Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

Godzilla Raids Again Japanese PosterThis is the very first sequel to Godzilla and easily takes its place in the Godzilla pantheon as a classic since it’s the first time that Anguirus gets completely humiliated by another monster. Little did we know that this film was merely the beginning of a long and vastly undistinguished career for the spiky sphincter.

Despite battling Godzilla in his first film, Anguirus displays a surprising amount of intelligence by teaming up with Big G in most of the films that followed. Unfortunately for Anguirus intelligence doesn’t necessarily make you any tougher and this actually proved to be a bad career move as he fared just as poorly against Godzilla’s enemies, perhaps most spectacularly when Mechagodzilla brutally breaks his jaw 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

Kobayashi is a pilot, a big goof with a look of utter stupidity plastered on his face for much of the movie. During a flight, he has to make an emergency landing on an island. Guess who’s hitting Anguirus over the head with a steel chair on this island? Yep, he’s landed on Godzilla Island (not really enough monsters have moved in yet to call it Monster Island) and there’s an epic domestic dispute in progress between Godzilla and Anguirus. His fellow pilot Tsukioka rescues Kobe and they fly off and tattle on the two monsters.

Everyone gets spastic when they hear that Anguirus and Godzilla have been spotted brawling somewhere in the Pacific. The Japanese military is summoned for emergency meetings to discuss the sightings of the monsters. This provides the perfect opportunity for some old timer to dim the lights and break out his old home movies about Godzilla. The viewer is immediately put to sleep as the filmmakers use this opportunity to rehash what happened in the first movie.

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This guy drones on about how Godzilla whipped their ass all over the place until the oxygen destroyer gadget was invented which defeated Godzilla. Of course, the guy who figured that out is dead and he took the secret of the formula with him to the grave. Selfish bastard!

This guy’s presentation goes on and on and we get to see Godzilla destroy this and that until finally it ends and the guy states that he will never forget the destruction caused by Godzilla. Well, I imagine you wont gramps, what with the hundreds of hours you’ve spent in the editing booth cutting together your little Godzilla highlight reel.

Godzilla and Anguirus eventually show up in some Japanese city and bust up the oil refineries there like they were a high-school wrestling team staying at a Super 8. Explosions ensue, and Anguirus gets his butt kicked like you wouldn’t believe. (Well, it was Anguirus, so you might believe it.)

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This is still the early Godzilla when he was kind of rough around the edges. This feral version of Godzilla isn’t good news for Anguirus. Godzilla wraps his big mouth around Anguirus’ throat and just rips at it until it’s spurting blood all over. Then Godzilla dumps him on his back in the harbor of some town that for some reason is now on fire. (It involves a group of convicts, a stolen tanker truck and a factory made apparently of gasoline.)

Before I go any farther, I would advise all Anguirus fans to skip over the next couple of sentences. Godzilla whips up his fetid halitosis and proceeds to blow on Anguirus until he is on fire! It turns out that having his throat ripped out and being burned alive is all he can take and that’s the last we see of Anguirus in this movie. What a cry baby!

Godzilla wanders off and the military tries to track him, but lose him. Lose him? How you lose a thirty-story high lizard that is rampaging all across Japan? Perhaps it’s because their tracking involves people writing on chalk boards, pushing little model boats across maps on tables, and sending out pilots employed by fishing boats to look for him.

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Kobayashi finally locates Godzilla which leads to one of the funniest scenes in the movie – Godzilla buried in an avalanche (caused by Kobayashi) which looks to be a whole lot of ice cubes, with his little-bitty arms waving frantically in the air!

Everyone then gets it into their fool heads that the half-assed way to defeat Godzilla would be to bury in him in an avalanche of snow and ice, thus putting an end to his rampage. (At least until the spring thaw.)

This movie has a deadly-serious tone about it that later Godzilla films obviously lacked. There aren’t any crazed space aliens or cute kiddies or wacky Godzilla antics to entertain the viewer. This is just a down and dirty giant monster movie where Godzilla is without question the bad guy and must be defeated.

If you watch Godzilla movies for their cartoonish buffoonery, you should skip it. And If you wanted to see a serious treatment of Godzilla and how his story is really just a cautionary tale about the dawn of the atomic age, watch the original Godzilla. Overall, a competent, somewhat dull and eminently forgettable entry (except for Anguirus getting BBQed) in the Godzilla oeuvre.

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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