Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

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Godzilla Films
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Godzilla vs. Megalon
See alternate titles
The Japanese poster for Godzilla vs. Megalon
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Producer(s) Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Jun Fukuda, Kaoru Mabuchi,
Shinichi Sekizawa
Music by Riichiro Manabe, Masato Shimon
Distributor TohoJP
Cinema SharesUS
Rating GUS (original theatrical release)
TV-14US (uncut)
Box office ¥220,000,000[1]
Running time 81 minutesJP
(1 hour, 21 minutes)
78 minutesUS
(1 hour, 18 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
3.39
(161 votes)

Dreaded Megalon from the undersea kingdom! A miraculous deathblow from the wound-ridden Godzilla! (海底王国のすごいやつメガロ!傷だらけのゴジラ必殺のウルトラC!)
„ 

— Japanese tagline

Monster against monster for the lost continent of Mu
„ 

— International tagline

GIANT AGAINST GIANT... the ultimate battle!
„ 

— American tagline

Godzilla vs. Megalon (ゴジラ対メガロ,   Gojira tai Megaro) 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.[2]

Underground nuclear testing in the Aluetian Islands damages the undersea kingdom of Seatopia, whose angry inhabitants send their guardian monster Megalon to the surface to seek revenge on humanity. Inventor Goro Ibuki, his brother Rokuro, and his best friend Hiroshi Jinkawa find themselves caught up in the Seatopians' plan, as they plan to use Goro's invention, the robot Jet Jaguar, to guide Megalon. Goro manages to free Jet Jaguar from the Seatopians' control and sends him to Monster Island to recruit Godzilla's help. The stage is set for a colossal tag-team battle when the Seatopians recruit the aid of the evil cyborg kaiju Gigan from the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens, with Godzilla and Jet Jaguar facing off against Gigan and Megalon.

Plot

An underground nuclear test on Asuka Island in the Aleutian Islands triggers seismic aftershocks felt as far away as Monster Island, where Godzilla, Anguirus, and Rodan are disturbed as the island begins breaking apart. Godzilla and Anguirus try to flee, but Anguirus falls and is pulled into a fissure, leaving Godzilla roaring defiantly at the rest of the collapsing island. A second seismic event occurs at Lake Kitayama in Japan, where inventor Goro Ibuki enjoys a picnic with his friend Hiroshi Jinkawa as his little brother Rokuro rides on a dolphin boat in the lake. A whirlpool forms in the middle of the lake and nearly pulls Rokuro in before Goro and Jinkawa pull him back to shore with a life rope. The three then watch as the lake completely drains in a matter of moments. As they drive home, they worry that these repeated nuclear tests will cause civilization to sink just like the ancient continents of Mu and Lemuria. When they arrive at Goro's home, they are attacked by an intruder who is fought off by Jinkawa. Jinkawa gives chase in his car, but loses the trespasser after he throws a grenade out the window of his car and sets a field ablaze. Back in Goro's lab, he and Rokuro find it trashed but no sign of anything being stolen. When Jinkawa returns, he finds that a button he pulled off the intruder's coat is the same color as a deposit of red sand left behind in the lab. He goes to get the sand tested while Goro completes work on his advanced new robot. Goro completes his new robot, which he names Jet Jaguar, and activates it. The robot wanders aimlessly through the lab, guided by cameras installed in its eyes. Jinkawa reports to Goro that the sand they found comes from an ancient stratum, confusing them both as to just who the intruder was. While Rokuro rides his minibike not far from Goro's lab, he is abducted by the intruder from earlier and his driver, then used as bait for Goro to open the door. The intruder breaks in once more and knocks Goro, Jinkawa, and Rokuro out with his gun, then contacts Seatopia using equipment in the lab.

His message is received in the advanced underwater kingdom of Seatopia, where Emperor Antonio holds a ritual to awaken their guardian Megalon to make war on the surface-dwellers in retaliation for the damage caused by their nuclear tests. Megalon awakens and burrows his way to the surface, where Jet Jaguar, now under Seatopian control, will guide him. Goro and Rokuro awaken inside a container on a truck, which is being driven to the lake where it is to be dumped. Jinkawa awakens in the lab, where he sees the intruder controlling Jet Jaguar remotely. He asks where the man has taken Goro and Rokuro, but he replies that they will be brought to Seatopia where Goro will create other robots like Jet Jaguar for the defense of the kingdom. Jinkawa escapes his binds and subdues the Seatopian agent, forcing him to reveal that the two are being transported in a container truck. Jinkawa sets off to rescue them, but is tailed by two more Seatopian agents. He manages to lose them in a construction area, and continues to the lake. With Megalon sighted on the surface, the two truck drivers are hesitant to continue approaching the lake, only to be held at gunpoint by the Seatopian agent who hired them. Thinking quickly, they throw him out of the truck and prepare to dump their cargo into a dam. Jinkawa arrives just in time and asks the drivers to help him save Goro and Rokuro, but the two tell him to screw himself and steal his car. Jinkawa mans the truck and tries to get the container clear, only for Megalon to burst through the dam. Timing it perfectly, Jinkawa drops the container onto Megalon's hand, which causes it to go flying into the distance. Jinkawa reunites with Goro and Rokuro and finds they are okay. Goro meets with the JSDF and informs them he can get the robot guiding Megalon under his control. He is flown to Jet Jaguar in a helicopter and uses a remote control device to order the robot to seek Godzilla's help. Jet Jaguar complies and flies to Monster Island. With this turn of events, Antonio contacts the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens and asks for Gigan's help against Godzilla.

