Talkback: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

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Talkback: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby DaikaijuSokogeki! » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:14 pm

It's a helplessly entertaining movie and is also one of my favorite non-Godzilla kaiju films. The special effects look great in some spots, but there are others where it's a tad shoddy (the boar, the heart, the tanks). Ifukube's score is wonderfully atmospheric, and the acting is pretty damned good too. Of course, the final fight between Frankenstein and Baragon is the main reason to watch this considering the movie's name and it doesn't disappoint. It's a kinetic, well choreographed and creative brawl. The burning forest at the end serves as one of the great backdrops in kaiju battle history. What glorious lighting.

I know everyone loves War of the Gargantuas, but I still believe this is the more entertaining of the two Toho Frankenstein films.

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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby Starfishman » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:22 pm

I too love this film. Its perhaps one of the most over-looked Toho kaiju films. The acting is good and the effects and music are good as well. The final fight between Frankenstein's Monster & Baragon is one of the best kaiju fights I've ever seen. Baragon's design I'll admit is a little bit goofy. One of Ishiro Honda's best films ever made. Like you I was exposed to it when watching AMC one day and I had the same feelings as you. Not many talk about this film alot.

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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby HayesAJones » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:25 pm

I liked the film. The unsuited actor vs. suit actor sequences were interesting. Baragon was a neat creation too. And the Frankenstein was very true to the original character- misunderstood and hated for being different.

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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby gojimantis » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:11 pm

very cool TOHO movie, love the Frankenstein makeup, I had seen WOTG several times before i even knew it had a preceding movie. it would have been cool if Toho went ahead and did Godzilla vs. Gargantua, completing a trilogy.
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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby bananaoil » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:28 am

I have just two words for this film:

"That octopus!"
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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby TokyoVigilante » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:45 am

This norrowly beats WotG, only because Tamblyn and his vague line-reading/"acting" kills it for me. Nick Adams out-charms the hell out of him.

It's a great film that balances the introduction of two monsters and their final battle very well and doesn't drag. Pulpy exploitation-esque good time.
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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby hammysammy59 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:15 am

Such an awesome movie. Obviously I love the Godzilla series, but between this, Gargantuas and Space Amoeba, it's pretty clear that non-G TOHO monster movies are just as good, if not sometimes better than the Godzilla stuff.
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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby edgaguirus » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:45 pm

This is a good film. Frankenstein gave us a character that hadn't been seen before, a giant human, and did it well. The make up looked fantastic. Baragon is also a good design. The acting is a mixed bag, but Nick Adams and Kumi Mizuno have great chemistry.
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Re: Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Postby I_Am_Gigan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:26 am

You know... I've seen a few scenes on TV here and there when I was younger, but never really sat down and watched the whole film from beginning to end. Baragon looks cool... so reading what you all said, I will check it out.
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A new Frankenstein thread

Postby menschenjaeger » Tue May 01, 2012 5:46 am

I got around to Frankenstein Conquers the World on DVD. My childhood memory of it was that...it wasn't terribly memorable. I must have been too young - it is IN FREAKING SANE. The opening scene was genius. I loved the silent-movie-style mad scientist. Too bad the rest of the movie couldn't keep the crazy maxed out. I had completely forgotten about Baragon's jumping, which automatically added a star to any review I'd make especially when he landed on his head. The way he stiffened up right as he hit and then flipped over was one of the most realistic animal-like movements I've ever seen in a kaiju flick. The ending was terrible, but in a way that perfectly bookended the movie with insanity.

I also treated myself to the "international" Japanese version. That octopus! No wonder they didn't use it - it was ahead of its time. A giant octopus just shows up on the hillside. During a forest fire. It pretty much perfectly re-created the feeling of watching one of these movies on a local TV station at 2 a.m., where you're falling asleep towards the end: Then this giant octopus showed up...and...maybe I dreamed that part? Gotta love the SFX team's commitment to realistic octopus noises, in both this film and WOTG.

Does any of the original audio for the octopus ending exist? Attempting to read lips, it really does look like Adams says "that octopus!" which would be one of the most wonderful things in the world if it were true. I would love to hear it in his own voice: "Dat octapis!"

Since it's a Frank thread, I reckon we can talk about Sanda and Gaira here, too. I get frustrated with how awful the Japanese version is on my DVD. Is that a problem with my DVD or does everyone's look like an old videocassette? The only good thing is that most of the time it's too dark to see how bad it is...

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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby Goji » Tue May 01, 2012 6:19 am

menschenjaeger wrote: I also treated myself to the "international" Japanese version. That octopus! No wonder they didn't use it - it was ahead of its time. A giant octopus just shows up on the hillside. During a forest fire. It pretty much perfectly re-created the feeling of watching one of these movies on a local TV station at 2 a.m., where you're falling asleep towards the end: Then this giant octopus showed up...and...maybe I dreamed that part? Gotta love the SFX team's commitment to realistic octopus noises, in both this film and WOTG.


