Godzilla vs. Gigan (Chikyû kogeki meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan)
godzilla vs. gigan | Chikyû kogeki meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan | godzilla | gigan | gojira | gaigan | jun fukuda | shin'ichi sekizawa | hiroshi ishikawa | yuriko hishimi | minoru takashima | action | adventure | sci-fi | sci fi | japan | king ghidorah | giant monster
Film: Godzilla vs. Gigan (Chikyû kogeki meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan)
Director: Jun Fukuda
Writer: Shin’ichi Sekizawa
Starring: Hiroshi Ishikawa, Yuriko Hishimi and Minoru Takashima
This film begins before Destroy All Monsters, back in 1972. This film shows a young man trying to pitch ideas for monsters to a comic book editor, the young man played by Hiroshi Ishikawa. His concept is laughed at and he leaves. He then meets with his girlfriend; she is played by Yuriko Hishimi. He does drop that she is a black belt in karate and she gives him a lead for another job.
Ishikawa meets with Zan Fujita, who helps run a new park known as Children’s Land. It is a place to learn about monsters as well as to be an interactive museum. There is a giant Godzilla tower there as well.
Fujita asks Ishikawa to meet them at the headquarters so he can meet the head of the park. As he goes to enter, he bumps into another young woman as he goes to enter the building; she is played by Tomoko Umeda. She drops a roll of tape. Ishikawa picks it up and comes face to face with Fujita. Ishikawa gives them the wrong direction of where she has gone.
Inside we learn that the park is run by a boy, played by Toshiaki Nishizawa. They let on that the tape is important and Ishikawa is given the task of creating some monsters for the park.
As he goes to leave, he meets with Umeda. She asks for her tape back and she is joined by Minoru Takashima. He puts something into the back of Ishikawa, which we think is a gun. Ishikawa passes out and we learn it is a cob of corn. They take him back to one of their places and talk with him.
We learn that Umeda’s brother is being held against his will and that this park is not what it seems. Ishikawa does find the whole thing to be odd. They play one of the tapes and the sounds don’t make sense. We as viewers see that this perks up Godzilla as well as Anguirus. Anguirus actually comes on to Japanese soil, but is turned away by the defense force.
Nishizawa and Fujita know that the tape has been played and they need to alter their ultimate plan. They are interested in something in space around a nebula as well.
The three then begin to investigate and find out some information about the company. They are based in Switzerland and do not take funds from companies that want to control them. They soon learn that both Nishizawa and Fujita look like two people from a small town that died while hiking on a mountain.
We discover that Umeda’s brother is still alive and working for Nishizawa, he is played by Kunio Murai. We learn that they are aliens that are actually giant cockroaches. They are trying to take over Earth and with some guile; they use Ishikawa to sneak out the rest of his group.
We learn that they want to take over Earth and their plan involves sending down King Ghidorah as well as another monster, know as Gigan. They want to kill Godzilla to prevent the one thing that will stop them. Will they kill Godzilla and take the Earth or will Godzilla win again?
I have to say that what I like about this one is that it does something similar to one previous that it does have a darker feel to it. The monsters really don’t appear much until right near the end, but once they do they dominate. I wasn’t sure what Gigan was and still don’t, but he was an interesting monster. Something else that I liked about this one was that during the battles, they actually draw blood on the monsters. Anguirus gets cut as well as Godzilla on a couple occasions. The Godzilla Tower and the lasers it uses to try to kill Godzilla were cool and I see where it sparked ideas for future films as well. The surrounding story wasn’t bad, but something we’ve already seen before. I do like that they incorporate the Smog Monster concept in that pollution killed the aliens’ planet and humans are going down the same path. Giant cockroach aliens were a great idea too.
I kind of already pointed out one of my issues. It took way too long to get the monsters involved. I would say it really is only the last twenty minutes or so of an hour and half long film. I was shocked at one point to see that Anguirus was driven back into the sea when he first tries to come to Japan. I have never seen that in one of these films. I do have an issue that it seems like all of these different groups of aliens all control King Ghidorah. The first film we see him in, he is a destructive force that the universe fears, yet all of these different aliens have found a way to control its mind. I wonder if it would have been better to leave him out, only use Gigan and just have Godzilla go against each other. I get the idea of having more monsters makes more of a draw, but continuity and story are out the window and this troubles me.
With that said, I would still recommend this one, especially over some of the previous ones in the series. The acting isn’t bad and the wraparound story has been done before, just with some minor tweaks. It does take a little too long to get the fighting, but when it does, it is good. There is actually some bloodshed between the monsters and Gigan is an interesting new monster in this film. I would like to have seen more continuity to the story with King Ghidorah, but it is all a numbers game. Not the best film in the series, but with a darker feel, it is better than many though.
My Rating: 6 out of 10