What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

For discussions covering more than one Toho film or show that span across more than one “era.”
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LSD Jellyfish
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:27 pm

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:Gorath
Half Human
The Prophecies of Nostradamus
The Last War
The Human Vapor


There are a few others I haven't seen like The War in Space and Gunhed but everyone says they're terrible so I'm not gonna waste the time to track them down.

Bolded are gold. Gorath is decent as well.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Komenja » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:21 pm

Oh man, a lot. It'd be easier to list the stuff I have seen.
-Rodan
-Mothra
-Frankenstein Conquers the World
-War of the Gargantuas
-Mysterians
-Rebirth of Mothra Trilogy
-King Kong Escapes

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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby MaxRebo320 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:00 pm

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:There are a few others I haven't seen like The War in Space and Gunhed but everyone says they're terrible so I'm not gonna waste the time to track them down.

I can't speak for Gunhed, but I think War in Space is at least worth watching if you're a fan of so many other Toho SFX films from the 50s - 70s. Though its not worth spending what the DVD typically goes for on the secondary market, unless you're a hardcore collector.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby realinvaderdesign » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:21 am

Varan
Matango
Dogora
Space ameoba
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:53 pm

realinvaderdesign wrote:Varan
Matango
Dogora
Space ameoba

Matango is a must watch imo.

Space Ameoba has a bad rep for being goofy, but it's one of my favorite films. Same for Dogora. Although you should watch it at least once, Varan is easily one of the worst monster films Toho ever made.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby realinvaderdesign » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:06 pm

LSD Jellyfish wrote:
realinvaderdesign wrote:Varan
Matango
Dogora
Space ameoba



Varan is easily one of the worst monster films Toho ever made.


Ive heard that the us cut is pretty rough, hows the Japanese cut in comparison?
Last edited by realinvaderdesign on Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:11 pm

realinvaderdesign wrote:
LSD Jellyfish wrote:
realinvaderdesign wrote:Varan
Matango
Dogora
Space ameoba



Varan is easily one of the worst monster films Toho ever made.


Ive heard that the us cut is pretty rough, hows the Japanese cut in comparison?

It's mildly better.

The main issue with the film is that other then some early mysticism, Varan, and the film, is just a lesser version of both Godzilla 1954 and Rodan 1956. It's also one of the least visually impressive films produced by Toho during that era. I'm sure there's some redeemable factors, and I do remember liking some of it, I'm just saying it's one of the worst Showa era films.

Writing this out, I realized how good a job Toho did at making Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and Dogora all original movies with their own tones. Varan is the only one that feels super bleh.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Terasawa » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:24 pm

Varan is the worst Honda tokusatsu and the only Showa-era tokusatsu films that are worse are The War in Space and Bye-Bye Jupiter. I've said before that I think the American version (which is practically a different movie) is better than the Japanese version.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Ultraman02 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:04 pm

All the Pokemon movies... Maybe.
I'm beginning to dislike Pokemon and feel a bit fatigued at this point.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:10 pm

Ultraman02 wrote:All the Pokemon movies... Maybe.
I'm beginning to dislike Pokemon and feel a bit fatigued at this point.

I'll be honest in that I wasn't really thinking about Pokemon, or anything that wasn't live action. Totally get the Pokemon fatigue though.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:42 pm

Today I had a lot of time to kill, so I scratched two films off my need-to-watch list: The Human Vapor and Gorath. I can see why Human Vapor is so often touted as one of Honda's best; it tells an interesting story and has lots of memorable performances. Yoshio Tsuchiya is one of my favorite Toho actors, and I think this is probably the best role I've seen him in. The final sequence in the theater has to be one of the most emotionally riveting scenes that Honda ever directed. I have to rewatch H-Man to decide which I like better, but I can say definitively that I prefer Human Vapor to Matango, which is often considered the best of Honda's three "mutant" films.

Gorath, on the other hand, was pretty mediocre; I'm a little disappointed, to be honest. The special effects work, at least, was fantastic; the biblical flood toward the end, in particular, was easily some of Tsuburaya's very best work. Otherwise, though, I feel about Gorath how I do about Battle In Outer Space; the plot is poorly paced, most of the cast isn't given much to work with and the lack of a clear protagonist makes the film feel unfocused. From a narrative standpoint, the Maguma sequence is the worst part of the film, as it truly serves no purpose; on the other hand, it's one of the more enjoyable parts of a fairly bland movie. It's a shame Jun Tazaki's character is killed off in the very first scene, because he gives the best performance in the whole film.

Hopefully I'll get to Half Human soon, because then I'll have seen all of Honda's sci-fi features.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:53 pm

Yeesh, there's some harsh criticisms around here surrounding poor Varan...


Films I haven't seen that I have an interest in include:
– Half Human
– The Three Treasures
– The Secret of the Telegain
– The Human Vapor
– The Last War
– Submersion of Japan
– House
– The War in Space
– A BUNCH of Kurosawa films I haven't yet seen. I've only recently started watching his movies and have just seen Rashomon and Seven Samurai so far. Stray Dog, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and Sanjuro, and Ran are the highest on my to-watch list.


A lot of the aforementioned films (Half Human, the Human Vapor, the Three Treasures) I'm praying might someday see a Western release... but I'm not holding my breath. Gorath and Prophecies of Nostradamus too, for that matter (although I have seen those).
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:03 pm

Kaiju-King42 wrote:Yeesh, there's some harsh criticisms around here surrounding poor Varan...

