Aliens from the mysterious Planet X, which resides on the dark side of of Jupiter, come to Earth asking its people to help them save their world from the dreaded King Ghidrah by letting them "borrow" Godzilla and Rodan. The aliens are actually planning to use the three monsters to take over our planet.Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
Since this was the first 60s Godzilla movie released in Germany, all references to the previous films were removed, and a number of other changes were also implemented.
20 minutes were cut, primarily scenes that were considered too boring (people discussing the plan against the alien invasion), silly (Godzilla's victory dance) or having unconvincing effects.
The title got changed to Befehl aus dem Dunkel (Command from the Dark), originally the title of a book written by German sci-fi author Hans Dominik. The movie was falsely advertised as being based on Dominik's novel.
Several scenes were given new music. Akira Ifukube's famous upbeat military march from the opening was replaced with more generic sci-fi music. The classical music performed at the restaurant was changed to more contemporary jazz.
Planet X was renamed to "Alpha 707". In the original film, the planet is located near Jupiter. According to the German version, it is actually Saturn that suspiciously lacks its rings.
The made-up alien language spoken by the X Planet Controller was replaced with generic movie villain talk.
Godzilla and Rodan (called Radon in German, after his original Japanese name) are both said to have been living on Earth for several thousand years, instead of having only awoken in the 20th century.
This was one of the first Godzilla films I can recall watching on prime-time network television when I was growing up (back then it went under its Americanized title of simply, MONSTER ZERO). Though pretty far-fetched, it's still a highly enjoyable offering in the Toho series and gives us another chance to see Godzilla and Rodan join forces against the popular three-headed King Ghidorah (Monster Zero).
This time the widescreen English dubbed version is an asset, as American actor Nick Adams adds some spice to this one, since it's always fun to hear his nasal Brooklynese voice delivering such entertaining macho lines of gibberish as: "you stinkin' rats! What have you done to her?" Adams plays one of two astronauts sent to the newly discovered "Planet X" where he meets an alien civilization forced to live underground in order to avoid frequent attacks by Ghidorah up on the surface. The leaders ask our heroes to help them obtain the services of Earth monsters Godzilla and Rodan to help them vanquish 'Monster Zero'. But all may not be quite as it seems...
Some fans don't like the fact that the monster battles are kept to a minimum this time, but they're pretty good when they arrive and it's an added kick seeing the desolate looking Planet X in outer space, with its mountains, craters and dark, star-lit skies. The addition of aliens, flying saucers and double-crosses help make this a good time for Godzilla lovers. *** out of ****
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