Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) – Jun Fukuda

There are more alien problems in Godzilla vs. Gigan, which, like the previous films, combines some of the monster destruction, and kaiju shots from previous films (which causes a couple of continuity errors, but nothing to detract from one’s enjoyment of the monster mash). This time out, we join a manga artist (and honestly what a perfect combination manga and Godzilla make), Gengo (Hiroshi Ishikawa) who with the help of Tomoko (Yuriko Hishimi) is looking for a job, and he finds one at Children’s Land, a theme park using a giant statue of Godzilla as it’s anchor.

The park’s owners, Kubota (Toshiaki Nishizawa) and Fumio (Zan Fujita) cite that they are working for peace, though Gengo can’t see the connection between peace and the kaiju (who we get a glimpse of at Monster Island, and a couple of times in the film we catch actual dialogue from them in comic bubbles, something I could have really done without, but I get the manga connection there).

Gengo gets drawn into the mystery of a missing scientist, stolen data tapes, and a massive plan to enforce a peace on the world via attacking space monsters, King Ghidorah (who will apparently work with anyone) and a new monster, Gigan, a bio-mechanical monster that has steel claws at the end of his arms, and a buzz saw in his belly.

So, once the space kaiju arrive, Godzilla and Anguirus leave Monster Island, heading to Children’s Land to take on the space marauders, and the aliens controlling them – which Gengo and his friends are working to stop as well.

There’s not quite as much humor in this one, and in a really surprising move, there’s a couple of moments that actually surprised me, with blood spraying from wounds delivered by Gigan’s buzzsaw. In fact, Godzilla gets his ass pretty soundly kicked by Gigan, he’s bloody and bruised by the end of the film. While we’ve seen him injured before, we’ve never seem him so soundly bloodied before.

The story is a little goofy (but after the first one, aren’t they all?) but I still love watching the way the kaiju interact with the sets, I love the model work, and the set designs. The series remains fun, and enjoyable, and while there have been some dips in quality, but for the most part, it’s always super cool to see Godzilla and the rest do the monster mash.

And Gigan proves he’s a real threat so I hope we see him again. He’s an interesting design, and that buzzsaw belly is a real problem for his foes. But, if he shows again, maybe Godzilla will be ready for him.

Next time however, it’s Godzilla vs. Megalon! And who knows, perhaps they’ll get a goofy theme song like we’ve had over the past couple of films.

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