Aliens intend to take over the planet and, just in case Godzilla tries to interfere, have built a mechanical version of him to put an end to his interference. The Earth humans summon the legendary King Seesar to assist Godzilla in the battle. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
The only Japanese Godzilla movie that saw a release in Hungary. It had a limited run in cinemas in 1989, but was met with unfavorable reception and was quickly forgotten, so most people believed Roland Emmerich's American Godzilla (1998) to be the first Godzilla flick. See more »
When the alien henchmen revert back to their ape-like forms, the entire screen freezes while the transformation lasts, including other people in the shot. There is an obvious crossfade effect, during which the "frozen" people slightly change position. See more »
[the fake Godzilla, Mechagodzilla in disguise, strides ominously around the Mount Fuji countryside, as Keisuke, Wagura, and Saeko watch on TV]
When a black mountain appears above the clouds, a monster will arrive and try to destroy the world. The ancient prophecy is coming true.
I would never have guessed... that the monster could be Godzilla!
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Definitely the best made between the original movie and Godzilla 1984 (both of which are superior to this one).
Of course, it leaves a few things unexplained. For instance, if you're going to make a giant robot fighting machine, why shape it like Godzilla, in the first place? Not to put the Big Guy down, but he doesn't exactly have the most streamlined or efficient body design. The aliens' reason (disguise it as Godzilla to confuse people) seems a little thin, to me. What's the advantage to them in letting people think Godzilla's on the rampage, instead of just going all-out and attacking without a disguise?
Secondly, this was one of the series that used the regrettable 'install Godzilla in a piece of scenery' schtick, instead of just having him come roaring up out of the sea. I was willing to forgive this in King Kong vs. Godzilla, since discovering Godzilla in an iceberg was proper continuity from the end of Godzilla Raids Again. Finding Godzilla buried and sleeping under a mountain was a pretty far-fetched premise in Godzilla vs Ebirah. But even that was more believable than having Godzilla emerge from a warehouse!
That having been said, the good parts outnumber the bad. The soundtrack, with it's rocking, Stan-Kentonesque big-band theme for MechaGodzilla, is a great updating from the Ifukube scores which were just being re-used, time after time in most Godzilla movies. The song Ms. Moonface sings to awaken King Caesar is forgettable, but not so awful that it's hard to endure. It's preferable to the Minitwits' Mothra line-dance song that we heard so many times.
King Caesar, in his only performance (he was even cut from the flashback scenes in the sequel to this film) proves a worthy ally for Godzilla. He may not be an all-powerful titan, but there's no quit in him. Basing a monster design on a temple guardian dog was a far better idea, in my opinion, than making a monster out of a roach. Mechagodzilla's design is equally good, though I question the necessity of putting a Superman-like 'M' on his chest plate, and you can easily see the grating in his neck where the suit actor's eyes are.
The movie contains the requisite accidental goofiness, like the 'prophecy' which is repeated about a dozen different ways, and the Professor's solid-metal pipe, which must weigh about five pounds. This is a Godzilla flick, though. It's entertainment, not art.
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