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This is one of the more original Toho productions out there, and it's
also one of the more frightening. The Green Gartantua is the bad one,
and he is only too happy to eat people whole whenever he gets the
chance. The classic seen in this movie is when the Green Gargantua
comes ashore near a hotel/apartment complex and tears the walls off
exposing people inside. Then he grabs one and pops them into this
mouth, chewing with gusto! To top off this great scene he *spits out*
the chewed clothes of the person he ate, sort of like a person would
spit out a cherry pit.
This movie really needs a re-release on DVD!
I am a huge Godzilla fan and Gamera fan I grew up with Godzilla and
Gamera. I have a;ways been a big monsters fan to begin with. I just
love seeing these awesome monsters just destroy cities and fighting
other monsters. I also like other monster films especially Toho's other
This monster film is one most exciting giant monster films ever in My opinion! The story is excellent! The Gargantuas are cool looking. I love it when they roar and run. The fights between the two monsters and the army is really good. The special effects are outstanding in My opinion. The acting by the film's human stars are also good. The music is great by Akira Ifukube! I really love this monsters film for many reasons and its arguably the best ever! If you love Godzilla, Gamera, and other giant monster film I strongly recommend that you do what I did and buy War of the Gargantuas today!
For monster lovers, this has to rank up there as one of Toho Studio's
greatest and most satisfying giant monster movies. For those looking
for it, there's plenty of nonstop monster mayhem and devastation on
tap. However, it's hard for me to decide which of the two versions I
prefer; the Japanese original (which calls our creatures
"Frankenstein's" and is a direct sequel to Toho's own FRANKENSTEIN VS
BARUGON, aka FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD) or the U.S. edition
(which christens the beasts "Garganutas" and works better as a separate
stand alone story). This may be a rare occasion where the American
rendition proves to be more entertaining, for a few reasons...
One grisly sequence shows the evil monster chewing a woman victim up like a piece of meat and spitting something out; in the Japanese version it's a bouquet of flowers, while in America it works more effectively as the girl's clothes.
Another quality I prefer in the U.S. edition is some of the music. Just works better for me during the action sequences of the monsters being fought off by the army as well as when they're beating each other up.
In the American film, Russ Tamblyn is especially funny to hear while looping his own embarrassed voice into English. And no matter which version you settle on, you'll still get the treat of hearing a female nightclub singer belting out that horrendous and long-vilified classic tune with hilarious lyrics that include "the words get stuck in my throat"! Worth watching for this alone! *** out of ****
This is certainly one of the better non-Godzilla kaijus. It has plenty of action and in some ways it has a love story within it. The character Akemi has a deep motherly affection for Sanda (the Brown Gargantua) and is willing to do anything to protect it from the wrath of the army who see him as nothing but a menace. In the meantime, Gaira (the Green Gargantua) is the true evil. He sees man as nothing but food and this brings him into conflict with his brother who is gentle in nature but results to violence as a last resort.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I ranked this movie so high because it's a must-see for anyone who
likes horrible movies. As Japanese monster movies go, this ones a
classic. Russ Tamblyn, five years after his bold and exuberant role as
"Riff", the leader of the Jets street gang in West Side Story, has been
down-graded as an actor by the time he takes the role of the intense
doctor in War of the Gargantuas. His total disgust at having to
compromise his earlier aspirations of stardom are clearly reflected in
his WOTG performance where every one of his lines seem spoken while
trying to stifle projectile vomiting. My guess is that the only reason
he doesn't break down in tears in front of the cameras while muttering
"Why me? Why me?" is because he didn't cash his paycheck from the Toho
producers before filming. For this reason alone, WOTG is an example of
Mr. Tamblyn's best acting.
This is just one aspect of why this movie is a gem. I first saw the film during a late night horror show in the 70's. The Green Gargantua (the bad guy in the movie) was perhaps the ugliest thing I had ever seen and the star of many nightmares for months afterward. He looks like a giant hockey player covered in green carpet and scales and sporting a face that's a cross between an angry Frankenstein and a cosmetic surgery addict (you know the ones I mean). Green Gargantua is unstoppable as he teases the unsuspecting citizens by periodically popping out of the ocean only long enough to run across the tarmac of Tokyo International Airport and munch on the occasional lounge singer before jumping back into the safety of Tokyo Bay. Can you imagine how much of an inconvenience this must have been for the air traffic controllers? I mean, it's hard to plan for that kind of thing.
As usual, mankind gets sick of being treated like Crunch'n'Munch and eventually lures G.G. into the countryside where they are hoping to destroy him by performing the gargantuan equivalent of throwing a toaster into a bathtub and carving him up with those handy-dandy masers (those giant flashlights on trailers that shoot lightning). Man, if only the Japanese would have had that technology 20 years earlier. The outcome of WWII would have been mighty different, I tell you. Anyway, G.G. gets torn up and Brown Gargantua (the good guy in the movie)finally shows up to save him. We see Brown Gargantua once earlier in the film as a baby when we discover that Russ Tamblyn's character (along with his assistant, the beautiful Akemi) used to be kind of like his Au Pair when the little bugger was just a Springer Spaniel-sized, milkshake-drinking squirrel monkey. B.G. is much bigger than G.G. (and comparatively more handsome by Gargantua standards) and is able to talk the Japanese army into stopping their assault on G.G. by waving his hand and yelling (B.G. is much more of a diplomat than his green flesh-eating brother).
