Daniel’s Double Feature 1 (The Collection/Godzilla Raids Again)

I’m gonna review two movies a week and you can’t stop me.

The Collector from the film The Collection.

The Collection

I’m so glad that The Collection continues the tradition of not being self-aware. I get it, horror film directors. You’ve seen other horror films. In what I call Black Guy Dies First LOL Syndrome, it seems like every horror film, most specifically those in the slasher sub genre, feels the need to comment on just how smart it is, by stilting its dialogue and winking at the audience incessantly. There are these other, stupid horror films, those Friday the 13ths and shit, that we know about and we’ll let you know again and again that we know about them, so you won’t think that our writing is dumb when we fall back on the tropes of the horror genre, like when the people who have sex get murdered and the cell phones stop working. It ruins my enjoyment of a horror movie when the filmmakers can’t seem to pull their heads out of the multiplex asshole they’ve gotten stuck in.

The Collection, along with its prequel The Collector, do not have this problem. Not once do they turn to the audience and say “I’VE SEEN A MOVIE BEFORE ABOUT AN ABANDONED HOTEL. WE SHOULDN’T GO IN HERE BECAUSE OF THE MOVIES WE’VE SEEN. LOOK AT HOW SMART WE ARE.” It remains straight faced through the whole thing, no matter how many times it feels like the characters get involved in the same damn death trap over and over again. There’s a certain sincerity to The Collection that separates it from a lot of its brethren. Does that make it a better movie? Not really, but it’s way more enjoyable than the entire generation of slasher films that decided to put on Scream masks in order to hide the fact that they sucked.

I don’t have a lot to say about The Collection, other than that I’d give it a watch. It was often touted as the Aliens to its predecessor’s Alien, and that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, since Aliens had different merits from the first film to praise and The Collection just made things more exploded. It is a pretty fast paced, exciting movie though, and I’d like to see where the series goes.

Three-and-a-half mutilated bodies turned into insect statues out of five.

Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla fighting Anguirus in Godzilla Raids Again.

You can tell how big of a fan I am of a certain film by how many editions of it that I own. When it comes to the original Godzilla and the American version, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, the number is five, which I think makes the film rank somewhere in the “I dig it.” I own a VHS of the American version, where the designer thought that Godzilla would look better if he was purple, two of the same DVD’s of the American version, which is photoshop by means of glue sticks in its cover design, an “Ultimate” edition of the Japanese and American films, and then the Criterion “Ultimate-er” version, which made me put aside my childish ways because it’s a Criterion and I’m morally superior to Best Buy.

Godzilla Raids Again was kind of like Son of Kong in the sense that I didn’t see it for a long time, even though I loved the original. And, like Son of Kong, I was underwhelmed by it. Son of Kong is a test of patience. It’s kind of charming in a a-little-monkey-knows-how-to-play-drums way, but you don’t see Kong Jr. for about forty minutes in movie that’s a little over an hour. This wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t know what a Kong looks like, but since King Kong and regular gorillas exist, I’m very aware of what a Kong looks like. Son of Kong spends most of its time focused on a few people standing around and talking to each other. It’s like the movie was shot sequentially, and on day twenty-five of principal photography, the director remembered Oh shit, I remember what the movie was titled now! Better do some of that.

Godzilla Raids Again doesn’t have that same issue as you pretty immediately are plane crashed into Godzilla and new dinosaur monster Anguirus. However, you soon get a “This isn’t my Dad. I don’t know this man.” feeling with the new guy. He’s not very imposing (from the side, he’s kind of cool and skinny, but from the front he has these big, Grumpy cat brows), and he just doesn’t have the sense of swagger that the original had. If the Godzilla That Raided Again was in a rap video, he wouldn’t be allowed to lean on the side of the car.

Godzilla Raids Again feels like a rough cut of Godzilla Raids Again. I’ve watched enough special features on DVD’s to know what a deleted scene feels like and stuff such as “Kobayashi Sees Some Guy In Restaurant” and “Prisoners Running-Extended Sequence” all seem like the things that you’d snip out. Also, considering that the special effects techniques used in the film were already dated around the time that electricity was being invented, keeping the monster costumes and puppets in full, uncovered view at all times isn’t the wisest decision. Godzilla’s puppet in this one looks like something a brown paper bag would mock and Anguirus only fares slightly better, since they kill him off quickly.

It also feels like it’s divided into two movies. The first deals with the discovery of Godzilla and Anguirus and them hating each other. Then Godzilla bites Anguirus’ neck, kills him and ambles back into the ocean. The main characters have a laugh and then, boom, a new movie starts. Sorry, momentum, but you’re a little too drunk to drive. Let me, uselessness, take the wheel. The movie tries to turn this pilot Kobayashi into a tragic character, but considering that his death is this weird montage of him flying around Godzilla’s puppet head until Godzilla becomes annoyed enough to kill him, you’re left thinking This all should’ve happened an hour ago.

Not great. Two Anguiruses out of five.

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