It’s like this:
There’s this alien overlord, with the massively original name “Lord Doom.”
Things haven’t gone so well for him lately, so he’s trapped deep beneath some dark world. But that’s okay, he’ll just take over the Earth. He sends the mercenary Kraa to destroy our opposition and pave the way for his invasion.
Which sounds vaguely familiar except for the minor detail that Kraa is about three hundred feet tall.
The only things he fears are those pesky kids in the Planet Patrol: however, he attacks their space station, leaving them helpless and struggling to make desperate repairs before their base explodes.
Fortunately , they manage to send one (unarmed) agent to Earth, where he recruits the owner of the lunch counter he crashes into, and a biker with a beard big enough to hide Cleveland to help him stop…
A three-hundred foot tall monster.
I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t he pick a little kid?
Fortunately, the biker just happens to be a genius — and an expert at whatever the plot requires.
This was one of two Kaiju Eiga films Full Moon Features put out under a new “label,” Monster Island Entertainment, right around the time the American Godzilla film came out. The first, Zarkorr! The Invader, left a lot to be desired, but I have to admit this one is quite fun, despite all its general silliness. Or, for that matter, its decidedly low budget, direct to VHS, nature.
One notes, for example, that, except for one scene, Lord Doom only interacts with his midget Chamberlain. Nor does he ever leave his throne room.
The Members of the Planet Patrol remain trapped on their base throughout the film, as well, except for the expected Power Rangers-style match-off between them and Doom at the very end.
Which, of course, takes place in his throne room.
And, of course, our human heroes never have anything to do with either of the other sets of characters, although the alien Planet Patrol agent — who is apparently some sort of super-intelligent clam with a Chico Marx fake Italian accent and is played by a puppet — does finally make an appearance on the Planet Patrol base at the end.
However, Kraa looks great, like a cross between a Gremlin and a Catfish, and makes an impressive (and ironic, with some minor damage to the Fourth Wall) entrance: the familiar teaser poster for the 1998 Godzilla fills the screen. It’s a poster on a building and Kraa’s face crashes right through it.
The monster rampage is actually quite good, even if it isn’t up Toho’s standard. The miniature sets are reasonably detailed and Kraa has a bit of personality, even if it is hard to buy the notion that he is some sort of intergalactic mercenary. I’ll confess that I love Lord Doom’s mask, which is sort of a more aggressive version of Skeletor, and the design is fairly good all around, although Mogyar’s spacecraft is decidedly dull. The plot is a bit dumb, but, let’s face it, not so bad by Kaiju Eiga standards.
Well, it ain’t Godzilla, but then you can say that about nearly all the giant monster movies that anyone other than Toho ever made. It is, however, a fun, reasonably well-made copy, and if you’ve already seen all the Toho Kaiju films and all the Gamera films, then at least this one will give you your giant monster fix.
After all, we still have a long wait until Kong vs. Godzilla comes out.
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