Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

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Soundtrack of Godzilla vs. Megalon


Godzilla Films
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Directed by Produced by
Jun Fukuda Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Music by
Jun Fukuda,
Takeshi Kimura,
Shinichi Sekizawa
Riichiro Manabe,
Masato Shimon
Distributed by Rating
TohoJP
Cinema SharesUS
GUS
Budget Box Office
¥???,???,??? ¥220,000,000
Running Time
81 minutesJP
(1 hour, 21 minutes)
78 minutesUS
(1 hour, 18 minutes) 
Designs Used
MegaroGoji, ShodaiJyagga, ShodaiMegaro, MegaroGigan, SoshingekiAngira

Rate this film!
3.24
(21 votes)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (ゴジラ対メガロ,   Gojira tai Megaro?, lit. Godzilla Against Megalon) is a 1973 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the thirteenth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 17, 1973.

Plot

The underground civilization Seatopia has been heavily affected by nuclear testing conducted by the surface nations of the world. The nation's people, the Seatopians, watch in horror as a nuclear test conducted near the Aleutian Islands critically damages Monster Island. Godzilla, Rodan and Anguirus had been resting on the island when a huge fissure generated by the test ripped the idyll in two. As Godzilla called out for his friends, Rodan and Anguirus fell down the growing chasm. The earthquake generated by the test that destroyed Monster Island also left the capital city of Seatopia in ruins. Naturally upset by this, they unleash their civilization's protector, Megalon, to the surface to destroy those who would — unknowingly or not — destroy them. The ground opens to reveal Megalon, who goes on a rampage outside of Tokyo. Meanwhile, two Seatopian Agents attempt to steal the newly constructed super-robot Jet Jaguar, which can be used to guide and direct Megalon. They also capture the robot's inventor, Goro Ibuki, his kid brother Rokuro and their friend Hiroshi Jinkawa. One of the Agents stays with Jinkawa and directs Jet Jaguar towards Megalon. The other agent takes Rokuro and Goro into a cargo container and bribes a pair of truckers to dump the container in the lake. Things get out of hand, though, and the Seatopian agent is thrown from the truck after threatining the two truckers with a pistol. Soon afterward, Jinkawa, Goro and Rokuro are reunited and try and convince the Military into using Jet Jaguar to re-direct Megalon, who is attacking Tokyo. Goro manages to regain control using his hand-held voice-command devise, and sends Jet Jaguar to Monster Island to bring Godzilla back to fight Megalon. An extended fight scene then takes place, with Godzilla and Jet Jaguar, the latter newly giant-sized and self-directed, fighting Megalon in a generic small field. The Seatopians, however, summon Gigan to aid Megalon. The film ends with Megalon and Gigan (who for the second time abandons an ally) defeated, Godzilla returning to Monster Island, and Jet Jaguar returning to his previous, human-sized state, reuniting with Goro, Rokuro and Jinkawa.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Jun Fukuda
  • Written by   Jun Fukuda, Takeshi Kimura, Shinichi Sekizawa
  • Produced by   Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Music by   Riichiro Manabe, Masato Shimon
  • Cinematography by   Yuzuru Aizawa
  • Edited by   Michiko Ikeda
  • Production Design by   Yoshifumi Honda
  • Assistant Directing by   Tsunesaburo Nishikawa
  • Special Effects by   Teruyoshi Nakano

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Katsuhiko Sasaki   as   Goro Ibuki
  • Yutaka Hayashi   as   Hiroshi Jinkawa
  • Hiroyuki Kawase   as   Rokuro Ibuki
  • Robert Dunham   as   Emperor Antonio
  • Kotaro Tomita   as   Head Seatopian Agent
  • Wolf Otsuki   as   Seatopian Agent
  • Gentaro Nakajima   as   Truck Driver
  • Sakyo Mikami   as   Truck Driver's Assistant
  • Kanta Mori   as   Japan Self Defense Force Commander

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Production

Godzilla vs. Megalon was originally planned as a non-Godzilla film, but instead a film for Jet Jaguar, which was the result of a contest Toho had for children in mid-to-late 1972. The winner of the contest was an elementary school student, who submitted the drawing of a robot called "Red Alone," which superficially resembled both Ultraman and Mazinger Z. The robot was renamed Jet Jaguar and was set to star in Jet Jaguar vs. Megalon, which pitted him against Megalon. However, after doing some screen tests and storyboards, Toho figured Jet Jaguar would not be able to carry the film on his own, either in screen appearance or marketing value, so they shut the project down during pre-production. Nearly a month later, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka called in screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa to revise the script to add Godzilla and Gigan. To make up for lost production time, the film was shot in a hasty three weeks. The production time totaled at nearly six months, from planning to finish.