The last act of the movie has B.G. breaking his leg while saving Akemi from a fall, then giving G.G. his walking papers (a tree to the face) after discovering all his new room-mate does is lay around the forest apartment all day eating up everything in the frig (aka, hikers and boaters). G.G. tears back to Tokyo (and I don't mean that slow, cocky saunter we get from other Japanese monsters, but an all-out sprint the likes you have never seen) while a limping B.G. pursues him (I don't know if it's to talk some sense into G.G. -- "Hey, eating people is BAD" -- or what, but it's a needed plot point for a dramatic ending). B.G. catches up to G.G. in Tokyo and they duke it out to a standstill (and you can't tell me B.G. wouldn't have mopped the floor with G.G. if his leg weren't broken). Russ Tamblyn's character and Akemi do their best to keep the armed forces of Tokyo from killing B.G. in the chaos, but are unsuccessful. Obviously, the military has caught wind that Russ Tamblyn is no longer the leader of the Jets street gang and has no authority over them. The two gargantuas continue to fight through the city and into the bay where, low-and-behold, a volcano has just decided to erupt and boil the two monsters as they flail away at each other. The ending shot is of the erupting volcano and the boiling bay accompanied by very sad music. I'm sure the music is designed to keep the audience from following their instinct to say "Yea, the Green Gargantua is getting boiled!", but instead, motivate them to say "Darn, the Brown Gargantua is getting boiled!". My eyes are getting misty just thinking about it.
So, there you go. Enjoy it for what it's worth -- a testament to the importance of more enlightened Gargantua conservation laws.
I saw this movie when it was in theaters in Queens, New York around 1968 and the promotional ad stated that the first 100 movie goers will receive a free pet monster. Well, my monster loving friends & myself were all over that. Turned out that the pet monster was a silly little rubbery goofy animal. Everyone loved them nonetheless! We all enjoyed the movie & it was billed as a second feature along with D.A.M. Destroy All Monsters! What a blast! War of the Gargantuas was definitely the better of the two flicks and every time I went to the beach after that kept hearing that eerie music and waited for the green gargantuan to rear his big ugly head out of the ocean. The ultimate battle between good (brown gargantuan) and evil (green gargantuan) as can best be done in Japanese monster fashion. Russ Tamblyn was popular at the time after appearing in West Side Story and Tom Thumb. I would say this was his best movie. I recommend it to any monster movie buff. MikeW
"War Of The Gargantuas" comes from my favorite era of Toho's kaiju flicks,
the 1960s, when the emphasis was relatively straightforward action and fun,
and thankfully no annoying little kids making friends with the monsters.
And this time, we have a monster in the Green Gargantua (Gaira) who is
really frightening and who eats people to boot (not even Godzilla ever went
that far). It left me unnerved the first time I saw it as a kid.
Like most kaiju films, the original Japanese version is much better than the later dubbed American version. Russ Tamblyn (generally okay but clearly bored and resentful of his sudden fall from the heights of "West Side Story" and "The Haunting") might have gotten his own voice back in the U.S version (the Japanese actor who dubs him in the original doesn't sound anything like him at all and in Toho's European market English dub they used another actor), but everything else about it is decidedly inferior. The dubbing is awful, and sections of Akira Ifukube's score are replaced with an endless, monotonous theme for the military that I think was first used in "Earth Versus The Flying Saucers." Cropped and faded, as existing American video prints are now, the film really looks cheap and silly and the flaws are magnified. The original Japanese version in widescreen format, has beautiful color and sound that immediately conjure the image of a stylish late 60s action flick with reasonably good FX for the time, and the results far more entertaining in the end. Also in the Japanese version, we learn that this movie is actually a sequel to "Frankenstein Conquers The World" since the monsters are referred to as "Frankensteins" rather than "Gargantuas" as they are in the dubbed version.
As for the infamous nightclub scene featuring ex-Fox starlet Kipp Hamilton's infamously bad song before she gets attacked (but contrary to what others say here, not eaten), even that somehow comes off better in the Japanese version. When you stop to think of it, the Japanese audiences had it better since they couldn't understand a word of those inane lyrics when they were watching! But what the heck, how many other bad songs did we suffer through in all those James Bond film knockoffs in the late 60s? ("Your Zowie Face" in "In Like Flint" anyone?) I prefer to write that off to the goofy spirit of the times. And "War Of The Gargantuas" is in the best tradition of the goofy spirit of fun 60s kaiju that remains a guilty pleasure to savor again and again in my book.
