May 18, 2016

War of the Monsters

Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are just ... bad. My husband and I enjoy watching them both and I thought it would be fun to share the best of the worst. So without further ado, here’s my bad movie review of the week. I leave it up to you to decide whether the movie is bad, or just the review. ;-)

If you’re looking for a bad monster movie, look no further than the Japanese monster movies of the sixties - the out of sync lip syncing, the cheesey costumes, the over the top acting ... War of the Monsters is no exception. This the second in a series of eight movies featuring Gamera, the fire-breathing mutant turtle. And trust me, the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles have nothing on Gamera.

The movie starts with a recap of what happened in the previous movie. After being freed from an iceberg, Gamera ran amok in Japan until being tricked or forced into a rocket and shot off into space towards Mars. Six months later, a meteor smacks into the rocket, but instead of killing Gamera, it releases him from the rocket and he returns to Earth. How did he survive the trip home without oxygen or a ship or whatever? I have no idea.

The first thing he does when he gets back is attack a large, hydro-electric dam. But then he suddenly “senses” a volcano about to erupt on the other side of the world (which also looks like Japan) and being attracted to heat and energy, off he goes.

Leaving Gamera behind, we’re introduced to the real plot of the movie which involves an enormous opal that was hidden in a cave in New Guinea during World War II. Three men go after the jewel - one gets bitten by a scorpion, and one of them sets off an explosion that traps the third one in the cave.

Of course the opal turns out to be an egg, and it hatches on the ship just as it reaches the harbour. The creature must have grown at an insanely accelerated rate because it leaves a hole in the side of the ship large enough to sink it rather quickly. And immediately it starts laying waste to the port.

The creature is lizard-like, with a long, curved horn on the nose, spikes along its spine, fixed eyes, and a really long tail. And you can totally tell it’s a man in a rubber suit. At first he uses his tongue like a battering ram, but once he warms up he can use it to spray a freezing mist (it kind of looks like a frog’s tongue). Hubby just about peed himself laughing when it froze a fighter plane in mid-flight and it just kind of came apart in the air. Then he uses the pièce de résistance, a rainbow beam coming out of the spikes on his back.

This energy beam attracts the attention of Gamera who comes spinning back from wherever he’d gone, and they of course get into a fight. First they just screech at each other, then the lizard starts bitch-slapping Gamera with his tail. Then he finally remembers his freeze ray and turns Gamera into a turtle-sicle. Then he goes off to lay waste to Osaka.

It’s at this point we finally learn the monster’s name - Barugon. To make an already long story a little shorter, after a plan to lure him into a lake (water weakens him, which begs the question: how did he survive his swim in the harbour?) fails, they create an insanely large mirror and goad him into using his rainbow beam, which is reflected back at him, and then Gamera (who’s newly thawed out) drags him into the lake and drowns him.

If you really, really want to know the story without having to subject yourself watch the movie, go to Million Monkey Theatre where there’s a great, blow by blow summary.

As hubby says, there just aren’t enough words to express how really bad this movie is. Don’t believe me? Watch it for yourself. I dare you! :-D

No comments: