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

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

Postby KaijuMaster » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:15 am

Back on topic...

Ghidorah was for me the best Godzilla film from an effects and drama standpoint. Ghdiorah was ridicously complex, with a suit actor and numerous puppeteers required to control it. The action scenes with the humans were very well cut and integrated, such as how Godzilla and Rodan's battle knocks out the power lines leading to the shootout at the hospital. The fact that Toho felt confident enough to include four monsters in this picture speaks volumes for me about the faith they had in themselves that they could pull off such a movie.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:16 pm

Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I just got done watching the film for the first time in a while and my feelings have changed about it.

Wow...this film is really hit and miss. The effects and use of monsters are amazing, as is the final fight. But the writing is absolutely terrible. I don't mean the characters, some of them are actually pretty good and interesting (especially Takashi Shimura's character). What I mean is the use of the human characters in the story and how they get from one location to the next. Sometimes, characters jump from one location to another in the blink of an eye. Like the professor and how he got from the mountain, when the meteorite first started to be magnetic, and then suddenly he's in Yokohama with the brother and sister. Not to mention how the hell the princess survived falling out of a plane from god knows how high, and without any kind of protection at all.

But my main complaint with Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster, is that the world is faced with something that its never seen before...twice. First is that this is the same world that has seen Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra several times already. Now, for the first time, two of those monsters have appeared at once and are causing more damage than the two of them could ever cause alone. The second is that there is this new threat, King Ghidorah, which is from outer space and has destroyed all life on at least one other planet. Yet, with facing both of these threats at the exact same time, there is no attempt by the military to stop the threats (Either King Ghidorah or both Godzilla and Rodan). On top of that, with multiple monsters destroying Japan at the same time, we hardly get to see any of it. Instead, we get to watch other people go about unrelated things, like protecting a princess from assassins. Yeah, because if given the choice between watching several monsters attacking a nation at the same time or a bunch of people trying to figure out why a woman has gone coocoo for cocoa puffs, I'll take the crazy lady any day.

Overall, I find Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster to be a very overrated Godzilla film. Sure, the fights and effects are nice (well, some of the effects anyway), but the story is garbage and its not helped by having the good parts broken up in editing. It's nice to have been introduced to King Ghidorah, but I really wish there was more of him in this film, as well as more monster related things, like having the military fend off both Godzilla and Rodan at the same time. It's not a bad Godzilla film, but I don't understand a lot of the praise that this film gets.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:45 pm

Legion1979 wrote:
GotengoXGodzilla wrote:
But my main complaint with Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster, is that the world is faced with something that its never seen before...twice. First is that this is the same world that has seen Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra several times already. Now, for the first time, two of those monsters have appeared at once and are causing more damage than the two of them could ever cause alone. The second is that there is this new threat, King Ghidorah, which is from outer space and has destroyed all life on at least one other planet. Yet, with facing both of these threats at the exact same time, there is no attempt by the military to stop the threats (Either King Ghidorah or both Godzilla and Rodan). On top of that, with multiple monsters destroying Japan at the same time, we hardly get to see any of it. Instead, we get to watch other people go about unrelated things, like protecting a princess from assassins. Yeah, because if given the choice between watching several monsters attacking a nation at the same time or a bunch of people trying to figure out why a woman has gone coocoo for cocoa puffs, I'll take the crazy lady any day.


I blame both of these issues on the budget, definitely. There was only so much they could do with the time and money they had to rush this one out. I would have liked to have seen more of Ghidorah's rampage, but I can forgive that considering how much of a skreeonk that suit and props were to manipulate. That's really why he gets so little screen time. And while it also would have been nice to see Godzilla and Rodan destroy a few more cities, I think concentrating on the battle scenes and placing them at the base of Mt. Fuji not only emphasizes their relationship (which is important if their teaming up is to have any impact) but also makes King Ghidorah seem like a much bigger threat by comparison.

Additionally, since King Kong vs Godzilla and especially Mothra vs Godzilla spend so much of their time with military combat I think giving that sort of thing a break in this film was a nice change of pace.


I'll agree with the problem lying in the budget, as well as the little that they did with the Ghidorah prop, but that doesn't forgive how awful the story really is. With all of the emphasis on protecting the princess, it really does not match with what's going on with Godzilla and Rodan. It really comes off like watching two different films.

Now, I don't mind that they tried to work in a human plot into the film. That's fine. In fact, that's why I love Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ebirah, Horror Of The Deep and Son Of Godzilla so much. But the difference here is that there is too much going on with the human plot, and too much going on with the monster plot. Maybe if there were just two monsters, I'd be okay with all of the stuff about the princess. But, because there are four monsters in the film, there is just too much of the human plot. And as I said, the best parts of the monsters are broken apart by the editing, which really had me groaning when they would cut back to the princess for like five minutes and then start up the monster battle right where they left off.

