Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

From Wikizilla, the kaiju encyclopedia
Image gallery for Frankenstein vs. Baragon
Credits for Frankenstein vs. Baragon
Frankenstein vs. Baragon soundtrack

Frankenstein vs. Baragon
The Japanese poster for Frankenstein vs. Baragon
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Frankenstein Against the Subterranean Monster (1965)
Flagicon United States.png Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Producer(s) Tomoyuki Tanaka, Reuben Bercovitch, Henry Saperstein, Samuel Arkoff
Written by Reuben Bercovitch[1], Kaoru Mabuchi,
Jerry Sohl[1]
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor TohoJP
American International PicturesUS[1]
Rating Not Rated
Box office ¥93,000,000[2]
Running time 90 minutesJP
(1 hour, 30 minutes)
87 minutesUS
(1 hour, 27 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
(46 votes)

Frankenstein vs. Baragon (フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣 (バラゴン),   Furankenshutain tai Baragon, lit. Frankenstein Against the Subterranean Monster)[note 1] is a 1965 tokusatsu kaiju film co-produced by Toho and UPA.[note 2] This film features a Japanese version of the Frankenstein Monster, who becomes giant-sized to fight the giant subterranean monster, Baragon. It was released to Japanese theaters on August 8, 1965 and to American theaters on July 8, 1966.


The prologue is set in World War II, circa 1945. Nazis break into the laboratory of Dr. Reisendorf and confiscate the heart of the Frankenstein Monster, on which he is busy experimenting. The Nazis travel by submarine to the Pacific. The Allied Forces then bomb their submarine, but not before the Nazis pass the heart (contained in a locked chest) to the Imperial Japanese Navy, who take it back to Hiroshima to be experimented on. But just as they are about to begin, Hiroshima is bombed by the Allied Force Enola Gay, and the heart is lost.

Fifteen years later, in 1960, a savage boy runs rampant in the streets of Hiroshima, catching and devouring small animals such as dogs and rabbits. This comes to the attention of American scientist Dr. James Bowen and his assistants Sueko Togami and Ken'ichiro Kawaji. A year later (1961), they investigate and find the boy hiding in a cave on a beach, where a mob of outraged villagers has almost caught him. While the strange boy catches media attention and is taken care of by the scientists, another astounding event evades the public's eye. Once the boy is taken to the hospital, it is discovered that he is caucasian and his body is building a strong resistance to radiation rather than getting sick from it.

The Former Naval Captain Kawai, who brought the Frankenstein heart to Japan in WWII, is working in an oil factory in Akita Prefecture, when a sudden earthquake shakes the factory and collapses a tower, beneath which he saw the ghastly face of a giant reptilian monster with a glowing horn.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bowen and the scientists find that the strange boy is growing due to intake of protein. Afraid of his strength, the scientists lock and chain the boy in a jail cell, and Sueko, who really cares for him, feeds him some protein food to sustain him. Meanwhile, Dr. Bowen is visited by Kawai, who tells him that the boy could have grown from the heart of the Frankenstein Monster, as the boy was seen in Hiroshima more than once before. At Bowen's advice, Dr. Kawaji confers with the aging Dr. Reisendorf in Frankfurt. Reisendorf tells Kawaji of the story of the Frankenstein Monster and its noted virtual immortality, due to the intake of protein. Reisendorf recommends cutting off the monster's arm or leg, speculating that a new one will grow back. When relating this to his fellow scientists upon his return to Japan, Sueko strongly objects to this method, fearing that nothing may grow back. Even when Bowen suggests that they wait a little longer to think it over, Kawaji tenaciously attempts to sever one of the now-gigantic monster's limbs. He is interrupted by a TV crew, whom Kawaji allows to film the monster, though they it enrage by shining bright studio lights at its face. The monster, heretofore known as "Frankenstein", breaks loose and is on the run from the Japanese police. He even has a tender encounter with Sueko on the balcony of her apartment before he has to run away.

While Frankenstein is on the run, he travels to many places, from Okayama (where he eats more animals) to Mount Ibuki, where his primitive childlike activities (throwing trees at birds and trying to trap a wild boar) end in disaster.

But unbeknownst to Bowen and the scientists, Baragon, the monster Kawai saw earlier, goes on a rampage. Tunneling under the earth, he pops out and ravages villages, eating people and animals and leaving destruction in his wake. People believe this is Frankenstein's doing, and the misunderstood monster is wrongly hunted down by the military, though not before narrowly escaping. Before Bowen and his assistants have no choice but to dismiss Frankenstein, Kawai returns to tell them that Frankenstein may not be responsible for the disasters; it could be the monster he saw in Akita, Baragon. He tries to convince the authorities, but to no avail. Kawaji still wishes the scientists luck in finding Frankenstein.

