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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (1972)

Carrying on, here's the next movie on our big list of monster movies (HERE), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972).

I'll go first:
I had a realization watching this movie this time around: the main human characters are the Scooby-Doo gang (minus the dog).  There's Fred, the handsome but often oblivious leader.  There's Shaggy, the stoner hippie who's munching on things.  There's Daphne and Velma, one of whom is smarter than the other; one who happens to know karate (I don't know if Daphne knew karate or not, but I'll stand by this).  Scooby gang, I'm telling you. 
So Fred is a cartoonist who creates monsters for kids (like a homework monster and a strict mother monster).  He gets somehow entangled with a group of alien cockroaches who take the form of recently deceased folks and are trying to create a Godzilla theme park.  Godzilla hears an alien signal tape being played and converses with Anguirus, sending him off to investigate. 
No joke. 
It doesn't get much goofier than Godzilla and Anguirus chatting with one another in these strange, inhaling-while-talking, fifty-year-smoker voices.  Thankfully, these are brief scenes. 
The first third drags as the Scooby gang gets wise to shenanigans by the cockroach aliens, but things get turned up a bit when Ghidorah and Gigan get called in. 
Unfortunately, most of Ghidorah's Tokyo destruction is rehashed footage from earlier films.  They've clumsily turned down the brightness to make it seem like it's night, which is when the Gigan scenes are set.   
(Also being reused?  Many, many bits of score by Akira Ifukube.  It's great to hear again and you can't top Ifukube in these films, but ... c'mon.) 
Eventually, Godzilla and Anguirus come to town and face off against Ghidorah and Gigan.  Their fight is lengthy and enjoyable, but, again, there are a few reused bits (including one shot that even includes the Mothra larva).  Gigan does what no other beast has done before: makes Godzilla bleed.  (He makes Anguirus bleed, too.)  If nothing else, it establishes Gigan as a dangerous threat, one that can hurt Big G.  (And he makes bits of Godzilla's suit go flying off.)
Odd thing, though.  At no point does he use his laser eye blast.  This, despite a shot where a flash bulb above his eye goes off.  Did they decide not to animate it for some reason? 
Except for getting slammed by Godzilla three times (or once, over and over), Ghidorah doesn't put in much of an appearance.  Most of his action is from earlier films and half the time, he's just loitering in the background while Gigan slices up the good guys.  (Maybe KG's suit was faring poorly, too?) 
In the end, the Scooby gang are victorious and they destroy the laser cannon in the Godzilla theme park building while the monsters get rid of their opponents.  Done and done. 
Godzilla vs. Gigan ... pretty goofy but fun.  3 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's my son, James:
Well  this one is about when cockroaches try to rule the world, but Godzilla and Anguirus fight King Ghidorah and Gigan and they wreck the place while they do so.  I don't like bugs so the roach people were really gross.  I like Gigan and his belly blade but Anguirus was stupid for running face first into it.  BLOOD SPLASH!!!!  And the talking monster scenes?  DUMB!!!!!
So, rating wise, i'll say 2.899 out of five Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!! 
Here's the trailer:

Up next, Daigoro vs. Goliath.

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