Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Major sssspielberg! » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:04 pm

This one used to be bottom of the barrel for me. I loved Terror of Mechagodzilla and not care for this one AT ALL. Hated Cesar, the blood, the damn dirty apes.
Then I skreeonkin watched it. For the first time since I was knee high to a Shobijin.
And I'll be damned if it's not some of Jun Fukuda's finest work. The monster fights. The intrigue. The skreeonkin soundtrack! There's just something about the pacing of it that makes this one kick ass. The worst thing I can say about Honda's films (which I generally prefer to Fukuda's work) is that they tend to drag at one point or the other. This movie just keeps moving!
And cherry on top is having Hiroshi Koizumi and Akihiko Hirata playing some older characters. Idk why but I really dug the three characters sacrificing themselves at the end also.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Grievous » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:02 am

Major sssspielberg! wrote:This one used to be bottom of the barrel for me. I loved Terror of Mechagodzilla and not care for this one AT ALL. Hated Cesar, the blood, the damn dirty apes.
Then I skreeonkin watched it. For the first time since I was knee high to a Shobijin.
And I'll be damned if it's not some of Jun Fukuda's finest work. The monster fights. The intrigue. The skreeonkin soundtrack! There's just something about the pacing of it that makes this one kick ass. The worst thing I can say about Honda's films (which I generally prefer to Fukuda's work) is that they tend to drag at one point or the other. This movie just keeps moving!
And cherry on top is having Hiroshi Koizumi and Akihiko Hirata playing some older characters. Idk why but I really dug the three characters sacrificing themselves at the end also.

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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby G-Matt » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:54 am

Happy 45th Anniversary to this kickass movie! :D
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Fri May 17, 2019 7:18 am

So I’m lagging and have to catch up quickly, but just watched this on my marathon towards KOTM. I’ll say a few things:

I think this movie is the best “introductory” film. It has a lot of monster action and a variety of types. It’s also the easiest to follow. Mechagodzilla is one of the few antaonigistic Kaiju/mechs executed well. He has a proper introduction and role in the story, and defeats other Kaiju, as well as fights Godzilla on equal terms. The film does well at having many different Kaiju sequences that are varied, such as the brief introduction sequences, MG destruction+VS Angurius, Mg vs Godzilla 1, MG vs King Ceaser and MG vs Godzilla+Ceaser. The fights are bloody and brutal, and contain a variety of melee and beams. So the film in terms of monster action is an A+.

Where the film crashes and burns horribly, however, is the main cast. What, you say? The main cast did a lot, and had a lot of people. Perhaps, too many. There’s group a with the archeologist woman and the other guy, and his uncle, and then there’s the group in Okinawa studying the space titanium and who also has an assistant and daughter. Let’s not forget then the two Okinawa azumi royal family ancestors. But then we also have the antagonist villain angents, and their leader. But also not one, but two Interpol agents. Let’s not forget that everyone mentioned, plays a vital role in the PLOT, of this film, but has zero development. This film has way too many characters, with their own individual stories. Had they cut down and condensed the cast it would’ve been better. Seriously, why do we need two Interpol agents? Or two scientists? And we know Jun Fukuda, and the cast is capable of a lot better due to Ebirah Horror of the Deep, soG and Godzilla vs Gigan. All three of those films had a lot of great human involvement and characters.

And with the exception of waking King Ceaser, and possibly the destruction of the base, none of the human characters interact or are important to the Kaiju plot, without superficial reasons. There’s no reason why the aliens couldn’t have just remade Mechagodzilla; why did they need a random scientists help, other then to forcibly raise the stakes and justify his role in the story? While Godzilla vs Megalon suffered from having nothing human wise, Godzilla cs Mechagodzilla has waaaay too much. It also doesn’t know who it wants the main protagonist of the human narrative is. Notice how quickly and poorly the early parts of the film intercut between characters who are only tangentially related, doing almost the same thing. One group discovers space titanium while the other discovers the prophecy.

One thing I have to give credit for though, is the parallel between MG, and the Interpol. While everyone can guess MG is the villain based on the poster, and as a result the fake out of the fake Godzilla isn’t so great, the revelation that the shadowy figures, the Interpol agents, aren’t the villains, make a great subversion of Mechagodzilla. Unfortunately it again contributes to the claustrophobia by too many groups and characters, but it’s a nice and clever detail. If is totally pointless though that there’s randomly a second agent though.

