Ye Olde Dragon here, with the first Release Anniversary of a Toho Tokusatsu of the month. It had been a little bit more than a year since Toho had released Yushimitsu Banno’s GODZILLA Vs. HEDORA (1971) (aka Godzilla Vs. the Smog Monster (1972)) and Toho decided to have a Kaiju tag-team battle against aliens. This would prove to be a popular format for the final three films of the Toho Showa Era, with Godzilla facing monsters controlled by either invaders from space or from beneath the earth. Only in the final film of the Showa Era Godzilla battled alone against two opponents.
His partner in this film is Anguillas, who was actually the first monster that Godzilla fought way back in the second movie, GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955). Together they face off against King Ghidrah and newcomer Gigan, the cyborg monster from outer space, who are being controlled by giant cockroaches that have taken over the bodies of a teenaged genius and his teacher, after the pair was killed in a car crash. This is the film that infamously had Godzilla and Anguillas “talking” to each other as they swam to Japan to face their opponents. In the Japanese version, they put word balloons on the screen, accompanied by low growls as opposed to their normal bellowing roars.
Note: In the American version, they dubbed in voices that could only be described as “belch talking” – no, I’m being serious.
In general, it’s a bit confusing at times as the script seems to go all over the place, with as many as three different plot lines, of which I’m not 100% sure get wrapped up neatly in the end.
Original title: CHIKYÛ KOGEKI MEIREI: GOJIRA TAI GAIGAN (EARTH ASSAULT ORDER: GODZILLA VS. GIGAN)
Original release date: 12/03/72
Director: Jun Fukuda
Music: Akira Ifukube
U. S. Release date: August, 1977 as GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND; released on home video as GODZILLA VS. GIGAN
Godzilla played by: Haruo Nakajima