A fond and nostalgic personal memory, "War of the Gargantuas" was a welcome
treat in my family's living room (they had more console television sets back
then; am I getting old or what?), and is one of my favorite Japanese monster
movies. When they aired it, which was often, I'd get a chance to watch it
five times during that week, at 8:00pm on a KTLA (Los Angeles area Channel
5) Movie of the (whole) Week (I was just a kid then, and before anybody was
able to rent videos at Blockbuster).
Barebones Summary (without spoiling it for the inexperienced viewer):
A beautiful young female scientist, Akemi (pronounced uh-kay-mee '), does research on a docile, missing-link-like monster child -eventually called `The Brown One.' (There is a cute scene in which Akemi feeds it a chocolate bar, soon after it has played with children's toys). One day the small and hairy young creature escapes the laboratory and grows up alone in the forest. Some years later Akemi meets an American scientist, Paul Stewart, and you just know these two lovebirds are going to fall in love.
Meanwhile at Tokyo International, a huge green monster pops out of the ocean and proves everybody wrong when they say Airport food is lousy. The ugly sea titan sticks its hand in an office window, pulls out an even uglier cleaning lady and shoves it in his mouth. As it munches away and spits out the wrapping (clothes), the clouds overhead start to clear (Ouch, it hates the light!), so it peels-off down the runway and dive-bombs into the ocean.
Elsewhere that evening, aboard a luxury yacht, an American singer belts out a corny love ballad to her formal audience-`The words get stuck in my throat ' (And you just know someone--or something--will soon put a stop to her awful singing).
Before you know it, the behemoth brothers meet several times to resume their sibling rivalries by knocking the wind out of each other, smashing military vehicles of all shapes and sizes, and knocking over downtown buildings.
I believe WOTG offers considerably more than your usual Toho Studios/Japanese Monster Movie, and could do with a modern spin (provided the original plot is not much altered as to seem another film entirely). It certainly has its comedic moments, as already mentioned. There are infinite possibilities in remaking it. The Japanese are great at creating model tanks and realistic building models all that stuff. And the title creatures are scary looking Green' looks like a gargoyle without horns, and Brown' looks like a somewhat frightening, foreign version of Frankenstein's montster
This film was a standard feature in the early 70's on Chicago's Creature Features (WGN). The dubbed American story added a bit of corniness, and some changes to the script which hurt the feel of it. Years later I saw the original subtitled, and was not disappointed at all. One feature that stands out from all other kaiju features is this; the giant monsters ran in this film. In all other giant monster movies I've seen, the monsters are slowly lumbering giants. They gave you a chance to get away. Not these monsters, these monsters friggin' ran! How scary is that? Pretty scary actually. This is another one for the 30-40 somethings to put in the DVD player to release the childhood memories!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I finally bought the collector's edition of "Rodan" and "War of the Gargantuans". Thanks, Classic Media. Damn, what a good way to waste $25 bucks but the movies are so good it was totally worth it. The DVD is of good quality, although lacking the usual special features I was expecting. I was really hoping to hear the G-experts view on the two films but there is a nice hour-long documentary included. "Bringing Godzilla down to size" tells the complex story of Godzilla's rise to fame and tragic fall, yet soon return. "War of the Gargantuans", another Honda-flick, is a real treat, the unofficial sequel to "Frankenstein Conquers the World". With practically the same production team, the film is pretty damn good. Odako ( the giant octopus) is great in this movie. The last time I saw him was what, 62', back in "King Kong vs. Godzilla"? Sanda and Gailah are a nice break from the onslaught of reptilian and insect monsters, both looking nice and thankfully realistic. The "brother's" conflict is an interesting part of the story, and, like "Rodan", the human carnage really gives a more adult feeling while watching. We see some great action sequences, this movie starring the Maser tank, which will star in the exact same scene in "Godzilla vs. Megalon" thanks to horrendous stock-footage. Because of their "human" appearance and characteristics, the gargantuans can interact with the protagonist in a way a giant dinosaur, three-headed dragon, or giant moth just can't. This film is also one of the few to star an American actor, who fits in nicely. The music is dope, Ifukube delivering a nice and dark score. He even includes a spunky JSDF march, as he did in many of Honda's "Golden Age" movies, a nice edition. To be clear this American version was better than "Rodan"'s, but once again the score is heavily edited, not even including the JSDF theme at all! Either way, that annoying song at the nightclub is included, but seeing as Gailah kills the braud I'll let it go. As I watched it, one can't help but feel such disappointment with Godzilla. After "Invasion of Astro-Monster", the series went to total crap thanks to Jun Fukuda and the crappy scores. 1967, "War of the Gargantuans" was released, compared to "Son of Godzilla". Damn...... If Toho had simply let Honda continue doing the films without the sacrifice of the serious tone for a childish one that soon became played out; maybe Godzilla would've never even had to cut his Showa era short. Just a thought that was on my mind. Back to the 2-disc set, damn, good work Classic Media.
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