Overall, Godzilla vs MG, is probably the most SOLID Godzilla film. I think it’s the best, in the series, as being fun and approachable. It delivers on the monster action, and the human plot isn’t boring or hard to follow. However, I think it fails in a lot of ways in comparison to the greater entries in the series with more compelling human drama or zietgiests. In the end, this is essentially Godzilla vs Gigan/Megalon, with a way better budget and no stock footage. I get why people love this film or would say it’s rhere favorite, but I also see it’s gaping flaws.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby MikeSTZillak » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:43 pm

I know Wikipedia isn't the most accurate websites, but it says here that Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was distributed by Cinema Shares International (who also distributed Sea Monster on TV). So did they distribute it or not? (apologizes if this is a stupid question)
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Terasawa » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:16 pm

Yes, Cinema Shares (and also a company called "Downtown Distribution") released the film as "Godzilla vs. the Bionic Monster" in late 1976. Universal, which claimed to have a trademark for the word "bionic" (from the Six Million Dollar Man), threatened to sue, so by summer of 1977, the movie was pulled and re-released as "Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster."

Godzilla versus the Sea Monster, however, was never released by Cinema Shares. It was brought over to the U.S. by the Walter Reade Organization and went straight to TV in 1968.

This thread has pretty accurate information on the films' history in the U.S.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Stump Feet » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:08 am

I posted this in the Top 10 thread, but truly I feel it deserves to be here-

This is going to be all over the place so I apologize in advance but I believe between Astro Monster, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was among the very first Godzilla movies I had ever seen so it strikes major nostalgia chords.

The movie was balls to the wall monster action from the very beginning with Anguirus and wrapped around this strange tone that’s never been duplicated by any other G flick before it or after.

I absolutely cannot get over the original Mechagodzilla’s design, the changes between 74’ and 75’ are very subtle but they stick out like a sore thumb to me and I love the overall bulkiness and shine that was stripped away from him in the sequel.
King Caesar’s another huge part of the appeal, he’s such a strange creature that brings such a mysterious nuance about him that no other monster had imo.

I can’t help but favor the human narrative in this and interpol’s role, something about agent Nanbara always struck me as totally badass for some reason and he’s always been a favorite character out of the entire series, dude just radiates “cool” and “mystery”.

Can’t forget about that amazing soundtrack, Terror’s is so memorable don’t get me wrong and it’s always a plus to have Akira scoring again, but I can’t help but find my foot tapping to the rhythm of Sato’s bopping score everytime.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Zarm » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:31 am

Stump Feet wrote:King Caesar’s another huge part of the appeal, he’s such a strange creature that brings such a mysterious nuance about him that no other monster had imo.


I think you're right on with all of this, but especially here. I am very intrigued by the idea that King Caesar's threat is that he might 'wake other monsters.' Many have complained that King Caesar is actually fairly useless in the end battle, once MechaG really opens up with his weaponry, and that's fair- but I like that he has an unexplored mystery, that maybe the true danger to the Black Hole aliens he represents is something he never reached the point of activating in the film.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Godzillian » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:34 am

Zarm wrote:
Stump Feet wrote:King Caesar’s another huge part of the appeal, he’s such a strange creature that brings such a mysterious nuance about him that no other monster had imo.


I think you're right on with all of this, but especially here. I am very intrigued by the idea that King Caesar's threat is that he might 'wake other monsters.' Many have complained that King Caesar is actually fairly useless in the end battle, once MechaG really opens up with his weaponry, and that's fair- but I like that he has an unexplored mystery, that maybe the true danger to the Black Hole aliens he represents is something he never reached the point of activating in the film.

He is really wasted in the film. All the build up to him appearing and he's pretty quickly done away with by Mechag. A real waste since he could have been a very intriguing kaiju
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Stump Feet » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:37 am

Even while wasted, he still stands out in a big way and brings a certain air of intrigue and mystery many other kaiju lacked. This is just my opinion of course.

King Caesar just feels special for some reason, it’s odd.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby eabaker » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:44 am

Stump Feet wrote:I can’t help but favor the human narrative


See, that's where this movie somewhat falls apart for me. I don't have any kind of interest or emotional investment in either of the Shimizu Brothers, nor in Saeko, and whatever appeal Miyajima and Wagura have pretty much comes down to the casting of actors I enjoy in other roles (Hirata at least gives a somewhat compelling performance, but Koizumi just walks through his throwaway role). And an awful lot of the runtime is just a few of the characters running around, not really advancing story (much less characterization).
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby edgaguirus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:54 am

The Shimizu who helps Miyajima has very little to do, but the other brother does deliver more interest. He doesn't have any real development, but he's more key to the plot than the other one. He's the one having to deal with the statue and the alien agent, plus Agent Nanbara really enters the story through him.

