Sunday, August 28, 2011

Godzillapalooza #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
Monster Profiles:


-HEIGHT: 180 feet
-MASS: 44,000 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: Megalon has a wealth of special powers. Besides its drill hands, which can be used for burrowing at extreme speeds, Megalon also can fly at Mach 3 and leap great distances. It emits lightning from its horn and can fire napalm bombs from its mouth.
-BACKGROUND: Megalon is the ancient protector and Deity of the undersea kingdom of Seatopia. Strange that a beetle-like monster would have anything to do with the ocean, I know, but that about sums up Megalon. It's odd to me that this movie is Megalon's only appearance in the series though, because he is a very unique and cool monster.


-HEIGHT: 164 feet (when it grows to monster size)
-MASS: 27,500 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: Jet Jaguar fights like a ninja robot, employing various karate moves. He can also fly at Mach 3.5 and communicate with monsters.
-BACKGROUND: Jet Jaguar was one of the many inventions of one of the main characters of this movie, Goro Ibuki. It was not specifically designed to be a fighting robot, but its self-programming function allowed it to grow to monster size in order to defend the earth from destruction. By the way, if you want a great laugh, check out the Jet Jaguar song below from the end of this movie.


  • GIGAN (see movie #12)

"Godzilla vs. Megalon" centers around an undersea kingdom called Seatopia that gets really pissed off by all of the under-ground nuclear tests being done by the above-ground people, so they send their god, Megalon, to throw a fit and destroy earth. How nice of them, considering nobody on the surface even knew their civilization existed. The movie's protagonists are an Inventor named Goro, his friend Hiroshi, and his little brother Rokuro. Goro's prize invention is a humanoid robot named Jet Jaguar. The Seatopians decide it would be a great idea to hijack Jet Jaguar and use him as Megalon's guide to destroy Tokyo. The plan works at first until Goro regains control of his invention and tells him to go get Godzilla for help. At this point, Jet Jaguar's self programming takes over. It warns Godzilla, who begins swimming for Tokyo, and promptly flies back to fight Megalon. Realizing that their plans have gone south, the Seatopians call on their buddies from the Spacehunter M Nebula who let them borrow Gigan to help. Megalon and Gigan give Jet Jaguar a beat-down, but Godzilla shows up just in time, trotting up to the fight like a boxer about to enter the ring. This typifies Godzilla's fighting style in this movie, as has acts more like a street fighter than Godzilla for most of the battle. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar together easily dispatch Gigan and Megalon, who beat a hasty retreat and Godzilla and Jet Jaguar return to their peaceful lives.

I have very few gripes about this movie. Overall it's a very fun and unique addition to the series. The use of stock footage is still present, but nowhere near as bad as in "Godzilla vs. Gigan", and is easy to get over. The incredibly awful music of Riichiro Manabe (last heard in "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster) returns, but it's much more brief and bearable. However, on the positive side, this is the first movie featuring one of my favorite Godzilla suits of the Showa series, so that's a plus. Jet Jaguar is extremely goofy and gets his ass kicked by himself, but the monster battles are so entertaining in this movie, albeit occasionally ridiculous.

This movie is very campy and silly, but I absolutely love it. This is the Godzilla of my childhood, so it makes it into my top 20 of the series. I've always viewed this movie as a benchmark in the series because, in my opinion, it marks the end of the string of Godzilla movies that were just incredibly bad. And after this movie came one of the best Godzilla movies of all time, when he fought MechaGodzilla for the first time. I'd definitely recommend this movie to anyone remotely interested in Godzilla or campy monster movies. It's so dang entertaining and funny. A must see! Just don't take it too seriously.

Best Part:
All of my favorite parts of this movie are centered around the monster battles, as it should be. There are so many great moments. The first time Jet Jaguar runs up to fight Megalon, Megalon gives him this look like "WTF are you supposed to be?" Subtle, but so funny, since Jet Jaguar is so random to begin with. Godzilla fights more like Muhammad Ali than himself, but it's very entertaining. Another part I love is when Jet Jaguar throws Gigan in the air and Godzilla nails him with his atomic breath. But the very best part has to be the ultimate in campy Godzilla moments. You just have to watch this inexplicable clip below. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... the dropkick!

My Ranking: #17

Up next, you ain't never seen seen an alien invasion like this one! It's one of Godzilla's most famous foes and the 6th best movie on my list... "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla"


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