Gojira tai Gaigan

Godzilla vs. Gigan

Godzilla vs. Gigan, released in Japan as and also known as Godzilla on Monster Island when first released to U.S. theaters, is a 1972 tokusatsu film. The 12th of the Toho Studio's Godzilla series, it was directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. In the U.S., Cinema Shares released the film in 1977. When released to video in the 1980s, the title reverted to Godzilla vs. Gigan.

The monsters featured in this film are Godzilla, Anguirus, King Ghidorah and a new monster, Gigan. Featured via stock footage (from previous Godzilla films) are Kamacuras, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Kumonga, Manda and Gorosaurus. Also, due to re-use of stock footage, Gaira the green Gargantua is seen during the maser tank scene.

Godzilla fans usually do not hold the film in high esteem. It had a lower budget than most of the other Godzilla films and depends heavily on stock footage from earlier Toho kaiju movies, such as Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Rodan, War of the Gargantuas, Destroy All Monsters, and Invasion of Astro-Monster (which causes it to change from night to day and back during the monster battle scene, as well as Godzilla's appearance repeatedly changing). However, because of the film's low-budget, the special-effects crew could not have completed the movie without the use of the older footage. Some fans do enjoy the film for its lengthy four-way fight between the monsters at the finale.

The music is credited to Akira Ifukube, who composed the scores for most of the Godzilla films of the 1960s. Ifukube, however, did not write any new music for this movie; the score was patched together from his earlier Toho scores, most notably Battle in Outer Space and Frankenstein vs. Baragon, as well as the main suite composed for the Expo '70 Mitsubishi Pavilion film, The Japanese Archipelago, for the main title music.

Plot

A species of giant insectoid aliens from a dying Earth-like planet in the Space Hunter Nebula M plot to colonize the Earth and destroy all cities to make it more "peaceful." They inhabit the bodies of recently deceased humans, thus resembling them, and work as the staff of the Japan branch of the peace-themed theme park, World Children's Land (based in Switzerland), the centerpiece being the Godzilla-shaped "Godzilla Tower". The plan of the Nebula M aliens is to use the space monsters Gigan and King Ghidorah (guided by two "Action Signal Tapes") to wipe out civilization. Manga artist Gengo Kotaka stumbles onto their plan after being hired as a concept artist for them. When Gengo and his friends play one of the incomprehensible Action Signal Tapes (which he obtained by accident) on their tape player, only Godzilla and Anguirus hear it from afar and catch on to this evil plot as well. Godzilla sends Anguirus to the source of the sound to make sure nothing's wrong, but once Anguirus arrives at Tokyo Bay, the Japan Self Defense Forces, having no clue on the monster's intentions, drives him away. Anguirus goes back to Monster Island, and Godzilla then follows him back to the city. Both monsters try to save the Earth from Gigan and King Ghidorah, though the Nebula M aliens plan to lure Godzilla into a shocking fatal trap via placing an extremely powerful laser cannon inside Godzilla Tower's mouth and firing it at Godzilla. Once the tower is destroyed by the main human characters (who have realized that the Nebula M aliens are overly confident in Godzilla Tower's external fortifications and have neglected interior defenses), Godzilla and Anguirus drive Gigan and King Ghidorah into a retreat back into space and have saved the world.

Box Office

In Japan, the film sold approximately 1,780,000 tickets.

U.S. Release

In 1977, CinemaShares, the company responsible for the North American distribution of Godzilla vs. Megalon, released a dubbed and slightly cut version of Godzilla vs. Gigan in North America. This version was re-titled Godzilla on Monster Island despite the fact that very little of the action actually takes place on Monster Island.

Several short scenes were cut to obtain a G-rating from the MPAA:(Note: These were brought back in the DVD release.

  • Gigan cutting Anguirus in the snout, causing him to bleed.

This version also including a different opening titles sequence and a different "The End" card. This version of Godzilla vs. Gigan was shown once or twice on Sci-fi channel before 2002. The current Sony DVD restores these cuts.

Also, the original Japanese version, instead of having the monsters talk, reportedly had the monsters communicate via cartoon speech bubbles. The monsters' dialogue in the North American version is from Toho's "International Version" acquired by CinemaShares, and not an alteration by CinemaShares. This is proof from the Sony DVD of this movie as it is Toho's "International Version" not the US version.

Trivia

Gigan's gruesome buzzsaw caused blood to spray out of Godzilla's body, which was a first in the franchise.

DVD Releases

Sony Pictures

  • Released: October 19, 2004
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2.35) anamorphic
  • Sound: Japanese (2.0), English (2.0)
  • Supplements: Trailer for The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
  • Region 1
  • Note: Contain's Toho's 'International Version' English dub track.
  • MPAA Rating: PG for sci-fi monster violence and some language
  • ''' Includes footage and dialogue cut from previous U.S. versions.

External links

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