Thursday, March 16, 2017

Recycled Godzilla: The Frill Is Gone

(Apologies to B.B. King.)

(From Ray X X-Rayer #131. )

Godzilla, is that you?

For someone unfamiliar with the Ultraman TV episode The Mysterious Dinosaur Base (1966) it's disconcerting to see Godzilla in a modified form with a large cartilaginous frill flaring out the back of his neck.  Actually it's two old Godzilla costumes thrown together to create a "new" monster named Jirass.

With a tight shooting schedule the producers were able to borrow a couple of Godzilla suits for recycling, assembling a new giant monster of the week.

Ultraman is set in the future.  As in every episode the hero shows up at the last minute to battle a colossal menace, using his power to grow to the right fighting size, going eyeball to eyeball with his opponent.  

Ultraman is really a regular human, Shin Hayata, who works for the Science Patrol.  SP agents are nattily dressed in orange suits with a white bib and necktie, all topped off with a goofy crash helmet. These sartorial mutants are armed with oversized but ineffective ray guns.  Of course their weapons have to be useless against giant creatures, necessitating the need to Ultraman to save the day.   When trouble looms large Shin Hayata uses his power rod to encircle himself with a band of light, transforming himself into Ultraman.

Or in this episode Ultrabully.  As the titans engage in fight Ultraman doesn't act like a noble superhero.  He waves his hand in front of his face indicating that Jirass smells bad.  Then Ultraman waves the monster towards him.

Now dealing with a monster doesn't mean a superhero has to fight nice but this time Ultraman takes sadistic glee in trouncing his enemy.  He reaches out and rips off the frill from Jirass's neck, leaving a nasty red wound behind.  Then acting like a proud matador Ultraman waves the frill like a cape, causing Jirass to charge but miss.

Then Ultraman kills off his foe, dropping the detached frill on Jariss as a final petty insult.  Since Ultraman is a marital artist one would think he would have been trained to show more decorum.

Good entertainment for the kids.  They learn a hero doesn't need to be noble, he can act like a egotistical prick.

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