Godzilla vs. Megalon is the most fantastic, awful, amusing movie so far. Is it bad? Yes, oh man yes. But unlike the last few ventures it succeeds where it counts; it’s very entertaining. Although Godzilla is in the title there is very little of the big green guy in this one. Godzilla essentially acts costar to a huge robotic superhero Jet Jaguar. Directed and co-written by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, it was the thirteenth film in the Godzilla franchise. The film isn’t good, but it’s extremely memorable if that makes sense. All together there is Jet Jaguar, Megalon, Gigan, Anguirus (in stock footage of course) and some Godzilla. This is cheap children’s entertainment that should not be taken seriously which I think is at least a positive for once in the series.
Seatopia, the undersea civilization, has been heavily affected by nuclear testing conducted by the nations of the world. Upset by this, they plan to unleash their civilization’s god, Megalon, to the surface to destroy the world. An inventor makes a robot dubbed Jaguar but is knocked unconscious by the seatopian agents. Their plan is to use Jet Jaguar to guide and direct Megalon to destroy whatever city Seatopia commands. Megalon is finally released to the surface while Jet Jaguar is put under the control of the Seatopians and is used to guide Megalon to attack Tokyo with the Japan Self Defense Forces attempting and failing to defeat the monster. It’s been 13 films so far and they still haven’t figured out these giant monsters can’t be stopped by the military. It may seem redundant but these scenes are a loveable cliché.
After uniting with Japan’s Defense Force, the inventor regains control of Jet Jaguar and sends the robot to Monster Island to bring Godzilla to fight Megalon. Picking up on Godzilla’s imminent arrival they call the Space Hunter Nebula M from the last movie to ask to borrow Gigan. Isn’t that bizarre? Have you ever seen a movie villain call another villain to borrow some weapon of theirs? A magnificent final battle occurs. It’s possibly the best monster fight from the last few movies and definitely the high light of the movie. Culminating in Godzilla’s final attack on Megalon, a flying kick. Its fantastic, its awe inspiring and it’s one of the funniest moments in the series.
If you have been paying attention you can probably guess this particular Toho production was never meant as a Godzilla film but a standalone with Jet Jaguar. Godzilla was thrown in for marque value which actually backfired because it’s among the least grossing films in the series. It’s notable to mention it was the result of a contest Toho had for children to make a movie. The winner of the contest was an elementary school student which is obvious because JJ has a simple design. The other special effects are fun; they don’t stand out for the most part as bad or good. The film was shot in a hasty three weeks and the use of stock footage is rampant, but the scenes lifted are generally lifted from good moments of past films. Did I mention that Jet jaguar is awesome? Well he is terrible there is no arguing that, but he is so terrible it flies in the face of being brilliant. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar shake hands in a scene that surly disappointed Ishiro Honda. Don’t get me wrong this film is nowhere near as good some other ones. But it’s interesting enough to be watchable packed with lasers, aliens, subhuman weirdos, giant monster fights, ridicules dialog and explosions. There are, unfortunately, no major female characters in the movie, making this the only Godzilla film without a female lead. The acting is usually flat nobody looks to be enjoying themselves, worsening, and the already weak script. Maybe it because I have seen so many worse ones in the series recently but I can’t bring myself to hate this one. It’s a guilty pleasure.
Best Moment of Destruction: The flying kick to finish Megalon off. Seriously go YouTube that.