Without his guide, Megalon begins to act erratically and jump around wildly. The JSDF confronts him but is quickly wiped out by his napalm and horn laser. Megalon reaches Tokyo and devastates the metropolis unopposed. Fortunately, Jet Jaguar reaches Godzilla and informs him of the situation, prompting Godzilla to set off for the mainland. Jet Jaguar returns to Goro's lab, which the three have successfully taken back from the Seatopian agent. Jet Jaguar confirms his success in reaching Godzilla before flying away. Goro remarks that Jet Jaguar has seemingly developed a will of his own, and leaves with the others to observe him. Jet Jaguar lands in front of Megalon, who laughs at the diminutive robot before Jet Jaguar grows to Megalon's size right before the kaiju's eyes. Jet Jaguar punches Megalon and begins battling with him to stall his rampage until Godzilla arrives. Jet Jaguar holds his own until Gigan arrives to back up Megalon. The two kaiju combined overwhelm Jet Jaguar, but Godzilla soon arrives to help. Godzilla battles both Gigan and Megalon, allowing time for Jet Jaguar to get back into the fight. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar's combined efforts turn the battle in their favor, prompting Gigan to beat a quick retreat. Jet Jaguar and Godzilla waste no time in beating on Megalon until he finally retreats back to Seatopia. The Seatopians close all fissures to the surface and end their war on the surface world. Victorious, Godzilla and Jet Jaguar shake each other's hands and go their separate ways. Jet Jaguar returns to human size and reunites with his creator, who finds his free will is seemingly gone. But perhaps one day it will return if the world faces another similar threat. The three then return home happily with Jet Jaguar.

Staff

Main article: Godzilla vs. Megalon/Credits.

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

Cast

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.


Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, vehicles, and races

Production

In mid-to-late 1972, Toho held a contest for elementary school children to design a robot who would appear in the next Godzilla film.[3] The winner's creation was named "Red Alone," which superficially resembled both Ultraman and Mazinger Z. The character was renamed Jet Jaguar for its inclusion in the film.

While Godzilla vs. Megalon was made over the course of six months, its allocation of time was unusual.[4] As special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano recalled, "That movie seemed to take forever to develop, then it went into production without enough preparation."[5] Due to the time constraints, screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa simply provided a story outline, while director Jun Fukuda wrote the script. Principal photography started immediately thereafter and took place over approximately three weeks.

Gallery

Main article: Godzilla vs. Megalon/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Godzilla vs. Megalon (Soundtrack).

Alternate titles

  • Godzilla vs. The Megalon Brothers: The Undersea Kingdom's Annihilation Strategy (ゴジラ対メガロ兄弟 海底王国全滅作戦,   Gojira tai Megaro Kyōdai Kaitei Ōkoku Zenmetsu Sakusen, Early Japanese Title)[6]
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon: The Undersea Kingdom's Annihilation Strategy (ゴジラ対メガロ 海底王国全滅作戦,   Gojira tai Megaro Kaitei Ōkoku Zenmetsu Sakusen, Early Japanese Title)[7]
  • Insect Monster Megalon vs. Godzilla: The Undersea Kingdom's Annihilation Strategy (昆虫怪獣メガロ対ゴジラ 海底王国全滅作戦,   Konchū Kaijū Megaro tai Gojira Kaitei Ōkoku Zenmetsu Sakusen, Early Japanese Title)[7]
  • 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)
  • Godzilla Against Megalon (Godzila protiv Megalona; Yugoslavia)

Theatrical releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - March 17, 1973[2]   [view poster]Japanese poster
  • United States - 1976   [view poster]American poster
  • Germany -1973   [view poster]German poster
  • Spain - 1974   [view poster]Spanish poster
  • Australia - 1976   [view poster]Australian poster
  • France - 1976   [view poster]French poster
  • Italy - 1976   [view poster]Italian poster
  • Mexico - 1976   [view poster]Mexican poster
  • Belgium   [view poster]Belgian poster
  • Yugoslavia   [view poster]Yugoslav 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's that?" and "Go to hell!"

