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Sunday, May 18, 2014 04:48:07 PM
Sunday Matinee: Godzilla Raids Again

Gojira_no_gyakushu_posterGodzilla turns 60 this year and to celebrate Warner Brothers has made a new American movie that is currently stomping on the box office. Having already talked about the original, today's Sunday Matinee looks at the first sequel the 1955 film Godzilla Raids Again.

There have been a total of 28 Godzilla movies from Toho and two American movies for a grand total of 30 films. That's a whole lot of giant monster attacks. What sets Godzilla Raids Again  apart is that it sets up the franchise for more films to come.

In the original Japanese movie Godzilla was destroyed by a powerful weapon called the Oxygen Destroyer. The inventor of the weapon also died with it in order to prevent the exploitation of his creation. The sequel starts with a pilot out looking for schools of fish for the boats at a fishing company. He encounters engine trouble and makes an emergency landing on a small island. His friend and co-worker flies out to get him and lands on the island. There the two men discover that Godzilla is fighting another giant monster Anguirus.

When the men return they tell the world about what they say. Scientists claim that there must be multiple Godzillas which is why the great beast is back and because of nuclear testing Anguirus has woken up too. The only way they can think of preventing Godzilla from attacking is to distract the monster with flares and lead him away from Japan while a blackout takes place. When he does make his way to shore, the blackout flare plan takes effect. It works until a group of criminal prisoners makes an escape and in the ensuing chase crash into an oil refinery causing a massive explosion which draws Godzilla into attacking Osaka where he gets into a fight with Anguirus. After that a new plan is hatched.

When the movie was released in North America Warner Brothers had bought the distribution rights. They decided that they didn't want to release a Godzilla movie so they renamed the film Gigantis, the Fire Monster. They chopped up the film, dubbed it and changed Godzilla's roar and origin so he was a "new" monster. It was until recently that the original uncut Japanese version made it to American home video.

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