GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA (1974)
aka Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster, Gojira tai Mekagojira
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Featuring Maasaki Daimon, Kazuma Aoyama, Reiko Tajima
What it is: Kaiju
An ancient prophecy predicts that a monster would arise to destroy the world, but two monsters would come to the rescue of the Earth. The destroyer turns out to be a robot version of Godzilla, while the savior monsters are King Seesar and the real Godzilla.
If I'm not mistaken, my coverage of this title should complete Toho's kaiju output from the fifties to the seventies. This was the second to the last of that run of the Godzilla series, and for what it's worth, it's an improvement over the previous two installments of the series (GODZILLA VS MEGALON
and GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND
). However, this is not due to the tired old story, where, for the fifth or sixth time space aliens use giant monsters (or, in this case, a giant robot) to destroy the Earth. Rather, it's because it marks the debut of one of Toho's most memorable creations; Mechagodzilla is their most impressive creation since Ghidorah, and proves to be one of Godzilla's most dangerous foes. The same cannot be said for the forgettable King Seesar (I don't know if the spelling is correct; I've seen it spelled several different ways); this floppy-eared puppy-dog monster gets a lot of hype in the movie, but once he appears, he feels unnecessary. I wish I could have seen the movie in a nice subtitled version, but all I've got available is an old VHS (poorly) dubbed pan and scan version. The aliens this time turn into apes when they die, and the movie is a bit on the bloodier side than many of the other Godzilla movies. Our hero can also turn himself into a giant magnet in this one, which is one of his more improbable powers.