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

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

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

Rewatched it today. Some things to note:

-The Park where the prophet first makes her appearance is Ueno Park. I’ve been there and it’s a very popular place.

-This film is really where the Kaiju genre takes full form. While obviously a lot of movies came out prior to this, this is the first time we really get so many monsters in one film, and Godzilla and Rodan each get a ton of screen time in addition to Ghidorah.

-Likewise, this is the first time we really get awknowledgement of “something’s not right with the earth”, a roundabout explanation for why all the Kaiju have begun to awaken and will continue to do so throughout the series. It’s sortve an extension to the global warming message in Rodan. The Venusians were also a nice sublte middle ground to introduce the RELATIVELY grounded showa series before the next film IOTAM. Not total crazy sci-fi yet but the groundwork has been laid.

-Despite this being the first Godzilla film where Godzilla is not the antagonist, Godzilla is not a hero. The scene where he appears is treated as him appearing in any of the films prior; a menance and a disaster. Mothra is sortve the real hero for standing up to Ghidorah and convincing Godzilla and Rodan to fight.

-A big downside, in my opinion, is how long Ghidorah stays in his meteorite for a long time. While it’s good build up, I sortve wish Ghidorah got more time to destroy things and explain why Ghidorah is such a big threat. It’s never really explained, but Ghidorah is basically a flying Godzilla in terms of how much destruction it can cause. Godzilla has to walk everywhere, while Ghidorah can just randomly show up and destroy everything. Even though the Venusian says Ghidorah destroyed Venus, it really needed more emphasis on him.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by JAGzilla »

Ghidorah's limited screentime is understandable, though. The effects team had three other kaiju to operate, and the final battle must have been a major challenge on its own. Plus this film came out in the same year as the also effects-heavy MvsG, so it's really impressive that they crammed as much monster action into it as they did.

I agree that a little more emphasis on what makes Ghidorah so special would've been good. Really, even a line or two of dialogue would have made a difference. "Look at it! It can fly as fast as Rodan and has three times the destructive power of Godziller. Mankind hasn't got a chance, have we?"
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Gojirawars 03 »

This movie is pretty good. Not amazing, but passable. At the time, it was groundbreaking, being the first ever kaiju tag-team battle. But living now, in a world in which both Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla: Final Wars have happened, this type of team up is nothing really spectacular. Still, gave us both the first Kaiju tag-team brawl, and introduced Ghidorah, as well as starting the gradual progression of turning Godzilla into a hero character that would continue throughout the Showa series. So it did some major groundbreaking things. The movie itself though, especially by today's standards, is nothing special. On a positive note, I think this movie and GMK are the only two films in the series in which Ghidorah isn't being controlled by someone. They do build up the threat of Ghidorah very well here, even if the payoff (AKA, him getting his two tails handed to him in each movie) didn't really deliver on the buildup of Ghidorah as a major threat. Still, this movie is a major turning point for the series.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Gojirawars 03 wrote:At the time, it was groundbreaking, being the first ever kaiju tag-team battle. But living now, in a world in which both Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla: Final Wars have happened, this type of team up is nothing really spectacular.
Perhaps, but this movie has a stronger structure than either of those, and much better characterizations (both of the humans and - more relevant to the point you're making - of the monsters).
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Mr_Goji_and_Watch »

Yeah, DAM and Final Wars are much worse films. The female leads and Malness alone put this over those two. The photography with all the nature is also a higlight. Wish Tsuchiya could have played the villain, his performance would have been great to see.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by eabaker »

I'd also add that Ghidorah's "birth" scene represents far more iconic and stunning imagery than anything in DAM or GFW.

Do I dare to call it... "KINO"?
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Wish Tsuchiya could have played the villain, his performance would have been great to see.
I didn't know I wanted this until now.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Mr_Goji_and_Watch »

Dr. Professor wrote: I didn't know I wanted this until now.
It's all Kurosawa's fault :mad:

