Raiga: The Monster from the Deep Sea [Shinkaijû Raiga] (2009)

(aka Raiga: God of the Monsters)

This is one of those films that is a decidedly mixed experience.

On the one hand we have a lot of reasonably well done giantsuitmation scenes of Kaiju Eiga destruction — far more than one expects from most giant monster movies, with three main battles (and a flashback battle) against tanks, planes, helicopters, battleships — and even giant fish monsters.  Yeah, we know its design is as close to Godzilla as they could get without getting sued.  However, it is still moderately well done, even if nowhere near the Toho standard.

Yongary might be closer.

Or maybe even A*P*E (1976).

On the other hand we have a lot of lame comedy, mostly centered around a hapless guy who is constantly beset by his three daughters.

We also, naturally, get some very silly Japanese leaders (including a couple of soldiers who, for no discernible reason are wearing what looks like the Wolf Brigade armor from Jin Roh). a few other school girls, the hero’s buddies, and a sequence featuring someone who is probably the Japanese equivalent of a stand up comic (in this case a “kneel on a cushion wearing a traditional Japanese robe” comic) who is probably getting a plug from the director.

Not that he’s terribly funny.

But then you could say that about the rest of the film, which offers lots of very lame comedy.  Now I’ll admit, I know that humor is one of those things that doesn’t translate well, so this might be absolutely hysterical if you are Japanese.

However,  I really have my doubts about that.

I will note, though, that this is the only Kaju film I’ve ever seen where the creature, ummmm…. “marks” his territory.

So it is interesting to see this film finally get an American release.  But it isn’t a lost classic.

Not even close.

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And check out our new Feature (Updated May 16, 2019):

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