Happy Birthday, GORATH!

Here’s a BIG anniversary! It was 50 years ago today, that YOSEI GORASU (1962) was released in Japanese theatres. It would see release in the US as GORATH two years later, in May, 1964. This was Ishiro Honda’s third space opera, following BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1959) and THE MYSTERIANS (1957). Where the first two dealt with Earth forces uniting to battle invading alien marauders, this time the nations of the world unite (a common theme in quite a few of Honda’s film) battle time running out before an asteroid plows right into Earth. The plan is to move the Earth within its orbit by placing giant nuclear engines in the South Pole. The heat & radiation combine to revive the giant prehistoric walrus (you read that right) MAGMA. He attacks the polar base and threatens the mission, but is quickly taken out. The only reason that Magma was included (for all of six minutes) was Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka’s insistence that a kaiju be included, as they had proven to be very popular. In the US version, Magma was edited out completely. Very downbeat & melodramatic, though ther is a song that the pilots sing that is quite catchy (even though it’s in Japanese). Enjoy!

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