I know, right? I've heard the US version, which I haven't seen, is an absolute dumpster fire, but I like the original version. As a kid, I actually preferred it to Mothra! Not anymore, I find its second half a bit boring now, but I still don't think it deserves the condemnation it receives from many kaiju fans.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:09 pm

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
Kaiju-King42 wrote:Yeesh, there's some harsh criticisms around here surrounding poor Varan...

I know, right? I've heard the US version, which I haven't seen, is an absolute dumpster fire, but I like the original version. As a kid, I actually preferred it to Mothra! Not anymore, I find its second half a bit boring now, but I still don't think it deserves the condemnation it receives from many kaiju fans.


Yeah. It's not a favorite of mine but I find it an enjoyable enough movie (although the second half's extended military campaign against Varan in the sea lasts far too long). I'd honestly watch it over a good chunk of the 90's Toho kaiju films.

For my money, The Battle in Outer Space is the worst Honda-directed film that I've seen.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:13 pm

Kaiju-King42 wrote:I'd honestly watch Varan over a good chunk of the 90's Toho kaiju films.

Oh, easily. I'll take Varan over Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, vs. Mothra and vs. Space Godzilla, Orochi and the entire Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, any day.

Kaiju-King42 wrote:For my money, The Battle in Outer Space is the worst Honda-directed film that I've seen.

It's a toss-up between BIOS, Godzilla's Revenge and Dogora for me. Now that I've seen Gorath, that's down there, too.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:20 pm

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
Kaiju-King42 wrote:For my money, The Battle in Outer Space is the worst Honda-directed film that I've seen.

It's a toss-up between BIOS, Godzilla's Revenge and Dogora for me. Now that I've seen Gorath, that's down there, too.


I'm not really a fan of Godzilla's Revenge either, but at the very least I find it entertaining, if nothing else. BIOS's biggest crime isn't just that it's a bad movie – it's kind of a snooze fest for me.

Dogora on the other hand I actually kinda like (Mark Jackson is a joy to watch), though I can see why others wouldn't enjoy the movie as a whole.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Terasawa » Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:15 am

What does Varan do well? I think it’s nearly without merit.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Gigantis » Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:41 am

Latitude Zero and Dogora are on the list. Just wish i had less busy poop on my hands.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:00 am

Terasawa wrote:What does Varan do well? I think it’s nearly without merit.

I actually maintain that the first half of Varan is very good. The build-up to Varan's first emergence from the lake is quite well done. We see shadows, we hear roars, there's a sense of eerie mystery to the whole thing. And when Varan does actually appear, the sequence is actually a lot more effective than the grand reveals in Godzilla and Rodan. Godzilla just stands there and roars over a mountain; Rodan just flies away; Varan destroys a village.

I enjoy the remote setting of Varan. It's the first kaiju film to have a remote setting, and the only one to have a remote setting that isn't a made-up island. One could argue that Rodan has a remote setting, but this setting is abandoned once the titular kaiju actually comes into play. Let's be honest, if creatures like Varan actually exist, isolated wilderness regions like the one in this film is where they'll be. The whole thing has a "Lost World" vibe to it that makes it stand out from other early kaiju films.

I think being black and white helps Varan a lot. I admit, I'm a sucker for black and white sci-fi/horror movies; I think they generally do a better job of creating atmosphere, and I think sometimes monsters look better in black and white. Varan definitely looks better in black and white. In fact, I'd argue that Varan is the best looking black and white kaiju. The '54 Godzilla suit looks great in long-distance shots, but falters in close-ups. The '55 Godzilla and Anguirus suits are pretty awful. Ditto for the '65 Gamera suit. But Varan consistently looks good.

The musical score for Varan is great; Ifukube never disappoints. The title theme, in particular, is pretty epic. Nuff said about that.

The most common complaint registered with Varan is that the titular creature isn't interesting. That's somewhat unfair. The scene where Varan first unfurls his flying squirrel-esq membranes and takes flight is very memorable. I also enjoy the mysticism associated with Varan by the villagers, who believe him to be an evil nature god. The Odo Island natives held similar beliefs about Godzilla, but this is taken farther in Varan, with a shrine devoted to Baradagi. Obviously, Mothra did a mystical kaiju better, but Varan tried it first.

Now the other big complaint with Varan is one that I agree with: the second half of the film is pretty boring. The naval assault on Varan drags on, and the film loses its lost world aesthetic once it abandons the Kitakami River valley. The final attack on Haneda Airport is modestly entertaining, but overshadowed by the urban rampages in Godzilla and Rodan.

In summary, I think the first half of Varan has a lot of merit. The second half, maybe not so much. I think Varan would be a better film if it had stuck to its remote setting until the end, or at least close to the end. The movie loses its charm once Varan takes flight.
Last edited by HedorahIsBestGirl on Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
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Re: What Non-Godzilla Toho Films Do You Still need to Watch?

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:07 am

Terasawa wrote:What does Varan do well? I think it’s nearly without merit.


Decent mystery and build up in the first act, and the tension between the tribes-people and the protagonists was interesting.

Great effects and lots of action by 50's monster movie standards. There's only a handful of American monster films of the 50's that can match Varan in regards to sheer chaos – only the Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, the Black Scorpion and maybe the Giant Behemoth come to mind as contenders.

Great music. Great monster design.

And, uh... about all I can think of. I hardly consider it a classic, but I think it's fun enough as a simple monster flick.


Edit: God damn HedorahisBestGirl ninja'd me with a post way more comprehensive than mine. I shouldn't have bothered. :lol:
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