Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

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Godzilla Films
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Gigan
The Japanese poster for Godzilla vs. Gigan
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Earth Attack Command: Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
Flagicon United States.png Godzilla on Monster Island (1977)
See alternate titles
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Producer(s) Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Kaoru Mabuchi, Shinichi Sekizawa
Music by Kunio Miyauchi, Susumu Ishikawa
Distributor TohoJP
Cinema SharesUS
Rating GUS, 1977
PGUS, 2004
Running time 89 minutesJP
(1 hour, 29 minutes)
88 minutesUS
(1 hour, 28 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
3.65
(118 votes)

Defeat the evil space monsters! You can protect the Earth, Godzilla! (宇宙のわるもの怪獣をやっつけろ!ゴジラがんばれ地球をまもれ!)
„ 

— Japanese tagline

The Entire World Gripped By Terror!
„ 

— International tagline

Space monsters from beyond the stars... at war with Godzilla for the Earth!
„ 

— American tagline

Godzilla vs. Gigan (地球攻撃命令 ゴジラ対ガイガン,   Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei Gojira tai Gaigan, lit. Earth Attack Command: Godzilla Against Gigan) is a 1972 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the twelveth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 12, 1972.[1]

Plot

Freelance manga artist Gengo Kotaka applies for and gets a job as a designer for Tokyo's World Children's Land, a theme park whose key attraction is a life size replica of Godzilla dubbed Godzilla Tower. Right away Gengo notices several peculiar things about his employers. His boss, Kubota, obsesses over world peace despite hiring Gengo to design new monsters for the park. According to Kubota, it's the plan of their organization to create full scale models of the monsters on Monster Island before ultimately destroying it and its inhabitants. The organization's Chairman is a 17-year old boy named Fumio Sudo; when Gengo first meets him Sudo is nonchalantly charting interstellar coordinates, including the orbit of the M Space Hunter Nebula.

On his way to the office one day, Gengo bumps into a young woman. She scrambles off in a hurry but leaves behind a roll of magnetic tape which Gengo subsequently hides from Kubota and other pursuers. Gengo learns from the Chairman that this girl is an "enemy of peace" who's scheming to foil the park's plans. Later that night, Gengo is stopped by the young woman. When Gengo refuses to return the tape to her, her companion holds him up with a corncob. Believing it to be a gun, Gengo faints. He awakens at home with the two bandits taking care of him. As it turns out, they are really Machiko Shima and Shosaku Takasugi. Machiko's interest in Children's Land stems from the disappearance of her brother Takashi, a computer technician for the organization. The tape, she believes, might hold the key to his whereabouts. Gengo determines the duo is telling the truth and he decides to snoop around the Godzilla Tower for clues.

Gengo manages to find Shima locked in a room in the Tower and briefly contacts him but in doing so he arouses suspicion from Kubota. The trio decides to investigate the park's origins as well as the histories of the Chairman and Kubota. Meanwhile, they play the stolen tape on Gengo's reel-to-reel player but it produces only unintelligible electronic noises. The signal is picked up by the Tower's computers; the Chairman orders a change of the "Action Signal Tapes." The signal is also heard by Godzilla and Anguirus on Monster Island. Godzilla, realizing the potential danger, orders Anguirus to Japan for reconnaissance.

During their investigation, Gengo and Shosaku discover that both Sudo and Kubota had apparently died exactly one year prior in a mountain climbing accident. The identities of the deceased are confirmed when Gengo examines a photograph of them. They are physically identical to his bosses. Anguirus, meanwhile, is repelled from Japan by the JSDF.

Cigarettes given to Gengo by Kubota allows Children's Land personnel to track Gengo to his apartment where he's meeting with Shosaku and Machiko. The intruders are driven off by Gengo's girlfriend Tomoko Tomoe, a black belt in karate. The group is turned away from the police who don't believe their suspicions so they hatch a plan to break into the Tower and sneak Takashi out under cover of night. The plan ultimately backfires and Gengo and Tomoko are captured. Kubota reveals that the Children's Land staff are aliens from the M Space Hunter Nebula and that their ultimate goal is to take over the Earth. Godzilla Tower was built to kill the real Godzilla, but the aliens are using their tapes to command the space monsters Gigan and King Ghidorah to level Tokyo. The earthlings' lives are spared so that their bodies can be used as "uniforms" for the alien invaders who are nothing more than giant sentient cockroaches.

Godzilla and Anguirus depart Monster Island to combat the invasion. The space monsters arrive in Tokyo first and begin laying waste to the city. While the aliens are busy controlling the monsters, Shosaku and Machiko send a weather balloon up the side of the Tower to allow the captive humans to escape. After observing that the aliens are incapable of diverting from their taped plans, Gengo and Takashi enlist the aid of the JSDF to infiltrate the Tower.

