This would be Toho’s second island adventure story, following on the heels of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, and was a clear cut case of the studio trying to function with increasingly lower budgets. Without the need to create massive cityscapes for the monsters to smash you can save a lot of money but then you also run into the problem of how exciting is it going to be to see Godzilla and company repeatedly stomp through dense jungle or rocky plateaus? On the plus side even though we are missing scenes of city wide destruction the kaiju Godzilla tackles in this film aren’t men in suits but rather they are intricately puppeted creations.
Who doesn’t love giant spiders?Son of Godzilla deals with a group of scientist working on the presumed deserted Sollgel Island in an attempt to perfect their weather machine, one that they have hopes will end world hunger. Their experiments are interrupted when reporter Goro Maki (Akira Kubo) parachutes in to get the scoop on what these scientists are working on and why all the secrecy. Dr. Kusumi (Tadao Takashima) explains that soon the Earth will not be able to support the ever increasing population and that the only chance mankind has is to turn previously desolate land into arable farmland. He goes on to explain that the reason for the tests being done in secret is that in the wrong hands the technology could be used as a devastating weapon. And how exactly could a device that turns deserts into farmland be used for nefarious purposes you ask? Well the first experiment we see is the launching of a device that causes the temperature on the tropic island to plummet. So yeah, it’s a freezing machine. I’m no scientist but I don’t see how creating winter conditions is going to help with the crop growing problem, but to make matters worse a strange interference causes the device to malfunction which results in a radioactive storm forming over the island. Definitely a device you’d want to keep out of the hands super villains, or really any hands at all for that matter as a side-effect of this storm is that it turns the man-sized praying mantises, apparently native to this island, into massive monsters that tower over the treetops.
So don’t forget kids, this is what science gets you.And what exactly was that strange interference that caused the machine to malfunction? Well it turns out that not only was this island inhabited with giant mantises but buried in the rocks was an egg that contained baby Godzilla, named Minilla, and it was the infants telepathic cries for help that caused the interference. To complicate things even more for our hapless scientists and bumbling reporter is the fact that there is also a beautiful girl living on the island by the name of Saeko Matsumiya (Beverly Maeda) whose been alone here ever since her archeologist father passed away seven years ago.
Note: After watching Mothra it has become clear that nobody bothers to survey these tropical islands properly.