Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

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Image gallery for Terror of Mechagodzilla
Credits for Terror of Mechagodzilla
Terror of Mechagodzilla soundtrack


Godzilla Films
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Terror of Mechagodzilla
The Return of Godzilla
Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Terror of Mechagodzilla
Terror of Mechagodzilla
Alternate Titles
Flagicon Japan.png Mechagodzilla's Counterattack (1975)
Flagicon United States.png The Terror of Godzilla (1978)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Yukiko Takayama
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor TohoJP
Bob Conn EnterprisesUS
Rating GUS
Running Time 83 minutesJP
(1 hour, 23 minutes)
78 minutesUS
(1 hour, 18 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
4.38
(47 votes)

It has become even more enraged! It has even more powerful weapons! Mechagodzilla has been resurrected! Take the Earth! - Under the aliens' command, the new monster Titanosaurus causes great destruction throughout Japan! (さらに狂暴となって!さらに強力な武器を持って!メカゴジラがよみがえった!地球を奪え!―宇宙人の命令に新怪獣・チタノザウルスと日本中を大破壊!) „ 

— Tagline

Terror of Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラの逆襲,   Mekagojira no Gyakushū?, lit. Mechagodzilla's Counterattack) is a 1975 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the fifteenth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 15, 1975.[1]

Plot

Just one year after Godzilla's battle with Mechagodzilla, the INTERPOL submarine Akatsuki searches the ocean floor for the wreckage of Mechagodzilla. To the surprise of the sub's captain Kusakari, their scanner detects not a single trace of Space Titanium. As the submarine continues its fruitless search, a whirlpool forms seemingly out of nowhere and brings the Akatsuki to the surface. Soon, a pillar of water erupts from the ocean, and a colossal dinosaur surfaces before roaring and jumping onto the submarine. The creature drags the Akatsuki back to the ocean floor, then crushes it in its hands. The disaster is reported to INTERPOL, which brings in biologist Akira Ichinose to give his opinion on the tape recording salvaged from the sub. To everyone's shock, the tape contains audio of Kusakari exclaiming that he sees a giant dinosaur just before it cuts out. Furthermore, INTERPOL chief Tagawa reports that eyewitnesses saw flying saucers enter and leave the waters where the Akatsuki was destroyed. Agent Jiro Murakoshi is sent to a nearby oceanographic institute along with Ichinose to look into the existence of a giant dinosaur living under the sea. The head of the institute, Professor Ota, tells them about Shinzo Mafune, a brilliant marine biologist who worked at the institute 15 years ago. Mafune was researching ways to construct vast undersea ranches and scientifically control marine life before he claimed to have discovered a huge dinosaur living underwater, which he named Titanosaurus. Mafune said he would gain complete control over the dinosaur, which caused his colleagues to dismiss him as insane and cost him his scientific career. Mafune was fired from the institute, and retreated to his home at Manazuru. After hearing this story, Ichinose and Murakoshi travel to Mafune's home and ring the doorbell several times, receiving no answer. Finally a young woman opens the door and introduces herself as Katsura Mafune, Dr. Mafune's daughter. When the two men ask to speak with Dr. Mafune, she tells them that he died five years ago, and that she burned all of his notes after his death. She apologizes and tells the men she cannot help them, and shuts the door. Both Ichinose and Murakoshi are convinced that Katsura is hiding something as they depart.

Katsura approaches a mirror in her basement, which opens to reveal a secret underground laboratory. Inside, Dr. Mafune is alive and well and toasting with one of his financial backers, Tsuda, to the successful completion of his Titanosaurus control device. Katsura tells her father about the two men who came by, causing him to scoff and declare they came 15 years too late to ask for his opinion. He swears that he will soon unleash Titanosaurus on mankind, showing all those who mocked him that he was right all along and allowing him to have his long-awaited revenge on society. Tsuda tells Mafune that he and the rest of his organization have the perfect instrument for Mafune to complete his revenge, and brings Mafune and Katsura to Mount Amagi. There, he escorts them to a hidden base inside the mountain. There, Mafune witnesses Mechagodzilla being repaired, and realizes that his "financial backers" are actually the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens. Mafune is greeted by Mugal, the leader of the invasion force, who asks for Mafune's assistance. Mugal asks for Mafune to teach the aliens his control method, then they can unleash both the repaired Mechagodzilla 2 and Titanosaurus on Tokyo. Mafune agrees, and begins helping the aliens perfect Mechagodzilla's control device. Meanwhile, INTERPOL completes construction of the Akatsuki II, and prepares to launch the craft to search for Titanosaurus. Ichinose contacts Katsura and asks her to come along with them, saying it will help vindicate her father's reputation, but she begs him not to go. Ichinose ignores her pleas, and boards the Akatsuki II on its maiden voyage. Tsuda forces Katsura to unleash Titanosaurus against the sub, but before the dinosaur can destroy it, he is incapacitated by the sub's sonar. Titanosaurus writhes in agony, allowing the Akatsuki II to escape. After INTERPOL investigates the incident, they come to the conclusion that Titanosaurus cannot stand supersonic waves, and prepare to weaponize this weakness as a defense against Titanosaurus. Hoping to learn why Titanosaurus reacted the way he did, Katsura contacts Ichinose and gains his confidence by giving him some of her father's notebooks. Ichinose tells Katsura about the sonic wave oscillator they are constructing, and she reports this information to her father. Determined to prove Titanosaurus' strength, Mafune unleashes the dinosaur in Tokyo against Mugal's orders while Katsura and Mafune's butler sabotage the sonic wave oscillator. As Titanosaurus destroys the JSDF units attacking him, it seems Tokyo has no defense against the creature. Tsuda tells Mugal that Mafune could spoil their plans, but Mugal calmly says that Godzilla will arrive and fight Titanosaurus, leaving him too weak to stop Mechagodzilla. True to Mugal's prediction, Godzilla arrives in Tokyo and knocks Titanosaurus over with his atomic breath. The two monsters begin to fight, but Mafune deactivates the Titanosaurus controller after Katsura is shot by INTERPOL and falls off a cliff. Free from Mafune's control, Titanosaurus quickly retreats to the ocean, leaving Godzilla confused.

The Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens' surgeons recover Katsura's body and revive her by repairing the cybernetics they had installed inside her years before after she was injured in a lab accident. Mafune is grateful for the aliens again saving his daughter's life, and promises Mugal he will obey all his commands. When Ichinose learns of Katsura's apparent death, he refuses to believe that she sabotaged the sonic wave oscillator and travels to Mafune's home, where he witnesses a strange vehicle leave. Ichinose follows the car, but is ambushed by a group of armed men, who reveal they had baited him there. Thankfully, Ichinose is rescued by Murakoshi, who shoots several of the assailants and brings Ichinose back to INTERPOL HQ. After Tagawa orders his men to finish repairing the sonic wave oscillator within a day, Murakoshi tells him about the strange men who attacked him and Ichinose near Mt. Amagi. He notes that the silencers on their guns were not normal, and considers the possibility they were aliens. He then received permission to lead a group of men to Mt. Amagi to investigate further. Aware that their location will soon be discovered, Mugal tells Mafune that their base of operations will be moved to Mafune's lab, while the base at Mt. Amagi will self-destruct. He also reveals that the control device for Mechagodzilla has been installed inside Katsura, as Mafune himself claimed Mechagodzilla required living brain tissue to be truly perfect. Mafune is horrified at what he has let happen to his daughter, and breaks down sobbing next to her as she lays motionless on an operating table. When Murakoshi and his men arrive at Mt. Amagi, they witness Mechagodzilla take off from a hangar and find the base abandoned except for several human prisoners, all of whom have had their vocal cords removed. They soon realize the base is rigged to explode, and quickly free the prisoners and escape. Meanwhile, Ichinose returns to Mafune's home to investigate further, but is knocked out by some of the aliens' guards. He is brought inside Mafune's lab, where he comes face-to-face with Mafune himself. He begs Mafune and Katsura to stop, but Mafune says they have come too far to come back now. At Mugal's command, Katsura unleashes both Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus in Tokyo.

