Thursday, June 22, 2006

yup....he's got LASER EYES.

Exactly what the hell was going on in the late 1970's anyway? Sure, the seventies played host to the age of "goofy hero" Godzilla and produced one of the most ridiculed of all Kaiju Eiga- Godzilla vs. Megalon. Granted the film's storyline is just plain out there, even for a G flick, and the monster fights are just chock full stock footage, and Jet Jaguar PROGRAMS himself to grow to Godzilla's height....ridiculous. But I love that film, and am apprehensively naming it as my second favorite of the seventies Godzilla films. Megalon was a cool design, almost scary, and Jet Jaguar's evil grin was a great response to Ultraman.
So when the Godzilla series ended in 1975 with Terror of Mechagodzilla, who was left to fill what would be a ten-year void?

Marvel and Hanna-Barbera.

Now I don't know the answer to this question, but, who the deuce gave Godzilla laser eyes? LASER EYES?!?!? Atomic fire and a bad attitude just wasn't enough. So when Sony put out two discs of the H-B original series:

I was as surprised as anyone. I remember bits of this show from my childhood, I even had a little plush Godzilla based on this series, and was pretty excited to re-live some of those moments. As shows go, it's pretty much what you'd expect from late seventies Hanna-Barbera....the plots all take place near some body of water (so Godzilla could be easily summoned to do the bidding of the hapless humans), the monster designs are actually pretty good, and Godzooky....the Scooby-doo added in because H-B couldn't have a show without one. Even in spite of this silly flying beast (is he Godzilla's kid? idiot nephew?), I enjoyed these discs. Coming in a little slim with only four episodes each I was definitely more involved with the Hanna-Barbera take than with these:

These apologetic, "sorry we fucked up your favorite character" cartoons. Yeah, they added fire breath. Yeah, they added monsters for Godzilla to fight. And you know what it's just these additions that make the show remotely watchable. The new kaiju designs are definitely cool, a totally different take on daikaiju. Utilized in the context of this show, they work. The characters, meh. Some of the stories were actually well done. I'm thinking of the "S.C.A.L.E." episode that took place almost totally on Monster Island (my favorite place to be) and told in documentary style, utilizing handheld and security cameras. Kudos to the writers of that episode.

So, plenty of animated giant monster action out there right now, but just wait, just wait.........


See you September 5th!!!!

Watching: Mikazuki
Listening to: Reverend Glasseye & His Wooden Legs


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