RUNNING TIME: 18 min
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
The Mayor of New York has been secretly dumping toxic waste in the sea nearby, creating a huge monster called Sockzilla bent on destruction and with a taste for human flesh. The city is enjoying the Mayor’s Parade, but is rudely interrupted when the monster rises out of the sea and begins attacking. The military go into action but can’t seem to destroy Sockzilla. Maybe a scientist, who has invented a secret weapon, can save the day?….
After viewing Paul Bruce’s previous sock puppet short Zombie Sockapocaylpse, I couldn’t wait to see his follow-up Sockzilla, which I probably wanted to watch more because I am a huge fan of Godzilla, something no doubt you will have realised if you are a regular reader of this website from my reviews of the films. Running eighteen minutes long as opposed to five, Sockzilla is a somewhat more ambitious production, and one clearly made with a little more money. Don’t worry though, none of the home-made charm and quirkyness of the zombie film is lost, and it’s still as wonderfully lo-fi as you can get. There is a wider variety of effects used, including even some animation, and a wider cast of characters, including a corrupt mayor, a mad scientist, an end-of-the-world prophet whom people won’t leave alone, and a mad scientist with a German accent. The humour is more developed too, often self-aware in the funniest way, like showing one puppet have great difficulty in passing another a cigar, or calling the title monster: “a 200 foot woollen lizard”. There’s even a dog who licks the camera.
Sockzilla is given a great build-up, the first scene refusing to reveal him properly, just panning up him Cloverfield-style, and when he is finally shown stomping through New York, he just looks great, very much resembling the Big G but with a growth on the back of his head and a long pink tongue, a tongue which he puts to good use in possibly the film’s funniest scene, though this monster is also a mean bastard, not just incinerating people with his breath but gorily eating and trampling on them in a most un-Toho-like manner. There’s lots of destruction, and then, in a bit which almost had me almost cheering, along comes ….Mechasockzilla, clearly inspired by Mechagodzilla, Godzilla’s robot opponent in several of his films, and he looks so much like his 1974 incarnation it’s almost unreal. Meanwhile we are made to care about bloody sock puppets!
I enjoyed every minute of this funny but actually rather respectful tribute to Godzilla and hope that Bruce and his talented team will get the oppurtunity to visit another genre. This is micro-budget filmmaking at its most sheerly entertaining.