Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) – Jun Fukuda

The dwellers of Seatopia send the drilling kaiju Megalon to the surface to destroy humanity for causing the destruction of a number of their people and their homes with the ongoing nuclear tests humanity is conducting. And despite the fact that they disappear about halfway through the film and don’t show up again, the rest of us can take heart that we’ll be defended, because Godzilla will be on the scene!

Using tons of effects and model work from previous films, this installment also introduces the first giant robot of the series, Jet Jaguar, a humanoid machine built by robotics expert, Goro (Katsuhiko Sasaki) and his little brother, Rokuro (Hiroyuki Kawase).

There are kidnappings, strange rituals, and an intergalactic summons to Gigan!

The folks at Seatopia seem to have a way to control Jet Jaguar, and uses the robot to guide Megalon to his targets, which he trashes with abandon. Eventually Goro is able to wrest control away them, and send Jet Jaguar to Monster Island to summon Godzilla.

But will Godzilla be in time? Until he arrives, Jet Jaguar is going to have to take on both Megalon, and the newly returned to earth, Gigan (and we know how his last encounter with Godzilla went!). The poor robot barely holds on until the big guy arrives, and then, of course, the big showdown takes place.

This one’s a weird entry, the score is completely out of place, it’s a swinging, feel good 70s jazzy kind of thing, that seems completely at odds with the actions on the screen, consequently, there’s no real feel of threat, or excitement to the film because of it.

And that’s too bad, because watching Godzilla and Jet Jaguar pair up, after a hearty handshake, to take on the baddies, is a lot of fun. You can also tell that the films have, not necessarily been dumbed down, but definitely rebranded to aim more at younger viewers. We have the inclusion of a child character again, and who wouldn’t want to see a giant robot take on kaiju!

I mean, here we are in the 21st century, and we still want to see that! But we want to see it done well, like the first Pacific Rim.

I do like how fast-moving this story is, and there are some really fun moments, and some laugh out loud moments – Godzilla and the rest of his fellow kaiju are reacting and acting more and more human, with poses, fighting styles, and interactions.

I can’t wait to see what happens next time, when Godzilla returns to face a new challenge, and probably a couple of recurring characters, in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla! Let’s see how the plays out next week!

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