The monsters quickly annihilate entire districts of the city, leaving the JSDF helpless. As the destruction mounts, INTERPOL races to complete the sonic wave oscillator before Tokyo is wiped from existence. Godzilla arrives and attacks Titanosaurus, but finds himself outmatched once Mechagodzilla begins opening fire on him. Together, Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus overpower Godzilla and knock him unconscious, then bury him in a ravine. Titanosaurus victoriously jumps on Godzilla's earthen grave, but INTERPOL completes their sonic wave oscillator and loads it onto a helicopter. The chopper flies overhead and bombards Titanosaurus with supersonic waves, leaving him helpless. Mechagodzilla prepares to shoot down the chopper, but Godzilla bursts free from the ground and blasts him with his atomic breath. Godzilla engages Mechagodzilla in battle again while Titanosaurus is incapacitated, and quickly gains the upper hand over his doppelganger. Godzilla pummels Mechagodzilla, then tears its head off just as he did before, only to find that Mechagodzilla possesses a mechanical "brain" underneath his head. Mechagodzilla fires a powerful laser from this brain that knocks Godzilla to the ground. As Mechagodzilla repeatedly blasts Godzilla, INTERPOL assembles outside Mafune's lab. Mugal and several of his men leave to deal with them, while Ichinose breaks free of his binds and strangles Tsuda to death. Katsura grabs a gun and prepares to shoot Ichinose, but is shot in the arm by Murakoshi. Mugal returns to the room and opens fire on Murakoshi, then uses Mafune as a human shield when Murakoshi returns fire. Mafune is fatally wounded and Mugal escapes. Mafune's dying words are to scream Katsura's name, which frees her from the aliens' control and restores her humanity. As she lays in Ichinose's arms, Katsura is horrified at what she has done and begins to sob before she realizes Mechagodzilla's controller is still inside her. She begs Ichinose to destroy her, but he says he can't. Finally, Katsura grabs her gun and fatally shoots herself in the chest. Mechagodzilla immediately short-circuits, allowing Godzilla to grab the mechanical monster and throw him into the same ravine where he was buried moments ago. Godzilla fires his atomic breath into the ditch, causing Mechagodzilla to explode and destroying his mechanical double once and for all. Unaware that Titanosaurus is no longer under the aliens' control, Godzilla blasts Titanosaurus with his atomic breath, then grabs him. Mugal evades INTERPOL and boards one of the aliens' flying saucers before they try to escape. Godzilla sees the saucers fly overhead, and destroys them all with a single blast of his atomic breath, putting an end to the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens. Godzilla lets go of Titanosaurus then blasts him directly in the chest with his atomic breath, causing him to go limp and fall over a cliff into the ocean. Humanity celebrates as Titanosaurus strikes the water and leaves Godzilla victorious. Ichinose sets Katsura's body down on a hill as he watches Godzilla wade back out to sea. He is joined by Murakoshi and the other members of INTERPOL, who pay their respects to Katsura for her sacrifice. Godzilla lets out one more victorious roar before he finally heads out into the open ocean.

Staff

Main article: Terror of Mechagodzilla/Credits.

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

Cast

Main article: Terror of Mechagodzilla/Credits.

