CD: Frankenstein vs. Subterranean Monster Baragon - Soundtrack


Frankenstein vs. Subterranean Monster Baragon

Japanese CD Title

フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣 バラゴン
[Furankenshutain Tai Chitei Kaiju Baragon]

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Akira Ifukube
Toshiba EMI
March 1997

Based On:

Frankenstein vs. Baragon



By: Anthony Romero

First, thanks goes to Robert Storch for sending this in for review!

Released under Toshiba's Futureland label, this disc contains the full soundtrack to the 1965 film Frankenstein vs. Baragon, or Frankenstein Conquers the World if one prefers the more bombastic American title. The production is scored by maestro Akira Ifukube, so one already knows they are in good hands. Granted, the composer has certainly done better work in the genre, but this is an enjoyable soundtrack. It walks a fine line between gothic horror, especially in the early tracks related to World War II and when Frankenstein is still human size, and deep horn blaring music that was often used to signify the larger kaiju... with a mixture of Go-Go and Surfing music thrown in to date the production.

Surprisingly, as its a bit unusual for Ifukube, the score here works best when its being more subtle and ultimately its the more horror oriented pieces that stand out. This includes the wonderful "Main Title" and "The Fleeing Shadow", along with those similar to the latter which include "Encounter in the Rain" and "The Protected Vagrant Child". The "Main Title" is in a pedigree all its own and one of the composer's best, being slightly unearthly and very ominous after it finishes the title portion at the start. The other tracks are a bit more loose, but also convey a nice sense of mystery without being over the top. However, it wouldn't be an Ifukube kaiju score without a good march, and the maestro delivers for the second half of "Incident in the Forest ~ Search March", giving one of his better marches in his career as he adapts a motif from Varan (1958) and fuses more energy into it. The cue is somewhat wasted in the actual movie, used while soldiers are running up the hill, but excels as a stand alone theme.

In terms of what doesn't work, the score is actually pretty good from start to finish. Nothing stands out as bad, although there are a number of cues which are probably more on the "so-so" range. All of the music related to the actual climax, aptly named Frankenstein vs. Baragon, falls into this range as it doesn't really grab the listener and tends to mesh together with it all back to back. The dated music, including the "Shirane Cabin Surfing Music" which is, well, surfing music are a matter of taste. None of them jump out as particularly great, but do liven up the overall soundtrack.

However, and somewhat tragically, the best parts of this score were mostly reused for Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and sometimes with better results. For example, the "Main Title" is reused in the 1972 Godzilla film without the opening, focusing on the stronger second portion. Similarly, the "Incident in the Forest ~ Search March" was also reused with the latter, stronger portion of the cue highlighted. This doesn't discredit the original source here, but doesn't win it any favor in standing out today.

In terms of bonus content, the disc contains outtakes for some of the more dated music, ala the Go-Go Dance cue, along with two altered tracks for the American version of the movie. Also included is a stock theme from King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), which was used to represent the unused battle with the Giant Octopus, and finally a collection of sound effects that end with the audio from the trailer.

Overall, there are a lot of releases under Ifukube's belt that deserve more credit than this score, but it's an enjoyable soundtrack without a single bad cue, which is worth a lot of merit.

Rating: Star Rating


  1. Main Title (M1)
  2. Transporting the Heart (M2)
  3. U-Boat Sunk (M3)
  4. Hiroshima (M4)
  5. The Fleeing Shadow (M5)
  6. Encounter in the Rain (M6)
  7. Miyajima (M7)
  8. The Protected Vagrant Child (M8)
  9. TV Go-Go Dance Music (M9-T2)
  10. Sueko's Pendant (M10)
  11. The Caged Mysterious Person (M11)
  12. The Mysterious Person's Rage (M12)
  13. The Mysterious Person Escapes (M13)
  14. Parting (M14)
  15. Discovering the Wrist (M15)
  16. The Left Behind Hand (M16)
  17. Liquid Solution (M17)
  18. Biwako Cruise Dance Music (M18-T2)
  19. Frankenstein in Lake Biwa (M18B)
  20. The Whereabouts of the Hand (M19)
  21. The Tank Corps are Dispatched (M20)
  22. Incident in the Forest ~ Search March (M21)
  23. Shirane Cabin Surfing Music (M22A)
  24. Tragedy at Shirane (M22B)
  25. The Terror of Baragon (M23)
  26. Frankenstein in the Stone Pit (M24)
  27. Akita Oil Field Recollection (M25)
  28. Search in the Fog (M26)
  29. Frankenstein vs. Baragon I (M27)
  30. Frankenstein vs. Baragon II (M28)
  31. Frankenstein vs. Baragon III (M29)
  32. Frankenstein vs. Baragon IV (M30)
  33. Ending (M31)

    Alternate Takes
  34. TV Go-Go Dance Music (M9-T1)
  35. Lake Biwa (M18A)
  36. The Mysterious Person Escapes (Overseas Music M13)
  37. Parting (Overseas Music M14)
  38. Frankenstein vs. the Giant Octopus (King Kong vs. Godzilla M13)

    Sound Effects
  39. Frankenstein's Heart Beating
  40. Submarine Dive Alarm
  41. Frankenstein's Roar
  42. Baragon's Roar
  43. Trailer