Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Rhedosaurus » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:33 pm

I actually saw this movie when I was just beginning to be a Godzilla fan. It was one the first. I liked it and I still do. But for some reason, I consider it to be...off. Like that the Showa series should have ended with Mechagodzilla's first movie. I guess the bittersweet ending that I remember the movie having just rubs me the wrong way a bit.

Again, it's a good movie, but for me, it was the wrong one to end the Showa series.

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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby eabaker » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:38 pm

Rhedosaurus wrote:I actually saw this movie when I was just beginning to be a Godzilla fan. It was one the first. I liked it and I still do. But for some reason, I consider it to be...off. Like that the Showa series should have ended with Mechagodzilla's first movie. I guess the bittersweet ending that I remember the movie having just rubs me the wrong way a bit.

Again, it's a good movie, but for me, it was the wrong one to end the Showa series.


It is definitely a huge tonal shift, but for me that's part of what makes it an ideal ending for a series so all-over-the-map. The fact that said shift was to a particularly elegiac tone is what really ties it together.

But I'm one of those rare fans who's pretty lukewarm on the first MG flick.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Rhedosaurus » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:44 pm

eabaker wrote:But I'm one of those rare fans who's pretty lukewarm on the first MG flick.


It's interesting, because I also have a slightly odd history with the first MG dualogy myself in that I saw this one first before G vs MG. I really liked Terror of MG, and still do. But G vs MG just amazed me.

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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:36 pm

Gave this one a chance tonight because I've always thought it wasn't as good as many made it out to be.

Well...I was wrong. This is probably my new favorite of the 70s films. Very well done film and one I'm ashamed I brushed off so many years ago.

The characters are the best part. Mafune and Katsura each go through a tragic arc where they're unsure of their alliance with the Black Hole Aliens (just gonna call them "Simeons" now for convenience's sake) and they both become nothing but pawns for them which ultimately ends with their deaths. Ichinose and Murakoshi are also fun to watch, though not quite as complex as Mafune and Katsura. There's also little bit parts scattered throughout such as when Ichinose and Murakoshi ask a pair of locals about Mafune and the pipe worker who was given the space titanium by the Simeon escapee. This gives the film a very distinct "Honda" feel to it, like these are characters you would see in some of the early 60's films like Mothra vs. Godzilla or Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. I also like how there's little character-driven dialogue snippets that really flesh them out as characters. Murakoshi and Ichinose's happy reactions to seeing each other again at the meeting and Mugal proclaiming how Earth travel tires him out were two that stood out to me.

The cinematography and shot composition are great. There's lots of shots focusing on eyes and the intial reveal of Mechagodzilla 2 starting outside the viewport and then slowly pulling back until we're inside the Simeon base was a real treat. The opening sequence with Titanosaurus attacking the first research vessel was also well-shot.

Music is fantastic. Mechagodzilla's new theme is honestly the best he's ever had. It's quite interesting that Mechagodzilla films seem to bring out the best of the franchise's composers, Ifukube's works here and in Mechagodzilla '93, Masaru Sato's bombastic themes in the first MechaG film, Michiru Oshima's wonderful orchestrations in the Millenium series, they're all beautiful works each fitting for their films but also nice to listen to on their own.

I remember eabaker mentioning his love for the film's slow pacing and I agree that it works to the film's favor. There's a steady buildup of events and many twists and turns throughout the story that make it really engaging. I think it kind of muddles once the third act comes into play. By that point the film just kind of starts hurrying and wrapping things up quickly. There's not much left to see except Godzilla, Titanosaurus, and Mechagodzilla's battle.

Speaking of, the effects in this film are good but probably not the highlight of Teryuoshi Nakano's career. A lot of the matte shots are pretty sloppy such as Mugal entering Mechagodzilla (he becomes super blobby), Titanosaurus rampaging across Japan, and when Katsura and the Simeon goon are escaping the Interpol agents (they just...pop out of existence). Titanosaurus also has a lot of embarrassing effects shots. There's a quick miniature shot in the opening scene that's very unflattering but also his "jump attack" at the jets during his first rampage looks really awful. There's a lot of scenes where the suits are "floaty" and they don't look good at all.

But overall, this is another 70s film that excels with its characters and delivers satisfactory monster sequences on the side. Definitely moved up in my overall rankings since I last gave it a shot.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby PitchBlackProgress » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:38 am

I can’t help but find GvMG vastly more entertaining :shrug:

While TOMG has the better soundtrack and mood and tone though

I’m conflicted :lol:
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Grievous » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:28 am

Honestly...after the funky over the top fun of Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla...
Terror Of MechaGodzilla is a bit of a downer. Its TOO serious compared
to the 4 films before it.

