Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:49 pm

I've never really gotten why Monster Zero (Astro-Monster) is held in such high regard. Even in being one of my earliest introductions to kaiju (my first viewing of a film featuring Rodan and Ghidrah), it still doesn't quite hold up to others in terms of being one of my favorites. I can't quite put my finger on why that is either. I definitely don't hate it but it's kind of middle of the road in terms of Showa entries for me.

"Ghidrah" is a little higher up. A lot of the ideas are a little out there like the monster conversation and the eventual turn of Godzilla into a hero but there's something in the execution that works. It works as a good one-two punch with "Godzilla Vs. The Thing".
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby DaiKamonohashi » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:45 pm

This is, for me, the perfect Toho film.

Okay, let's be honest - it's super late and I really don't feel like typing out a big long spiel about it at the moment but I managed to track down another post I once made containing my more detailed thoughts on the movie, which I will quote for you now. Mind you, this is all comparing and contrasting it with MvsG and Dogora instead of MZ but still...

Call me a total heretic but I can honestly say that I feel out of the three main Tokusatsu features that Toho produced in 1964, Mothra Vs. Godzilla is the LEAST interesting by far.

MvsG is an incredibly solid film but there's just not a whole lot there that interests me compared to Ghidrah and Dogora, that's really all I'm saying. There's no question that MvsG is one of the single best movies Toho ever produced but part of that is because it's more or less Toho perfecting the giant monster versus picture. It takes ideas from Godzilla Raids Again and King Kong Vs. Godzilla and tweaks them into what became the standard formula for Vs. pictures for years to come. And that's fine. The story is pretty solid and the actors are all at their best and it's all very solid.

Solid.

But then with Ghidrah and Dogora, Shinichi Sekizawa really starts to play around more and that leads to, for me, a pair of far more interesting and entertaining films. With Ghidrah, he's all, "GUYS. Let's take Roman Holiday and remake it, only we'll add in an assassination plot and f*cking MONSTERS and it'll be great! And we'll give the Shobijin another musical number! And a three-headed dragon FROM SPACE." Where MvsG is pretty straightforward, Ghidrah takes a ton of different elements - Roman Holiday lost princess plot, Amnesiac, Venusian prophetess, Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, the Shobijin going on television variety shows like it ain't no thing, a three-headed space dragon FROM SPACE, James Bond-ian shootouts, giant monster slapstick (without the monsters ever losing their sense of grandeur, IMO), giant monster political negotiations, etc. - tosses them into a blender, hits puree, and the resulting smoothie, at least for me, is PERFECT. Your mileage may vary.

Then Dogora is Sekizawa being all, "GUYS. Let's make a heist film. Except with a f*cking MONSTER in it. AND it's a comedy and it'll be AWESOME." And it is!

I think what makes MvsG less interesting to me is because it centers itself so firmly on the monster plots: trying to get Mothra's Egg returned and trying to stop Godzilla. Everything more or less revolves around those two plots. And that's fine, it doesn't bother me because it's done very, very well, with lots of great characters. But what I like and prefer about the other two is that the monsters, while still important, are just one part in a blend of a bunch of other really wonderful elements.

Ghidrah, for me, is absolutely perfect. It would be my favorite Godzilla film of all time, maybe even my favorite film period, if Gigan weren't more perfect.

I think, more than anything else, Ghidrah, and ESPECIALLY its scene where the Shobijin appear on a Nationally-broadcast evening variety show just because, really solidifies the everyday surreal nature that defines the Showa Godzilla series. And it helps that 'Cry Happiness' is far and away my favorite Peanuts song.


I feel similarly about the Ghidrah VS MZ subject. I like MZ less because it IS more focused on a handful of plot points rather than being all over the place like Ghidrah. I love Ghidrah because, yeah, it's all over the place and yet if manages to work it all into a solid, cohesive narrative that I find incredibly entertaining.

