I tried not to compare Genocide to other 1960s monster movies, and yet I came away disappointed even though the film has some notable characteristics. There is some interesting thoughts on the nature of man and how destructive we can be, yet the film lacks the dramatic strengths necessary to overcome its weak monster. You have a monster movie without an actual cool looking beast, as in this film there are insects instead, although some appear as huge thanks to radiation. In one part of the film the insects act as a huge cloud that consumes a military plane carrying a nuclear weapon, a scene that is kind of suspenseful and then is followed by a love story I did not have any interest in.
Perhaps the other films in the Shochiku horror collection available on Criterion are better or at least not as slow as this one. Yes this film has an apocalyptic finality that works okay, however it comes far too late in the film. Also the poor acting, which I can excuse in a movie with better directing or truly strong themes hurts this film considerably. Not every Japanese monster movie had to be a Ishirō Honda style film, yet after seeing Genocide I think more praise should be directed his way for crafting something remarkable out of silly man in suits fighting each other films.
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