And yeah Ghidorah's entrance would be 100% certified kino, if only it weren't for that jarring cut
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote: I didn't know I wanted this until now.
It's all Kurosawa's fault :mad:
Damn it, Kurosawa! First you snub Godzilla out of an Academy Award, and then you absolute ruin Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster! What a pain in the ass, that guy.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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eabaker wrote:I'd also add that Ghidorah's "birth" scene represents far more iconic and stunning imagery than anything in DAM or GFW.
One of the most breathtaking special effects scenes in the entire franchise.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Yeah, DAM and Final Wars are much worse films. The female leads and Malness alone put this over those two. The photography with all the nature is also a higlight. Wish Tsuchiya could have played the villain, his performance would have been great to see.
Hey, so I'm that guy who thinks Final Wars was the best film in the Millenium Era, so while I agree that DAM wasn't spectaclar (thought that final battle almost made all of the rather boring plot worth sitting through), I just love Final Wars because it's fun. Objectively, its very flawed and not nearly the best film of the Millenium series, but whenever I'm in the mood to just sit down and have fun with a movie, Final Wars immediately comes to my mind. I'd say, objectively, GMK is the best Millenium film. But I just love watching Final Wars more because of sheer goofy entertainment value. It's like a ridiculous 70's Godzilla film with vastly updated special effects.

Oh yeah, and Final Wars has Don Frye and Kazuki Kitamura. So, that immediately makes it better than all the other Millenium films.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Gojirawars 03 wrote:Oh yeah, and Final Wars has Don Frye and Kazuki Kitamura. So, that immediately makes it better than all the other Millenium films.
Kazuki Kitamura is a fun scenery-chewing villain, but I'll never understand how to some people is Don Frye anything other than a gratingly awful element of the movie.

ThTHM, meanwhile, has Akiko Wakabayashi and Hisaya Ito's great character turns, and even a few seconds of Hideyo Amamoto is worth an hour of most character actors.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Kazuki Kitamura is actually a pretty good actor, he's in a lot of Takashi Miike films (Ley Lines being one of the best), so it's both odd and amusing to see him ham it up like a lunatic in Final Wars.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Gojirawars 03 wrote:
Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Yeah, DAM and Final Wars are much worse films. The female leads and Malness alone put this over those two. The photography with all the nature is also a higlight. Wish Tsuchiya could have played the villain, his performance would have been great to see.
Hey, so I'm that guy who thinks Final Wars was the best film in the Millenium Era, so while I agree that DAM wasn't spectaclar (thought that final battle almost made all of the rather boring plot worth sitting through), I just love Final Wars because it's fun. Objectively, its very flawed and not nearly the best film of the Millenium series, but whenever I'm in the mood to just sit down and have fun with a movie, Final Wars immediately comes to my mind. I'd say, objectively, GMK is the best Millenium film. But I just love watching Final Wars more because of sheer goofy entertainment value. It's like a ridiculous 70's Godzilla film with vastly updated special effects.

Oh yeah, and Final Wars has Don Frye and Kazuki Kitamura. So, that immediately makes it better than all the other Millenium films.
My knee-jerk reaction is to sneer because nobody should like a movie I don't like, buuut I'm the same way with Megaguirus. Terrible movie, but really great dumb fun. Godzilla was in full over the top badass mode, and the Dimension Tide is just hysterical.

And Don Frye was as bad as everything else in GFW, but had the decency to be entertaining about it.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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JAGzilla wrote:
Gojirawars 03 wrote:
Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Yeah, DAM and Final Wars are much worse films. The female leads and Malness alone put this over those two. The photography with all the nature is also a higlight. Wish Tsuchiya could have played the villain, his performance would have been great to see.
Hey, so I'm that guy who thinks Final Wars was the best film in the Millenium Era, so while I agree that DAM wasn't spectaclar (thought that final battle almost made all of the rather boring plot worth sitting through), I just love Final Wars because it's fun. Objectively, its very flawed and not nearly the best film of the Millenium series, but whenever I'm in the mood to just sit down and have fun with a movie, Final Wars immediately comes to my mind. I'd say, objectively, GMK is the best Millenium film. But I just love watching Final Wars more because of sheer goofy entertainment value. It's like a ridiculous 70's Godzilla film with vastly updated special effects.

Oh yeah, and Final Wars has Don Frye and Kazuki Kitamura. So, that immediately makes it better than all the other Millenium films.
My knee-jerk reaction is to sneer because nobody should like a movie I don't like, buuut I'm the same way with Megaguirus. Terrible movie, but really great dumb fun. Godzilla was in full over the top badass mode, and the Dimension Tide is just hysterical.

And Don Frye was as bad as everything else in GFW, but had the decency to be entertaining about it.
I don't find him at all entertaining. "Obnoxious" is the word I'd choose.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by MechaGoji Bro7503 »

Rewatched the Japanese cut after a few years, and everything just clicked for me this time. I'd even say it has a permanent spot among my favorites.