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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:14 am

As I explained previously, I wasn't a major fan of "Monster Zero" but "Godzilla Vs. Mothra" was easily my favorite of that era. "Ghidrah" is great for its own reasons as well but it is hard to f-u-c-k with "Godzilla Vs. Mothra".
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby JVM » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:18 pm

This is my favorite Godzilla film and the only one that can still keep me entertained.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby MechaZillaClone » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:21 pm

This is probably number 2 on my top 10 favorite Godzilla movies list, number one being the original Gojira. The acting is great, monster fights are awesome, and it introduces my favorite Godzilla monster, King Ghidorah. And another cool thing is the monster story affects the human story, like when Godzilla gets the "Dick Drop" on a power line tower, it saves the princess from being killed. And they probably made it so Godzilla's fire breath is misty because they spent most of there special effects on Ghidorah's Gravity Beams.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Destroyer » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:58 am

This film will always be special to me. It was my first ever Godzilla film, I still have the tape in the closet. I saw it last year again, and it still holds up great. I found the human plot engaging, with some good characters. I found the performances from the majority of the cast were solid. Ghidorah still looks amazing, considering this film is over forty years old, the suit holds up well. My favorite scene is when Mothra attempts to convince Godzilla and Rodan to team up. That scene always made me smile, wish there were more of those type of scenes in the latter films.

Monster Zero is held to a high standard cause not only was it a good Godzilla film, it succeeded in being a great science fiction story.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Rody » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:19 am

JVM wrote:This is my favorite Godzilla film and the only one that can still keep me entertained.

The only one??

Destroyer wrote:Monster Zero is held to a high standard cause not only was it a good Godzilla film, it succeeded in being a great science fiction story.

I'm confused. This thread is about Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster, not Invasion of Astro-Monster.

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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Destroyer » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:13 pm

I'm confused. This thread is about Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster, not Invasion of Astro-Monster.


I noticed some others asking why Monster Zero is regarded highly, so I just wanted to quickly say why.

With that said, I wish there were more team ups like in Ghidorah.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Goji » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:43 pm

It's no mystery why MONSTER ZERO is so well regarded; It's a damn good Godzilla movie.

So is GHIDORAH. It really comes down to personal preference. I can't say that one is really better than the other. It all depends on my mood.
Last edited by Goji on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby ebirahsmeg1 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:20 am

Goji wrote:It's no mystery why MONSTER ZERO is so well regarded; It's a damn good Godzilla movie.

So it GHIDORAH. It really comes down to personal preference. I can't say that one is really better than the other. It all depends on my mood.


Agreed....the same phenomenon has been happening over in the CT forums recently (i.e. turn a Ghidrah thread into a "Let's bash Ghidrah and say how much better GvsMonster Zero is!"), and I really don't get this mentality. I love both these films...they're far different from each other, but I wouldn't change a thing about either one of them. I happen to like Ghidrah slightly better than GvsMonster Zero, but I would never go into a Monster Zero and start a "Ghidrah is so much better" flame war. Debate is nice and all, but arguing over which is these two is better is like arguing apples and oranges....do folks really sit and think "I think *insert film* is better!" the whole time whenever they watch either one of these two films? :?: :? :eh: :roll: Both GTTHM and Monster Zero stand on their own as classic, quintessential daikaiju films.

I've posted numerous times about this film on various different forums and boards, but I never get tired of singing its praises...this film is imo, the best damn Godzilla film ever. It was the high point of Toho's "Golden era" when it comes to the G series.

It also formed what I like to call the "Godzilla Rodan Mothra KG Trilogy", with GvsTheThing, GTTHM, and GvsMonster Zero all being nicely tied together without beating the audience over the head (ala the Heisei films).

