Director: Jun Fukuda
Writers: Takeshi Kimura & Shin’ichi Sekizawa
Starring: Hiroshi Ishikawa
In 1972 director Jun Fukuda brought us Godzilla vs. Gigan. This is the twelfth movie in the Godzilla franchise. I sat down to watch this movie, having forgotten most of it in the time since I last watched it. Likely my brain blocked it out.
Since I had previously watched and claimed that Godzilla’s Revenge was the worst Godzilla movie ever made, I sat down for a pleasant evening watching an old Godzilla movie. Oh sure, probably a cheesy one but the worst was behind me, right? The sound track was surprisingly decent which led to a more stealthy advancement of the awful. And I say these things as a long time Godzilla fan.
Despite a comic book style intro, the movie starts off innocuously enough with a would be comic book writer and artist trying desperately to get someone to pick up and publish his work, maybe even make a cartoon of it. In this way he bumps into a girl engaged in some kind of corporate espionage. She drops a magnetic data tape and when corporate goons rush out of the skyscraper after her our would-be artist sends them in the wrong direction, protecting this unknown girl. He picks up the magnetic data tape and after meeting the corporate bigwig goes to find the girl, give her the tape and see what’s going on.
Now the above makes it sound way more suspenseful than the movie actually manages in this part of the plot. The viewer knows straight away that the corporate bigwig is evil because he looks like, and has a whisper of mannerisms of, a Japanese version of Snidely Whiplash. I kid you not.
Snidely Whiplash, I mean the corporation has bought an amusement park. This amusement park boasts a giant Godzilla tower as an exhibit. From this tower the aliens who are secretly (not really) in control of their puppet corporation plan to launch a plot to take over the world. The aliens out themselves at every opportunity in what is a surprisingly well thought out example of people (the aliens) trying to fit in to a foreign culture. The movie is so ridiculous that it would be easy to miss this little tid-bit of goodness.
The girl, her hippy friend (that was a treat), our aspiring artist and the girl’s brother, who has been locked up by the aliens, know what’s going on. They spend the rest of the movie trying to get proof to take to the authorities and foil the alien invasion plan, as well as rescue the girl’s brother. The aliens, naturally, spend their time trying to hurry up their plan before these meddling kids–I mean, the protagonists foil their plot.
The dastardly alien plan involves controlling the space monsters, Gigan and King Ghidorah. Those monsters are to destroy Godzilla and thus take over the world. On Monster Island the monsters know something strange is afoot when the aliens test their control device. Godzilla and Anguirus have a little chat about the matter. Yes, they actually talk. The sound effect is of someone scratching a vinyl record (before hip-hop DJ’s became popular) and then we hear dopy voice-overs of the conversation. To add insult to injury the dialog isn’t even that good.
Godzilla vs. Gigan was a low budget Godzilla movie and we love them for their triumph of Kaiju monster goodness over small budget effects. While I’ve only seen wires on my HDTV in two Godzilla movies, they really shouldn’t have cheated on the miniatures and used Barbies for some of the people in the buildings Gigan stomps through. You could tell that’s what they were because the figures had that Barbie out of proportion torso and when Gigan’s foot stomped through the ceiling the figures were flung out of the booths they were sitting in and the legs never moved. They remained in the “seated” position the entire time.
So Gigan and King Ghidorah are on a rampage through the countryside and surrounding cities, having been called by the aliens. Godzilla shows up because he makes house calls these days. Anguirus heads over too. Some of the Kaiju fight scenes are pretty goofy too but—Kaiju fighting is fun so I’m willing to be lenient. It was still pretty ridiculous.
Anyway Godzilla and Anguirus finally defeat Gigan and King Ghidorah whilst our brave humans defeat the aliens and destroy the system by which they are controlling their monsters. We find out they were giant cockroaches in human guise and with a giant “eewww,” are glad to see the last of them.
This movie was so awful I had to actually compare it to Godzilla’s Revenge to decide which one takes the title of Worst Godzilla Movie Ever. Godzilla vs. Gigan had a talking Godzilla, which was about as awful as the talking Minella in Godzilla’s Revenge so they’re about even there. The Japanese Hippy was pretty silly but not on the level of annoying as the “cute kid” in Godzilla’s Revenge so Godzilla’s Revenge takes that one. Godzilla vs. Gigan had some terrible comic style scenes at the very first but Godzilla’s Revenge had just awful music, far worse than a few bad comic scenes, so Godzilla’s Revenge takes that one too. Godzilla vs. Gigan was low budget but at least it had its own fight scenes. Godzilla’s Revenge used old footage from previous Godzilla movies.
Godzilla vs. Gigan was bad and low budget but Godzilla’s Revenge was a big middle finger to fans everywhere. I’m going to have to say that Godzilla vs. Gigan is only the runner up for worst Godzilla movie ever. Leaving Godzilla’s Revenge our clear winner of the title of Worst Godzilla Movie Ever. K.