Lol. Yeah, it's definitely random as hell. The octopus ending actually didn't show up until the first Japanese LaserDisc release, though it had been known to exist since the 60's. It was supposed to be the ending to the U.S. version, but Saperstein ended up not using it, even though he was the one who asked them to film it (!)

Does any of the original audio for the octopus ending exist? Attempting to read lips, it really does look like Adams says "that octopus!" which would be one of the most wonderful things in the world if it were true. I would love to hear it in his own voice: "Dat octapis!"


It's funny that you ask this, because I've been wondering the same thing for a while now. The English audio must have at least existed at some point. If it's still around, it's a damn shame it didn't end up on the DVD. =/

I get frustrated with how awful the Japanese version is on my DVD. Is that a problem with my DVD or does everyone's look like an old videocassette? The only good thing is that most of the time it's too dark to see how bad it is...


Sadly, this is what the R2 release looks like as well, which blows. I have no idea why it's so overly dark. The UPA version looks nothing like it, so I can't imagine that's how the film looked originally in Japanese theaters. Apparently, Toho's Blu-ray release doesn't look much better either..
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby MaxRebo320 » Tue May 01, 2012 9:01 am

I loved this movie! Yeah, it was more ''Eegah'' than ''Frankenstein'', and a lot of things didn't make much sense, but I really liked it! Nick Adams and Kumi Mizuno were great int their roles, and the special effects were great for the most part. As a Universal and Hammer Frankenstein fan, I came in with mixed feelings, but I really found myself liking the film! I've gotta go get it on DVD now!
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby menschenjaeger » Tue May 01, 2012 10:27 am

Definitely worth your DVD dollars, this movie. Getting to watch the whole movie with the octopus ending is worth it alone. LOVE Baragon waddling off with all the chicken feathers falling out of his mouth.

I like how the two Frankenstein movies explore an odd concept that other kaiju eiga don't: The "mystery" angle. In both films, there's an "innocent" monster being framed, and scientists who are determined to clear his name and track down the guilty party. I saw an old cartoon (in The New Yorker, maybe?) where there's a smashed city skyline, and on the ground plainclothes detectives and patrolmen are looking at a huge, blanket-sized monogrammed handkerchief. The initials are "KK." One detective is saying "I think we can rule out Godzilla on this one" or words to that effect. So, FvsB and WOTG are kind of like that.

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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby Rody » Tue May 01, 2012 10:48 am

You're thinking of a cartoon from The Far Side. Some policemen/detectives are checking out a giant handkerchief, and one guy says, "Have this run down to the lab. I want to know what monster is responsible for this. Godzilla! Gargantua! Who?" Never mind that it's monogrammed KK. :lol:



I saw Frankenstein Conquers the World, dubbed, a while back when someone had posted it on YouTube. Honestly, I didn't care for it much, but maybe I just wasn't sure what to expect. I'll have to track it down and watch it again at some point.

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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby Tamura » Tue May 01, 2012 12:22 pm

The German DVD of FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON looks pristine, nowhere near as murky as the Toho imposed transfers.

This was one in a series of films Toho released on DVD that, for some reason or another, were sourced from what appear to be contrasty dupes with fading color. A few others include THE MYSTERIANS, GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS. I have no idea why such poor elements were used, especially since better material exists.
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby FlamingZilla23 » Tue May 01, 2012 2:35 pm

I remember this movie and it's pretty good, what enterested me is the history behind this movie.
But Frankenstein has somewhat a decent design.
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby Goji » Tue May 01, 2012 3:13 pm

Tamura wrote:The German DVD of FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON looks pristine, nowhere near as murky as the Toho imposed transfers.

This was one in a series of films Toho released on DVD that, for some reason or another, were sourced from what appear to be contrasty dupes with fading color. A few others include THE MYSTERIANS, GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS. I have no idea why such poor elements were used, especially since better material exist.


Yeah, it's a shame those films are so poorly preserved, with KING KONG VS. GODZILLA being the absolute worst (which you know about better than anyone else).

I wonder if tht German release of GAGANTUAS ever came out..I remember hearing about it being on the way, but never did find out if it was ever actually released.
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby Destroyer » Tue May 01, 2012 8:24 pm

I saw the international version cause of the octopus ending. Man that was random, but awesome. Frakenstein vs. Baragon is a great film, needed more Baragon, but the long drawn out fight made up for that.
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby Goji » Tue May 01, 2012 8:51 pm

Just so people know, the title of "international version" is just something that Media Blasters made up. There actually is no true international version to the film. It was just something they used to differentiate it from the AIP version (which isn't even a good representation of that version, but that's another matter entirely).
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Re: A new Frankenstein thread

Postby menschenjaeger » Thu May 03, 2012 8:49 am

I watched the commentary the other night - Arikawa practically had to be beaten into saying anything. The other guy was pretty fun. I especially enjoyed him saying "here's the boar model...(chuckling) can you explain that?" and wondering aloud why overseas audiences like giant octopi so much, during the octopus sequence.


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