    In this film, you get:
  • One of the best suits of the series, the Mosu-Goji suit, returning for duty.
  • One of Ifukube's best soundtracks of the series.
  • Rodan and Mothra
  • Introduction of KG, who would become Godzilla's arch enemy and most powerful foe of the series. His fireball entrance is breathtaking.
  • Godzilla's entrance adds an interesting twist with fleeing whales (or dolphins?) preceeding his first appearance. Definitely one of his most unique entrances.
  • A mesmerizing "Mothra" song by the Peanuts.
  • Great cast with several Toho/SFX-regulars.
  • Akiko Wakabayashi. I know Kumi Mizumi gets all the glory (as she should), but Akiko Wakabayashi was smoking hot during this era. :shock:
  • King Ghidorah's attack on Yokohama, and his attack on the small Village near Mt. Fuji, really highlights the true skill and craftsman ship of Tsuburaya's crew.
  • The final battle is one of the best in the series, and the way they defeat KG is very clever and original.
  • Monster Conversation ("Oh Godzilla, what terrible language!" This alone puts it near the top.)
  • Oh yeah, did I mention that Akiko Wakabayashi is in this? :huge: No wonder EON chose her to be a Bond girl
.

Sure, the effects as a whole weren't quite as polished or smooth as GvstheThing, or even GvsMonster Zero, and the Godzilla/Rodan puppets were a little silly, but the spirit, fun, and epic scope more than trumps this. Also, some people forget that GTTHM was far more ambitious than GvstheThing SFX-wise, with more monsters (including numerous battle sequences between Godzilla and Rodan), and, up to that point, one of the most spectacular, but complex creations ever to operate, King Ghidorah.

I've never understood why some people bash the plot and editing...the plot was rather entertaining, energetic, moved at a great pace, and actually made the human characters interesting and compelling for a change....the human story elements have a spy/espionage flavor to it. This film also does an excellent job of showing how normal people's lives are impacted by the monsters' destruction, such as the villagers' dispair when their homes are destroyed by an avalanche of rocks during the final battle.

They (Toho) definitely don't make 'em like they used to...
Last edited by ebirahsmeg1 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby The H-Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:22 am

I didn't go through all 9 pages so I don't know if it's been mentioned, but a great scene for me is when Godzilla offers Mothra the use of his tail to drag him along, a nod to the earlier film when one of the larva bit G's tail.

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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby HikizuruBeat » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:52 am

I thought it was funny when Godzilla was chucking rocks at ghidorah.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby ebirahsmeg1 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:22 am

Alright, here are some pics of everyone's favorite Venusian...er...Martian, Akiko Wakabayashi!


Image

Image

Image

Image


The trifecta...and I'm not talking about Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. I'm talking Akiko Wakabayashi, Hama Mie, and Kumi Mizuno together. :shock:
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Tamura » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:03 pm

What movie or movies are those stills from?
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Goji » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:07 pm

Judging by their attire, it looks to be from the two films that were cannibalized by Woody Allen into WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY.

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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Terasawa » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:35 pm

If you look really close at the bottom still, you can make out the title "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" The still right above that one has (C) American International Pictures, 1966, which means it's also from TIGER LILY.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby ebirahsmeg1 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:18 pm

Legion1979 wrote:Far more hotter than the skinny, Japanese schoolgirls I keep seeing in the "Sexy Women" thread that I feel dirty even thinking about considering how young they look.


Agree 100%. As much as I love Japan, Japanese culture, and Japanese women, I CAN'T STAND the whole lolita (lolicon)/sailor moon/AKB48/"kawaii!"/school girl/maid cafe/etc subculture over here that is also extremely popular with some Western fans as well...don't get it at all and never will. I prefer real women who look like women, not so called "women" who look like anorexic young school girls.

Anyways...here are some cool photos I scanned from some books in my collection of GTTHM:

Image

Image
Image
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby HayesAJones » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:40 pm

ebirahsmeg1 wrote:Image

Is it wrong that my firsts thoughts on this picture were that it looked like Godzilla's about to get it up the ass? 'Cause I'm pretty sure it is.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Space Hunter M » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:45 pm

The expansiveness and amount of detail present in the Yokohama set is impressive.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Goji » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:35 pm

Space Hunter M wrote: The expansiveness and amount of detail present in the Yokohama set is impressive.


I concur, it's a beautiful set. I really wish we had been able to see more of it in the film.

HayesAJones wrote:Is it wrong that my firsts thoughts on this picture were that it looked like Godzilla's about to get it up the ass? 'Cause I'm pretty sure it is.


It doesn't look anything like that, actually. It is a little sad that this is the first thing you thought of. Getcho' mind outta the gutter.


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