Gallery

Main article: Godzilla vs. Megalon/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Godzilla vs. Megalon (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Gorgo and Superman Meet in Tokyo (Gorgo y Superman se citan en Tokio; Spain)
  • Planetary Titans (Titanes planetarios; Mexico)
  • Godzilla 1980 (Godzilla 1980; France; French Belgium)
  • King Kong: Demons from Outer Space (King Kong — Dämonen aus dem Weltall; Germany)
  • At the Borders of Reality (Ai confini della realtà; Italy)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - March 17, 1973   [view poster]Japanese poster
  • United States - 1976   [view poster]American poster
  • Spain   [view poster]Spanish poster
  • France   [view poster]French poster
  • Germany   [view poster]German poster
  • Italy   [view poster]Italian poster
  • Belgium   [view poster]Belgian poster
  • Mexico   [view poster]Mexican poster
  • Australia   [view poster]Australian poster

U.S. Release

American Godzilla vs. Megalon poster

In 1976, CinemaShares released a dubbed version of Godzilla vs. Megalon theatrically. Riding the coattails of Dino De Laurentiis' big-budget King Kong remake, poster art showed Godzilla and Megalon battling on top of the World Trade Center, despite the fact that no scenes were set in New York.

To obtain a G-rating from the MPAA, CinemaShares cut three minutes of footage, including:

  • The opening credits.
  • Rokuro being abducted by Seatopian agents, who pull him into their car.
  • Scenes in the container truck that showed pornographic material on the back wall (There was more dialogue in the scenes that added to the story, thus making these cut scenes somewhat confusing).
  • A fight scene between Hiroshi and the lead Seatopian agent.
  • A scene of the bearded Caucasian Seatopian agent being thrown down a cliff by the truck drivers.
  • Some scenes of bloody violence, when the toy jet (which Rokuro borrowed from the hobby shop) flies into the lead Seatopian agent's face, there was a brief shot of blood dripping from his face and when Hiroshi says "Get him!!!", Rokuro swings on the chained picture boxes in Goro's lab, and strikes the agent above the chest.
  • The Seatopian agent being crushed by a boulder hurled by Megalon.
  • Dialogue: "What the hell was that?" and "Damn you!"

With this being the second of the three CinemaShares Godzilla releases, the publicity factor was high. Along with the poster, buttons with one of the four kaiju's faces on them were released. A couple of weeks before the release of Godzilla vs. Megalon, CinemaShares had a comic book released to promote the film, but in the comic there are numerous errors present in the monster's names and locations and events. The theatrical trailer for the film also contain these errors, such as Jet Jaguar being called "Robotman."

Box Office

When Godzilla vs. Megalon was released on March 17, 1973 in Japan, it only sold 980,000 tickets, making it the first Godzilla film to sell less than a million tickets.

Reception

Godzilla vs. Megalon has been widely disliked among critics and fans. Common sources of criticism revolve around the film's extensive use of stock footage, the Godzilla suit used in the film, and the film's overall tone.

DVD and Blu-ray Releases

Power Multimedia DVD (Year Unknown)

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (Mono), Mandarin (Mono)
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: Presents an unaltered 16mm transfer of the film's international version, albeit cropped to 1.33:1. Includes traditional and simplified Chinese subtitles. Out of print.

Toho DVD (2004)

  • Region: 2
  • Audio: Japanese

Madman DVD (2006)

Media Blasters DVD/Blu-ray (2012/2014)

  • Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-ray)
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: None (standard version) OR audio commentary by Steve Ryfle and Stuart Galbraith IV, image gallery (13 minutes), interview with Ted Thomas (30 minutes), Toho trailer reel (37 minutes), Godzilla vs. Megalon TV spots and trailers, opening credits from the U.S. theatrical print ("Oops" Edition)
  • Notes: Difficulties in securing Toho's approval for the special features led to Media Blasters releasing Godzilla vs. Megalon without any.[1] However, the duplicating facility the company used accidentally pressed over 500 DVDs using the original digital files. Because this version of the release was an accident, the only way to tell if a given disc has the special features is to play it.

