Frankenstein vs. Baragon

Japan Release: 1965
Running Time:
90 minutes

Frankenstein vs. Baragon


Japanese Title

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

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho / Henry Saperstein Productions

During World War II, Germany delivers Frankenstein's immortal heart to Japan for study. However, the laboratory examining the heart is destroyed by the atom bomb on August 6, 1945. 15 years later, a vagrant boy is found roaming the streets, eating any animal he can catch. Two doctors, James Bowen and Sueko Togami, convince the child to join them at their clinic. Growing at a remarkable rate, story of the vagrant attracts the attention of Kawai, one of the men who transported the heart to Japan. Stopping at the clinic, Kawai relates the story of Frankenstein's heart. Noting that the lab that held the heart was in the area, they begin to theorize about a connection. Visiting Germany, the doctors return with advice on how to determine if the child is connected to Frankenstein. Unfortunately it involves severing a limb of the child to see if it grows back. With others opposed to the idea, one of the doctors, Yuzo Kawaji, decides to act alone. However, the vagrant, now giant, breaks free. He leaves behind a severed hand, though, that proves its Frankenstein. The creature's escape from the laboratory is unfortunately ill timed. As it turns out, another monster, Baragon, is on the loose. The subterranean monster begins covertly terrorizing the countryside, leading authorities to believe Frankenstein is the cause...

Live Action Science Fiction Kaiju

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

Titles

International Title

Frankenstein vs. Baragon

Initial US Title

Frankenstein Conquers the World
US Distributor: AIP (1966) / Time: 87 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Frankenstein vs. the Subterranean Monster
[Literal translation]

Frankenstein: The Fright with the Monkey Face
[German]


Monsters

Giant Octopus
Giant Octopus (Cut Scene)



Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Staff

Cast

Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Takeshi Kimura, Reuben Bercovitch, Mary Shelley, Jerry Sohl
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Executive Producer Reuben Bercovitch, Henry Saperstein, Samuel Arkoff
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
Film Editing by Ryohei Fujii
Production Design by Takeo Kita, Akira Watanabe
Assistant Director Koji Kajita, Koji Hashimoto
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Assistant Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
James Bowen, Doctor Nick Adams
Yuzo Kawaji, Doctor Tadao Takashima
Sueko Togami, Doctor Kumi Mizuno
Kawai Yoshio Tsuchiya
Frankenstein Koji Furuhata
Military Advisor Jun Tazaki
Osaka Police Chief Susumu Fujita
Axis Scientist Takashi Shimura
Museum Chief Nobuo Nakamura
Murata, Submarine Commander Yoshifumi Tajima
Reporters Kozo Nomura, Tadashi Okabe
TV Director Haruya Kato
Man Walking Dog Ikio Sawamura
Soldiers Kenji Sahara, Yoshio Kosugi
Kazuko, the dying girl Keiko Sawai
Girl in Lodge Noriko Takahashi
Liesendorf, Doctor Peter Mann
Hospital Administrator Yutaka Sada
Osaka Police Sergeant Hisaya Ito
News Editor Kenzo Tabu
Scientist Shigeki Ishida
Police Sergeant Nadao Kirino
News Cameramen Yutaka Nakayama, Senkichi Omura
Bystanders Ren Yamamoto, Toshihiko Furuta
Frankenstein (Juvenile) Kenichiro Kawaji
Hospital Official Hideaki Nitani
Policeman Shin Otomo
Tunnel Worker Shoichi Hirose

Posters


Toho Stock Footage



DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Frankenstein Conquers the World Tokyo Shock (2007) Order
Japan Region 2 Frankenstein vs. the Subterranean Monster Toho (2001)

CD Soundtracks

Compilations

Background and Trivia

  • AIP submitted the film to the US copyright office on May 20th, 1982 with the registration number of V1908P198. The title used was its American one, Frankenstein Conquers the World. On September 2nd, 1993, Toho submitted the movie to the US copyright office as well, this time under the title Frankenstein vs. Baragon with the alternate title being Frankenstein tai Baragon. This claim had the registration of PA0000657701.
  • This film was the third attempt by Toho to make a movie around Frankenstein's monster. The first two failed attempts were Frankenstein vs. Human Vapour and Frankenstein vs. Godzilla.
  • The movie is often titled as フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣 (Furankenshutain Tai Chitei Kaiju), which would translate as "Frankenstein vs. the Subterranean Monster". However, the poster has an interesting approach of imposing, in green text, Baragon's name on top of subterranean monster. While this means the title could translate into the longer フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣バラゴン, adding Baragon's name at the end, it's not the official Japanese title. For example, Baragon's name is omitted on other material like lobby cards. That said, the longer name does appear on some merchandise related to the film. This includes a CD release from Toshiba of the soundtrack, where the title could be translated as Frankenstein vs. Subterranean Monster Baragon.
  • Due to the small size of the monsters in contrast to those in the Godzilla series, the production allowed the special effects crew to create larger scale models. This included the construction of large scale cabins, ships and other props. Some of the props created included animals, such as a giant boar and a horse. The latter became slightly controversial due to, what some consider, the unconvincing nature of what ended up in the film. Koichi Takano, who did the puppet effects on King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), asked special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya why he didn't use composite or rear screen techniques with a real horse, especially as there were real chickens seen earlier in the scene. According to Takano, Tsuburaya replied that "using a model horse was more fun!". This fact is revealed in the book Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters.
  • The Fugitive star David Janssen was originally considered and thinking about the contract with Henry G. Saperstein and Toho, which launched a series of films that began with Frankenstein vs. Baragon. Eventually Janssen backed out and Nick Adams took the contract. This detail is cited in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Composer Akira Ifukube scored the movie's main title with a solo bass flute that, at that point in time, was the only one of its kind in Japan. Noted in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Henry G. Saperstein of United Productions of America stated that he provided 50% of the funding for Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965) and The War of the Gargantuas (1966). Mentioned in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Actor Nick Adams wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Times on August 22nd, 1965. In it he praised director Ishiro Honda and special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya as "two geniuses [who] have earned the well deserved title of the world's greatest directors of science fiction films". He went on to praise producer Tomoyuki Tanaka as well, and noted that the movie had a budget of $5 million. The stated budget, however, was likely an exaggeration. Documented in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • According to Nick Adams' daughter, Allyson Lee Adams, her father and Kumi Mizuno had an affair while Adams was in Japan. She went on to note that: "My dad had a penchant for becoming infatuated with his leading ladies. It was a way for him to take on the role he was playing at the time. After [Frankenstein vs. Baragon] was shot, Saperstein threw a party in Tokyo and all the people from Toho were there, and we were invited. My dad was obviously infatuated with Kumi, to the point where the Americans there were embarrassed for my mother." Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).

Concept Art