of a better word. I believe this was more to do with how this film was aimed, though.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. As with every other Godzilla film, the dubbing is atrocious, but I guess that comes with the territory of bringing a Japanese film over here to America, right?
Costume design. Holy hell these are some horrible monster costumes, especially Godzilla and Minya. Not only are the costumes horrible, but it seems as if the director forgot how big these monsters actually are. WTF?!? How is it that Godzilla appears to be no bigger than a full size adult male and Minya is barely taller than the little boy, yet in every other flick Godzilla is about 80 ft tall (don’t quote me on that) and his son was about the height of a house!
If you’re in the market for a good Godzilla flick, then this isn’t the one for you. There is no way around that fact. However, if you want a Godzilla flick that you can feel good about watching with your kids, then pop in Godzilla’s Revenge. While I don’t highly recommend this to any sane person, as a Saturday or Sunday afternoon flick, this would probably work out pretty good.
3 out of 5 stars