Godzilla vs. Gigan, is directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. The 12th film of the Godzilla series, this film featured the return of Godzilla’s greatest foe King Ghidorah and for the first time in a while a brand new villain that doesn’t suck Gigan. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was displeased with the previous film, Godzilla vs. Hedorah going as far to bar the old director from making another Godzilla film. Tanaka wanted to return the series to the monsters destroying stuff and fighting with an alien invasion plot. Which I think is an excellent idea but the execution leaves much to be desired. This was the last film where Godzilla was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima who had played the character since the first film in 1954. He goes out after 12 movies as the longest running cast member in the series it’s sad to see him go.
Now I know what you nerds are thinking out there, how is King Ghidorah alive didn’t Godzilla stomp him to death in Destroy all monsters? Well yeah you’re right but that movie takes place in the future so here he is alive still. Aliens from the bizarrely named planet “Space Hunter Nebula-M” plot to colonize the Earth. The aliens assume the forms of dead humans and work as the Godzilla theme park, Children’s Land, the centerpiece of which is “Godzilla Tower”. Two monsters reveled to be Gigan, and King Ghidorah show up and start destroying the cities of Japan you know good old fashioned mayhem. My main problem with this movie starts being apparent here, it takes about 50 minutes for the real monster action to start and it’s a miserable wait. The theme park is boring and the humans are boring as well I seriously couldn’t tell you even one of their names.
Oh hey the two evil monsters are being controlled by the aliens. Oh did you guess that? I’m glad to see you guys starting to catch on. From Monster Island Godzilla sends Anguirus to investigate. When Anguirus approaches Tokyo, the Japan Self Defense Forces, misunderstanding the monster’s intentions, drives him away in a pretty good scene. Anguirus reports back to Monster Island and Godzilla follows him back to Japan to save the Earth from Gigan and King Ghidorah.
The special effects are a mixed bag, this may be a shocker, but they use all sorts of stock footage, shocker I know. They reuse so much footage from past Godzilla films where the Godzilla suits don’t even match and the lightings and backgrounds don’t even come close to matching. Gigan on the other hand is a real interesting thing with metal claws for hands and a giant buzz saw running up and down his body. In a scene we’ve seen a thousand times before in these films, the military is sent out to stop the monsters. Do you think it’s effective? Well, it’s not like always but it’s shot extremely well. There is something you don’t see often in these movies Anguirus bleeds and Gigan cuts Godzilla spraying blood everywhere. The miniatures are back on track and look great. There is a scene with King Ghidorah standing in the middle of a burning city that looks amazing.
I want to like this one. It’s got everything a Monster film needs. Alien invasion, giant monsters, explosions, military fighters… Lasers! But the bad out ways the good, the monsters when they fly look like terrible plastic models, the overuse of stock footage. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this yet but Godzilla and Anguirus talk to each other in English, I don’t know who thought that was a good idea. You could say it’s a good kind of bad. It’s very entertaining but it’s not pulled off well at all. This one just lands in at one of the worst in the series as well as a giant missed opportunity.
Best Moment of Destruction: Gigan fighting the military is well done.