Film Review: Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Also known as: Gojira tai Mosura tai Mekagojira: Tôkyô S.O.S. (original Japanese title), Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Battle for Tokyo (US complete title)
Release Date: November 3rd, 2003 (Tokyo International Film Festival)
Directed by: Masaaki Tezuka
Written by: Masaaki Tezuka, Masahiro Yokotani
Music by: Michiru Oshima
Cast: Noboru Kaneko, Miho Yoshioka, Mitsuki Koga, Masami Nagasawa, Chihiro Otsuka, Kou Takasugi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Akira Nakao

Toho Co. Ltd., 91 Minutes


This is actually the last Godzilla film I had left to review. Sadly, it kind of sucks that I saved this one for last because it’s from the Millennium era and is kind of drab.

I think the big reason for this one not being that enjoyable is that it’s the umpteenth time we’ve seen Mothra and it’s about the sixth time we’ve had a version of Mechagodzilla.

Also, this picks up where the previous film left off but it’s more of the same and done about half as well.

I watched it just to complete my mission of reviewing every Godzilla film ever made. That mission is accomplished and I can rest now.

Honestly, though, this just reinforced my opinion on the Millennium era being the worst series of Japanese Godzilla movies.

It has the worst the effects, the worst soundtracks and plots that feel like they should’ve been thrown in the shredder.

This was hard to sit through and it just made me wish that I had closed out this kaiju-sized task by saving something from the Shōwa era for the grand finale.

I guess this era does have its fans but there are also people that think jenkem is a good time.

Rating: 5.25/10
Pairs well with: other Godzilla films of the Millennium era.

Ranking All the Kaiju of the Toho Godzilla Universe

The Godzilla universe spans seven decades, four different Japanese eras and two American remakes. In that long history, he has fought many deadly foes and had several awesome allies. However, the franchise expands beyond that as well, as some monsters that had their own films have crossed over into Godzilla movies, comics and video games. Toho has created a massive kaiju universe over the years and even if there are different eras and continuities, in some way, all these monsters exist in the same general realm.

So I feel the need to quantify these awesome giant beasts with a list. Because I like making lists and who the hell doesn’t like reading lists. Sure, our opinions may differ but that’s what the comments area is for. So feel free to list your favorites and discuss the results.

Also, I included the MUTOs from the American film for comparison’s sake.

How am I ranking these? Well, it is a combination of who is the most powerful, bad ass and the coolest. And of course, number one should not be a surprise.

1. Godzilla
2. Mothra Leo
3. Destoroyah
4. Monster X (Keizer Ghidorah)
5. Mecha-King Ghidorah
6. Biollante
7. Cretaceous King Ghidorah
8. Shin Godzilla
9. Fire Rodan
10. Gigan (Millennium)
11. King Ghidorah
12. Dagahra
13. Mechagodzilla (Showa)
14. Desghidorah
15. King Caesar
16. Mechagodzilla/Kiryu (Millennium)
17. King Kong
18. Mothra
19. Zone Fighter
20. Godzilla Junior
21. Gigan (Showa)
22. Rodan
23. Anguirus
24. Jet Jaguar
25. Mechani-Kong
26. Hedorah
27. SpaceGodzilla
28. Mechagodzilla (Heisei)
29. Gargantuan Sanda
30. Battra
31. Orga
32. Varan
33. Gargantuan Gaira
34. Megaguirus
35. MUTO (female)
36. Frankenstein
37. Megalon
38. Dogora
39. Gezora
40. Baragon
41. M.O.G.U.E.R.A. (Heisei)
42. Ebirah
43. Titanosaurus
44. MUTO (male)
45. Gabara
46. Moguera (Showa)
47. Manda
48. Kumonga
49. Ganimes
50. Gorosaurus
51. Kamoebas
52. Maguma
53. Kamacuras
54. Meganulon
55. Giant Octopus
56. Giant Sea Serpent
57. Minya
58. Giant Condor
59. Zilla

Film Review: Space Amoeba (1970)

Also known as: Gezora, Ganime, Kamēba: Kessen! Nankai no Daikaijū, lit. Gezora, Ganimes, and Kamoebas: Decisive Battle! Giant Monsters of the South Seas (Japan), Yog Monster From Space
Release Date: August 1st, 1970 (Japan)
Directed by: Ishirō Honda
Written by: Ei Ogawa
Music by: Akira Ifukube
Cast: Akira Kubo, Atsuko Takahashi, Yukiko Kobayashi, Kenji Sahara, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Yu Fujiki, Noritake Saito, Yûko Sugihara, Sachio Sakai

Toho, American International Pictures, 83 Minutes


When I reviewed The Mysterians, I mentioned that I had always wanted to see it because the film featured a kaiju that appeared in the first Godzilla game for the original Nintendo. Space Amoeba is another movie that also features a kaiju that was used in that game, despite it ever appearing in a Godzilla film, up to that point. That kaiju is the giant Kisslip cuttlefish Gezora.

Gezora makes a huge impact in this film and apparently, the creature was popular enough to find itself in a Godzilla game and later, a cameo in Godzilla: Final Wars. The movie also features two other kaiju: Ganime, a giant stone crab, and Kamoebas, a giant Matamata turtle.

Space Amoeba has a pretty cool story. A space probe is taken over by microscopic alien creatures. When the probe returns to Earth, the tiny aliens take over the body of a cuttlefish, growing it to monstrous proportions in an effort to take over the planet. But really, the cuttlefish Gezora just attacks villagers on a small South Pacific island. Once Gezora is defeated, the aliens create Ganime and then Kamoebas. They even take over one of the humans in the story. In the big finale, we end up with a big battle between the two kaiju, Ganime and Kamoebas, as they duke it out around an erupting volcano. It is a film with a lot of Tiki flare, similar to those Godzilla island movies, most notably Son of Godzilla and Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.

I really enjoyed the picture a lot. Although, the effects weren’t as stellar as the work of Eiji Tsuburaya, who collaborated with Ishirō Honda in earlier films. Honestly, some of the tentacle effects were actually pretty bad. A few times, when Gezora was grabbing a villager to snack on, his tentacles were animated like a cartoon. There are probably a million ways that these shots could have been done better.

Overall, the monsters weren’t fantastic, other than Gezora. Ganime felt like a rehash of Ebirah and Kamoebas seemed like Toho taking a jab at Daiei Film Co.’s Gamera. Their suits were pretty minimal in design. Granted, Gezora has a great look but they could’ve done a better job giving his big eyes some life and making his head, less balloon-like.

Regardless of the negatives, this is still a really exciting kaiju movie. The story was pretty fresh, which is impressive considering that this was towards the end of Japan’s first kaiju cultural explosion.

Space Amoeba is now one of my favorites in the genre. My experience was a very happy one, as it is always nice to find something new in something old. If I ever host a kaiju film festival, and I’ve thought about it, Space Amoeba will most assuredly be on the docket.

Rating: 8/10