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

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Gallery

Main article: Terror of Mechagodzilla/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Terror of Mechagodzilla (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Mechagodzilla's Counterattack (Literal Japanese Title)
  • The Terror of Godzilla (United States)
  • Monsters from an Unknown Planet (England)
  • Monsters of the Lost Continent (Les mostres du continent perdu; France)
  • The Brood of the Devil (Die brut des Teufels; Germany)
  • Destroy Kong! The Earth is in Danger! (Distruggete Kong! La Terra è in pericolo!; Italy)
  • Fighting in Starfield (Fezada mücadele; Turkey)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - March 15, 1975[1]   [view poster]Japanese poster
  • United States - 1978   [view poster]poster
  • England   [view poster]English poster
  • France   [view poster]French poster
  • Germany   [view poster]German poster
  • Italy   [view poster]Italian poster
  • Poland   [view poster]Polish poster
  • Yugoslavia   [view poster]Yugoslav poster
  • Turkey   [view poster]Turkish poster
  • Greece   [view poster]Greek poster
  • Mexico   [view poster]Mexican poster

U.S. Release

American The Terror of Godzilla poster

Terror of Mechagodzilla was distributed theatrically in the United States by Bob Conn Enterprises in 1978, under the title The Terror of Godzilla. As had become custom for American releases of Godzilla films since Godzilla vs. Gigan, Bob Conn Enterprises simply used Toho's international English dub for the film rather than commission a new one. To ensure a G rating, several minutes of violence and nudity were cut from the film. This is most noticeable during the film's climax, as Dr. Mafune is abruptly shot off-camera during the gun battle between INTERPOL and the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens, which is itself greatly shortened. Katsura never turns her laser pistol on herself to shut down Mechagodzilla; the machine shorts out by itself shortly after she is shot in the shoulder by Jiro Murakoshi. An uncut version was released at the same time.[2]

That same year, UPA began to air the film on American television, using its international title, Terror of Mechagodzilla. The only deleted footage in this cut was the shot of Katsura's breasts. UPA's version of the film also added a prologue consisting of a narrated recap of the Showa series of Godzilla films over stock footage of the two other Godzilla films owned by the company, Invasion of Astro-Monster and All Monsters Attack, leading to a run time several minutes longer than the Japanese version. In the 1980's, UPA replaced their cut with one based on the heavily altered Bob Conn release, though the Terror of Mechagodzilla title was retained. Both UPA TV versions have since been released on VHS and DVD in the United States.

Box Office

In Japan, Terror of Mechagodzilla sold 970,000 tickets, the least in series history. Godzilla vs. Megalon is the only other Godzilla film to sell less than 1,000,000 tickets. Though Toho never formally put Godzilla on hiatus, with multiple projects developed over the following years, he did not star in another film until The Return of Godzilla in 1984.

Reception

Despite being considered a bomb at the Japanese box office, Terror of Mechagodzilla is often looked upon as a strong fan favorite. Fans praise this movie for its fun fight scenes, the return of series veterans like Ishiro Honda and Akira Ifukube, the darker tone compared to other Godzilla films from the 1970's, and interesting characters, like Dr. Mafune and Katsura.

Video Releases

Power Multimedia DVD (2000)

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (Mono), Mandarin (Mono)
  • Subtitles: Chinese (traditional and simplified)
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: Presents an unaltered 35mm transfer of the film's international version, albeit cropped to 1.33:1. Includes traditional and simplified Chinese subtitles. Out of print.

Simitar DVD (1998)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround)
  • Special Features: Simitar-produced trailers for the company's kaiju releases, art gallery, trivia game
  • Notes: Cropped 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Out of print. Uses the heavily edited UPA cut of the film.

Toho DVD (2002)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Sokei Tomioka and Yasuo Kurashiki, heatrical trailer, several photo galleries, interactive storybook, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla trailer, Ishiro Honda and Tomoko Ai biographies, interview with Kimi Honda, Ishiro Honda's wife (40 minutes), interview with Teruyoshi Nakano (30 minutes)

Classic Media DVD (2002)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee trailer
  • Notes: Cropped 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Out of print. Uses the heavily edited UPA cut of the film.

