Reviews

Reviews The Compleat Godzilla

Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla Raids Again

Gojira no Gyakushu

Motoyoshi Oda

Japan, 1955

Credits

Review by Steve Macfarlane

Posted on 02 February 2013

Source Hulu Plus

Categories The Compleat Godzilla

The inevitable quickie followup to Godzilla had big shoes to fill; dispensing with Ishirō Honda’s remarkably nuanced sense of injustice, director Motoyoshi Oda handily respawns Godzilla on a remote island near Osaka. Battling the armor-plated quadruped monster Angurius, he is discovered by a couple of pilots who work for a nearby cannery. They alert their superiors; the still-traumatized paleontologist Dr. Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura) cameos with the bitter assessment that “Killing Godzilla is hopeless.” The two beasts thrash their way towards the city, which undergoes a panicked shutdown scored to the strings of a nightclub band mid-serenade. Godzilla Raids Again is hamstrung, maybe, by the majesty of its predecessor, but never quite gives way to the out-and-out camp of its successors.

Unlike Honda, Oda has a keen eye for mingling monster footage with newsreel-esque aerial photography, granting spontaneity and landscape to the monsters’ always-unwelcome appearances. Godzilla’s first deathmatch gives special effects supervisor Eiji Tsubaraya (who would later create Ultraman) ample opportunity to move fast – including overcranking the camera for monster closeups – and break things; the film’s signature moment is when Angurius topples over onto a colossal pagoda. But what really solidifies the sequel’s status is the gee-whiz cadre of pilots who, of course, used to fly missions together in the Pacific. If Godzilla was a film noir, then the omnipresent sentimentality of Godzilla Raids Again – brought on a feeling of imminent apocalypse – erases any doubt that this is a war picture.

More The Compleat Godzilla

We don’t do comments anymore, but you may contact us here or find us on Twitter or Facebook.