In 2008, the G8 summit is being held at Lake Toya near a volcano in Hokkaido. While the world leaders are meeting there, a Chinese rocket causes the monstrous Girara to be born. Those in charge of the G8 nations, in an eff... more »ort to improve the standing of their governments, implement individual plans to destroy the monster, all of which end in failure. As the leaders continue their posturing, two journalists stumble across a cult and a mysterious idol by the lake. Could that discovery be the key to dealing with the problem of Girara?« less
"This flick has been waited on for a long time by giant monster fans, as it gives us the return of Guilala from the 1967 classic "The X From Outer Space!"
I just saw this in New York City on the big screen, and it was a satisfying comedy tribute to the entire Asian Kaiji genre. I guess with Guilala looking so ridiculous in "X" it was impossible to do a serious sequel, so they made it a comedy. But this wasn't full of dumb jokes - the script was actually clever and funny.
Guilala lands and starts stomping, and the world leaders of the eight major world countries are having a summit in Japan. They then take turns coming up with fun ways to stop Guilala, all of which fail. Finally, some reporters entice some mountain dwellers to summon the god Take-Majin to take on Guilala.
If one is looking for a massive amount of destruction, it isn't here. The action starts mere minutes into the film, as Guilala comes to Earth and starts messing up buildings, but mere minutes later, that's it. The rest of the movie is Guilala not destroying cities, but sleeping, flying, dancing (yes, dancing), and burping. And yes, fighting Take-Majin in a good finale.
The special effects are even a tribute to the 60's - cheap monster costume, 60's style camera work and animation on Guilala's firebreath, cheap model making, but all deliberate and a blast.
There are a lot of pretty Japanese girls too, and the film is never dull. It may not be the all-out destruction-fest many would hope for in an "X" sequel, but it is a good, fun viewing.
No Classic, but Amusing Enough
Robert H. Knox | Brentwood, NH United States | 07/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I like this one better than most online reviewers do. Mind you: on fire it's not going to set the world, and the humor is sophomoric, at best. But MONSTER X STRIKES BACK is amusing in its goofy fashion, and what else would you expect from the director of THE CALAMARI WRESTLER?
I, too, would like to have seen more monster action with Guilala, who was last seen in 1967's THE X FROM OUTER SPACE. (LONG overdue for a USA DVD release, though I have the Japanese DVD, which is fine) The costume and FX are so similar to the '67 film that you have to believe it was by design. Guilala's foe, Take-Majin, parodies both Dai Majin and Ultraman-type characters, and is voiced by "Beat" Takashi Kitano (ZATOICHI). Though the jokes are sometimes amusing, better actors and writing would have been helpful...again, the lousy acting may have been on purpose.
Old-time kaiju fans will note the presence of Yosuke Natsuki (DOGORA) and Susumu Kurobe (ULTRAMAN) as military officials. And, yes, that is Toshiya Wazaki as Dr. Sano. Wazaki portrayed CAPTAIN Sano, Commander of AAB-Gamma, in THE X FROM OUTER SPACE.
Not a total fiasco, but a coulda-woulda-shoulda sort of movie. Fans of classic kaiju eiga should find it reasonably diverting. As always for Tokyo Shock, video quality is fine...TS has released many worthwhile discs of these Japanese titles, and I hope they release more."
Makes Godzilla's Revenge look like fine Cinema
D. Jahn | St.Paul Minnesota,USA | 07/10/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you love giant monster movies this is probably not for you. The acting is so bad it's painful to watch, I'm suprised the actors could keep a straight face during the goings on. When I saw this I was hoping for a remake along the lines of what was done with the Gamera franchise but no such luck. "
Warning sense of humor required.
Tim J. Bean | weston, oh | 09/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have heard several fans of Japanese giant monster movies panning this movie. I've heard that it is stupid or silly. The fact is that the movie is all that. It is a fine parody of all the goofier parts of paticularly 60's and 70's kaiju films. Serious fans who take these movies a little too seriously don't want to admit that some of the jokes are dead on. There are plenty of silly moments from all of kaiju history to pull from. Then there is the very un-pc political and ethnic humor to add into the mix. Yes, most of the jokes are easy and not very deep, but if you are willing to pur your pretense on hold you just might get a few laughs out of this movie."
Lighten Up People! It's intentionally stupid.
new yorker | NYC | 08/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This a a political parody about international relations specifically "The Group of Eight (G8, and formerly the G6 or Group of Six) is a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of eight nations of the northern hemisphere: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; in addition, the European Union is represented within the G8, but cannot host or chair. "G8" can refer to the member states or to the annual summit meeting of the G8 heads of government." (see G8 on Wikipedia for more detail. The Kaiju Guilala was used as a plot device as was his foe, Take-Majin, who parodies both Dai Majin and Ultraman-type characters. Apologies to the fans of 1967's THE X FROM OUTER SPACE but Guilala made Gappa look scary. He was the perfect choice for this film.
I think the one outstanding problem with this version is with so many characters speaking their native languages some of the parody gets lost in the translation. That said , if all else fails ,the nuclear suppository should convince you not to take it seriously. If you do , you have no sense of humor or clue as to the point the film was attempting to make regarding international politics and globalization."