Dr. Kusumi and his team are on Sollgel Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They are experimenting with weather control. The plan is to be able to change the weather in areas of the world where, currently, farming is not possible. If they can moderate the temperature, they can grow food for the increasing world population.

Goro Maki is a reporter who comes to the island looking for a story. What he finds is a young woman named Riko who has been on the island since her father died. Her father was an archeologist. Also on the island are human sized Praying mantises.

When Dr. Kusumi performs his first experiment with his equipment something goes wrong. A signal from the center of the island causes the radioactive capsule to detonate early. The resulting radiation causes a huge radioactive storm that bathes the island in radioactive heat for several days. The team hides inside until the weather returns to normal. The resulting radiation causes the praying mantises to grow even larger. The mantises dig up a huge egg and begin hitting it. The egg cracks open and a baby Godzilla hatches out of it. The scientists believe that baby Godzilla’s telepathic waves to its father are what caused the disruption in their experiment.

The mantises try to kill the baby, but Godzilla himself shows up to save it. Godzilla kills most of them but one gets away. Now that Godzilla is a father he tries to teach the baby how to spit fire. The baby Godzilla grows quickly. Riko makes friends with the baby. When Riko is attacked by the remaining praying mantis, baby Godzilla tries to come to her rescue. The baby accidentally awakens another monster living on the island. A giant spider-like creature called Kumonga.

The giant spider attacks both the praying mantis and the baby Godzilla covering them with webbing. The spider kills the mantis and begins feeding on it. Before it can kill the baby Godzilla, papa Godzilla shows up to save the day.

“Son of Godzilla” was released in 1967 and was directed by Jun Fukuda. There are several problems with the later Godzilla movies from the Showa Era (1954-1975). Budgets were smaller so special effects and such were not as expansive. Miniatures cost money so to save on the budget they locate Godzilla to a jungle instead of downtown Tokyo. Godzilla stomping on a tree is not as effective as on a building. Godzilla himself is not as vicious looking. Since the later Godzilla movies in this era are geared toward children, pyrotechnics are used less. Also, if your movie is geared toward either children or young dating couples, you don’t need a plot.

The giant praying mantises are called Gimantis in the English versions and Kamacuras in the Japanese version. The giant spider is called Spiega in the English versions and Kumonga in the Japanese version.

Toho held a contest to name the baby Godzilla. Over 8,000 submissions were made. A raffle was held and the name picked out was “Minilla”. The name was released in a naming ceremony on set with the stars of the film prior to the film’s release.

Although many list this as either their favorite Godzilla movie or one of their favorites, it was not one of mine. There are, however, a few things that, for me, made it salvageable. Namely the giant praying mantises and the giant spider. As for Godzilla, the only thing fierce about him was his breath. I can’t help it, I like my Godzilla nasty. I was also pleased to see Akihiko Hirata, from the first Godzilla movie, in the film.

Minilla was created to look like both a baby Godzilla and a human baby. The man inside is “Marchan the Dwarf”. He is well known for his athletics. His talents were needed since whoever was in the Minilla suit needed to be able to do rolls and flips, and also temper tantrums. There were actually two Godzilla suits in the film. The Musuko Goji was created specifically for this film. It was larger than the normal Godzilla suits supposedly to make it look more “maternal” or parent-like. Call it a “dad-bod” if you will. It was used for the scenes with Minilla. The Nankai Goji suit from “Ebirah, Horror of the Deep” was used for the swimming scenes. The other monsters were puppets.

American dubbed

Japanese subtitled

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