Pitiful Parody: ‘The Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit’ Review
I suppose with a genre as diverse, enduring, and many times campy as kaiju movies, there are bound to be some spoof films. While watching this particular parody, I had no clue it was one big riff on kaiju cinema instead of its own film. I can’t recall exactly when I realized it; perhaps when the “hero” of the film took a missile up the ass while complimented with a heavy homoerotic subtext.
The Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit is a 2008 kaiju parody film focusing on a meeting of world leaders - hence the G8 - who come together in Japan to discuss common issues - as world leaders do. While discussing, however, they are interrupted by the giant alien monster Guilala rampaging through the city. Despite how intimidating a congregation of presidents from the U.S, Russia, France and other first-world nations may sound, each leader is painfully moronic. Equipped with harsh and recurring stereotypes throughout the film (leader of France is constantly horny, the American is boisterous etc.), each leader tries their hand at suggesting a strategy to stop the monster, each more ridiculous than the last. Eventually, our “hero” comes into play and turns the fight against the monster.
What Blazing Saddles did for westerns is what I presume Attack the G8 Summit is trying to do for the campy kaiju flicks of the 60’s and 70’s. The difference being, where Saddles was, at times, outrageous and a little ridiculous, Attack the G8 Summit is ludicrously over-the-top any chance it gets - which is always. Subtlety is an important part of comedy, jokes that give the audience a responsibility to find the punchline themselves are always more satisfying to hear. Unfortunately, there’s not a trace of subtlety in this film. But, perhaps I'm unfair, maybe the film is merely an excessively, tropey comedy because it’s not trying to show the audience the silliness and state of kaiju films. More than likely it’s the ravings of a mad director who was given a small budget and possessed an inner passion that compelled him to go wild with the few meager yen he was given.
That’s not to say the film is humorless, however. There are moments here and there that poke fun at kaiju films in a light I’d never thought of before. But, that’s a cheap excuse for any number of the movie’s other sins, which include: exaggerated acting, bad CGI (even by 2008 standards), too much time spent on bureaucratic nonsense, constant juvenile attempts at humor, and way too many sex jokes. Accounting for all the above, a few laughs don’t make much of a difference; even the worst Scary Movie will land a few chuckles, but it certainly doesn’t compensate for the utter garbage that is the rest of the reel. Truth be told, though, I’ve very little experience with classic kaiju movies and the three I’ve watched before this film as part of Kaiju Month haven’t been enough to account for even a basic, working knowledge of the kaiju grand picture. As a result, I’m fairly sure a substantial portion of the film’s jokes flew right over my head.
So, if I were, to summate Attack the G8 Summit in one, painfully accurate, irrevocably hurtful, unadulterated statement, what would it be?
Gareth Edwards did it better.