Updated: Sep 29, 2020
NOTZILLA won seven awards at multiple film festivals. These awards were:
Best Feature Film – Florida Comedy Film Festival
Best Comedy Feature – Will Rogers Motion Picture Festival
Best In Show – Con Nooga Film Festival
Best Actress, Feature (Tifani Ahren Davis) – Florida Comedy Film Festival
Best Actress, Feature (Tifani Ahren Davis) – Simply Indie Film Fest
Best Humor – Top Indie Film Awards
Best Sound – Top Indie Film Awards
When a Japanese scientist smuggles a monster's egg into the United States, what could possibly go wrong when it actually hatches — and alcohol makes it grow taller than a skyscraper? The race is on as the monster drinks beer and wreaks havoc, the Japanese scientist tries to shrink it, and a crazed scientist tries to nuke the monster — and possibly take the entire Cincinnati City with it!
NOTZILLA is a slapstick comedy that parodies the old Godzilla movies from the 50's – 70's as well as American monster flicks from that same era. Every stereotype you can think of can be found being poked fun at in this film. You have the monster that is played by a guy in a suit, the toy military soldiers and vehicles, the mishandling the use of nuclear energy, a Japanese scientist that wants to save the monster rather than kill it, any cliché you can think of its in the movie. So even the story is what you expect from a monster movie. However, I find some of the jokes to be more underwhelming rather than funny.
Starting with the good, I love the monster costume. I love how it looks generic and dopey like in the face, the spikes on the monster's back, and the zipper that can be spotted on the front of the suit. It was even pretty funny when Professor Ichihiro Honda classified the monster as Notzillasaurus Partiontilldon (you may need to read that second part a few times). The monster supposedly grows only up to a regular human size, but with alcohol the monster would grow bigger. Drinking alcohol is how Notzilla gains the ability to burp and fart fire, as well. I think they could have went further with this parody by adding another monster. Every monster movie now always has fight scenes of two or more monsters fighting each other. The fight between Notzilla and the other monster could be a pillow fight or a sumo fight and then it turns into a game of tag or hide & seek. The end of the movie does tease the discovery of more eggs washing up on shore and the characters jokingly say they can worry about that in the sequel.
What I also thought was pretty funny was that the U.S. military in the movie are not really the military. The real military (in the movie) were too busy dealing with Cuba, so General Derrick Bogus calls up his nephew who is trying to be a film maker. So film actors and miniature toy soldiers were used instead. I really liked the first round of fighting Notzilla the military are miniature toy soldiers and a random Indian lined up for battle and when the toy planes flew in Notzilla just cuts the wire and tosses them aside. And at the end of that scene, Dr. Blowheart drives in expecting the military to be there and picks up a damaged toy airplane off the ground. He is even seen later in the movie playing with those same army men toys and it made me laugh because the scene reminded of a similar scene from Spaceballs where Dark Helmet is playing with action figures and was disrupted by Colonel Sanders. Also, this was pretty accurate in terms of how the old Godzilla movies were made. In Japanese monster movies, models of tanks, battleships, and fighter jets had to be used for battle scenes and love that this movie makes those details obvious just for the joke.
In fact, the movie seems to take some jokes from Mel Brooks films, but the difference is that Mel Brooks took some risks with his jokes and the execution of the jokes. NOTZILLA just seems to copy the clean jokes from the Mel Brooks films. For example, when Dr. Blowheart and Dr. Shirley Yujest meet Ichihiro for the first time Ichihiro tries to correct Blowheart's description from "giant monster" to "kaiju" and Shirley responds with "bless you" mistaking his description for a sneeze. Robin Hood: Men In Tights had a similar joke where one of the characters was named Ahchoo and every time he introduces himself the response from other characters was always, "bless you." Even the introduction of Robin's blind servant, Blinkin, took the joke in a different direction where he mistakes Robin saying his new friend is a "Jew" when Robin introduced Ahchoo to him. The difference here is the creativity, execution, and deliverance of the jokes. There are even scenes that tries to replicate breaking the fourth wall similarly to the Mel Brooks movies. This is not to say NOTZILLA is not allowed to use those same jokes because it can still be funny if the joke is executed right. Some of the jokes in NOTZILLA just seems to be tacked on and and the resulting punchline was underwhelming. The reason why I like the scene of Blowheart playing with the toys is because it is taking those same toys shown in a previous scene and doing something else with it. I think the riskiest joke in the whole movie is when Notzilla makes a flaming fart and burns two of the soldiers and yet even then it was underwhelming since an obligatory fart joke was expected.
To be honest, I think the best scenes are with Dr. Blowheart. He is the movie's antagonist wanting Notzilla killed and whether he is being egotistical or acting like a child the type of character that he is making fun of is the most relevant in terms of what you see in monster movies.
Prof. Ichihiro is the movie's protagonist that ideally wants to save Notzilla and regularly clashes with Blowheart, but most of the jokes with him are about him seeing visions of his father telling him saving Notzilla wont make him a man and that Ichihiro is a disgrace to him. While confidence issues in characters is not uncommon the running joke here could have been done without his father being there. Ichihiro could have just been a very awkward guy and that could have resulted in him tripping over his own shoe laces or accidentally bumping into objects. He was already shown to be clumsy in the airplane scene where he accidentally flushed the egg in the toilet and the movie could have done more with Ichihiro being clumsy.
Dr. Shirley Yujest is the movie's supporting character that tries to be recognized as a woman professor and not just a girl and Blowheart keeps putting her down. I don't know what the movie is making fun of. Perhaps it is the certain time period where women in the work place was just starting out, but I have a feeling that her only joke was when Notzilla picks her up