The defending Earth monsters arrive in Tokyo Bay and immediately engage the space monsters in battle. Gigan proves to be a savage opponent for the King of the Monsters and successfully uses an aerial buzzsaw attack to critically injure Godzilla. Gigan's attacks put Godzilla in range of the Godzilla Tower's laser beams, which prove immensely effective against the real Godzilla. Anguirus too is injured by Gigan's saw.

Gengo quickly draws a life size sketch of his group which the JSDF uses to hide several crates of TNT in the Tower's elevator. The elevator reaches the top floor and the aliens, not realizing the trap, shoot the crates. The resulting explosion destroys the Tower and breaks the control over the space monsters, leaving them disorganised and confused. Gigan comes to his senses first and pummels the weakened Godzilla; together with King Ghidorah, the monsters push Godzilla into the remains of the Tower. But in an instant Godzilla's strength returns and the tide of the battle quickly turns in favor of the Earth monsters. Their counterattack separates the alien monsters and Godzilla uses his atomic breath to keep Gigan out of the sky. With certain defeat approaching and no more orders to follow, the alien monsters retreat to space. Godzilla and Anguirus return to Monster Island to the cheers of Gengo and his friends.

Staff

Main article: Godzilla vs. Gigan/Credits.

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

Cast

Main article: Godzilla vs. Gigan/Credits.

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

International English Dub

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

  • Linda Masson   as   Tomoko Tomoe
  • Michael Kaye   as   Shosaku Takasugi / Editor of Comics Magazine / Nebula M Henchman / Police Officer
  • Ted Thomas   as   Head of World Children's Land Kubota / Godzilla / Priest / Radio Announcer
  • Chris Hilton   as   Chairman Fumio Sudo


Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Gallery

Main article: Godzilla vs. Gigan/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Godzilla vs. Gigan (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Earth Attack Command: Godzilla vs. Gigan (literal Japanese title)
  • Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah: Earth Attack Command (ゴジラ対キングギドラ 地球攻撃命令,   Gojira tai Kingu Gidora Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei, early Japanese title)[2]
  • Godzilla on Monster Island (United States)
  • War of the Monsters (England)
  • Galien, the Monster of the Galaxies Attacks the Earth (Galien, el monstruo de las galaxias ataca la Tierra; Spain)
  • Godzilla Against Gigan (Godzilla contra Gigan; Mexico; Godzilla kontra Gigan; Poland)
  • Earth Objective: Mission Apocalypse (Objectif Terre: Mission Apocalypse; France)
  • Frankenstein's Hell Brood (Frankensteins Höllenbrut; Germany)
  • Godzilla Versus the Giants (Godzilla contro i giganti; Italy)
  • The Planet of Godzilla (La planète de Godzilla; French Belgium; De planeet van Godzilla; Dutch Belgium)
  • Godzilla Against the Giants (Godzilla devlere karsi; Turkey)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - March 12, 1972[1]   [view poster]Japanese poster
  • United States - 1977   [view poster]American poster
  • France - 1973   [view poster]French poster
  • Germany - 1973   [view poster]German poster
  • Italy - 1973   [view poster]Italian poster
  • Belgium - 1973   [view poster]Belgian poster
  • Poland - 1973   [view poster]Polish poster
  • England   [view poster]English poster
  • Spain   [view poster]poster

U.S. Release

American Godzilla on Monster Island poster

In March 1975, the Hong Kong-dubbed international version of Godzilla vs. Gigan played at the Toho Theatre in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1977, Cinema Shares released an edited version of the international English print of Godzilla vs. Gigan throughout the U.S. as Godzilla on Monster Island, although only about a minute of the film actually takes place on Monster Island. The company made several cuts to the international version to obtain a G-rating from the MPAA:

  • The title card reads "Godzilla on Monster Island" and the laser beam effect from the Japanese credits sequence is gone.
  • Gengo calls Tomoko "a hard bitch" under his breath. Cinema Shares muted the entire soundtrack when the word "bitch" is muttered.
  • Two scenes of Godzilla bleeding from Gigan's attacks are trimmed. The scene where Gigan cuts Anguirus in his snout with his abdominal saw is also edited out. However, the scenes afterwards, despite having Godzilla and Anguirus covered in blood from their wounds, were unchanged.
  • While Godzilla and Anguirus swim away at the end of the movie, Godzilla turns and blasts the camera with his radioactive breath, lifted from the opening of the film. The energy beam fills the camera, over which the words "THE END" are superimposed.
  • Perhaps the most significant change in the English-language edit of the film occurs when Godzilla and Anguirus talk. In the original Japanese version, speech bubbles appear out of the monsters' mouths and display their dialogue. In the international version, voice actor Ted Thomas, the producer of the English-language soundtrack, recorded actual English dialogue for the scene, while the speech bubbles were removed. This alteration was retained in Cinema Shares' version of the film.