Also, a fact for anyone interested. Titanium is non magnetic. It's possible that space titanium is different from Earth titanium in containing iron. Many meteorites do contain iron, and the black hole aliens could have mined the metal for MG from such a meteorite. It's the only way that Godzilla's magnetic trick could have pulled in the robot.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby TitanoGoji16 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:31 pm

Zarm wrote:I am very intrigued by the idea that King Caesar's threat is that he might 'wake other monsters.'


I've always thought they should've cut the scene of Godzilla recharging in the rain and rework it so that King Caesar was actually responsible for resurrecting Godzilla after his first fight with Mechagodzilla. Maybe bring Anguirus back for the final fight, too.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:39 pm

Can I just say just say I really dislike King Shisa`s English name?

Caesar=King
Literally King King.
Also there was the Roman Emperor Caesar.
It feels more like a dumb pun then anything.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shisa

Plus, while its really apparent and obvious now, in the past I completely missed that there`s an important cultural connection with King Shisa because he is literally a Shisa come to life.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Stump Feet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:47 pm

I never understood how they turned “Shisa” into “Caesar”

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TitanoGoji16 wrote:
Zarm wrote:I am very intrigued by the idea that King Caesar's threat is that he might 'wake other monsters.'


I've always thought they should've cut the scene of Godzilla recharging in the rain and rework it so that King Caesar was actually responsible for resurrecting Godzilla after his first fight with Mechagodzilla. Maybe bring Anguirus back for the final fight, too.

Just pull a “KOTM” and cut to stockfootage of Kumonga rising out of the ground, Baragon popping out of that cliff in the village, and Rodan emerging from Mt. Aso :lol:
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:50 pm

Stump Feet wrote:I never understood how they turned “Shisa” into “Caesar”

I have a feeling this was in a different era when companies felt the need to "Americanize" or change certain dub details so it will reach western audiences better.

Caesar is familiar to more American/European audiences because of well the eponymous Roman Emperor. I have a feeling a lot they probably, and at the time understandably so, felt international audiences would not get the monsters name because of the language barrier. In 2019 there`s no real reason to keep referring to the monster as "Caesar" where it is very obvious its just Shisa.
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Stump Feet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:52 pm

If anything, I prefer the old way they spelled it on VHS’s, “Seeser”
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:58 pm

Toho's original spelling was "King Seeser." This was in an era when American companies did little more than cut the existing English versions up and throw them out at the drive-ins, so all blame for the Romanization is on Toho. I'm not sure why they ever deviated from "Shisa" (Although can you imagine those Hong Kong dubbers trying to figure that out? It probably would have sounded like a certain German profanity...) or why they eventually settled on and trademarked the inane "King Caesar."
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby TitanoGoji16 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:08 pm

Oh, how I remember the golden years of the early to mid '90s, growing up as a Godzilla fan. The monsters were King Seesar, Spiega, Angilas, Minya, and Gimantis (or Kamakiras), and the movies were Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, Godzilla's Revenge, Godzilla versus the Sea Monster, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, and Gigantis the Fire Monster. Then in the late '90s Toho went totally bonkers out of absolutely nowhere and now we're forever stuck with King Caesar, Kumonga, Anguirus, Minilla, Kamacuras, Invasion of Astro-Monster, All Monsters Attack, Ebirah: Horror of the Deep, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla Raids Again...
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Re: Talkback Thread #14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:22 pm

TitanoGoji16 wrote:Oh, how I remember the golden years of the early to mid '90s, growing up as a Godzilla fan. The monsters were King Seesar, Spiega, Angilas, Minya, and Gimantis (or Kamakiras), and the movies were Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, Godzilla's Revenge, Godzilla versus the Sea Monster, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, and Gigantis the Fire Monster. Then in the late '90s Toho went totally bonkers out of absolutely nowhere and now we're forever stuck with King Caesar, Kumonga, Anguirus, Minilla, Kamacuras, Invasion of Astro-Monster, All Monsters Attack, Ebirah: Horror of the Deep, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla Raids Again...


For what it's worth, most of those titles and names had already been trademarked and in use elsewhere for decades, for the most part we just didn't know about it here because Toho didn't get back control of a lot of those films until the mid-90s or later. By that point they'd already re-established "Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster" and "Godzilla on Monster Island" as Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Godzilla vs. Gigan, respectively. And "Godzilla vs. Monster Zero" was itself already a retcon: it was known here for a decade as simply "Monster Zero" before Henry Saperstein decided adding Godzilla to the title would make him more money. (It was also in release here as "Invasion of the Astros," although it was never widely known by that title.)

It did make collecting a bit harder than it should have been though. If I'd known that the movie I was hunting for called "Gigantis, the Fire Monster" had been released on video as Godzilla Raids Again maybe I wouldn't have had to wait as long as I did to see it.
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