Monday, August 29, 2011

Godzillapalooza #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Monster Profiles:


-HEIGHT: 164 feet
-MASS: 44,000 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: You want special powers? I'll show you some special powers! The first, and might I add alien controlled, version of Mechagodzilla sports a vast array of weapons: an oral flamethrower (to mimic Godzilla's trademark breath), laser beams from the eyes, a close-range beam from the chest, and rockets from fingers, toes, knees, and throat. For defense, Mechagodzilla employs its "space titanium" armor and a projectable force field. And oh by the way, Mechagodzilla can also fly using rockets from its feet. It is literally armed to the teeth and Godzilla's most dangerous foe up to this point.
-BACKGROUND: The first (Showa) Mechagodzilla was created by the Simeon aliens from the Third Planet of the Black Hole, really creative name for a planet. Mechagodzilla's purpose was for what else, but world domination. The Simeons at first disguised Mecha-G as the King of the Monsters himself, but the real Godzilla quickly showed up and revealed its true identity. An extremely powerful weapon, Mechagodzilla 1 was destroyed in two consecutive Earth invasion attempts, but would have succeeded had it not been for Godzilla.


-HEIGHT: 164 feet (328 feet in Millennium)
-MASS: 33,000 tons (55,000 tons in Millennium)
-SPECIAL POWERS: Think of King Caesar as a Japanese lion that also knows karate. He can also reflect energy beams from his eyes.
-BACKGROUND: King Caesar is an ancient, mythological lion god who is the protector of the Azumi royal family in Okinawa. He sleeps in a mountain by a sacred temple in Okinawa and can be awakened in times of extreme crisis through a very elaborate process. If you reflect the rising sun's rays from the eyes of an ancient statue onto the cliffside of his mountain and then you sing his theme song dramatically, he'll wake up and help you out for your trouble.


  • ANGUIRUS (see movie #2)

In Okinawa, a descendant of the Azumi royal family has a prophetic vision that monsters are going to soon show up and destroy the world. It's not long before she is proven right, as Godzilla shows up and in a really bad mood and with a screwed up roar. Things get stranger when he finds Anguirus and beats the crap out of him, ripping his jaw open reminiscent of King Kong in his battle with the T-Rex. What's up with Godzilla, why's he beating up his friends? Then the real Godzilla shows up and in a sweet night battle in an oil refinery, Godzilla burns off the imposter's disguise to reveal Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla is one ass-kicking machine and is being controlled by some ape-like aliens trying to take over the world. Godzilla is forced to retreat from this battle and Mechagodzilla goes back to base for repairs. Throughout all the chaos there is a small group of humans aware of the invasion and trying to keep an ancient statue safe that is the key to awaking King Caesar who can help protect the planet. Just before Mechagodzilla shows up, they complete the ritual, the prophetess sings King Caesar's dramatic, 4 minute theme song and Caesar wakes up with an explosion. He proves to be a lackluster savior though, as Mechagodzilla kicks his butt. But then Godzilla shows up, more powerful having been struck by lightning. An epic battle ensues and Godzilla and King Caesar prove victorious when Godzilla rips off Mechagodzilla's head. The Simeons retreat for now and the world is once again saved.

This film marked the 20th anniversary of the original Godzilla movie and Toho cut the crap and really did things right. They created arguably Godzilla's coolest enemy and and although they recycled the alien invasion theme, they added some cool new twists. The movie is full of action and the plot moves quickly. There are enough explosions in this movie to satisfy any pyro-junkie and there are plenty of monster battles (they're all awesome).

It's also a nice touch to have Mechagodzilla in the Godzilla disguise at first, that way we still see Godzilla's destructive power while preserving the real Godzilla's good guy image. Might I also add, that Godzilla saves the earth like a boss in this movie, not like in the last few crappy films of the series. Godzilla's just a total badass. He's especially awesome when he bleeds in this one. Overall this movie is such a vast improvement and breath of fresh air after the last 4 entries to the series. It's such a cut above on all levels from the other G-movies of the 70's. The special effects are awesome and as I said before, the battles are so great. This is definitely the best of the Jon Fukuda directed G-movies. If you like Godzilla at all, you simply have to see this one.    

Best Part:
Since I usually at least mention moments of comic relief in this section, I have to touch on the old grandfather character of the Azumi family (pictured right). The dude's just so goofy and dramatic; you've got to see it for yourself and I'm sure you'll get a good chuckle. In all honesty though, I would list all of the monster battles as the best part. Mechagodzilla's reveal battle in the fiery oil refinery is awesome. It really doesn't get any better than the final battle scene though. We see Mechagodzilla's

My Ranking: #6

Up next, it doesn't take long for Mechagodzilla and the Simeons to launch a counter attack... "Terror of Mechagodzilla"

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