Bowen, Sueko, and Kawaji then form a search party and venture into the forest in which they believe Frankenstein is currently hiding. But Kawaji, to the shock of Bowen and Sueko, then proceeds to attempt to kill him, believing that Frankenstein could be dangerous by his very nature, and not even Sueko could possibly tame him. He intends to blind him with chemical grenades and capture him to recover his heart and brain. Kawaji presses on to find Frankenstein, and instead finds Baragon. Kawaji and Bowen try in vain to stop the monster with the grenades, but it is about to eat Sueko, until Frankenstein comes to the rescue. The cataclysmic battle between the two giant monsters then begins. After the fight, the area where the fight took place starts to trumble, and then both monsters are sucked into the earth.

In an alternate ending, after Baragon is defeated by Frankenstein, a giant octopus clambers out of the ocean and immediately starts attempting to fight Frankenstein. Frankenstein bravely fights against the monster, but the huge cephalopod is stronger, and drags Frankenstein below the surface, seemingly to his death.


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

  • Directed by   Ishiro Honda
  • Written by   Reuben Bercovitch, Kaoru Mabuchi, and Jerry Sohl
  • Produced by   Tomoyuki Tanaka, Reuben Bercovitch, Henry Saperstein, and Samuel Arkoff
  • Music by   Akira Ifukube
  • Cinematography by   Hajime Koizumi
  • Edited by   Ryohei Fuji
  • Production Design by   Takeo Kita
  • Assistant Director   Koji Kajita
  • Director of Special Effects   Eiji Tsuburaya
  • Assistant Director of Special Effects   Teruyoshi Nakano
  • Based on characters created by   Mary Shelley


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

Titan Productions English Dub

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

  • Lucy Martin   as   Dr. Sueko Togami
  • Larry Robinson   as   Captain Kawai
  • Kenneth Harvey   as   Military Adviser / Osaka Police Chief
  • Jack Curtis   as   Hiroshima Surgeon
  • Bret Morrison   as   Reporter
  • Jack Curtis   as   Radio Reporter



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


This idea for this film originated with Willis O'Brien, who pitched a film pitting King Kong against a giant version of Frankenstein's Monster. The idea was never adopted by Universal Pictures or RKO Pictures, so it was stolen by independent producer John Beck and pitched to Toho under the title King Kong vs. Prometheus. Toho agreed to produce a film using Beck's project, but decided to replace the Frankenstein/Prometheus creature with their own monster, Godzilla. The project ultimately became King Kong vs. Godzilla after Toho arranged a deal with RKO to use the character of Kong.

Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka had originally commissioned a film called Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor (フランケンシュタイン対ガス人間,   Furankenshutain tai Gasu Ningen), with a draft written by Kimura. This also follows up with the film The Human Vapor, as Mizuno seeks out a scientist named Gildor, who had successfully revived Frankenstein's Monster, in the hope that he can revive his beloved girlfriend Fujichiyo (who died at the end of said film). This was also supposed to be Toho's co-feature with the Japanese release of the film My Fair Lady.

When this idea was scrapped, Toho revived the idea of a giant Frankenstein for a sequel to King Kong vs. Godzilla called Frankenstein vs. Godzilla. In this draft, Godzilla would be discovered in an iceberg in the Bering Sea while a giant monster grows from the irradiated heart of Frankenstein's Monster. The JSDF lures both creatures to the forests near Mount Fuji in the hopes of Godzilla killing Frankenstein before he could begin to eat humans. Toho ultimately thought the idea made little sense and produced Mothra vs. Godzilla instead. However, Toho kept the Frankenstein vs. Godzilla screenplay and replaced Godzilla with the new monster Baragon, ultimately creating Frankenstein vs. Baragon. The finished film shares many similarities with the Frankenstein vs. Godzilla script, including the origin of the giant Frankenstein and the character of Dr. James Bowen.

Alternate Ending

There was also an alternate ending for the movie, in which, after defeating Baragon, instead of falling in to a fissure in the ground, Frankenstein is attacked by a Giant Octopus. During the fight Frankenstein is dragged into the sea by the Octopus, with the film closing on the same dialogue spoken by the main characters as in the original ending. According to Ishiro Honda, Henry Saperstein, the lead American producer on the film, was astonished by the Giant Octopus scenes from King Kong vs. Godzilla and wanted the Giant Octopus to be included in the American version of the film. Saperstein and UPA even promoted the film under the English title Frankenstein vs. the Giant Devilfish. The Giant Octopus sequence was shot specifically for the U.S. version, but when Saperstein was presented with it, he found it unsatisfactory and too abrupt and rejected it in favor of the original ending.[1] This alternate ending is often included in Toho's DVD releases of the film, and was previously accidentally aired on Japanese television, confusing many viewers who had seen the film in theaters. The Giant Octopus would go on to appear in this film's loose sequel, The War of the Gargantuas.


Main article: Frankenstein vs. Baragon/Gallery.


