A team of scientists stationed on Sogel 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 for help were the cause of the interference that ruined their experiment. Soon Godzilla himself arrives on the island, incidentally stomping the scientist's base as he rushes to defend his offspring. Godzilla kills 2 Kamacuras. One is killed by being beaten up in an action move based off of the Waltz, and the other is blown up by Godzilla's atomic breath.
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 Minya, the baby comes to the aid of Riko 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 Minya 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 Minya 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.
ReceptionThe film was released on 12/16/1967 and 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.
- Son of Godzilla is very similar to the previous year's Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) (A.K.A. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster). 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 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, has been considered by many people to be the worst Godzilla design. It has a very flat snout and large, heavily-lidded eyes. It was supposedly made to look like this so that Godzilla resembles his son, as well as looking as both frightening and a father at the same time. This suit was used in Godzilla vs. Gigan for the water scenes.
- Son of Godzilla is the last Showa era film that takes place within a set continuity, as the next year's Destroy All Monsters took place 32 years after the events of this film. 1969's All Monsters Attack (A.K.A. Godzilla's Revenge) hardly picks up where Son of Godzilla left off, and the next five films (1971's Godzilla vs. Hedorah through 1975's Terror of Mechagodzilla) fare no better in terms of tying the 1960's and 1970's films together in one, flawless timeline. What happens to Godzilla, his son, and the other monsters between 1967 and 1971 (between the films Son on Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Hedorah) is up to the viewer to decide.
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