Its the 70's...lets have some campy fun!
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby LockBite » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:55 am

I really want to love ToMG, but its main problem is that it never escapes the shadow of its predecessor. It’s a fundamentally flawed film in that it fails to adjust certain elements to match its more depressing tone. Everything is shrouded in this cloud of bleakness that really nullifies the enjoyability of the ridiculous kaiju fights and hammy acting.

Ideally, this film would’ve been written by Honda and directed by Fokuda. Katsura’s subplot wasn’t what made the tone so miserable. It was the presentation of the whole thing.

All that aside, the kaiju fights are just redundant and sometimes outright inferior to vsMG. All in all I can’t find a reason to go back to this one.

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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:56 pm

I saw this one before it's predecessor, this is the film that started it all for me. Being a Godzilla fan and a growing lover of filmmaking. I think it's human drama is far better than the film before it.

I don't care what the first GvMG did, this is absolutely a sequel but it was better to give it it's own feel. All thanks to Honda and student writer Yukiko Takayama.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby eabaker » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:29 pm

MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:I don't care what the first GvMG did, this is absolutely a sequel but it was better to give it it's own feel. All thanks to Honda and student writer Yukiko Takayama.


Yeah, I feel like often times the best way to make a sequel is to take a radically different approach than the prior film. You avoid the trap of just re-hashing the earlier entry, and when it works well both movies are stronger when viewed as complementary halves of a pair. A few examples, off the top of my head, would be Frankenstein/The Bride of Frankenstein (the dark humor of the sequel in contrast to the more straightforward melodrama of the original), Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back (the more mannered performances, straightforward storytelling and montage-driven rhythm of the first versus the naturalistic performances, sometimes elliptical storytelling and longer takes of the second), Friday the 13th/Friday the 13th Part II (the almost vérité sensibility of the original juxtaposed with the formalist approach of sequel), and Alien/Aliens (kind of a disingenuous inclusion, since I think the original is perfect and doesn't have any room to benefit from the sequel, but for most they seem to function as a perfect complementary pair).
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:34 pm

eabaker wrote:
MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:I don't care what the first GvMG did, this is absolutely a sequel but it was better to give it it's own feel. All thanks to Honda and student writer Yukiko Takayama.


Yeah, I feel like often times the best way to make a sequel is to take a radically different approach than the prior film. You avoid the trap of just re-hashing the earlier entry, and when it works well both movies are stronger when viewed as complementary halves of a pair. A few examples, off the top of my head, would be Frankenstein/The Bride of Frankenstein (the dark humor of the sequel in contrast to the more straightforward melodrama of the original), Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back (the more mannered performances, straightforward storytelling and montage-driven rhythm of the first versus the naturalistic performances, sometimes elliptical storytelling and longer takes of the second), Friday the 13th/Friday the 13th Part II (the almost vérité sensibility of the original juxtaposed with the formalist approach of sequel), and Alien/Aliens (kind of a disingenuous inclusion, since I think the original is perfect and doesn't have any room to benefit from the sequel, but for most they seem to function as a perfect complementary pair).

Well put! I wish more films would do that nowadays, be it a sequel part of a trilogy or just the next chapter.
One of the reasons the Godzilla franchise is beloved by me is how diverse things are in the same story. (Same story as in a continuation, not directly picking up the narrative) I'm mostly refering to the Showa G series, it makes them much more layered.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Dr. Professor » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:40 pm

MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:
eabaker wrote:
MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:I don't care what the first GvMG did, this is absolutely a sequel but it was better to give it it's own feel. All thanks to Honda and student writer Yukiko Takayama.


Yeah, I feel like often times the best way to make a sequel is to take a radically different approach than the prior film. You avoid the trap of just re-hashing the earlier entry, and when it works well both movies are stronger when viewed as complementary halves of a pair. A few examples, off the top of my head, would be Frankenstein/The Bride of Frankenstein (the dark humor of the sequel in contrast to the more straightforward melodrama of the original), Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back (the more mannered performances, straightforward storytelling and montage-driven rhythm of the first versus the naturalistic performances, sometimes elliptical storytelling and longer takes of the second), Friday the 13th/Friday the 13th Part II (the almost vérité sensibility of the original juxtaposed with the formalist approach of sequel), and Alien/Aliens (kind of a disingenuous inclusion, since I think the original is perfect and doesn't have any room to benefit from the sequel, but for most they seem to function as a perfect complementary pair).

Well put! I wish more films would do that nowadays, be it a sequel part of a trilogy or just the next chapter.
One of the reasons the Godzilla franchise is beloved by me is how diverse things are in the same story. (Same story as in a continuation, not directly picking up the narrative) I'm mostly refering to the Showa G series, it makes them much more layered.

