SON OF KAIJU DAY MARATHON: Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

Talk about firing on all cylinders. Kaijū Daisensō (The Giant Monster War) is the sixth film in the Godzilla series and it has everything you want in a kaiju film, as the mysterious Planet X is investigated by astronauts Kazuo and Glenn (Nick Adams*, so Americans have a familiar face). They meet the Xiliens and their leader the Controller just in time for Monster Zero — King Ghidorah –to attack. The Controller offers to give humanity the cure for cancer if they loan Godzilla and Rodan to them to take care of Monster Zero.

Glenn and Fuji are convinced that the Xiliens have a sinister agenda but can’t prove it. The alien race comes to Earth and fly a sleeping Godzilla and Rodan to their planet where they defeat Monster Zero. The astronauts get a tape that has the cancer information on it, but instead contains an ultimatum that informs all of Earth that Planet X now has control of Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah.

One of the alien women is in love with Glenn and tells him the secrets of Planet X. It turns out that a certain noise sends the Xiliens into waves of pain, which allows humanity to defeat them and keep Godzilla and Rodan behind. All ends well, except for Glenn and Fuji having to go back to Planet X to become ambassadors.

This was the first film where Henry G. Saperstein became involved in the actual making of the films, providing half of the film’s backing. This is also the first film where Godzilla plays to the audience, doing a victory dance. This is a subject of much debate amongst the filmmakers and fans of these movies.

*Unlike other Americans who did thee films, Adams was genuinely interested in how the special effects worked and was kind to the cast, befriending many of them.

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