One of the ways my oldest daughter and I find time to bond is by watching classic monster movies on nights her mother has to work and after her sister goes to bed. This has been an almost weekly tradition for us for quite some time.
Since she has seen most of the traditional monster movies, like “Dracula”, the “Wolfman” and even “Night of the Living Dead”, I recently decided to change things up a bit by watching some of the classic Japanese monster films. This included the 1964 movie “Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster.”
Part of the reason I picked this particular movie was, in addition to Ghidorah, the film also had monsters Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra. Since she was familiar, from other movies, with two out of the three (she hadn’t seen Mothra in any movies yet) I figured it would be a good pick. Unfortunately, compared to most, I have to say this film was a bit of a disappointment.
There are two major problems with this movie. The first is it takes way too long to get going. In addition to the main story about Ghidorah invading Earth and needing to be stopped by the other three monsters, there was a complex storyline about a princess that is the target for an assassination and believes she is a Martian. That story, which really didn’t have any serious impact at all, just took up too much time and, as a result, we were almost 40 minutes into the film before we even saw a monster.
To make matters worse, even after the film finally became a monster movie with the appearance of Rodan and, eventually, Godzilla, we still had to wait for the big showdown because, first, Godzilla and Rodan had to duke it out a bit. Then, we had to wait for Mothra (in caterpillar form) to convince them to finally fight. By the time all that happens, there’s hardly any time left for a real battle with Ghidorah.
The other thing I didn’t like about this movie was the monsters themselves. Mostly because of the time period, I typically give movies like this the benefit of the doubt when it comes to special effects and know the monsters aren’t going to look as realistic as they do today. But, in this particular case, they were fake looking to the point it was laughable. In fact, there were times when the fight between Rodan and Godzilla looked like a bad puppet show.
My daughter and I did make it through this movie and, mostly because we were picking on the monsters, did enjoy ourselves. But, compared to the other Japanese monster movies we have watched, I have to say, overall, this film was a disappointment.
My Grade: D