Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Godzillapalooza #15: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
Monster Profile:


-HEIGHT: 197 feet
-MASS: 33,000 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: Titanosaurus is essentially an aquatic dinosaur that can fight like a boxer. Besides physical weapons, he can also create cyclones and extremely strong winds by waving his fish-like tail.
-BACKGROUND: Titanosaurus is by nature a shy and gentle creature that escaped extinction by isolating itself deep in the ocean. However, when controlled by his vengeful discoverer, Dr. Mafune, Titanosaurus takes on the personality of the scientist. Under Dr. Mafune's control, Titanosaurus was allied with Mechagodzilla and the Simeons and was ultimately defeated by the combined might of Godzilla and the Japanese military.


  • MECHAGODZILLA 1 (see movie #14)

A research submarine looking for the scattered remains of Mechagodzilla is attacked and destroyed by a strange monster, Titanosaurus. Whenever a small naval craft is destroyed without warning, you know the shit's about to hit the fan. Titanosaurus is under the control of his discoverer: a mad scientist named Dr. Mafune who is bitter for being shunned by society because he claimed to have found this dinosaur years ago. Like any rational person, Dr. Mafune decides the best way to get back at the world is to not only take control of this dinosaur, but also ally himself with the Simeons, who have rebounded for a second invasion attempt, and help them to rebuild Mechagodzilla. To cut a long story short, Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus are set loose on Tokyo, but Godzilla shows up to stop them. Godzilla is almost defeated, but alien control over Mechagodzilla is severed. Titanosaurus is immobilized by a sonar weapon and Godzilla proves victorious over two powerful monsters, saving the world yet again. 

With a much grittier and darker look than the first Mechagodzilla movie and the return of Ishiro Honda and Akira Ifukube, this movie was the perfect ending to the Showa series and an extremely good Godzilla movie overall. The opening credits are awesome by themselves, showing highlights of the final battle from "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" with Ifukube's chilling score in the background. As you're watching you just think, "Oh snap, time for the rematch!" Every time Ifukube and his original score are involved in a Godzilla movie it ups the quality of the film so much it's incredible. In true Honda style, this movie is full of drama and plot twists, mostly revolving around Dr. Mafune's beloved daughter. 

This movie contains some of the best footage of city destruction of the entire Showa series. There are plenty of explosions and good special effects. Continuing with the last movie's theme, Godzilla is a savior of the earth, but a badass one. He is treated with awe rather than a little boy yelling: "Hooray Godzilla!" This is an awesome entry in the series and just barely misses my top 10. A fitting end to the Showa series and there's still a lot more to come. Definitely a must see for any Godzilla fan! Seeing the first Mechagodzilla movie isn't entirely necessary to watch this one, but it adds to the story a lot. See it, you'll love it!

Best Part:
As I mentioned above, the opening credits are an outstanding addition to this film. That being said, I absolutely love the part in which Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus destroy Tokyo together. The slow destruction and big explosions coupled with Ifukube's masterful score is Godzilla-perfection. This scene goes directly into my favorite battle of the movie, which Godzilla actually loses, but it's a great and creative fight. Having said all this though, my favorite part of the whole movie has got to be Godzilla's first appearance. Titanosaurus is alone attacking Tokyo and the big guy shows up to straighten him out. Again I'm mentioning the score, but it creates a masterpiece of mood as you look at the smoking city and the silhouette of the King of the Monsters appears. Check it out.

My Ranking: #13

Up next, the Heisei series kicks off and Godzilla is restored as Tokyo's nemesis... "Godzilla 1985"

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