Today I had the good fortune to catch the new "Monster X" flick on the big screen here in NYC. Although there could have been some more monster action, it definitely was not a disappointment.
The original "X From Outer Space" from 1967 starred newcomer Guilala, a monster who looked so ridiculous, that there was no way they could have made this sequel anything but a comedy. At least I think it's a sequel
while the title indicates Guilala does indeed "strike back" after
being beaten 42 years ago in the first movie, there is a scene here with a kid (who looks like he walked out of a 60's Gamera movie) who names the creature "Guilala," as if he was never named or seen before.
As for the movie being a comedy, believe it or not, it's actually a decent comedy. Eight world leaders meet in japan for a summit, and take turns offering (failing) suggestions on how to kill Guilala. But the jokes aren't random - there's actually a lot of clever writing here. This isn't a movie full of dumb jokes.
There's also two reporters (including a hot girl) try to uncover the secret of Guilala through an odd jungle cult, who do a strange dance to worship a god named Take-Majin, who they later convince through their dancing and chanting to fight Guilala.
My main gripe is that there really isn't much destruction by Guilala. Actually, his best scenes come right at the beginning of the film, just minutes in - he lands on Earth, destroys some buildings and walks off. We then see Guilala fend off the occasional attempt to kill him, and of course his fight with Take-Majin, but the destruction ends right at the start.
The special effects are pure 1960's retro, from the buildings to the fire that Guilala spews out of his mouth, to the cheap-looking costume. This was all obviously done on purpose to pay homage to the charm of the original film.
Funny monster, pretty girls everywhere, and clever writing make "Monster X" a good bet for giant monster fans. And before the film, we had a 17-minute original giant monster comedy called "Gehara - The Long Haired Giant Monster" and a great preview of the new "Kappa" (Gappa) film coming out, and it won't be a comedy.
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