Videos

Trailers

Godzilla vs. Megalon Japanese trailer
Godzilla vs. Megalon American trailer
Godzilla vs. Megalon German trailer

Trivia

  • According to the DVD commentary for this film by Steve Ryfle and Stuart Galbraith IV, the nuclear detonation at the beginning of the film may be a reference to Cannikin, a test of a 5-megaton hydrogen bomb conducted on the island of Amchitka in the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska on November 6, 1971. It was the American largest underground nuclear test.
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon took only three weeks to film.
  • There are no female characters in this entire film, except for the Seatopian dancers.
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon received a number of strange titles overseas, including "Gorgo y Superman se citan en Tokio," literally meaning "Gorgo and Superman Meet in Tokyo" for the Spanish release, and "King Kong - Dämonen aus dem Weltall", literally meaning "King Kong - Demons From Outer Space" for the German release.
  • For the German release of this film, Jet Jaguar was renamed to "King Kong." However, there is no connection to the real King Kong beyond his name, and in contrary to a widespread misconception, he is not said to be a giant ape wearing a robot suit in the dub.
  • According to production stills, in one scene, where Godzilla was meant to beat Gigan and Megalon with a tree, he was going to have a telephone pole in his mouth. 
  • When Megalon attacks fighter jets that are firing at him, stock footage of Gigan's claws from the previous film are used.
  • The scene where Megalon attacks Tokyo is almost entirely done with stock footage. The only original shots that weren't taken from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster or Godzilla vs. Gigan are close-up shots of Megalon.
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon was released at the Spring Toho Champion Film Festival on March 17, 1973 alongside a film called Prominent Youth about a boy's soccer team and an animated film called Panda! Go Panda!: The Rainy Day Circus.

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla vs. Megalon. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Showa.png
Movie
Era Icon - Godzilla.png
Era Icon - Jet Jaguar.png
Era Icon - Megalon.png
Era Icon - Gigan.png
Era Icon - Anguirus.png



Comments

Showing 7 comments. Remember to follow the civility guidelines when commenting.

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avatar

Garfzilla

4 months ago
Score 0
This is the thing I cheer myself up with
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Deathrock9

4 months ago
Score 0
I cheer myself up with Godzilla: Final Wars.
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CdrWikizilla

18 days ago
Score 0
I cheer myself up with both
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Garfzilla

5 months ago
Score 0
My opinion: This film is far from a masterpiece, but it's sill my favourite due to it's goofy vibe and cool monsters
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Toa Hydros

5 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Godzilla vs Megalon

Oh, how I adore this movie. Godzilla vs Megalon is often looked down upon for its cheesiness, but it thats the reason I love it: it's cheesy in all the right ways, like good old fashioned superhero story. The tone of the film is just off-the-wall insanity (though not to the same extent as Smog Monster).

The plot is hardly new; in a way it's just a variation of the worn out monster-controlled-by-alien story, just involving beings from beneath the earth as opposed to beyond it. The human/Seatopian characters aren't very interesting, though they're not overly annoying either. These scenes are better tolerated with the heckling of the cast of MST3K.

The monster scenes are the most entertaining element of the film, and boy are they entertaining... You have Megalon, who is both goofy and badass at the same time; Jet Jaguar, who is just plain goofy; Godzilla's new design is a welcome change from the suit that had been used in the previous several films, and Gigan's return is welcome. The fight scenes are just pure cheesy goodness; from Megalon trashing the city via stock footage to Godzilla's legendary tail slide dropkick. You could tell they were having a ball making this.

Overall, if you don't like the goofy side of Godzilla, or have an aversion to stock footage and implausible fight scenes, you probably won't like this one. But if you're looking for a Godzilla equivalent to, say, the Adam West Batman show, look no further.
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Deathrock9

7 months ago
Score 0
People say the tail slide is the best thing about this movie. In my opinion, the best part is Godzilla and Jet Jaguar's escape from the ring of fire. Godzilla grabs on to Jet Jaguar's back and they fly to safety together! It's hilarious!
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CdrWikizilla

18 days ago
Score 0
lol