Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

invasion of astro monster poster 1965 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Classic Godzilla

Godzilla is still a B-Movie, plot meanders forever

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Invasion of Astro-Monster

Studio:  Toho/United Productions of America (UPA)

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  December 19, 1965 (Japan)/April 6, 1970 (US)

MPAA Rating:  G

invasion of astro monster rodan godzilla planet x

Field Trip!!!

Earth has discovered Planet X and sent Japanese astronaut K. Fuji (Akira Takarada) and American astronaut Glenn Amer (Nick Adams) on a manned mission to explore the dark planet.  When they arrive, they find Planet X inhabited but menaced by Ghidorah which the people of Planet X have named Monster Zero.  The people of Planet X agree to trade a cure for cancer to the Earth in exchange for the use of Godzilla and Rodan in stopping Ghidorah.  With Ghidorah under control, Planet X has other plans for Earth, and Glenn, Fuji, Fuji’s sister Haruno (Keiko Sawai), and her inventor boyfriend Tetsuo (Akira Kubo) may be the only one who can stop them.

Directed by Ishirō Honda, Invasion of Astro-Monster (怪獣大戦争 Kaijū Daisensō or The Great Monster War) is a Japanese kaiju movie (the sixth in the series) and like many Godzilla and Japanese films has gone by other names.  Following Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster in 1964, the movie was originally released in the United States as Monster Zero in 1970 with The War of the Gargantuas in a double billing.  In the UK, it was called Invasion of the Astros and has also gone by the title of Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero in earlier releases.  The Criterion Collection included the film as part of  Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 boxset (Criterion #1000).

invasion of astro monster xiliens aliens

Devo better step-off our look!

Every Godzilla movie is about the throwdown.  As a kid, the more monsters in a Godzilla movie, the better and here, you get Rodan and Godzilla teaming up against Ghidorah…which of course was heaven as a kid.

Godzilla gets to do some classic stomping of homes after playing a hero for a number of movie due to the fact he’s being controlled by Planet X.  Once Planet X loses control of Godzilla, Rodan, and Ghidorah, Godzilla is back to his old heroic self and joins Rodan in trashing Ghidorah.  There is a brief fight in the middle of the movie to liberate Planet X but the real fight occurs in the last fifteen minutes or so (as it should in all Godzilla films).

The movie is of course followed by a subplot which has the astronauts facing off against the fun looking invaders from Planet X.  The movie just looks like classic ’50s sci-fi, but since it came out in the ’60s so I guess that is a bit of a problem.  The look and style of this film is better than many Godzilla pictures.  It is loaded with tons of scale models which with the clarity of the transfers nowadays, don’t always look great because you can see strings and model humans, but with B-Movies, that sometimes adds to the fun.

invasion of the astro monster godzilla dance jump

Now is the time for Godzilla to dance a jig!

The movie goes for a bit of a War of the Worlds feel by having the people of Planet X be driven away by a simple loud noise machine created by a fledgling scientist (and fiancé of astronaut Fuji’s sister).  It seems pretty obvious as a viewer where this plot is going, and I wish that it had either come up in the third act or be more of a mystery.  It is a little too simple of a solution.

Invasion of Astro-Monster is pretty typical Godzilla, but for someone who grew up watching Godzilla movies it is quite fun.  The movie meanders but at least it is full of soap opera type sci-fi (opposed to many Godzilla films which just have a human cast micromanaging Godzilla and other kaiju).  Invasion of Astro-Monster was followed by Ebirah—Horror of the Deep (or Godzilla Vs. the Sea Monster) in 1966.

Preceded By:

Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)

Followed By:

Ebirah—Horror of the Deep (1966)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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