Here are two things that have been kicking around in my head. One: we should start a Horrorthon Glossary. Two: one thing that glossary needs is a term for the non-monster characters in giant monster movies, the human actors that -- despite all my wishes -- make or break any monster movie. "Rodeo Clowns?" Because they're like rodeo clowns that somehow took over the rodeo? I don't know.
I'm getting into this because this movie is particularly dominated by the rodeo clowns but I kind of asked for it -- I specifically screened this because of the bad guys' wardrobe. They're aliens from Planet X and among their enviable technological achievements is the development of an outfit so perfect they all wear it.
As you can see, there's the added bonus of time-spanking both Geordie LaForge and DEVO.
It takes a lot to have an antenna sticking out of your head and keep your cool; I imagine in real life that would be a constant inconvenience. Once their brains were wired together they discovered they were all into Asian chicks so they developed the perfect one of those and just made a whole bunch of her.
Although you get a choice of metallic slabs.
The one thing that sucks about Planet X is that Monster Zero (known as King Gedorah on Earth) flies around zapping everything with lightning breath all the time, and so the whole planet is a bunch of crummy mountains. That and they're a race of computer-controlled robot beings or something.
The guy on the right apparently just heard about this.
Rounding out the rodeo clowns is a perfectly charming bunch of Japanese people plus actor Nick Adams. I may have to do a Nick Adams film festival some day, as he is the perfect Obnoxious American, punching his way through alien deception with his mitts and New York accent. (I may have already done that film festival, as he's in Die, Monster, Die! and Frankenstein Conquers the World and maybe nothing else Horrorthon worthy. Guy's a real actor, was in Rebel Without a Cause and stuff).
"Just try to computer control my BULLETS, you... Planet X guys!"
"For God's sake, Ron, do NOT play your damn Rush tape right now."
Nick Adams and a couple of buddies go to Planet X to make the trade. Godzilla and Rodan gang up on Monster Zero and he flies away. When the humans leave with their prize, they note that the monsters look kind of pissed, and who can blame them?
"Yo where the hell are all the tiny cars and buildings??? This planet looks like piles of poop! This sucks!"
Next there's an adorable scene in which a room full of people sit down to listen to the massive reel-to-reel tape the aliens gave them that has the cure for all diseases on it. And it's a fake! The tape instead says all Earth people have 24 hour to surrender or they'll get stomped by all three monsters. Goddamn aliens!
Fortunately Nick Adams does a James Bond and turns one of the alien women by showing her true love. She's zapped for her trouble but not before she slips a note in his pocket that tells him Planet X guys are really vulnerable to a certain horrible noise. As a matter of fact, the aliens have imprisoned a human inventor who they captured because he invented a device that makes that exact noise.
So Nick Adams and the inventor are in alien jail and the inventor finds the note in Nick Adams' pocket and then looks in his own pocket in which he's been carrying around his prototype noisemaker. He presses the button and all the aliens writhe around dying and so they escape. Then a plan is hatched to play the annoying sound on every radio everywhere and the aliens lose control of the monsters and their ships explode.
So the message of the movie is: If you're taking over a planet and you've captured the two guys who are any threat to you... check their pockets. Der.
Check their what now?
Godzilla vs. Monster Zero is also known as Invasion of the Astro Monster and sometimes just Monster Zero. It's light on kaiju action but this gang of rodeo clowns did a decent job holding my interest. The real star of this movie is the mid-60's design, from the blinky alien control rooms to the aformentioned fan-freaking-tastic outfits. Good fun.