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Movies Eddie McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Astro-Monster
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INVASION OF THE ASTRO-MONSTER aka Monster Zero - 1965
Dubbed in English (1970)
Toho
Rated: NR

Welcome to the future! In the future we have rockets that can fly all over the solar system on a single tank of gas and you know what? We discovered another moon of Jupiter and you know what? That moon has intelligent life and you know what? Now we call it a planet - even though it revolves around Jupiter!

Okay, the science fiction sucks but what do you want from a Godzilla movie in 1965? Ten years had passed with Godzilla on top as the king of kaiju and that includes KING KONG. Believe it or not though, the human story here isn't bad. Two astronauts, K. Fuji (Akira Takarada: GODZILLA [1954], MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON, GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, KING KONG STRIKES AGAIN, ATRAGON II, GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA, GODZILLA: FINAL WARS) and blonde haired white guy, Glenn (Nick Adams: FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON, DIE MONSTER DIE!) fly off to investigate the new moon/planet of Jupiter. Once there they discover that the advanced race of people living there are Japanese - only with a different culture (which is to be expected. I mean, a moon of Jupiter may be many things but it ain't Japan!).

The folks call their moon/planet Xian, they call themselves Xian, and they are being terrorized by a monster which came to their planet/moon and forced them to dwell underground. They call the monster Zero, for they've never seen another monster like it. But K. Fuji and Glenn recognize Monster Zero as King Ghidorah! The Xians ask the earthmen for help, if earthlings can rid them of their Monster Zero problem, the Xians will give the humans the cure for cancer.

Which cancer?

Hell, we'll give you the cure for ALL cancer!

K. Fuji and Glenn know that the only way to fight Ghidorah is with the combined power of Godzilla and Rodan - who aren't talking to each other these days. K. Fuji and Glenn get back in their spaceship and return home to tell their earth leaders about the offer on the table.

Back on earth, Tetsuo Teri (Akira Kubo: ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE, SON OF GODZILLA, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, YOG: MONSTER FROM SPACE, GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE) has an invention that a toy company would like to buy from him. They've made him a VERY substantial offer, but the contract specifies payment only once production starts. Seems like a shifty deal but Tetsuo is a better inventor than a negotiator and he signs the contract. This impresses his girlfriend, Haruno Fuji (Keiko Sawai: DAGORA: THE SPACE MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON), who is the sister of K. Fuji. Ah ha! The plot thickens!

The astronauts return and relay the message of the Xians. Everything seems okay about it, the Xians will even take care of transporting Godzilla and Rodan. Yes, it looks like everything is going to be cool and we've made a new trading partner from outer space. Now we can kick back with our popcorn and watch Godzilla and Rodan beat the crap out of King Ghidorah.

BUT WAIT! The Xians are already here in their flying saucers! And they are taking Godzilla and Rodan before they got permission! Now they are flying away! K. Fuji and Glenn jump in their rocket and fly off after them. Once they arrive on Xian they are offered apologies, but Glenn is suspicious and insults his hosts by wandering off alone to investigate the place. This nearly kills the Cure Your Cancer deal, but the transaction goes through anyway. K. Fuji and Glenn return home with a reel of audio tape and a bent beak over the presumptuous ways of the Xians. As they leave, they wave goodbye to Godzilla and Rodan who have indeed, kicked King Ghidorah, the Xians' Monster Zero, off the moon/planet. Gee! Where do you suppose Ghidorah is going to go now? Yes, the plot is getting even thicker!

Back home, Tetsuo is going nuts because he hasn't got paid by the toy company and they won't return his calls. They act as if they never contracted for his invention. What are they up to? When K. Fuji and Glenn give the Xian tape to the earth leaders, instead of the cure for cancer, they get an audio recording telling the humans to surrender to the Xians or be destroyed! Back stabbing alien bastards!

Boy is this plot getting thick!

If only we had Godzilla and Rodan back here! Maybe we could convince Mothra to convince them to save us from the Xians!
Holy Crap!
What's that in the sky?

Holy shit it's King Ghidorah!
And right behind Ghidorah are the Xian flying saucers!
And right behind THEM are a mind controlled Godzilla and Rodan; towed all the way back through space to subjugate us all!
Holy crap are we BONE'D!
Well, the damn Japanese got us into this, how in the HELL are they going to get us out?

Yes, the science is awful, the acting is goofy (though Nick Adams plays his role as if it was a Shakespearian tragedy - which just makes it goofier!), the monsters are silly, the special effects are nothing to write home about - even for 1965 - but again, the story ain't bad! Thanks for that go to both Director Ishirô Honda (GODZILLA [1954], RODAN, THE MYSTERIANS, THE H-MAN, ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, BARAN: MONSTER FROM THE EAST, THE HUMAN VAPOR, GORATH, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE, ATRAGON, MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, DAGORA: THE SPACE MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON, THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, ATRAGON II, ALL MONSTERS ATTACK, YOG: MONSTER FROM SPACE, MECHAGODZILLA VS. GODZILLA) who directed some of the best and some of the worst Godzilla movies ever made. And writer Shinichi Sekizawa (BARAN: MONSTER FROM THE EAST, DENSO NINGEN, MOTHRA, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, ATRAGON, MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, DAGORA: THE SPACE MONSTER, GHIDORAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER, GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, SON OF GODZILLA, ATRAGON II, ALL MONSTERS ATTACK, GODZILLA VS. GIGAN, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA) who wrote so many kaiju movies he should be listed as a co-creator. He's not - he wasn't there from the start - but damn: You can't deny his freaking contributions!

INVASION OF THE ASTRO-MONSTER gets three Shriek Girls

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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