Madman DVD (2007)

  • Region: 4
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround), English (5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Terror of Mechagodzilla theatrical trailer and other Madman-produced trailers

Classic Media DVD (2008)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Audio commentary for the U.S. version by Keith Aiken and Bob Johnson, The Women of Godzilla featurette (11 minutes), image gallery
  • Notes: Uses the original UPA cut of the film. Read the details of the U.S. version's reconstruction here.

Videos

Trailers

Japanese Terror of Mechagodzilla trailer
American The Terror of Godzilla TV spot
Simitar Terror of Mechagodzilla VHS/DVD ad

Credits

Monsters from an Unknown Planet credits

Trivia

  • Yukiko Takayama is the first and only woman to write a Godzilla screenplay, although two women, Lindsey Beer and Cat Vasko, have been named members of the writers room for the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.
    • In her original scenario, the role of Titanosaurus was filled by two dinosaurs called Titans, who became violent only when their necks were entangled.[3] Her script also called for the total annihilation of Tokyo by Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla, who would enter the city through Tokyo Bay and target Shinagawa ward first. Budget constraints forced Toho to scale back the destruction.
  • This is the final Godzilla film to not mention Godzilla himself in its Japanese or international titles.
  • This is the final Godzilla film in which Godzilla is not attacked by Japanese, American, or international armed forces.
  • This was the last Godzilla film directed by Ishiro Honda.
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla was the last Toho-produced Godzilla film to be released in a month other than December until Shin Godzilla in 2016.
  • This was Akihiko Hirata's final appearance in a Godzilla film. Hirata was set to portray Doctor Hayashida in The Return of Godzilla, but became severely ill prior to the start of filming, and passed away prior to the film's release.
  • This was Tomoko Ai's film debut. She was previously a semi-regular in the TV series Ultraman Leo as a member of MAC.
  • This is the first Godzilla film to feature an original score by Akira Ifukube since 1968's Destroy All Monsters; although Ifukube's music had previously been used in 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan, it was recycled from previous scores.
  • This was the first Godzilla film to credit the monster suit actors' roles in an English language version.
  • Dr. Mafune's anatomical drawings in his lab are from Ultra series kaiju, specifically Kemular, Zaragas and Telesdon.
  • This film contains a rare shot of nudity in a Godzilla film: Katsura's breasts (a prosthetic) are exposed while alien surgeons operate on her lower heart area. This shot was removed from both American versions of the film.
  • The American theatrical poster for this film features King Caesar, from the previous film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, in place of Titanosaurus.

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Terror of Mechagodzilla. 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
Showa Mechagodzilla
Era Icon - Titanosaurus.png



Comments

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DoctorSuperGrantZilla

7 months ago
Score 0
I tend to suspect that it didn't do as well in the box office as it could have because first of all, Godzilla had a very childish reputation during the 1970s, and the Japanese version of this movie is very adult, so it must have been jarring, and secondly, it seems that The Godfather: Part II was in Japan in theaters at the same time Terror of Mechagodzilla was, and frankly they are both good movies, but The Godfather: Part II is the superior movie, so that's what most of the adults were watching.
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Garfzilla

14 months ago
Score 0
My opinion: This one was really great, it was also my first Godzilla film. It's good for a film around that time.
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Toa Hydros

14 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Terror of Mechagodzilla

A bit of a mixed bag for Godzilla's first cinematic send off, but this film is still a cut above most from the late Showa series.

The plot is a direct continuation of the last film, so there isn't much new material to work with considering the alien invasion plot was already played out. None of the new characters are particularly engaging either.

The monster scenes, though, are well done once again. Titanosaurus and MechaG's rampages have more explosions than a Bay film, and Goji's first appearance is freak'n awesome. The final battle between the three is one of the best in the series.

It's kind of a shame that this film marked the end of the Showa series. With the advent of these last two movies, the quality of the films seemed to be improving for the first time in many years. Who knows what might've been had Terror of Mechagodzilla been more successful.

As is, this is an uneven, but fun first send off for the Big G.