Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Tonight the Hot DVD Action continued with Terror of Mechagodzilla! Terror of Mechagodzilla! is a fine and upstanding film that contains all of the vital aspects of finer cinema:

- A scientist who you can tell is a scientist because he has badly dyed grey hair and a tweed jacket with those elbow patch things. No-one but a scientist would wear those. Or substitute high school teachers who like to wax philosophical in the interest of forgetting that they are, in fact, substitute high school teachers*. This was one of the finest ilk of scientists, the kind that is bitter and misanthropic because his ideas were too bold and scary for the Scientific Community and he got bounced. He spends a lot of the film saying things like "They called me mad at The Academy, but I'll show them! I'll show them all!" Horn rimmed glasses are worn.

- A bunch of guys who look like Japanese Elvises. Something happened in Japan, and everyone decided to grow sideburns all at once. I don't know when this happened, but this one of the later Godzilla epics, so it must have been before 1975. The spacemen especially look like the older, fat Elvis after he let himself go. This phenomenon suggests to me that the Godzilla genre might be some sort of metaphor for the Jungian battle between the vitality of youth and the excess of cheeseburgers. That whole Post-Atomic Cultural Trauma thing is just a smokescreen.

- Spacemen. There are spacemen who, as I mentioned, look like Elvis nearing death, except that they're Japanese and presumably not awash in a sea of prescription drugs. One easy way to tell if a Japanese Near-Death Elvis is a spaceman is the sunglasses. The spacemen in this movie are easy to spot because they always wear sunglasses. They change them frequently, but always wear them. They especially favor the yellowish tinted kind.

- An evil space goatee.

- A giant robotic Godzilla. Predictably enough, this is Mechagodzilla.

- A creepy assistant evildoer who is never identified and whose presence is never fully explained.

- Tiny model submarines that get blowed up.

and, of course

- Guys in monster suits. Not only do you get Godzilla and Mechagodzilla, you also get Titanosaurus, which sounds like a monster truck but is not.

Not to spoil it for you or anything, but Godzilla wins and stalks off into the ocean, feeling pleased with himself.

* I actually had a substitute teacher in high school who spent most of a class period telling the class how he believed in The Force from Star Wars and could cure the common cold using only his mind, should he choose to. I'm not making that up.


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