Let's Talk: Son of Godzilla (1967 & 1969)
Son of Godzilla. The eighth installment in the Godzilla franchise and my least favorite of them all. From when I was little, I have always despised this film. Thankfully, it never deterred me from enjoying the other movies, but this one I’ve watched maybe a handful of times in my close to thirty years of enjoying this legendary monster. There are several reasons why I didn’t like this one with the main one being it introduced two characters that make me itch when I see them.
My Fear Becomes a Reality!
To explain, Son of Godzilla brought in not one, not two, but three new monsters to the franchise: Kamacuras, Kumonga, and Minilla. Minilla I don’t have a problem with. He’s probably my favorite monster – after Godzilla, of course – in this franchise. He’s adorable! (By the way, I learned something interesting about Minilla that I will discuss in a little bit.) However, Kamacuras is a giant praying mantis (and there’s three of them) and Kumonga is a monster spider. Really?! Here’s an interesting factoid about me: I have a fear of insects, but a massive fear of spiders. Son of Godzilla is literally my worst nightmare come true!
Honestly, I can deal with the gigantic praying mantises. They still scare me, but I’m okay with them. But when it comes to freaking Kumonga being a giant freaking spider, that’s where I draw the line! Really, Toho?! Out of all of the fauna and flora in the world you can make into a monster, you make a monster spider! Heck, you could’ve used your imagination and created something out of the blue, but no! Ugh! Seriously, whenever I do watch this movie and Kumonga comes out from the valley, I break out in hives. I become extremely itchy and scratchy, that’s how bad my fear is. Even me typing this is making me itchy!
And then when Kumonga jumped up onto Godzilla and started climbing him, I died! That’s my biggest fear, finding a spider big enough that’ll climb me and cover me. Nope! I’m pretty sure that’s why Godzilla fell over. He saw this monster spider jump up and climb him, so he blacked out for a second, which made him fall over.
Okay, sorry. I just needed to get that off my chest. My rant is over and I’m moving on!
Son of Godzilla Ending = Sadness
Another reason I’m not a big fan of this movie is because of the ending. To me, it’s just so sad! As you know, the story goes that the scientists were on Sogel Island because they were trying to create a device that will control the weather. Not for bad, but for good. To help grow crops in places where you can’t because the population was ever-growing and the worldwide fear was food shortage. Their first attempt failed causing a radioactive storm and temperatures to sky-rocket, which was what truly created Kamacuras.
However, their second attempt was a success and made the island a “winter wonderland”. After Godzilla and Minilla defeated Kumonga (thank God!), they start trudging through the snow. Minilla finds it difficult to do so, falls, and can’t get back up. He cries for Godzilla, who does eventually come to help him, but the sounds he makes and the effort Godzilla puts in to save his “son” is just so heartbreaking. Again, as I’m typing this, I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
Since the first time I watched Son of Godzilla and every time after that, I always cry at the end.
Is Minilla Really Godzilla's Son?
Now, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I learned an interesting fact about Minilla in The Official Godzilla Compendium…Minilla is not the true son of Godzilla. According to the compendium, “Minilla appears to be the adopted son of Godzilla in the early films of the Godzilla series. The King of the Monsters found Minilla as a newly hatched infant under attack by three Kamacuras. Godzilla came to the little guy’s rescue, and they stayed together from then on, waging father-and-son monster battles when necessary.”
That actually coincides with the theory I’ve been having about Godzilla’s “age”. My first mention of this was back with my Godzilla Raids Again discussion and I’m sticking to this theory. Hear me out…
My Theory Continued
Again, as I mentioned in Godzilla Raids Again, we’re introduced to a new Godzilla, a juvenile Godzilla. As more movies were produced, we see this “new” Godzilla “grow”. With the release of Son of Godzilla, we’re introduced to a more “young adult” Godzilla, maybe one that's in his "mid-twenties".
He comes to the rescue of Minilla, but then walks away from him. Then he reappears, probably realizing that he’s the one who will now have to take care of this baby Godzilla. (Oh, one other by the way, Minilla is never given this name in Son of Godzilla. They either call him “baby” or “Godzilla’s son” or something like that.) Throughout, you can hear Godzilla "moan and groan" especially when Minilla seems to "bother" him.
Also, whenever Minilla is playing, Godzilla is always sleeping and when he does teach Minilla how to properly roar and breathe his fire, he threatens to smack him when Minilla doesn't comply. Then, when he does, Godzilla just pats him on the head and falls right back to sleep.
Kind of your typical "young adult"/"new dad" character: work, maybe play, sleep, repeat.
However, we do see that he is very protective of his "son" as Godzilla does come to help him several times throughout the movie. The one thing I do love about this film is when Godzilla and Minilla work together to finish off Kumonga. A beautiful "father and son" moment.
What Do You Think?
Like I said, this is a theory I have, and I will continue “proving” it as we continue discussing these films, but I would love to know what you think. Do you agree with me? Do you disagree with me? Do you have a different theory? What about Son of Godzilla? Do you love this film or hate it just as much as I do? Let’s talk!
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Please note that I am not getting paid to talk about this amazing franchise or promote any movies or books. I am just a fanatic, like yourself, wanting to start a conversation about Godzilla and other monster movies. Please check out my Policy page to learn more. I would also love to hear from you, my fellow Godzilla fanatics. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my copy VHS copy of Son of Godzilla. The second is my “signature photo”, me with my copy of this okay film.