Completely forgot Takashi Shimura was in this, it was a pleasure seeing him in another Godzilla film. The brother and sister duo were nice protagonists, I was invested in them and the Princess's story. The little bits of dialoge showing the assassin's history with the Princess in the hotel scene were neat, supposedly he also killed her father with that fancy knife.
I loved seeing the story pick up after MvG, but I think it takes place in the following year since the meteorologists at the beginning state it is January. I wish Naoko had a bigger presence in the latter half of the film, since she supposedly understood the Princess, and was the first protagonist introduced. Detective Shindo's reluctance in taking the job to protect the Princess showed a nice bit of detail about him, and I guess it came full circle since she ends up thanking him for saving her three times. The sibling duo had a believable chemistry, the scene where they bicker at their house got a decent laugh out of me.

Onto the fantastical elements, the idea that aliens from Venus took refugee on Earth 5,000 years ago perfectly lets us slide into the ideas of aliens in the following film. "Call to Happiness" is an underrated Mothra song, and I was thrilled to hear "Holy Springs" for a bit again.
King Ghidorah's name isn't revealed till the 50-minute mark, and it's just chilling. His famous entrance is as stunning as ever, and he is the definite KG to me. His theme blasting while we hear that eerie bell-like roar is magnificent. The story with Mothra and King Ghidorah are already great - incorporating Rodan & Godzilla are icing on an already well made cake. I love how the team characterized Godzilla and Rodan, the big G acts like me getting no sleep after a long day, while Rodan seems like that punk that runs a red light. The fight between them was memorable, the puppet shots didn't bother me, I also loved how once Godzilla gets his chance he just pummels Rodan.

The famous "monster ted talk" scene was shorter than I remember, maybe that's due to the mandela effect. The "oh Godzilla what terrible language" line wasn't present at all. I do love how Godzilla and Rodan are reluctant to help Mothra, it casts them as more than just big animals - in fact the Showa era always did great with these characters. The climatic fight is incredible, it's shot in a beautiful way; one part that stood out was Rodan leading KG on an aerial chase only to turn back and ram into him. I wonder why Godzilla never used his atomic breath, and with Mothra maybe lengthening the scene where she's getting pummeled by KG would give more time to show how deadly he is. She gets hit by gravity beams about twice within ten seconds before Godzilla shows up, a little too quick for a change of heart in my opinion. The duel between Detective Shindo and the assassin was a little off considering they both could've shot each other but kept missing.... even when Shindo was helping the Princess up while the shot shows he had a perfect shot. Nonetheless, the ending was satisfying and a wild ride.

A 8/10, a fun, well made film considering it was quickly made in place of a Kurosawa film. As I said it's earned place among my favorites, KOTM's gonna have a challenge having a human element as good as this film.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Mr_Goji_and_Watch »

I rewatched this just now and just like G14 I came away with a better opinion on it. It has some silly stuff on it but it's mostly pretty well realized. Shame the effects footage just wasn't up to par with the drama footage and it jumps around too much. There are some good moments nobody talks about, like everybody inside and out of a cafe rushing to watch the TV, or the usage of extreme close ups. Still the best Ghidorah, love how it's presence just permeates through everything and creates tension.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Gojirawars 03 »

"Best Ghidorah," people say.

Why, exactly? Showa Ghidorah is easily the most overrated variant IMO. The only film where he feels like a threat is in GTTHM, and even then he's just a plot device with no personality that fianlly shows up in the final act just to give Godzilla and Rodan motivation to stop fighting each other. He puts up a good fight, and the final battle feels rewarding, but after this film, he drops off hard. In all the movies after this one, he's a total joke.

He gets flattened in seconds by Godzilla on Planet X (with Rodan not even really needing to be there. He barely contributed anything other than a few boulders dropped from the air). Then he's put under mind control and, when eventually freed, he gets taken down again with not much issue. Then he shows up again in Gigan, and gets put under mind control again. He gets a decent fight in against Godzilla this time, but to be honest, Gigan was doing most of the work cutting Godzilla to pieces. Once again, Ghidorah is broken from mind control, and the second Gigan is out of the way, Ghidorah gets decimated again.

