Lost Project: Frankenstein's Sons

Unmade Film
Intended Release:
1966

Conceived by:

Takeshi Kimura,
Ishiro Honda

Frankenstein's Sons


Japanese Title

フランケンシュタインの息子
[Furankenshutain no Musuko]

A fishing boat, drifting through Japan's waters, is attacked by an unknown monster that devours most of the ship's crew. Only one survivor escapes, managing to swim to safety. The lone fisherman, now hospitalized, tells his story of a Frankenstein-like monster that attacked the ship. The authorities begin to assume that this creature has some relation to the one which appeared a year ago. Meanwhile, similar attacks begin to occur near Japan's waterfronts.

Eventually the menace is discovered: a giant humanoid creature that is called Sea Frankenstein. What's more, a similar monster appears not long after, which is called Mountain Frankenstein. While the two are determined to originate from Frankenstein, their personalities are quite different. Mountain Frankenstein has a more protective nature toward humans, while Sea Frankenstein is a direct threat to humanity. Eventually this aspect pits the two monsters against one another.

The two creatures' epic battle eventually leads them to Tokyo, where, against advice that continued attacks could severe more cells that would grow into other Frankensteins, the SDF assaults the pair. The confrontation eventually leads out to Tokyo Bay, where bombs are utilized. Unfortunately, the explosions activate a giant underwater volcano, which quickly engulfs the monsters as it continues to emerge above the surf. Eventually, the volcano expands into Tokyo Bay, decimating the city in a torrent of lava as the last of the Frankenstein cells are destroyed with it.

Background - Images - Concept Evolution

LOST PROJECT HISTORY

First proposed in 1965 by writer Takeshi Kimura, Frankenstein's Sons would eventually go on to become The War of the Gargantuas (1966) after a number of revisions. The first draft was submitted on January 26th, 1966, which changed the title to The Frankenstein Brothers while Ishiro Honda also took on some of the writing.

In terms of content, early drafts of the script included a lot more references to Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), with some even utilizing the same characters. Most of these elements didn't make it far into the development process, though, as The War of the Gargantuas ends up being fairly detached from the events that occurred in the previous film. Furthermore, the monsters didn't have overly unique names, being simply called Sea Frankenstein for what would later be known as Gaira and Mountain Frankenstein for what would later be known as Sanda.

Another element different from this earlier scripting was the now famous maser tanks, as the military would use strictly conventional weapons instead. The masers were added in a later script at the request of Honda.

The climax in earlier drafts, while similar, had a more horrific aftermath. It was Honda's original intent that the SDF's second assault, against scientific advice, would be met with dire consequences. While the lava does seal the fate of future Frankenstein monsters, this is at the cost of the utter destruction of Tokyo. This more elaborate ending was dropped by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, though, citing that it would be too expensive to lens such a sequence, even though Honda suggested that stock footage from the climax of the The Last War (1961) be utilized for the destruction of Tokyo.


Monsters



Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Background and Trivia

  • This concept went through many names. One of the first was フランケンシュタインの息子, which a close translation could be "The Son of Frankenstein" although given there are two a more liberal translation would be "Frankenstein's Sons". This plot was submitted solely by Takeshi Kimura. On January 26th, 1966, the first full draft was submitted that this time Ishiro Honda worked on as well. The name was changed to "The Frankenstein Brothers" (フランケンシュタインの兄弟) for this draft. Another was submitted on March 22nd, 1966, with yet another new title: "Frankenstein's Struggle" (フランケンシュタインの斗争). On April 29th, 1966, a third and final draft was submitted with the title "Duel of Frankenstein" (フランケンシュタインの決闘). The name on this was changed a couple days later, literally written onto the script, for the final name: Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs. Gaira.
  • The mention of more references to Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) and the desire for the more devastating climax in Tokyo are mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • The detail about the maser tanks being added in a later script were noted in Godzilla Attack!! Toho Special Effects Films (ISBN ISBN 484540592X).

Concept Evolution

Frankenstein vs. the Human Vapour Concept Evolution The War of the Gargantuas
Frankenstein's Sons   The War of the Gargantuas