That's why the other eras of the Godzilla franchise mostly pale in comparison to the Showa series, in my opinion. The Showa series was always shifting tone and blending genres. It felt like they were constantly experimenting. After that, the rest of the films usually (but not always) ended up having the same tone as each other. Look at the Heisei series from Godzilla vs. Mothra to Godzilla vs. Destroyah. They all kind of feel like the same film. The same thing happened again with Godzilla vs. Megaguirus and the Kiryu Saga. I'm not saying that any of those movies are necessarily bad because of that, but that they all lack their own identity. Luckily we seem to be out of that point in the franchise at the moment, due to the amount of different studios and creative minds that have been involved with the franchise in recent years, but I'm worried that once Toho starts up their World of Godzilla thing we'll be right back at that point again.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Terasawa » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:29 pm

I see fans comparing the two Showa Mechagodzilla movies a lot, and I suppose that's inevitable, but I don't know, I appreciate both. I prefer vs. Mechagodzilla because of the breakneck pace but I think Terror is the more well-crafted film. They're both favorites.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was among the first Godzilla movies I ever saw. I didn't own the version pictured below but I saw that artwork in every video store I'd visit. I remember poking around Sam Goody with my dad one weekend looking for more Godzilla movies and I almost dismissed the later Paramount version of Terror because it looked so similar. We eventually checked it out anyway and he bought it for me when I realized it was a different movie.

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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Dr. Professor » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:55 pm

Terasawa wrote:Image

That particular Paramount box art is wildly inaccurate, but I love it anyway. Nostalgia hits me like a brick when I see those Paramount covers.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby KaijuCanuck » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:57 pm

Dr. Professor wrote:
Terasawa wrote:Image

That particular Paramount box art is wildly inaccurate, but I love it anyway. Nostalgia hits me like a brick when I see those Paramount covers.


Amazing how it's literally a poster for the previous movie. Movie promotion, especially of foreign films, was just such a wild west back then. You just can't get away with that poop any more.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Grievous » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:51 pm

MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:I think it's human drama is far better than the film before it.

I just don't think the 70's films were the best place for "serious" human drama.

The 70's films were loud, colorful, crazy & campy...and that's why I love them...
but Terror of MechaGodzilla is too serious for its own good.

Not to mention there are some serious lapses in the effects work & editing...
and yes I'm talking about the proper uncut Japanese version.

I know some Godzilla fans hate & despise the campy elements of the franchise...
but I truly find those campy elements fun & creative...and Terror of MechaGodzilla
is trying too hard to be serious.

Honestly...Terror of MechaGodzilla feels more like a sequel to Monster Zero than
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla...at least in tone & themes...and for me that doesn't
work.

Be serious or be campy...don't try to do both because then your audience won't
know what to feel.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby eabaker » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:48 am

Grievous wrote:Be serious or be campy...don't try to do both because then your audience won't
know what to feel.


I like movies that invite the audience to feel multiple - even contradictory - things.

But, then, as I've made it clear on this board over the years, I tend to think that (a.) audiences, like rules, were made to be broken and that (b.) juxtaposition is one of an artist's most powerful weapons.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Terasawa » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:25 am

Dr. Professor wrote:That particular Paramount box art is wildly inaccurate, but I love it anyway. Nostalgia hits me like a brick when I see those Paramount covers.


I mean, hell, the Gargantuas one is my avatar here and I've used others as avatars on other forums. I love those crazy things too.

Some of the original paintings were up for sale on eBay a few years ago and I only wish I'd had enough money to justify buying a few of them. :(
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Dr. Professor » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:38 am

Terasawa wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote:That particular Paramount box art is wildly inaccurate, but I love it anyway. Nostalgia hits me like a brick when I see those Paramount covers.


I mean, hell, the Gargantuas one is my avatar here and I've used others as avatars on other forums. I love those crazy things too.

Some of the original paintings were up for sale on eBay a few years ago and I only wish I'd had enough money to justify buying a few of them. :(

Damn, I'd love to own one of those.
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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Freebleeper » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:35 am

I was watching the movie last night and I notice in the restaurant scene when Akria tells Katsura that super sonic waves affects TitanSaurus the music was the same in the trailer of the one that's coming this May... watch the film if you notice like me!

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Re: Talkback: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Postby Maritonic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:07 am

Grievous wrote:Be serious or be campy...don't try to do both because then your audience won't
know what to feel.


I don't know. I don't feel too much camp with this one. The tone has always felt dark and creepy. Mechagodzilla II literally levels city blocks. The music is slower and even eerie at times. I've never felt too conflicted with this one. Definitely one of my Top 10.
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