5/27/2019

TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (Review)

Title: Terror of Mechagodzilla
Director: Ishirô Honda
Writer: Yukiko Takayama
Cast: Katsuhiko Sasaki, Tomoko Ai, Akihiko Hirata, Katsumasa Uchida, Gorô Mutsumi
Min: 83
Year: 1975

After the events of Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla, Interpol agents, led by Inspector Kusaka, search, in a submarine, for the remains of Mechagodzilla at the bottom of the sea. They are suddenly attacked by a giant underwater dinosaur known as Titanosaurus, leading to the sub's destruction. Soon after, Interpol, with the help of marine biologist Akira Ichinose (Katsuhiko Sasaki), investigates the incident, which leads them to the studies of scientist Shinzô Mafune (Akihiko Hirata). He had been researching the dino, but when they arrive at his home, they only find his gorgeous daughter Katsura (Tomoko Ai). She tells him that her dad is dead, and that she burned all his notes on the monster, at his behest.
This turns out to be a load of bullshit, of course, as Mafune is alive and well, on top of being a whack-job, who wants to destroy humanity. He soon ends up helping an evil alien race, under the leadership of Mugal (Gorô Mutsumi), who want to use his tech that controls Titanosaurus, as well as his help to repair, upgrade, and also control Mechagodzilla. The combination of both these monsters will surely spell the end of humanity.

Meanwhile, Ichinose has fallen in love with Katsura (not that I can blame him), who is working with her insane dad and the aliens. He unknowingly tells her about Interpol's discovery that they use to battle Titansaurus. Godzilla, then, must battle both monsters. But, all alone can even the King of the Monsters defeat the improved Mechagodzilla and hurricane wind causing Titanosaurus?
Like the time when Shin Godzilla was about to come out, I am gonna be giving you guys some Godzilla reviews and articles to prepare for the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters (which hits theaterson the 31st of May)I decided to start by revisiting this, the final of the Shōwa Godzilla series.

For those not in the know this is the first era of Godzilla movies, that started with the masterful Gojira and ended with this one. This flick was the least successful, in Japan, of the Big-G movies. Which sucks in retrospect, cause it does really rank among the best of the films in the franchise. Anywho, this is also a rare entry in that is a direct sequel to a movie that is not the first Godzilla film but, instead the aforementioned, Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla.
This sequel isn't as good as that awesome fan favorite, but it comes pretty damn close. It manages to tell an exciting and interesting story. It actually develops human characters that we like. And, that we give a flying fuck about what they are doing and what happens to them. This is usually pretty hard in these kaiju movies, but thank Godzilla they succeed! The acting is good with Katsuhiko Sasaki making for an easy to like hero in Ichinose. Katsura, as played by the beautiful Tomoko Ai, is one of the most gorgeous women in the Godzilla/ Toho world, and an interesting and somewhat complex character, in her own right.

She is also the only naked one in a Godzilla movie! Well, sort of, you see the Japanese uncut version has a shot of her being topless, but her tits are actually prosthetic. Still, it's a nice visual that the American version had to excise, making it yet another reason the avoid that shitty dubbed edit.
But, we all know that the main appeal of these movies are the monsters and their mayhem. This movie really shines in that department. The suits look great and the destruction and battle scenes are thrilling, violent, and fun. The climatic battle is specially entertaining and a blast to watch. Of course. the grandiose score by Akira Ifukube excels as always. It combines perfectly with the darker and more serious tone of this flick, to really help the movie raise above the elements of cheese from some of the previous installments.

Terror of Mechagodzilla is a fun and exciting entry in the Godzilla franchise. The final entry in the Shōwa series, it's darker and fully captivating. It aims for a slightly more mature take, even throwing in boobs, albeit fake ones. With cool monsters and great effects, it really gives the fans what they want. And, tops it off by having some strong acting. It you are looking for an entry with lots of wild and violent mayhem and much less camp (well aside from, maybe, the silly looking helmets the aliens wear), then this motherfucker is definitely for you.
NOTE: Terror of Mechagodzilla was released in the US in both it's cut American release and the complete Japanese version via Classic Media. Sadly, that excellent DVD has long been out of print (and, goes for a very pretty penny online). Criterion acquired the right to several Shōwa era movies, this one included, but release date to DVD and Blu-ray has yet to be revealed. It is available to view on some streaming services like Amazon Prime, though.


3.5 out of 4

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