Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:50 pm

Yeah the Godzillla which everyone has memorable gifs of the final fight is the most basic...

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I can’t find it, but the early part with Megalon burrowing is also really cool.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby godjacob » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:29 am

I stand by my statement, though I admit the Godzilla handshake with Jet Jaguar was pretty neat cheesiness and all.

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby JAGzilla » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:58 am

godjacob wrote:I stand by my statement


And you're free to do so, but some sort of explanation would be appreciated. What about this battle makes it so basic'?

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby Terasawa » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:24 am

IMO, the final battle is Nakano's masterpiece, at least of the monster showdowns he directed.

One of the best sequences is Godzilla's arrival, which forces Gigan and Megalon away from Jet Jaguar. They track each other across the battlefield, like samurai squaring off for a clash, until Godzilla helps JJ up. I love the brief moment of gratitude from Jet Jaguar, and Godzilla's acknowledgement, that allows the two enemy monsters to get a jump on the battle.

This is one of the coolest shots in any Godzilla movie:

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby Tamura » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:35 am

Terasawa wrote:They track each other across the battlefield, like samurai squaring off for a clash, until Godzilla helps JJ up.

I always loved this scene but never even noticed this aspect. So cool.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby godjacob » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:41 am

I guess the main thing for me is I felt Toho began to overuse the Godzilla teams with a Kaiju format in the 70s films. So while specific moments being memorable I felt overall it was not much I had not already seen before this. Plus I felt Jet Jaguar was pretty useless for being given so much of the focus and felt more like Godzilla's sidekick in the fight than a proper partner (Same issue I have with King Caesar in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.)

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby UltramanGoji » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 am

This movie has severely underrated monster choreography and expressions. I love these two instances the most:

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The latter especially has a great conclusion: when Godzilla and Jet Jaguar escape the ring of fire, it cuts back to Gigan slumping his shoulders disappointingly and Megalon holding out his arms in a “uh, what?” kind of way.

There’s also the instance of Megalon laughing at the tiny Jet Jaguar who comes up to face him before Jet grows and socks him in the face.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:57 am

godjacob wrote:I guess the main thing for me is I felt Toho began to overuse the Godzilla teams with a Kaiju format in the 70s films. So while specific moments being memorable I felt overall it was not much I had not already seen before this. Plus I felt Jet Jaguar was pretty useless for being given so much of the focus and felt more like Godzilla's sidekick in the fight than a proper partner (Same issue I have with King Caesar in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.)

Really, only this film and Godzilla vs. Gigan have true kaiju tag teams. If you're counting any time two kaiju team up on another, then many of the 60s films had this as well (in fact, ALL of them except King Kong vs. Godzilla and Ebirah). Kaiju team-ups were a staple of the Showa series and some of the most enjoyable battles. I disagree that Jet Jaguar was a useless partner. Unlike King Caesar, who really was worthless, he saved Godzilla from the ring of fire and also played a vital role in bringing down both Gigan and Megalon, even if Godzilla performed the final blow on both kaiju. And I don't see a problem with Jags feeling like Godzilla's sidekick; obviously, Godzilla is the stronger of the two, which is why he was summoned in the first place. I won't deny for a second that Godzilla vs. Megalon is one of the very worst Godzilla films, if not the worst, but the final battle is enjoyable enough to make it more watchable than, say, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla or the TriStar film.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby godjacob » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:02 am

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
godjacob wrote:I guess the main thing for me is I felt Toho began to overuse the Godzilla teams with a Kaiju format in the 70s films. So while specific moments being memorable I felt overall it was not much I had not already seen before this. Plus I felt Jet Jaguar was pretty useless for being given so much of the focus and felt more like Godzilla's sidekick in the fight than a proper partner (Same issue I have with King Caesar in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.)

Really, only this film and Godzilla vs. Gigan have true kaiju tag teams. If you're counting any time two kaiju team up on another, then many of the 60s films had this as well (in fact, ALL of them except King Kong vs. Godzilla and Ebirah). Kaiju team-ups were a staple of the Showa series and some of the most enjoyable battles. I disagree that Jet Jaguar was a useless partner. Unlike King Caesar, who really was worthless, he saved Godzilla from the ring of fire and also played a vital role in bringing down both Gigan and Megalon, even if Godzilla performed the final blow on both kaiju. And I don't see a problem with Jags feeling like Godzilla's sidekick; obviously, Godzilla is the stronger of the two, which is why he was summoned in the first place. I won't deny for a second that Godzilla vs. Megalon is one of the very worst Godzilla films, if not the worst, but the final battle is enjoyable enough to make it more watchable than, say, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla or the TriStar film.


I think this more than anything is my issue. The fact that it came right after Gigan made it a case of fatigue given the similar plot structures both had and the stock footage didn't help. If it was spaced out better I could excuse it more than say other times Godzilla teamed up before and after this film. For Jet Jaguar I expected more from a guy who had so much of the film's focus up to that battle than well what he ended up doing. Not as bad as Caesar mind you, I agree with that, just felt he was more of a tag along who mainly just offered flight to get him out of a pit of fire (Which I honestly think he could have walked out of but eh, I am not Showa writers).

