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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


In our quest to watch every daikaiju film made before the new Godzilla movie next May, my son and I are watching nearly seventy films as seen on this list HERE.

I'm beginning to despair of getting through it before the deadline, though.  James is eleven and it's sometimes hard to get him to sit down and type out his reviews.  In fact, I fear that my making him do so is tamping his desire to keep watching.  Still, we persevere.

Today's film is War of the Gargantuas (1966), the (sort-of) sequel to Frankenstein Conquers the World.

My review first:
Even though it is a sequel to that earlier film, Gargantuas plays a bit loose with continuity ... peripherally referencing Dr. Frankenstein a few times, adding a different American actor to the mix who wasn't there the first time, reshooting with wildly different makeup and situations flashbacks ... 
I'm nitpicking. 
I'm pleased to report that I was wrong in my earlier stated belief that the Toho Triple Threat was over and done with.  Honda, Tsuburaya and Ifukube are back and firing on all cylinders.
Honestly, this is one of the best Toho films of the era.  The human side of things doesn't drag too long and the effects are great.  The two over-sized Karloffs look good and, in most of the sets, the havoc they wreak is a great thing to behold.   
A few things to note: 
I'm really getting tired of the octopus.  It first showed up in King Kong vs. Godzilla and American producers liked it so much they wanted it shoehorned into the end of Frankenstein Conquers the World.  Now here it is again.   
Fun laugh at Kipp Hamilton's expense and her song, "The Words Get Stuck in My Throat" ... much like we expected her to get stuck in Gaira's throat. 
Maser cannons make their first appearance, inspired by heat weapons from The Mysterians.  Cool trivia: the dish that stays level as it elevates and fires has to move that way.  The bulb inside only works if it's parallel to the ground.  And the scene where the maser beams rake the trees and Gaira is pretty awesome.  I love the way the trees snap and explode. 
The lengthy battle at the end shows off great model work and music, too.  Some of the buildings are a bit too hollow, but that's not uncommon, really.  The boats look good ... the earlier airport scene is also well done. 
The end ... Yes, I don't know why they insist on "nature ex machina" (I just made that up, too).  In FCtW, it was an earthquake that swallowed the monster (or an octopus, if you saw that version.)  Here, it's an underwater volcano that pops up out of nowhere, thanks (I guess) to the bombs.  I'd rather they fought under the ocean and just didn't surface again.  That's usually how Godzilla movies of this period end. 
That aside, I still really like this movie.  War of the Gargantuas ... 4.25 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's James:
For the first scene, it's Octor Who! For the gargantuas the brown one is from FCtW,and the green one is from the ocean, for some reason... anyway,  they fight in Japan, there's a singing lady predicting her death, that ,stupid, freak'in Octopus! .... And more! 
So for rating wise, 3.87, Because it's so easy to make fun of!
Here's the international trailer:

Up next, the second turtle movie, Gamera vs. Barugon, The God Of Rainbows!

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