Godzilla vs. Gigan

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Godzilla vs Gigan 1972.jpg

Godzilla vs. Gigan, released in Japan as Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan (地球攻撃命令 ゴジラ対ガイガン Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla vs. Gigan), is a 1972 Japanese science fiction kaijū film featuring Godzilla, produced and distributed by Toho. The film is directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano and stars Hiroshi Ishikawa, Yuriko Hishimi, Tomoko Umeda and Minoru Takashima, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Kenpachiro Satsuma as Gigan, Koetsu Omiya as Anguirus and Kanta Ina as King Ghidorah. It is the 12th film in the Godzilla franchise and the last film in which Godzilla was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, who had played the character since the first film in 1954.

The film was released in Japan on March 12, 1972 and received a wide theatrical release in the United States in 1977 by Cinema Shares as Godzilla on Monster Island.

Many fans consider this to be one of the worst Godzilla movies of all-time, although Gigan did become one of Godzilla's greatest foes.

Plot

Giant insectoid aliens resembling cockroaches from a dying planet in "Space Hunter Nebula M" plot to colonize the Earth. The aliens assume the forms of dead humans and work as the development staff of the peace-themed theme park, World Children's Land, the centerpiece of which is "Godzilla Tower". The Nebula M aliens plan to use the space monsters Gigan and King Ghidorah, guided by two "Action Signal Tapes", to wipe out human civilization.

Manga artist Gengo Kotaka stumbles onto their plan after being hired as a concept artist for the park. When Gengo and his friends accidentally obtain one of the Action Signal Tapes and play it, Godzilla and Anguirus hear the signal and realize something is amiss. Godzilla sends Anguirus to investigate. When Anguirus approaches Tokyo, the Japan Self Defense Forces, misunderstanding the monster's intentions, drive him away.

Anguirus reports back to Monster Island, and Godzilla follows it back to Japan to save the Earth from Gigan and King Ghidorah. The aliens attempt to kill Godzilla with a lethal laser cannon hidden inside Godzilla Tower (the blue laser beam also resembles Godzilla's atomic breath), but Gengo and his companions use the aliens' over-reliance on technology against them, causing the invaders to unwittingly destroy themselves. After a lengthy fight, Godzilla and Anguirus drive Gigan and King Ghidorah back into space and then swim back to Monster Island, but not before Godzilla turns around and gives a roar of triumph, in thanks to its human friends.

Bad Qualities

  1. Overuse of stock footage, not unlike the last movie or All Monsters Attack.
  2. The stock footage is all in the day while the new footage is all at nighttime.
  3. In one of the stock footages, you can briefly see Mothra (in her Larva form) in one of the stock footage scenes, but Mothra isn't in the actual movie.
  4. There is barely any monster action and stuff until about 45 minutes in.
  5. In the English dub, both Godzilla and Anguirus start talking in very weird voices which most people can't even understand, although the Japanese version has them talk with speech bubbles. Why they need to speak to begin with?!
    • On a related note, Godzilla's trademark roar sounds incredibly distorted when he is talking, as if somebody had put it in a blender and set it to 'Liquidize'.
  6. In the swimming scenes, they use the awful MusukoGoji suit that was originally used for Son of Godzilla, which many consider to be the worst Godzilla suit of all time.
  7. In the US version, it's called Godzilla on Monster Island, even though Godzilla and Anguirus are only there for just a few seconds.
    1. If you thought that title was bad, get a load of this. When the film was released in Greece, the title was changed to Godzilla: King of Terror, which makes it sound like he's the bad guy when he's actually the good guy.
    2. The film's initial French video title was Extermination 2025, despite the fact that the film took place in 1972.
  8. Slow pacing.
  9. Around the ending part of the film, the arms of the Godzilla suit that's mainly used (called SoshingekiGoji) are seen falling apart.

Good Qualities

  1. The cockroach designs look fantastic (primarily when they show the shadows).
  2. Gigan would become one of Godzilla's greatest foes and later appeared in 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars, in which he gets decapitated by Godzilla's atomic breath. However, he was later rebuilt as "Modified Gigan", but his razor discs flew back, decapitating him again. However, a burning Mothra flew at Gigan and exploded, ultimately killing him.
  3. The monster tag-team battles were awesome.
  4. The English dub is actually pretty good.
  5. The human characters are actually likable and fairly competent.
  6. Great soundtrack.

Trivia

  1. This was Haruo Nakajima's final time playing Godzilla, a role he had played since 1954.

Reception

Gigan has appeared in other non-film media after Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. Megalon, including the Zone Fighter tokusatsu show, which exists in the Showa series canon. He has appeared in the 1989 NES game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, the fighting game trilogy developed by Pipeworks, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, Godzilla: Save the Earth and Godzilla Unleashed, several comic books and the book Godzilla: Project Mechagodzilla, the sequel to Godzilla: Monster Apocalypse, the prequel novel to the 2017 anime film Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. In this novel, Gigan is transported from Siberia to Africa by the United Earth and is inducted into the "Operation Long March" mission in the year 2044. He is sent to fight Godzilla in Suez, Egypt but, after a brutal three day confrontation, Gigan was destroyed.

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