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Son of Godzilla (怪獣島の決戦 ゴジラの息子,   Kaijū-tō no Kessen Gojira no Musuko?, lit. Monster Island's Decisive Battle: Godzilla's Son) is a 1967 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the eighth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 16, 1967.


Plot

A team of scientists stationed on Solgell Island attempts to perfect a weather control system. Their efforts are hampered by the presence of giant praying mantis-like creatures and by the arrival of a nosy reporter. The first test of the weather control system goes awry when the remote control for a radioactive balloon is jammed by an unexplained signal coming from the center of the island. The balloon detonates prematurely, creating a radioactive storm that causes the giant mantises to grow to enormous sizes. Investigating the mantises, now called Kamacuras, the scientists find the creatures digging an egg out from under a pile of earth. The egg hatches, revealing a baby Godzilla. The scientists realize that the baby's cries to others its kind were the cause of the interference that ruined their experiment. Soon Godzilla himself arrives on the island, incidentally stomping the scientists' base as he rushes to defend the infant monster. Godzilla kills two Kamacuras. One is smashed to pieces through repeated slams and the other is blown up by Godzilla's atomic breath, though the third and final mantis flies away before Godzilla can destroy it as well

The baby quickly grows to about half the size of his father, and Godzilla instructs the child on the important monster skills of roaring and using his radioactive breath. At first, the baby has difficulty producing anything more than smoke rings, but Godzilla discovers that stressful conditions, such as stomping on the baby's tail, produce a true radioactive blast. Dubbed Minilla, the baby comes to the aid of Saeko Matsumiya when she is attacked by a Kamacuras, but inadvertently awakens Kumonga, a giant spider. The spider attacks the caves where the scientists are hiding, and Minilla stumbles into the fray.

The scientists decide to complete their experiment, thereby freezing the monsters so they can escape. Godzilla comes to the aid of his offspring, and together the two are able to defeat Kumonga, with Minilla finally learning to control his radioactive blast. As the scientists escape to a waiting submarine they witness Minilla succumbing to the cold. Unable to abandon his offspring, Godzilla shelters his son in his arms, and the two fall unconscious. The scientists realize that the cold has placed the two monsters into a state of hibernation, but they will awaken once the snow melts and live in peace on the island.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Appearances

Monsters

Miscellaneous

Alternate titles

  • Monster Island's Decisive Battle: Godzilla's Son (Literal Japanese title)
  • The Son of Godzilla (El hijo de Godzilla; Spain; Mexico; Il figlio di Godzilla; Italy; Syn Godzilla; Poland)
  • The Planet of the Monsters (La planète des monstres; France; French Belgium; De planeet der monsters; Dutch Belgium)
  • Frankenstein's Monster Hunt: Godzilla's Son (Frankensteins Monster jagen Godzillas Sohn; Germany)
  • Godzilla's Son (Godzillas son; Sweden)
  • Frankenstein's Island (Frankensteinin saari; Finland)

Theatrical releases

  • Japan - December 16, 1967; August 1, 1973 (Re-release)
  • United States - 1969
  • Italy - 1969
  • Germany - 1971
  • Sweden - 1973
  • Finland - 1976
  • Netherlands - 1978

U.S. release

Son of Godzilla American VHS Cover

American Son of Godzilla VHS cover

Like Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Son of Godzilla was released directly to American television by the Walter Reade Organization in 1969. Only about two minutes of footage was cut from the Japanese version, including a prologue in which Godzilla appears and reacts to the radio waves eminating from Solgell Island. The dubbing script, purportedly written by Peter Fernandez, seems to be based on Toho's international dub script, as several characters share unique names in both English versions; Kamacuras is called "Gimantis," Kumonga is called "Spiega," and Saeko Matsumiya is renamed "Reiko."

The Walter Reade dub was the only version of the movie released and seen by the common viewer for 35 years, until 2004 when Tristar released the film in DVD and the Walter Reade dub was replaced by Toho's international dub instead.

Home media releases

Toho (2003)

  • Released: 2003
  • Region: Region 2
  • Language: Japanese

TriStar Pictures (2004)[1]

  • Released: December 14, 2004
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: Japanese, English (Dubbed)
  • Format: Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Other Details: 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 86 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese and International versions

Madman (2006)[2]

  • Released: January 31, 2006
  • Region: Region 4
  • Other Details: 1 disc

Box office

When Son of Godzilla was released on December 16, 1967 in Japan, it sold 2,480,000 tickets. When the film was re-issued on August 1, 1973, it received 610,000 attendees, adding up to a rough attendance total of 3,090,000.

Reception

The film received mixed reviews. Critics enjoyed the style and monster fights, but thought the film was too childish. It currently owns a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film sold 2,480,000 tickets. It was released for TV in the US in 1969, and was not screened for critics.

Trivia

  • Son of Godzilla is very similar to the previous year's Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. Both take place largely on a south Pacific island populated by monsters, and both include a "native girl" among the cast. Also, both end in a similar way, with the heroes waving goodbye to the monsters as the island is destroyed/frozen. The similarities are due to the faces behind the scenes that worked on both films, including director Jun Fukuda and music composer Masaru Sato.
  • The suit in this film, MusukoGoji, was used again in Godzilla vs. Gigan for the water sequences.

References

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