Several satellites have been destroyed without explanation. A few days later, a group of diamond thieves are thwarted when the gems they are after suddenly disappear. Strangely enough, the two incidents are connected when scientists discover that a giant jellyfish like creature, which was mutated due to a high amount of radiation hovering over Japan, is drawing up all carbon based matter, including coal and diamonds. Soon the creature is also attacking bridges and ships. Can anything be done to destroy the creature before he begins drawing up all mankind? Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
Even though Robert Dunham spoke nearly perfect Japanese throughout most of the film, he did get away with one phrase of English. In the scene where the mob breaks into his hotel room and Hamako (Moll) snatches the key to the safe, he says in perfect English, "Hey, you can't take that!" See more »
In the scenes featuring the smaller Dogoras, the strings holding them up are clearly seen. See more »
The U.S. English dubbed version, released by American International under the title "Dagora, The Space Monster," has all of the cast and credits removed. The picture and sound contain an awkward jump from the main title to the first scene. It is believed that American International, for unknown reasons, physically cut the cast and credits from their initial release prints. See more »
It's ironic that the gist of this movie involves carbon because everything in it, from the acting to the plot to the special effects needed another million years to become something valuable.
Made by Toho Studios, which was trying to branch out from its Godzilla pigeon-holing, the film revolves around Dagora (for some reason, the monster is called "Dogora" in print and voice in the movie). It was supposedly just some amoeba-like space cell floating around in the atmosphere until it came in contact with a cloud of cobalt-filled gamma radiation and was transformed into a monster. Honestly, if there was a cloud containing two of the deadliest elements known to man just floating around the atmosphere, I think someone would have noticed it. Of course, neither cobalt nor gamma radiation floats in the air. But, hey, it's a Toho film.
Anyway, soon the world is besieged by a rash of diamond robberies, where lead safes get melted by incredible heat. Local Japanese police think a local diamond gang is responsible. Enter Robert Dunham, as a mysterious cop working for the International Diamond Exchange, who tries to join up with the gang to get the goods on them. He spends most of the film being completely annoying. In fact, he seems to be part of Toho's effort to try to sell their films to American audiences. Note that Raymond Burr's insertion into the original "Godzilla" was their only success. Myron Healey's god-awful turn in "Varan" was only slightly better than Dunham in "Dagora" and light years above Burr in "Godzilla 1985."
The one neat trick the film does pull off is having Dagora goes through various changes. First it's a space cell that destroys several communications satellites (because of the industrial diamonds used in their communications systems). Then, it's a virtual flurry of lights, like Aurora Borealis, that suck up coal like a vacuum cleaner. Smokestacks, trucks and other coal equipment gets taken up, too, only to fall back to earth with devastating results. Dagora then becomes a giant space jellyfish (although it's obviously a cartoon), then a series of glowing crystals.
The movie falls apart, as usual with Toho productions, with characters, acting, plot and a stupid ending. The dubbing is atrocious, mostly because Toho often had the actors film scenes again and phonetically mouth the English words so the dubbing would be easier (it obviously wasn't). The characters are not believable, especially Dunham's detective. The bad guys are cartoonish and one-dimensional (though its fun to them get their just desserts).
The military scenes are interesting. They use close-ups of artillery, including shots of guns being reloaded. They also use stock footage of real jets. The only problem, really, is that they show anti-aircraft guns shooting at Dagora in its jellyfish form and you see literally dozens of explosions in the sky around the monster. But, the guns on the ground aren't firing fast enough (it's simply not humanly possible to reload and shoot that fast) to account for it, so somebody in the special effects department went way overboard. At least, the military doesn't get the short end of the stick (i.e., getting stomped).
I don't want to give away the endings, but let's just say that it involves wasps.
Overall, it's not a good film. In my opinion, the whole diamond thief plotline detracts from the movie. However, the scenes where Dagora sucks up coal, then battles the military should be enough to provoke some interest.
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