The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

King Ghidora
For sheer entertainment, you can't beat a monster with three heads. Two heads are fun and all, but add that third head and you're talking Oscar material, if only in the sense that I know a guy named Oscar who digs on it. However, filmmaking techniques of the time had no method of adequately controlling three rubbery giant monster heads, so they pretty much just bob around and shoot lightning breath whenever one is pointed more or less in the right direction. Even for a series of movies where "special effects magic" is defined as "not being able to see the wires too much," it's pretty lame. B

Mothra has a lot going for him in both his "disgusting larvae" and "marginally less disgusting adult" forms -- pollen blasts, spooge rays, eyes that are apparently made of some sort of golf ball -- but the real selling point is his entourage. Mothra's personal affairs are handled by a pair of identical pixies in funky thrift-store garb who break into song with disturbing regularity. This is never adequately explained: giant moth, miniature women, attractive carrying case, shut up and watch the movie. A

Advantage: French sculptor puns. Disadvantage: No arms, no teeth, no breath rays, just big flappy wings. The whole reason for watching Godzilla movies is to see things a) stomped, and b) blown up with breath rays, so watching roof tiles fly off pagodas is a little disappointing by comparison. He eventually developed fire breath in 1993, but by then we'd had such science fiction classics as "The Last Starfighter" and "Dreamscape," so it was really too little too late. C+

This is one tricked-out honey of a mechanical lizard, and that's not praise I hand out often. So many beams and rockets! Even his feet fire rockets! Many people overlook the potential of feet when building giant robots, but not the makers of Mechagodzilla. Another nice thing is that his builders even went so far as to give him spine-spikes just like the atomic monster he's modeled after. That's something I admire in alien overlords bent on the subjugation of our planet: attention to detail. A

Little Plastic Tanks
In spite of the fact that tanks have repeatedly been shown to have no more effect on Godzilla than a shampoo and creme rinse, they still get trotted out with every new monster attack, rolling shakily over the canvas landscape and firing their little sparklers. The reason for this, I'm guessing, is political. If the prime minister fails to send the tanks, in the next election his opponent will run ads saying "In the last Godzilla attack, the incumbent failed to send out the fakey-looking plastic tanks to protect us. My opponent is obviously soft on giant monsters!" D+

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