If the problem lies in how much time and money they had, then fine. I'm okay with what the monster related film turned out to be. But I still blame most of the problems of the film on the writing.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:01 pm

Legion1979 wrote:
GotengoXGodzilla wrote:And as I said, the best parts of the monsters are broken apart by the editing, which really had me groaning when they would cut back to the princess for like five minutes and then start up the monster battle right where they left off.


Something they'd start doing in much later movies, which annoyed the piss out of me far more. GMK is a very good example.


I don't mind it so much in GMK, because what was going on with Yuri was pretty interesting, in a character exploration kind-of way.

Ghidorah, on the other hand, was really annoying, because its really predictable and tedious. Plus, with Godzilla against Rodan, there was really some interesting things going on, like Rodan grabbing Godzilla by his spines and dropping him, or Godzilla throwing Rodan against the ground, and even their game of rock volleyball. It really sucked to see all of that great action getting broken up through editing.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:47 pm

Cimmerian Dragon wrote:This is why I enjoy Monster Zero more than Ghidorah. We had already established who all the Kaiju were and what they could do, eliminated Mothra from the mix (I love her, but she had little to do but act as a diplomat in Ghidora), and came up with a more entertaining human plot. Glenn, Fuji, Namikawa, and Tetsuo are a lot cooler to hang around with than the cast of the previous film. The human's plan to battle the saucers with the light ray are more intriguing to watch than people chasing around an crazed princess.


I'll agree with Invasion Of The Astro-Monster being better than Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster. The plot is a little cliche, but it makes a lot more sense than Ghidorah, and is filled with characters that are much more interesting.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby tymon » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:46 pm

While the human characters were much more interesting in the 1965 film (as well as a better incarnation Ghidorah), I still prefer Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster. There's just somethin about it.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Gojira-Fan » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:33 am

Cimmerian Dragon wrote:
GotengoXGodzilla wrote:The plot is a little cliche, but it makes a lot more sense than Ghidorah, and is filled with characters that are much more interesting.


The plot is cliche? No, it's damn near a rip-off of "Earth vs the Flying Saucers". HOWEVR, it adds kaiju, Nick Adams, and a gorgeous alien robot. If that's not surefire way to jazz up the formula, I don't know what is


The only relation I see between to plots of ASTRO MONSTER and EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS is the ray used at the end of both films.

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

Postby Huan_of_Valinor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:28 am

I just got the Classic Media release of this in Burlington Coat Factory for $3:99!

What a deal!
Godzilla21 wrote:I would love if someone came out with some batshit Reddit Q&A who claimed to see the screening.

"Yes then Rodan falls on Godzilla to sacrifice himself and Godzilla transforms into a new monster called BAGAN."


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

Postby The Dark Uniter » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:12 pm

Huan_of_Valinor wrote:I just got the Classic Media release of this in Burlington Coat Factory for $3:99!

What a deal!

Well damn. It shows how stuff lowers down in valve overtime. :)

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

Postby Huan_of_Valinor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:40 pm

The Dark Uniter wrote:
Huan_of_Valinor wrote:I just got the Classic Media release of this in Burlington Coat Factory for $3:99! What a deal!
Well damn. It shows how stuff lowers down in valve overtime. :)


i went in FYE afterwards and the same movie was $10 more lol

even tho $13:99 is still pretty cheap, $3:99 is even better :D

it'll be my first time seeing the japanese version too :)
Godzilla21 wrote:I would love if someone came out with some batshit Reddit Q&A who claimed to see the screening.

"Yes then Rodan falls on Godzilla to sacrifice himself and Godzilla transforms into a new monster called BAGAN."


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

Postby Space Hunter M » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:51 pm

Probably my number-one favorite film out of all of them. I like it because it seemed to properly establish a universe in the Showa series (The Shobijin appearing on Public Television, Rodan's return, etc.) I liked the way the motives and personalities of the monsters were handled (Godzilla and Rodan's brash, stubborn, but not entirely unreasonable attitudes. Their sudden change of heart when they join the battle against Ghidorah). I still don't know why they bothered to change Prof. Miura's name, I mean they're the exact same character, and if romanized there is only one letter shifted around! Pretty much the same problem with Yuriko Hoshi's character.

