It’s one small step for man, one giant Godzilla stomp for monsterkind, in Invasion of Astro-Monster, the only film in the series to feature Godzilla in space. It’s the last of what I call the Showa Trilogy, and it’s the kookiest of the bunch so far. I love it. This is my all time favorite Godzilla film. Sure I appreciate the more serious original, as you would gather from my lengthy review of that one. Astro-Monster is what it’s all about for me though, and it’s why I love the series as much as I do. Far afield from the somber seriousness of Godzilla’s debut, this romp in space is the kind of silly entertainment that would become a staple of the franchise for years to come.It’s pure gold. Here is an example of why this movie has a special place in my heart.
It’s the year 196X. Uh huh, yeah. Two astronauts, Fuji played by series veteran Akira Takarada and Nick Adams as the inexplicable white, American Glenn (humorously dubbed over in Japanese), are traveling toward the newly discovered Planet X. There they find the planet inhabited by a race named the Xiliens. The Xiliens are beset by the by the menace of Monster Zero, which actually turns out to be King Ghidorah. The Xiliens know the locations of both Godzilla and Rodan and plead to the Earthlings to let them utilize the monsters to defeat Ghidorah. In exchange for Earth’s cooperation, the Xiliens will provide the cure for cancer. Shortly after Godzilla and Rodan are transported to Planet X and they defeat King Ghidorah, the Xiliens reveal their malevolent intentions. They’re running out of water, so they plan to turn Earth into a colony planet while they syphon all of Earth’s water supply. To achieve this end, they manage to remotely control Godzilla, Rodan, and Ghidorah do quell any human resistance. Fortunately, the aliens are weak to high frequency radio waves, which can cause their biocircuits to short out and their flying saucers to explode. Holy crap. Writing that out makes the plot seem more bonkers than it already is.
Bonkers is a good word to describe this movie. The story goes all over the place, and as such there are plenty of plot holes. If the Xiliens knew where Godzilla and Rodan were, why didn’t they just steal them without Earth knowing? They eventually show up to Earth and take them anyway. Why the deception? Furthermore, why do they even need the monsters in the first place? All they really need is the water, so forget trying to turn Earth into a colony. If they just they had just taken the water, they seem to know how, without alerting Earth they wouldn’t of had any resistance.
None of this matters in the end though. The silliness has reached peak capacity, and from where I’m standing, that’s a good thing. Even those glaring plot holes serve to make this a more entertaining watch. Ever time I see it, I want to do that victory dance of Godzilla’s. I highly, highly recommend this film. You won’t be disappointed.