GODZILLA VS. MEGALON

(1973)
(Japanese Title: Gojira tai Megaro)
With Katsuhiko Sasaki, Hiroyuki Kawase, Yutaka Hayashi, Robert Dunham
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Reviewed by JB

This review is of the dubbed American/International version of the film.

Farewell, my useless robot pal!       GODZILLA VS. MEGALON was the result of Toho holding a contest for kids to design a new action character.  The result was Jet Jaguar, who was then thrust into his own movie where he would fight a new monster, Megalon. Somewhere into pre-production, Toho decided to bolster the film with monsters Godzilla and Gigan, who had just battled on screen the previous year.  The result is a film that is reviled by many Godzilla fans.

     Granted, it's stupid, silly and badly edited, and Jet Jaguar is about as useless and uninspiring a hero as you will ever see, but on the other hand... well, I got nothing.  The best description I can give comes from author William Tsutsui, who calls this film "... the celluloid apotheosis of rib-splitting cheesiness." ("Godzilla On My Mind", pg. 49).

    The story? Underground nuclear tests disturb the underwater kingdom of Seatopia (really?), who then unleash their monster Megalon on Tokyo.  Newly created robot Jet Jaguar surveys the situation and his creator orders him to find Godzilla and bring him back.  The Seatopians counter by calling in Gigan as a reinforcement, and somewhere in there, Jet Jaguar makes himself as big as the monsters.  There's a free-for-all, one in which the supposed hero, Jet Jaguar, is about as useful as a seventh wheel on a ninth Beatle.  It's Godzilla who does most of the fighting, which is strange because he wasn't even supposed to be in the picture to begin with.

    What else?  Cheesy fight scenes?  Check.  The world's most boring car chase?  Check.  Annoying little kid?  Check.  Special effects flown in from earlier monster movies?  Check! Beautiful Japanese women?  Che... no, wait! There is not a single female character in this film!  What's up with that?

    Strangely, GODZILLA VS. MEGALON received a special prime time airing on NBC in 1977.  Despite this, the film has not been easy to track down in the United States, except for cheap bootleg copies.  In any event, GODZILLA VS. MEGALON should probably be best remembered as one of those films that was wonderfully skewered on Comedy Central's classic Mystery Science Theater 3000. 2 - JB


DIALOGUE COACHING BY LEO GORCEY

"What's that?  What's those places? I never heard of them before."
"I'll tell you.  They were condiments that existed a long time ago."

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