Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

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GodzillaFan1996
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Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby GodzillaFan1996 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:59 pm

When watching Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Ghidorah barely moves in the movie (footage that was actually shot for the film, the stock footage does not count), most people write it off with the reasoning that the Ghidorah suite was very old and at the brink of falling apart. This reasoning only started to bug me after watching an episode of Zone Fighter that stars Ghidorah which was filmed in 1973. If you watch the episode Ghidorah is very animated (original footage only, not counting stock) similar to the way he was in his early films. I just want to see if anyone has any answers to this question?
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Re: Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:11 pm

My guess is it comes down to two things:

#1: Showcasing Gigan. Toho went to a lot of trouble to create cool new kaiju villain, and they wanted to give him primary focus, along with Godzilla. The movie is called Godzilla vs. Gigan, not Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, after all. Both Anguirus and King Ghidorah get significantly less screen time and action than their respective, titular, tag team partners so that the film can focus primarily on the fight between Godzilla and Gigan, with Anguirus and Ghidorah basically thrown in for the sake of more monsters. By contrast, in the two Zone Fighter episodes where Ghidorah is featured, he is the main villain, not the secondary baddie, so Toho gave him a more active role.

#2: Budget and Time. King Ghidorah was easily the most complex-to-portray kaiju in the entire Showa series. He's got three heads, two wings and two tails that all need to be operated separately for realistic, organic movement. The suitimation and puppetry required to achieve this effect was no doubt both very time-consuming and rather costly. As evidenced by the plethora of stock footage, Godzilla vs. Gigan was being made on a pretty tight budget, so Toho let Ghidorah mostly just stand in the background and fire off a couple gravity beams while Gigan does the bulk of the fighting. After all, the Gigan suit could be operated by a single actor, as opposed to the whole team required to move Ghidorah around.

Once again, these are just guesses, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

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Re: Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby Destoroyah of Worlds » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:25 pm

The King Ghidorah suit was on its last legs. Falling apart. You can tell just by looking at clips and screenshots.
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Re: Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby Terasawa » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:11 am

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:The movie is called Godzilla vs. Gigan, not Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, after all.


It was actually called "Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" during production.

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#2: Budget and Time. King Ghidorah was easily the most complex-to-portray kaiju in the entire Showa series. He's got three heads, two wings and two tails that all need to be operated separately for realistic, organic movement. The suitimation and puppetry required to achieve this effect was no doubt both very time-consuming and rather costly. As evidenced by the plethora of stock footage, Godzilla vs. Gigan was being made on a pretty tight budget, so Toho let Ghidorah mostly just stand in the background and fire off a couple gravity beams while Gigan does the bulk of the fighting. After all, the Gigan suit could be operated by a single actor, as opposed to the whole team required to move Ghidorah around.


This is more like it. Part of it is that it was a difficult costume to animate so that it appears lively. I think also it was likely inexperience. This was only Teruyoshi Nakano's second Godzilla film in the (effects) director's chair and I think he and his staff were still figuring things out. All of the monsters in this film are kind of sluggish, although Ghidorah is certainly the most so. Keep in mind too that in previous Ghidorah appearances, the monster's speed was sometimes depicted in quick cuts, but here, Nakano often kept the camera rolling for longer shots.
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Re: Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby Living Corpse » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:36 am

The reason why he moves more in Zone Fighter is because they refurbished the suit so there was less fear of the necks ripping at the seams.
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Re: Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby Great Hierophant » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:17 am

The Ghidorah costume looks a little ratty in Zone Fighter. All that fighting and explosions do a number on those suits.
Last edited by Great Hierophant on Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Ghidorah barely moves in Godzilla vs. Gigan?

Postby edgaguirus » Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:53 pm

I see both reasons as valid. But time and money are probably the main one.
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