I thought the build up and special effects for King Ghidorah's birth sequence were done very well. You can see he's really handled as a serious threat to civilization in this film. He seems to wipe out whole cities faster and more efficiently then the likes any of the other three monsters combined. I liked the prophetic aspect of him to. The puppetry effects for Godzilla and Rodan would not be so jarring if the puppets actually looked like the suits they were trying to represent! Overall, a classic and very much welcomed edition to the Showa series. Also, both Malmess and the Saradian Agent never took off their shades, right?
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Space Hunter M » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:10 am

Yeah, I really can't imagine any reason they would bother to make them "different" characters. It was nice seeing Takashi Shimura reprise his role as Yamane (Although, very briefly) in GRA.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby TokyoVigilante » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:13 pm

I flip-flop constantly over which I prefer, Monster Zero or Ghidrah. The one strength of Monster Zero though is the superior production values.

If I had to pick a favorite cast from a film, it would probably go to Ghidrah. The spunky Journalist Naoko and her stern party-pooper brother Shindo have great chemistry and seeing how their search for the same person with different identities came to a point was an entertaining and clever plot-line. Princess Salno is great in how unique she is; she doesn't really have any parallel throughout the rest of the franchise. Dr. Murai is...Dr. Murai, and Malness and his little gang of assassins were entertaining caricatures, looking like they were pulled out of a gangster movie from the twenties.

I love the continued mixing of show business and giant monsters here. The Shobijin embracing their celebrity status and using their talents as singers and subtle supernatural powers to delight and entertain their audience is a nice twist on their roles from Mothra and Mothra vs. Godzilla.

This is also pretty much as loopy as the dignified grounded tone that defined and made the early sixties films so strong can get. The idea of an alien invasion and the only communicable element of that invasion coming from a Princess possessed by her ancient Venusian ancestor is really fresh and unique as opposed to the silver jump suits that would come later. It's mysterious and vague in all the right ways.

But, the biggest hurtle to this would be the poor production values. Also, I've yet to see any clips of this film ever that don't have this strange yellow, aged tint. It's a shame that this film can't look as vibrant and lively as its brother released earlier the same year. I don't know if this film just didn't get preserved as well or if it's a way it was lit, but it just simply doesn't look as sharp as the films that would come before and after it.

Ghidrah wins out over Monster Zero for me, but by a hair.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby Tamura » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:22 pm

TokyoVigilante wrote:But, the biggest hurtle to this would be the poor production values. Also, I've yet to see any clips of this film ever that don't have this strange yellow, aged tint. It's a shame that this film can't look as vibrant and lively as its brother released earlier the same year. I don't know if this film just didn't get preserved as well or if it's a way it was lit, but it just simply doesn't look as sharp as the films that would come before and after it.

Blame that on Toho Video. They transferred a contrasty, faded dupe print of the film for the R2, and re-transferred it again for CM's DVD, this time succumbed to 6 years extra of print damage. The HD remaster is an absolute delight, a real sight to behold.
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Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1

Postby The Dark Uniter » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:48 pm

For the HD version besides the picture being better, does it show the strings for the monster suits like for the DVD? I remember hearing for Toho's Blu-ray of Rodan, they've digitally removed the strings or something.

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

Postby Kyono_Rei » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:12 pm

I will provide a different and maybe controversial opinion. Out of the "classic" Showa Godzilla films, I don't really like this one.

What bugs me the most is that the human plot is messy and boring. To me the first hour or so before Ghidorah appears feels like one big filler.

True, there are redeeming moments. The tension among the scientists building up before Ghidorah arrives with constant magnetic on-off is a fun part. Shobijin making a re-appearance is somewhat suprising and adds somehow to the kiddy-fun factor, as does Mothra attempting to negotiate with Radon and Godzilla. Its not a great scene, but its fun in its own campy-kiddy way.
The scene with the man losing his hat at the volcano is also original.

The final battle, while not that bad and quite dramatic when Mothra fights alone, gets rather bland when Radon and Godzilla come along. Not bad, but not the best of Showa kaiju fights.

Still, the long, dragging, tedious amnesiac human princess plot which makes up most of the movie spoils the overall effect very much.
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ghidora the three headed monster question

Postby kaijufan72 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:00 am

when Rodan made his first Appearrance from a cliffside, Rodan sounded like godzilla. this has been on my mind for a while now.

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Re: ghidora the three headed monster question

Postby therealmccoy » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:11 am

I noticed that too. Whether it was a mistake or not I don't know. It was kind of odd.
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Re: ghidora the three headed monster question

Postby Showa Gyaos » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:39 am

therealmccoy wrote:I noticed that too. Whether it was a mistake or not I don't know. It was kind of odd.

It most likely was a mistake.
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Re: ghidora the three headed monster question

Postby Space Hunter M » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:52 am

This audio blip actually happens twice during the film. One during the Mt. Aso scene, another during Godzilla and Rodan's first of many skirmishes.
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