The War of the Gargantuas

Japan Release: 1966
Running Time:
88 minutes

The War of the Gargantuas

Japanese Title

フランケンシュタインの怪獣 サンダ対ガイラ
[Furankenshutain no Kaiju: Sanda tai Gaira]

Distributor: Production:


A cargo ship, the Daisan Kaijin-maru, is suddenly attacked out at sea by a Giant Octopus. However, as the eight-armed beast appears ready to make quick work of the ship, the octopus wanders off. The crew spots it close by, now engaged in combat with a giant, green creature. The octopus is outmatched, sent into retreat as the green monster turns toward the ship. The next morning, a lone survivor of the crew is found. He relates how a green, Frankenstein-like creature attacked them and ate his crew-mates. Doctors Paul Stewart, Akemi and Yuzo Majida are consulted, having had a Frankenstein offspring in their lab before it escaped. The three, however, deny that it could be the same creature based on the report. Shortly afterwards, though, reports of more attacks come in. This leads to a tragedy at Haneda Airport, where the monster, dubbed Gaira, attacks in broad daylight. No longer able to deny its existence, the self-defense force is deployed. Using Type 66 Maser Beam Tanks, the defense force is successful, greatly injuring the beast. However, from the mountains another Frankenstein monster appears. Resembling the beast from Stewart's lab, this creature rescues Gaira and together they escape from the defense forces...

Live Action Science Fiction Kaiju

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


International Title

The War of the Gargantuas

Initial US Title

War of the Gargantuas
US Distributor: UPA (1970) / Time: 92 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs. Gaira
[Literal translation]

Frankenstein: Duel of the Giants


Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Reuben Bercovitch, Takeshi Kimura, Ishiro Honda
Produced by Reuben Bercovitch, Henry Saperstein, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Kenichiro Tsunoda
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
Film Editing by Ryohei Fujii
Production Design by Takeo Kita, Yasuyuki Inoue
Assistant Director Koji Kajita
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Assistant Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Paul Stewart, Doctor Russ Tamblyn
Akemi, Stewart's Assistant Kumi Mizuno
Yuzo Majida, Doctor Kenji Sahara
Kita, Doctor Nobuo Nakamura
General Jun Tazaki
Police Chief Hisaya Ito
Police Officer Yoshifumi Tajima
Club Singer Kipp Hamilton
General's Aide Kozo Nomura
Sailor Ren Yamamoto
Soldiers Shoichi Hirose, Nadao Kirino
Reporters Koji Uno, Tadashi Okabe
Fishermen Ikio Sawamura, Seishiro Kuno
Official Somesho Matsumoto


Box Office

Release Date: July 31st, 1966 (Japan)

Release Date: July 29th, 1970 (US)
Total: $3,000,000 (US, Rough Figure, Double Billed with Invasion of Astro-Monster)

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Rodan and War of the Gargantuas Classic Media (2008) Order
Japan Region 2 Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs. Gaira Toho (2001)
Japan Blu-ray Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs. Gaira Toho (2009)

CD Soundtracks

Background and Trivia

  • On December 8th, 1986, Toho registered the film with the US copyright office with the registration number PA0000317011. The film was submitted under its international title, The War of the Gargantuas, and a shortened version of its Romaji title, Sanda tai Gaira. On March 6th, 1990, an updated registration was submitted, with number V2522P334, that used the earlier two titles and a new alternate of Frankenstein vs. Frankenstein.
  • Director Ishiro Honda has said that "I made no films that I do not enjoy." However, of The War of the Gargantuas he admitted that he found the movie "a little boring" but was glad that it became very popular. Honda's main interest in the film originally was from the cloning angle, which in the 1990's he noted as a "social issue now". This detail is cited in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Russ Tamblyn's audio was redubbed before the movie was released in the United States. The actor claims this was because the original dialogue track was lost. This information is mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Henry G. Saperstein of United Productions of America stated that he provided 50% of the funding for Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) and The War of the Gargantuas. Cited in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).

Concept Art


Anthony Romero Star Rating
January 15, 2004