Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

This movie, the twelfth of Godzilla’s career, finds him battling monsters from outer space in an effort to thwart some man-sized cockroach aliens’ plans to take over Earth. I guess one thing the big green G can say is that his job is never boring. Unfortunately, job-shadowing Godzilla in the early 1970s is a different matter.

Things start out stupidly enough when this cartoonist dude tries selling some of his hot new concepts to the Japanese equivalent of Stan Lee. This cartoonist has come up with some new monsters that he thinks today’s kids will be impressed with. One is the Homework Monster and the other is the monster of strict mothers. Surprisingly enough, the publisher tells this guy that his ideas are crap. This would be the last sensible thing that happens in this movie.

The cartoonist doesn’t want to abandon his dream of creating stupid monsters so he somehow lucks into a job at this amusement park that’s being built somewhere near lots of miniature trees and toy construction equipment. The chief distinguishing characteristic of the park is the giant Godzilla tower that’s been built. Supposedly it’s going to have a museum devoted to all the monsters. (Here’s a picture of Godzilla fighting Mothra and destroying Tokyo and here’s a picture of Godzilla fighting MechaGodzilla and destroying Tokyo, and here’s something different, it’s Gamera and he’s fighting Gaos and destroying Tokyo.)

Right away, you know something isn’t right with the staff at the amusement park. Most of them are wearing these ugly dark blue suits “complemented” by the nastiest orange scarves. Oh and one guy actually wears an orange suit with a pink shirt. Whew! The way these guys dress, it’s like they’re from another world or something.

The cartoonist gets mixed up with a woman, a fat hippie and a mysterious audio tape. The tape wakes up Godzilla and he huddles up with his pal Anguirus. Now usually in these Godzilla movies, any communication the monsters need to do with one another is accomplished by grunts, head bobs, and fists pumping in the air, so I about wet myself when I heard Godzilla say in English to his spiny pal, to go take a look and see what’s going on!

The bad guys want their tape back and try to shoot everyone with ray guns, but the cartoonist’s girlfriend shows up and busts some kung fu on them. Meanwhile, in outer space, two monsters are hurtling toward our fair planet, intent on its very destruction!

As expected, since he has been advertised in the main event, Gigan is one of them. He’s a wonder of abysmal evolutionary processes with one glowing red slot for an eye, hook-claw hands, a couple of beaks, and a big buzzsaw in the middle of his chest that he can spin around when someone like Godzilla tries to slow dance with him. His mystery tag-team partner is none other than King Ghidorah, who has had a bunch of title shots against Godzilla.

They’re heading for Earth because those guys building the amusement park are playing these tapes that control the monsters. Their plan is to bring the two monsters to Earth to wipe out Godzilla and his monster pals.

The final 45 minutes of the movie is the awesomely sluggish, clash of monster-titans, tag-team title match. It’s a back and forth affair with Ghidorah and Gigan getting the best of Godzilla and Anguirus early on. As monster battles go, this one is pretty bad with none of the monsters really putting forth much effort.

Ghidorah and Gigan don’t have many moves in their arsenal as they end up kicking and throwing rocks at Godzilla and firing the occasional laser beam from their mouths. Anguirus is pretty much a non-factor with Gigan dominating him throughout most of the battle, at times climbing on top of him for who knows what reason (been in space too long maybe), but looking like he is from the Dog-Style school of kung fu.

Godzilla seems content to get his butt kicked all over, into bridges, into exploding gas refineries – that sort of thing. He’s been through these kinds of scraps before so he’s not really sweating it. Finally Gigan unleashes his buzzsaw and purees Big G’s shoulder and pounds him in the head until he bleeds before Godzilla finally turns it up a notch for the expected result.

A genuinely awful entry in the series, with nothing to recommend about it, apart from talking cockroaches and monsters of course. The effects continue to set new standards in incompetence and Godzilla looked ridiculous, with his big smile and gigantic eyes. The human characters don’t even qualify as characters and I still have no idea why there was a headband wearing fat hippie involved. For those though that enjoy watching guys in rubber suits fall down in slow motion over and over again while bad music blares in the background, this is your movie!

© 2014 MonsterHunter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *