Cast and Crew: Ishiro Honda (Director); Shinichi Sekizawa (Writer); Akira Ifukube (Score); Eiji Tsuburaya (Special Effects); Akira Takarada, Akira Kubo
What It’s About: When a mysterious new planet is discovered, two astronauts are sent to investigate. There they find the remnants of an advanced race living underground due to the threat of the enormous, three-headed, ray shooting monster Ghidorah, known to the aliens as Monster Zero. The aliens ask to transport our monsters Rodan and Godzilla to their planet to defeat Ghidorah, and offer scientific and medical knowledge in return-but can we really trust them?
Why Watch it Today?: Nick Adams, one of the two leads of today’s film, was a successful television actor and relentlessly ambitious. Today in 1964 his then unheard of campaigning for Best Supporting Oscar climaxed when he showed up 90 minutes early to practice walking down the aisle to accept his Oscar. Adams didn’t win, and began a downward spiral that saw him moving briefly to Japan, where he starred in this film and Frankenstein Conquers the World as the “token Caucasian” and fell in love with co-star Kumi Mizuno even as he was reconciling with his wife. Adams would die only a few years later of a drug overdose. Adams awkward screen presence is part of the goofy charm of this product of Toho’s golden age of Kaiju films, a monster mash with aliens, three of Toho’s biggest monsters, and some wonderfully over-the-top campy dialog.
Where to Get It: Netflix (rental only), Amazon