Here we are ladies and gentleman the finale of the original series, the fifteenth and a direct follow up to Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, Terror of Mecha-Godzilla has a lot going for it. It’s directed by series crafter/creator Ishiro Honda it’s fitting that the man responsible for the beginnings of the series helped put it to rest… At least for a little while. It also had a dark brooding feel and a strong script. All together in the monster department it features Godzilla, Mecha-Godzilla, and a strange dinosaur dubbed Titanosaurus. Even though this was the last in the original series, or Showa series as it is known to fans, it should be noted for the most part as a whole all 15 can almost be viewed in any order because continuity after the first five is so loose.
Continuing after the end of Godzilla vs. Mecha-Godzilla, Interpol agents, led by Inspector Kusaka, search for the wreck of Mecha-Godzilla at the bottom of the Okinawan Sea. Using the submarine, Akatsuki, they hope to gather information on the builders, the alien apes. The Akatsuki is suddenly attacked by a giant aquatic dinosaur, Titanosaurus, and the crew is apparently lost. With the help of marine biologist Akira Ichinose, an investigating team trace the Titanosaurus and its creation to a… get this A MAD SCIENTIST named Shinzô Mafune, who wants to destroy all mankind. That is literally as cliché as its gets but it’s so funny I love it. Mafune is visited by his friend Tsuda, who is an aide to the simian alien leader Mugal. He is leading the project to quickly rebuild Mecha-godzilla. Mugal offers their services to Mafune, so that his Titanosaurus and their Mecha-Godzilla 2 will be the ultimate weapons. They hope to wipe out mankind and rebuild the world in their image.
I mean at this point you should know the story Godzilla is still around and has to deal with the giant threats, lasers are fired, aliens are behind everything, missiles explode and giant monsters fight. The original series is as predictable as it is entertaining and this is actually one of the better ones. But honestly the story while familiar carries several surprises and is aided by very strong performances and great special effects. Titanosaurus especially looks great but I really like the look of MechaGodzilla too. I haven’t said much about the human characters but they are all excellent. Inspector Kusaka is the most compelling lead we have had for well really the whole series. His journey and his love story with Kusaka is intriguing and for the first time in so many movies I cared about all the characters. The mad scientist is an excellent character and villain and Akihiko Hirata steals the show completely. I want to see a spin off with him and the evil Dr. Hu from King Kong Escapes where they just build giant evil monsters.
The Shōwa series wasn’t really meant to end here but the film was a financial failure and the popularity of Godzilla had considerably waned. It’s kind of unfortunate too because this one (as far as the Showa series is concerned) is pretty good. The cast is strong, the plot is original, the effects are interesting and the overall feel of the movie returns to the feel of the first few movies mostly focusing on the humans and using the monsters to highlight the destruction surrounding them. Plus there is a MAD Scientist you really can’t go wrong with that, and the final fight sequence is fantastic. The Showa series had ups and downs the first one is a masterpiece and the others range from cheesy fun to terrible to so bad its good. Its poetic that this last one was directed by the guy who directed the first one, they really work as bookends to a fantasy series filled with monsters and bizarre aliens duking it out. And really at the end of the day, can you ask for more?
Best Moment of Destruction: Seeing the big green guy walk off into the sunset after the brutal final fight, taking a break for a while.