, released in Japan as and also known as The Terror of Godzilla
in the original American
theatrical release, is a 1975 tokusatsu kaiju film
. The 15th film in Toho
series, it was directed by Ishiro Honda
with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
. Akira Ifukube
provides the music score. The movie was written by Yukiko Takayama
, who was the second female writer for a Godzilla film (the first was Kazue Shiba
, who wrote for 1967
's Son of Godzilla
The monsters featured in this film are Godzilla, Mechagodzilla and a new monster, Titanosaurus.
This was the last movie in the Showa Godzilla movies before The Return of Godzilla began Heisei Movies of Godzilla films in 1984. It is also the last Godzilla movie to feature Godzilla as a hero for both Japan and the world until Godzilla: Final Wars 29 years later. Because of the crash of Japanese cinema and the Energy crisis of the mid-to-late 1970s (which had also affected some television shows), the Godzilla film series was forced to go into hibernation. As a result, this film had the lowest attendance figures of all the movies in the series.
Continuing after the end of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
agents, led by Inspector Kusakari (Masaaki Daimon), search for the wreck of the first Mechagodzilla
at the bottom of the Okinawan Sea in the submarine, Akatsuki, to gather information on its builders, the aliens from Planet 3 in the Black Hole
. But, the Akatsuki is suddenly ravaged by a giant aquatic dinosaur called Titanosaurus
, and the crew is apparently lost.
In response to the incident, Interpol begins to investigate. With the help of marine biologist Akira Ichinose (Katsuhiko Sasaki), they trace the incident and Titanosaurus to a reclusive, misanthropic scientist named Shinzô Mafune (Akihiko Hirata), who was forced to leave the institute, and now wants to destroy them as well as all of mankind. When visiting his old house in the seaside forest of Manazuru, they meet Mafune's lone daughter Katsura (Tomoko Ai), who tells them that not only is her father dead, but she also burned all of his notes on the dinosaur monster (at her father's request). But unbeknownst to them, Mafune himself is alive and well, visited by his scientist friend Tsuda (Toru Ibuki), who turns out all along to be an aide to the new Planet 3 alien leader Mugal (Gorō Mutsumi), who is leading the project to quickly rebuild Mechagodzilla. Mugal offers their services to Mafune, so that his Titanosaurus and their Mechagodzilla 2 will be the ultimate weapons. The ultimate goal of this new wave of Planet 3 Aliens is to wipe out mankind(as they feel humans are a race of imperfect, polluted minds that they feel the world would do well without) and rebuild cities around the world(starting with Tokyo) as a high-tech dystopia. This also could have been the goal of the first wave too.
But things are complicated for both factions when Ichinose falls in love with Katsura, and unwittingly giving her Interpol's secret information against Titanosaurus, Mechagodzilla 2, and the aliens. We also find that Katsura is actually a cyborg(she was fatally wounded by Mafune's faulty equipment years earlier, and Tsuda saved her life with cybernetics), and Mugal may have use for her.
In the course of the film, Interpol discovers Titanosaurus' weakness: Supersonic waves. But when they construct a Supersonic Wave Oscillator, Katsura sabotages the machine, prompting Interpol to hastily repair it before Mafune and the aliens unleash Mechagodzilla 2 and Titanosaurus on Tokyo.
And when the situation gets desperate, Godzilla comes to the rescue. While Interpol distracts Titanosaurus with the Supersonic Wave Oscillator, Godzilla is able to destroy Mechagodzilla 2 and then defeats Titanosaurus while he is confused by the Supersonic Wave Oscillator.
- This was the last Godzilla film directed by Ishirō Honda. He was slated to direct Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993) but died early that year.
- This was Akihiko Hirata's final appearance in a Godzilla film. He was slated to play Professor Hayashida in The Return of Godzilla (1984) but died of lung cancer before production began (Hirata was replaced by Yosuke Natsuki).
- This was Tomoko Ai's film debut. She was previously a semi-regular in the TV series Ultraman Leo.
- In Takayama's original script, the monster Titanosaurus was the singular, combined form of twin "Titan" dinosaurs, which were to meet and unite at some point in the story. (Compare to Hedorah and Destoroyah.) Due to budgetary constraints, only the singular form was used.
- This film, much unlike the films prior to it, had a much darker tone and returned to the original style of the series. It was much more serious and Titanosaurus was one of the more realistic beasts of the Showa series.
- The original U.S. release was quite faithful to the original Japanese version. Broadcasters requested that the film be edited due to scenes involving the suicide of a character. This was at a time when there were a rash of teen suicides in the United States. Broadcasters began requesting that story elements involving suicide be removed from motion pictures, television programs and even cartoons.
- This is the first Godzilla film to feature an original score by Akira Ifukube since 1968's Destroy All Monsters; although Ifukube's music had previously been used in 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan, it was all stock music from previous scores.
- Current U.S. prints are severely edited for violent content (some important plot points removed in the process). This film also had the first shot of nudity in a Godzilla film (gone from all U.S. prints): Katsura's prosthetic breasts exposed while Planet 3 surgeons graphically operate on her lower heart area.
- Katsumi Nimiamoto, who played Titanosaurus, occasionally wore the suit backwards in order to give the kaiju a less human appearance.
The film was released theatrically during the Summer of 1978 in North America by Bob Conn Enterprises under the title The Terror of Godzilla. This version runs 78 minutes, five minutes shorter than the Japanese print. Alterations made:
- Dialogue was dubbed to English (this was the International Dubbing commissioned by Toho and produced in Hong Kong).
- Deleted: scenes of shootings, strangulations, and other acts of physical brutality (excised in order to receive a "G" rating from the MPAA).
- Deleted: Scene with Mugal whipping his underlings for failure.
- Deleted: A scene where two young boys watch Titanosaurus' rampage and are trampled by him.
The film was released to television in late 1978, this time under the title Terror of Mechagodzilla. This version runs 89 minutes, which is actually six minutes longer than the Japanese version. It included an odd prologue about the 'History of Godzilla,' with footage from Monster Zero and Godzilla's Revenge (comprising scenes from Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster and Son of Godzilla).
In Japan, the film sold 970,000 tickets. It would be the least-attended Godzilla film in Japan and also one of only two Godzilla films to sell less than one million tickets. As a result, the series was put on hold until 1984. Despite this, the film is gradually becoming a favorite among fans due to its bleak atmosphere, strong violence, and entertaining albeit breif monster fights.
- Released: May 6, 1998
- Aspect Ratio: Full frame (1.33:1)
- Sound: English (5.1), English (1.0)
- Supplements: Godzilla trailers; Godzilla video art gallery; Film facts; Trivia game; DVD-ROM (Screensavers, printable art gallery, web access)
- All regions
Sony Wonder (Classic Media)
- Released: September 17, 2002
- Aspect Ratio: Full frame (1.33:1)
- Sound: English
- Supplements: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters video game trailer.
- Released: 11/20/2007 in The Godzilla Collection box set. Singular release April 29, 2008.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Sound: English, Japanese
- Supplements: Women of Godzilla Featurette, Audio commentary.
- Region 1