Godzilla on Monster Island was frequently shown in television syndication throughout the 80's, and it aired several times on the Sci-Fi Channel before being replaced by the widescreen international version in 2002. In 1988, New World Pictures picked up the home video rights to Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Toho provided New World Video with prints of the international versions, now under their official international titles. The international English dub track was retained, but both films were now restored to their full length. These versions were subsequently re-released on video in 1992 by Starmaker Video, in 1997 by Anchor Bay and in 2004 by TriStar Pictures. The TriStar DVDs feature newly remastered prints of Toho's original international versions along with the original Japanese audio. Kraken Releasing also released Godzilla vs. Gigan, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep and Godzilla vs. Hedorah on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014. The versions of the films included in these releases are identical to those from the TriStar DVDs. Because these DVDs and Blu-rays use the international prints of the film, Godzilla and Anguirus' speech bubbles are not present even in the Japanese audio track.

Box Office

When Godzilla vs. Gigan was released to Japanese theaters on March 12, 1972, it received an attendance of 1,780,000.

Reception

This movie is often criticized due to its slow pacing, heavy use of stock footage, and an inconsistent tone. Many fans though enjoy the monster tag team battles, stock use of Akira Ifukube's music, the introduction of Gigan and the return of King Ghidorah and Anguirus.

Video Releases

Power Multimedia DVD (1999)

  • 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.

Cine Plus DVD (2001)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: German (2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Special Features: None

Toho DVD (2004)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Shinji Higuchi and Kenji Konuta, theatrical trailer, image gallery, "Godzilla March" sing-along

TriStar Pictures DVD (2004)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Special Features: Trailers
  • Notes: Uses a single video track with English titles and credits, leaving out Anguirus and Godzilla's speech bubbles. Out of print.

Madman DVD (2006)

Kraken Releasing DVD/Blu-ray (2014)

  • Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-ray)
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Japanese trailer
  • Notes: Uses a single video track with English titles and credits, leaving out Anguirus and Godzilla's speech bubbles. Subtitles alternate between translating the Japanese dialogue and following the English dub, while a second subtitle option only translates on-screen text.

Toho Blu-ray (2014)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 LPCM, 5.1 DTS-HD MA)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Shinji Higuchi and Kenji Konuta, "The Man who Made Godzilla Tower: Nobuyuki Yasumaru" featurette (20 minutes), conversation between Masaaki Tezuka and Yuriko Hishimi (40 minutes), theatrical trailer, scans of the theatrical program, "Godzilla March" sing-along

The Criterion Collection Blu-ray (2019) [Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975]

  • Region: A/1 or B/2
  • Discs: 8
  • Audio: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: All bonus features on Criterion's Godzilla Blu-ray, 1990 Ishiro Honda interview by Yoshimitsu Banno, interview with director Alex Cox, interviews with actors Bin Furuya and Tsugutoshi Komada, 2011 interview with critic Tadao Sato, unused effects sequences from Toho releases including Destroy All Monsters, trailers, illustrated hardcover book with an essay by Steve Ryfle and liner notes on each film by Ed Godziszewski[3]
  • Notes: Uses a new English subtitle translation. To be released on October 29, 2019. Sony will distribute the Region B/2 version of the set in the United Kingdom on November 25.

Videos

Trailers

Godzilla vs. Gigan Japanese trailer
Godzilla on Monster Island American TV spot
Godzilla on Monster Island Canadian video trailer
1997 Sci-Fi Channel bumper

