In this second entry of the Godzilla series, another monster is introduced to fight Godzilla. The new creature is called Anguirus and looks like a big spiked turtle. The two creatures wage their war in Japan and level cities along the way. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
The Two pilots Kobayashi and Tsukioka must land on a remote Pacific Island and become witnesses of the fight between two giant monsters. After the battle, they both disappear into the ocean. Tsukioka informs scientists (including Dr. Yamane from the first "Godzilla" film) and the army about Godzilla and an unknown monster that looks like a prehistoric Ankylosaurus. The new monster therefor is named Angilas. Meanwhile, some bandits escape near Osaka and cause a car crash that is followed by large explosions. The fire attracts Godzilla to Osaka. The Japanese army tries to stop the monster using tanks, missiles and the air force. Then Angilas shows up too! The two monsters fight each other in the middle of the city in a brutal battle which is won by Godzilla. In order to stop him, the Osaka Defense Corps (and the two friends Kobayashi and Tsukioka) follow Godzilla to a snowy island near Hokkaido in northern Japan. Many pilots die in the final battle against the monster, as the army tries to cause an avalanche to bury Godzilla...
This is the little-known second film of the legendary Japanese Godzilla series, and the last that was filmed in black & white. It lacks, of course, most of the metaphoric meaning the first film had and is just a very entertaining, classic monster movie. The beautiful music score was composed by Masaru Satô, the favourite composer of Akira Kurosawa. It sounds a bit like a softer version of Akira Ifukube's great theme music for the first film. Like in the first "Godzilla", the black & white photography adds to the plausibility of the special effects, therefor they work really good most of the time. Probably the biggest problem with the effects is that the monsters move by far too fast in their fight scenes. But fortunately "Gojira no gyakushû" was the only Japanese monster movie ever to use this technique. Please note that this commentary is based on the original, uncut Japanese version of the film which really is the ONLY way to see it!! The American version is badly dubbed, has half of the movie cut out, inserts new scenes that don't make ANY sense, and has special effects footage stolen from other movies... it's just total crap. Everybody who is interested in seeing this film should look for the Japanese version, it's definitely worth the effort. Unfortunately, it is probably very hard to find. Despite the success of the film in Japan, the next "Godzilla" movie was not made for seven years.
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