Happy Birthday, GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND!

It was an unbelievable 40 years ago today that CHIKYÛ KOGEKI MEIREI: GOJIRA TAI GAIGAN (1972) (in US, GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND & GODZILLA VS. GIGAN) was released in Japan. It wasn’t seen in the US until 5 years later, in August of 1977. Which is ironic, as Gigan’s supporting appearance in GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (1973) marked his debut in the US 2 years earlier than his OWN film. Often chided as the most infamous of the Showa Era films, as this is the one that had Godzilla & Angilas TALKING to each other. In the Japanese version, they gave them word balloons.

 

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7 comments

  1. “Often chided as the most infamous,” indeed. Very diplomatic of you. 🙂 Despite, or because of, that, it’s a near-universal childhood favorite, the kind of movie people pass on to their kids. Everybody talks about the sillier aspects. Rarer are the comments about how damn creepy (in a good way) this movie is, especially for early-70s kaiju eiga. Tokyo gets owned in this movie, in a sequence that (for me) always rivaled the attack in Destroy All Monsters. The human heroes are a comic book artist and his collection of crazy friends, easily the best Godzilla cast of the 70s. And what better way to make everyone’s skin crawl than having the villain’s be human-sized cockroaches? And what better headquarters than a gigantic, Godzilla-shaped tower? Always wanted one of those…though Toho would probably slap me with a C&D as soon as I filed the plans with City Hall.

  2. I remember seeing this and being so frigthened of it, It’s dark setting (not just nighttime) and the blood. There were some silly stuff in the 1970’s but this film and G V M-G I think kept the series credible. Despite it’s scaryness I quite like this film, it’s not one of my strong favourites of the series but the story and the music plus the more in depth look at one of my favourite monsters (Anguiras or Angalis in the english version). Am I right in thinking that this was the first time that King Ghidorah was referred to as King Ghidorah? It appeared that all Ghidorah films previously just called him Ghidorah.

    • Actually, in the Japanese versions, he was ALWAYS known as King Ghidorah (KinguGidora). They almost always shortened it to Ghidrah (or Ghidorah) in the US versions, though there is one instance in MONSTER ZERO where Nick Adams calls him King Ghidorah, because his lines were spoken in English and dubbed into Japanese, but obviously left intact for the US versions. I’ve never been able to find a reason for the shortening. My guess is that in the US, Godzilla was “King of the Monsters” and US license holder & distributor Henry G. Saperstein (who also co-produced MONSTER ZERO, FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS & TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA) didn’t want to call another monster, “King”. Either that, or the dubbing studio felt it was easier.
      Thanks for your input!

      • Of course there was that time in Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster where the creature was called King Ghidorah in the Japanese version but after reading the subtitles I got a little bit confused (I got it on DVD this past week, one of my all time favourites).

  3. Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my reply – what I meant was that in the Japanese versions of ALL movies that he appeared in, he was always called King Ghidorah (Within the Showa Era series & Heisei Series. In the Mothra series of the 90’s there was a version called “Death Ghidorah”). Thanks again for your feedback.

    • No, its fine, I understood, I thought I would just say I noticed it, (in a way I should have remembered to put it in the previous comment, woops).

      I remeber reading about Desghidorah, isn’t Death Ghidorah just a way of explaining how it was different from King Ghidorah. It would be interesting to see if Toho make Godzilla fight Desghidorah.

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