Happy 45th Birthday, Sanda & Gaira!

Hot on the trail of yesterday’s 50th MOTHRA birthday, comes the 45th anniversary of the release of FURANKENSHUTAIN NO KAIJU: SANDA TAI GAIRA, released on 7/31/66 in Japan. American audiences would have to wait an unbelievable FOUR years to see it as WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS.

In case you didn’t know, this is actually a SEQUEL. It’s spun off from FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD. It’s even  ‘tied in’ right from the start, with Gaira (the Green Gargantua) battling the Giant Octopus seen (in the Japanese version) in FCTW’s conclusion, dragging ‘Frankenstein’ below the depths. As it was said during the film that the Green was grown from cells from the Brown, it’s been theorized that the Octopus fight was started from ‘genetic memory’. A bit of a stretch, IMHO.

On a personal note, this was the first Kaiju film I saw as a kid that actually SCARED me. I was 11 or 12 and had already seen a batch of Godzilla and Gamera movies. One Saturday morning, I found this on NYC’s WPIX 11’s Chiller Theatre (which ran at various times). It came up to the part where Green grabs the cleaning woman, popped her in his mouth and spat out the clothes, and BAM! I couldn’t have changed that dial to cartoons faster if I had a remote.


Believe it or not, there are TWO Kaiju Eiga ‘birthdays’. Which ones?



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