At long last, we reach DAM, and oh, god. He shows up out of nowhere in the final act because the monsters needed a big bad guy to fight at the end, and the still had the suit, so why not. And thus, we get to watch the supposed "destroyed of worlds" get completely curbstomped. Then, of course, once hes on the ground with two heads already out of commission, who gets the final headshot to win the day?

skreeonking.

Minya.

Yeah, the harbinger of death and destroyer of galaxies defeated by one of Minya's flimsy little smoke rings.

It's honestly just sad to watch Ghidorah's drastic fall from grace. When he first starts out, he may be a little goofy, but hes still a legitimate threat. By the end of the Showa timeline, though, he's just a victim of constant abuse in every film he shows up in.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

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Gojirawars 03 wrote:he's just a plot device with no personality that fianlly shows up in the final act
I know this isn't the point of your post, but he shows up during the second act, not the third.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by szmigiel »

Gojirawars 03 wrote:"Best Ghidorah," people say.
This belongs more in the Monster Discussion Thread viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1701&start=280
But here we go
Gojirawars 03 wrote:Why, exactly? Showa Ghidorah is easily the most overrated variant IMO. The only film where he feels like a threat is in GTTHM, and even then he's just a plot device with no personality that fianlly shows up in the final act just to give Godzilla and Rodan motivation to stop fighting each other. He puts up a good fight, and the final battle feels rewarding, but after this film, he drops off hard. In all the movies after this one, he's a total joke.
His Reputation has a lot to do with this film and it is the one of the main reasons he is a top draw for Toho. He also doesn't appear out of nowhere for the final act, there is a nice build up with the meteor and his rampage and destruction before facing off against the other kaiju.
Gojirawars 03 wrote:He gets flattened in seconds by Godzilla on Planet X (with Rodan not even really needing to be there. He barely contributed anything other than a few boulders dropped from the air). Then he's put under mind control and, when eventually freed, he gets taken down again with not much issue. Then he shows up again in Gigan, and gets put under mind control again. He gets a decent fight in against Godzilla this time, but to be honest, Gigan was doing most of the work cutting Godzilla to pieces. Once again, Ghidorah is broken from mind control, and the second Gigan is out of the way, Ghidorah gets decimated again.
Yes a short battle on Planet X because it was just a show put on by the X-Seijins for the astronauts. Why risk their plans by having the kaiju fight a long drawn out battle? As far as the fight back on Earth, yes the audience doesn't get to see the battle underwater, but that doesn't mean it wasn't much of an issue. The reason he is in Godzila Vs Gigan is mainly due to put his name power getting people interested in seeing the film, and so they can use as much stock footage as possible.
Gojirawars 03 wrote:At long last, we reach DAM, and oh, god. He shows up out of nowhere in the final act because the monsters needed a big bad guy to fight at the end, and the still had the suit, so why not. And thus, we get to watch the supposed "destroyed of worlds" get completely curbstomped. Then, of course, once hes on the ground with two heads already out of commission, who gets the final headshot to win the day?

skreeonking.

Minya.

Yeah, the harbinger of death and destroyer of galaxies defeated by one of Minya's flimsy little smoke rings.
This is King Ghidorah 3rd appearance, not 4th. And he was used nicely as he was the only kaiju that could be used as an opponent for a battle royal. If the Godzilla series ended here, it would have been a great send off. As for the smoke ring, you honestly think that was what "defeated" King Ghidorah? If it wasn't for the smoke ring he would have gotten up and finished off all the other kaiju?
Gojirawars 03 wrote:It's honestly just sad to watch Ghidorah's drastic fall from grace. When he first starts out, he may be a little goofy, but hes still a legitimate threat. By the end of the Showa timeline, though, he's just a victim of constant abuse in every film he shows up in.
We can apply your line of arguments to the rest of his appearances.

Heisei King Ghidorah: He is made up of three Furbie rejects, gets a head blown off by Godzilla and flees. Then has to comeback as a mecha/cyborg from the future just to fight Godzilla to a draw.

Grand King Ghidorah: Is a paedophile kid stealer that gets defeated by Mothra.

GMK: Wakes up early to fight Godzilla like he is half asleep, and then when he gets fully powered up he gets his ass kicked even faster.

G:KOTM: Flees from his first fight with Godzilla, gets his head ripped off in the second fight and is only saved when the Oxygen Destroyer only works on Godzilla and not him. In the final rematch gets in a few good hits, but is then utterly obliterated by Godzilla.

How are any of these better than the Showa?
Last edited by szmigiel on Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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