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby Terasawa » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:18 pm

UltramanGoji wrote:This movie has severely underrated monster choreography and expressions.


Don't forget Megalon laughing so hard he starts smacking his ass.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby UltramanGoji » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:22 pm

Terasawa wrote:
UltramanGoji wrote:This movie has severely underrated monster choreography and expressions.


Don't forget Megalon laughing so hard he starts smacking his ass.


Oh man, I can't believe I did. God, I love this movie.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby eabaker » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:57 pm

UltramanGoji wrote:This movie has severely underrated monster choreography and expressions.

The latter especially has a great conclusion: when Godzilla and Jet Jaguar escape the ring of fire, it cuts back to Gigan slumping his shoulders disappointingly and Megalon holding out his arms in a “uh, what?” kind of way.


Satsuma's performance as Gigan is some of the best kaiju suit acting ever. He brings a ton of personality through body language in both appearances.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby TitanosaurusFan » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:49 pm

That is whats great about this film, it embraces the cheesy super-hero Godzilla. The fight scene is actually quite good!

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby Living Corpse » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:04 am

Tamura wrote:The lengthy bit of minimally edited Gigan stock footage, besides being really shameless and sticking out like a sore thumb, really shows how different the tone of Megalon's and Gigan's battles are.


It's very jarring watching one and then the other just days apart. I had re-watched both a friend once and he said he forgot how different in tone these movies are. Gigan may be seen as cheesy by today's standards but Godzilla vs Gigan had this sort of bleak dark atmosphere when the action start, where as it's sequel Megalon is pretty lighthearted.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby LockBite » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:35 am

Finally saw this movie for the first time, courtesy of the Criterion set. And wow. I thought AMA was bad. This one is f***ing horrendous. I expected bad special effects and cheese, but what I didn’t expect was the AGONIZING pace of it all. From start to finish, it is so painfully dull. Every plot beat is needlessly dragged out. The fight choreography, typically a highlight of even the weakest entries, is abysmal. I know this film’s reputation, but going off of that, I was at least expecting to be entertained. This is probably the weakest Godzilla movie in the entire franchise.

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby JAGzilla » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:19 am

LockBite wrote: The fight choreography, typically a highlight of even the weakest entries, is abysmal.





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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:45 am

Right, as was recently discussed up above, the fight choreography is great, although there are certainly fans who don't like the anthropomorphized style displayed here or in the TV tokusatsu shows it's emulating.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby LockBite » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:29 pm

JAGzilla wrote:
LockBite wrote: The fight choreography, typically a highlight of even the weakest entries, is abysmal.





This is my fault, I really should’ve specified here: I’m talking about the human fights. They were so awkward and unconvincing. The kaiju fights were impressive in terms of what the actors were able to do inside those suits, but they were paced pretty badly. Not much of a flow. And when the Gigan stock footage hit, it just dragged on and on.

I will say the video quality on the Criterion release was pretty good. Apparently this, ToMG and Gojira are the only good-looking transfers in that collection, if the TK review is to be believed.
Edit: I just wanted to add, I was probably being overreactive when I claimed this could be the weakest in the franchise. I haven’t seen the anime films, which have a poor reputation, nor have I sat through GRA without fast-forwarding. Going off reviews, I expect GRA to be worse than this.

The one aspect of GvMegalon that surprised me in a good way was the look of it. Reviews had me thinking this would look like a TV episode, but no, it actually does have a filmic vibe, albeit a cheap one. I suppose the widescreen helped a lot in that regard.
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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby JAGzilla » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:54 pm

^ Ah, okay. You had me worried for a minute, there. ;)

As for GRA, you could definitely make the argument that it's more boring than GvM, and the structure really is strange, but GRA's plot is a good bit more coherent than GvM's, at least from what I remember; haven't seen GvM in a few years. But they're such different films that it's kind of an apples and oranges comparison.

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Re: Talkback Thread #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:50 pm

LockBite wrote:I just wanted to add, I was probably being overreactive when I claimed this could be the weakest in the franchise. I haven’t seen the anime films, which have a poor reputation, nor have I sat through GRA without fast-forwarding. Going off reviews, I expect GRA to be worse than this.

Godzilla Raids Again is a movie that's boring, but not all-around bad. The plot is definitely a lot more coherent than Godzilla vs. Megalon's and the human characters are better, too. I've heard the analogy that while Godzilla (1954) is about the American invasion of Japan, culminating in the atomic bombings, GRA is about Japan's efforts to clean up and start life anew after the war, with the threat of nuclear warfare still lingering. Looking at the movie through this thematic lens makes it a lot more interesting to me.

Godzilla vs. Megalon has a much more entertaining kaiju battle than GRA, but is otherwise an all-around worse movie. That said, I don't think either of them is the worst film in the franchise. I'd probably give that dishonors to City on the Edge of Battle. The whole anime trilogy is pretty disappointing and horribly tedious; if you can't get through GRA without fast-forwarding, don't even try to watch the anime films. As far as live-action, Toho-produced, Godzilla movies go, I still think Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla makes both GRA and Megalon look like cinema gold by comparison.


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