Main article: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Frankenstein Against the Subterranean Monster (Literal Japanese title)
  • Frankenstein Against Baragon (Alternate reading of Japanese title)
  • Frankenstein vs. Subterranean Monster Baragon (フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣バラゴン,   Furankenshutain tai Chitei Kaijū Baragon, Alternate Japanese title)
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World (United States)
  • Frankenstein vs. the Giant Devilfish (Early U.S. title)

Theatrical Releases

U.S. Release

American Frankenstein Conquers the World poster

Frankenstein vs. Baragon was released theatrically in the United States by American International Pictures under the title Frankenstein Conquers the World. AIP cut approximately three minutes of footage from the film and dubbed the dialogue to English through Titan Productions.</ref>[1] While Nick Adams' dialogue had been dubbed over for the Japanese version, it was preserved in the American cut. Two scenes involving Frankenstein's escape also contain alternative footage shot for this version, portraying Frankenstein as more violent and destructive. An alternate ending also shot specifically for this version featuring the Giant Octopus was rejected by UPA, and so the U.S. version ends the same way as the original Japanese cut.

Video Releases

Tokyo Shock DVD (2007)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (1.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Sadamasa Arikawa, deleted scenes (5 minutes), trailers
  • Notes: Includes the alternate ending in which Frankenstein battles the Giant Octopus. Out of print.

Toho Blu-ray (2017)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: theatrical and alternate ending viewable on main film through seamless branching, isolated score, audio commentary by Sadamasa Arikawa, theatrical trailer (HD), newsflash trailer (HD), deleted scenes (SD), presentation of Eiji Tsuburaya's shooting script (HD).


Japanese Frankenstein vs. Baragon newsflash trailer
Japanese Frankenstein vs. Baragon trailer
American Frankenstein Conquers the World trailer
American Frankenstein Conquers the World radio spot
German Frankenstein: The Horror with the Ape Face trailer
English visuals from the AIP theatrical version
Roger Corman hosts Frankenstein Conquers the World on AMC Monsterfest '99
AMC "Behind the Screen" segment


Main article: The War of the Gargantuas.

Toho produced a loose sequel to this film, The War of the Gargantuas, the following year in 1966. This film revolves around two monsters, Sanda and Gaira, who have regenerated from Frankenstein's severed flesh. Sanda, like Frankenstein, was raised by human scientists and became kind and gentle, while Gaira grew up to become a violent and savage man-eater. The War of the Gargantuas only loosely acknowledges the events of Frankenstein vs. Baragon, renaming and largely recasting the scientists from the previous film and moving their laboratory to Kyoto instead of Hiroshima. Dialogue and flashback sequences seem to place Sanda into the role of Frankenstein from the previous film, although Toho officially considers the film a direct continuation and maintains that Sanda was spawned from Frankenstein.


External Links


  1. The kanji 地底怪獣 is normally read as "Chitei Kaijū," meaning "Subterranean Monster." However, the furigana バラゴン attached to the kanji in the title indicates that in this case it is read as "Baragon."
  2. UPA is credited as "Henry G. Saperstein Enterprises" in the American release.


This is a list of references for Frankenstein vs. Baragon. 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]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Craig, Rob. American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 154. 2019. ISBN: 9781476666310.
  2. Steve Ryfle and Ed Godzizewski. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film. Wesleyan University Press. p. 226. 2017. ISBN: 9780819577412.


Showing 11 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.

You are not allowed to post comments.


Triceradon the 8th

4 months ago
Score 0
thanks les

Triceradon the 8th

5 months ago
Score 0
and the giant boar

Triceradon the 8th

5 months ago
Score 0
i heard angirus appears as a model in film but i cant find any pitures of it


5 months ago
Score 0

You can see it just behind Kumi Mizuno's head here:

FvB Anguirus maquette.png


7 months ago
Score 0
Giant Boar page when? I mean, the thing was the same size as the tanks in the woods. Lmfao


9 months ago
Score 0
I actually prefer the alternate ending.

Green Blob Thing

9 months ago
Score 1
I would if it were good and not pointless.


3 months ago
Score 0
Eh, I find both endings contrived (an earthquake just happens to happen right after the fight to tie up all loose ends... how convenient) so I would pick the one where he fights a Giant Octopus rather then just falling into a fissure.

The King of the Monsters

3 months ago
Score 0
I've always been under the impression that the fissure which swallows Frankenstein was triggered by Baragon's burrowing during the final battle which rendered the ground in the area unstable and caused it to finally split open.

Titan of Water

11 months ago
Score 0
I haven’t got to see this movie, but it looks good. No disrespect to the film, but how would Marry Shelly react to this?

Green Blob Thing

21 months ago
Score 0
I like how when given the chance to make an official Frankenstein movie, this is the movie Toho decides that they need to make. One of my favourite Toho movies!
Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Showa.png
Era Icon - Frankenstein.png
Era Icon - Baragon.png
Era Icon - Oodako.png