Trivia

  • This film's score is composed almost entirely of stock music from previous scores composed by Akira Ifukube. A new song, "Godzilla March," composed by Kunio Miyauchi and sung by Susumu Ishikawa, is played over the end credits.
  • This was Haruo Nakajima's final time playing Godzilla, a role he had played since 1954.
  • Anguirus bleeds after being sliced in the face by Gigan's buzzsaw.
    Gigan is the first monster to make Godzilla visibly bleed. The previous special effects director for the Godzilla series, Eiji Tsuburaya, had been extremely opposed to having the monsters bleed in the films, as he did not wish for the series' younger viewers to see such graphic images. After Tsuburaya's death, Teruyoshi Nakano took over as the head of the special effects department, and many of the Godzilla films he worked on, including Godzilla vs. Gigan, included scenes of monster bloodshed.
  • This is the second time Anguirus visibly bleeds in a film. The first is in Godzilla Raids Again when Godzilla bites down on Anguirus' throat. The third instance of Anguirus bleeding occurs in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla when Fake Godzilla breaks Anguirus' jaw.
  • Due to the reduced budget for this film, special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano used stock footage from previous Godzilla films, as well as some other Toho sci-fi films, for many of the special effects sequences. Clips from the Godzilla films Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Destroy All Monsters, and Godzilla vs. Hedorah, as well as Rodan and The War of the Gargantuas, can be seen in this film.
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan is one of three Godzilla movies in which the viewer can understand what the monsters are saying. The other two are Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, where the monsters' dialogue is translated by the Shobijin, and All Monsters Attack, where Minilla speaks inside of Ichiro's dreams.
  • In the Japanese version of Godzilla vs. Gigan Godzilla and Anguirus communicate through distorted roars and word bubbles. In the English dub, the word bubbles are replaced by garbled speech, in which Axis International founder Ted Thomas voices Godzilla. The monsters' English-language dialogue is as follows:
Scene One - Monster Island
Godzilla: "Hey, Angilas!"
Anguirus: "What do you want?"
Godzilla: "Somethin' funny's going on, you better check!"
Anguirus: "Oh, yeah!"
Godzilla: (as Anguirus departs) "Hurry up!"
Scene Two - Pacific Ocean
Godzilla: "Hey, Angilas, come on! There's a lot of trouble ahead. That way!"
Anguirus: "Okay!"
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan was screened at the Spring Toho Champion Film Festival as the main feature alongside theatrical releases of episode 29 of The Return of Ultraman titled Jiro-Kun Rides a Monster and episode 1 of Mirrorman just titled Mirrorman, as well various cartoons.
  • An illustration of several kaiju from the Ultra Series can be seen posted on the wall in the manga publisher's office at the beginning of the film.[4]

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla vs. Gigan. 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]

Comments

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avatar

ShodaiMeesmothLarva

10 months ago
Score 0
Yeah, I remember Mothra appearing while on the film's intro showing Monster Island, but where's Gaira? I don't remember him appearing even on a single scene as I have watched this film multiple times on its International version. Am I missing something?
avatar

Astounding Beyond Belief

10 months ago
Score 0
When Gigan runs behind some trees to avoid the Maser beams, it's really stock footage of Gaira.
avatar

Lamango

21 months ago
Score 0
Who removed my trivia about the goof? You can even see the stage hand's hand in the bleeding anguirus picture.
avatar

Philippe Lemay

26 months ago
Score 0

This movie is a guilty pleasure for me. I used to watch it on local theaters in Belgium (similar to your 42nd Street theaters)back in 1974/1975. It was my second Godzilla movie and you couldn't buy your first (and expensive) vcr in late 70's/early 80's. We hadn't magazines like Famous Monsters at all and I didn't know at all about stock footages at the time.

I remember thinking that it took a loooong time to see the rampage and the kaiju fights. I feared for our big G when Gigan made him bleed.

Now I see its cons and it goes farter than the stock-shots and the silly human characters. I noticed that when Angilas comes ashore before being chased by the laser cannon, he sometimes roars with his mouth closed.

But as I first said, it's a guilty pleasure and I'm still trying to don't laugh when the two main cockroaches die.
avatar

Titanollante

31 months ago
Score 0
Is Mothra stock footage in this movie erroneous? The Mothra page says it is.
avatar

The King of the Monsters

31 months ago
Score 0
She has an intentional and erroneous stock footage appearance in this film. She is first shown living on Monster Island, and later accidentally appears in the background behind Godzilla during the final battle.
avatar

Green Blob Thing

31 months ago
Score 1
And Gaira erroneously appears in stock footage too? The reuse of stock footage in this film must have been pretty bad.
avatar

Toa Hydros

37 months ago
Score 1

My Thoughts: Godzilla vs Gigan

After Godzilla's Revenge, I tend to view this as the weakest of the series. The human and alien characters are a bore, the plot is tired and uninspired, and the monster scenes are bogged down by stock footage and other more... baffling decisions, like making Godzilla and Anguirus TALK! FREAK'N TALK!!!! Its not as bizarre as some of the stuff in Smog Monster, but it's still plenty strange, even for a 70's kaiju movie.

One positive aspect of the film, though, is the introduction of Gigan, one of the most unique and badass kaiju ever. King Ghidorah also makes a comeback in this film, though as I said, this is mostly realized via stock footage.

In the end, a new monster and some goofy scenes make this one worth the odd viewing, but it is still one of the weakest installments in the franchise.
avatar

KeizerGhidorah

28 months ago
Score 0
I heard that the monsters don't actually talk in the movie, the monsters just roar like normal, and the "talking" is actually just a voice-acted translation of what the monsters are saying to each other. That's just what a friend told me, not sure if it's true or not.
avatar

Green Blob Thing

28 months ago
Score 0
The speaking is present in the English dub whereas it's just done with on-screen speech bubbles in the Japanese version.
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