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.

Video releases

Before Media Blasters acquired the rights to Godzilla vs. Megalon, numerous American companies distributed fullscreen versions of the film on unlicensed VHS and DVD releases, operating under the impression that it was in the public domain.

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 16mm transfer of the film's international version, albeit cropped to 1.33:1. Out of print.

Media Target DVD (2002)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: German (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Special Features: Trailers, photo gallery, production notes, information on the cast and crew

Toho DVD (2004)

Aventi DVD (2006)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French (forced)
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: Packaged with Godzilla vs. Mothra. Cropped to 1.33:1.

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 (accidental release only)
  • Notes: Both versions of the film use the same Japanese video track. Difficulties in securing Toho's approval for the special features led to Media Blasters releasing Godzilla vs. Megalon without any.[8] 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.

Toho Blu-ray (2014)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1

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

  • Region: A/1 or B/2
  • Discs: 8
  • Audio: Japanese, English
  • 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[9]
  • Notes: Uses a new English subtitle translation. Sony distributed a Region B/2 version of the set in the United Kingdom.

Videos

Trailers

Godzilla vs. Megalon Japanese trailer
Godzilla vs. Megalon American trailer #1
Godzilla vs. Megalon American trailer #2
Godzilla vs. Megalon American TV spot

Credits

Credits for the international export version (red)
Credits for the international export version (white)
German theatrical credits

Miscellaneous

Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle and Stuart Galbraith IV
Filming locations revisited in 2019

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 largest American underground nuclear test.
  • There are no female characters in this film, except for the Seatopian dancers.
  • For the German release of this film, Jet Jaguar was renamed "King Kong." However, there is no connection to the real King Kong beyond his name. Contrary to a widespread misconception, the dub does not say the character is a giant ape wearing a robot suit.
  • 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. In addition, a shot of Gigan's lower body smashing through a freeway is used to depict Megalon stomping through the city.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon was featured on Season 2 of the movie-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. The episode is known for its comedic translation of the "Godzilla and Jet Jaguar: Punch! Punch! Punch!" song at the end of the film.

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]

Comments

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avatar

TheYamanaMan

20 days ago
Score 0
Is gigan and megalon are friends or further then that? I'm not joking around I'm being serious.
avatar

Godzillafan03

15 days ago
Score 0
I don't think so although I bet there is a lot of fanservice and fanfiction
avatar

TheYamanaMan

15 days ago
Score 0
Godzillafan03, so what are certain things On the fanfiction are or what?
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UltraGoji

4 months ago
Score 0
Is there an international dub of this?
avatar

Astounding Beyond Belief

4 months ago
Score 1
Godzilla vs. Megalon only has one English dub, which is considered an international dub because Toho commissioned it themselves.
avatar

Godzillafan03

8 months ago
Score 3
This is just me but this is the worst Godzilla movie
avatar

VaderRaptor

8 months ago
Score 0
Have you ever heard of All Monsters Attack.
avatar

KING GHIDORAH 1954

8 months ago
Score 1
Nice.
avatar

JurassicKaiju14

4 months ago
Score 0

I think they're both bad. But I actually can give just a little bit more lee-way to "All Monsters Attack" because it all takes place in the mind of a young boy, so it's not really a straight-up Godzilla movie.

"Godzilla vs. Megalon", however, IS a straight-up Godzilla movie.
avatar

Les

4 months ago
Score 2
Godzilla vs. Megalon is a masterpiece, fight me.
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The H-Man

4 months ago
Score 0
I'm with Les on this one.
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UltraGoji

3 months ago
Score 0
H-Man, Les, you have earned my respect. Anyone who defends Godzilla vs. Megalon, is a friend of mine!
avatar

Pedro

8 months ago
Score 0
What is the context of Godzilla with a telephone pole in his mouth?
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MosuFan2004

33 months ago
Score 1
"Gorgo and Superman Meet in Tokyo", this is the most random movie title I've ever seen not counting the Pakistanian Pulgasari title.
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JurassicKaiju14

4 months ago
Score 0
Gorgo v. Superman. Featuring a cameo by Skele-Turtle that we've all been waiting for.
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Varan The Unbelievable

36 months ago
Score 0
My favorite Ultraman episode
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Titanollante

38 months ago
Score 2
"There are no female characters in this movie except for the Seatopian dancers"... wow.
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Garfzilla

45 months ago
Score 0
This is the thing I cheer myself up with
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Green Blob Thing

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

40 months ago
Score 0
I cheer myself up with both
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Garfzilla

45 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

45 months ago
Score 1

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.
avatar

Green Blob Thing

47 months ago
Score 2
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!
avatar

VaderRaptor

8 months ago
Score 0
Agreed.
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