Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Watching Terror of Mechagodzilla knowing that it would be the final film in the original Godzilla series is like a long, sad goodbye to an old friend, complete with heartrending moments where relationships are forever ended and heads of giant metal robots are ripped clean off!

The powerful scene between a scientist and the woman he loves where each has to confront their feelings for one another was one that all Godzilla fans speak of in reverential whispers. When he says that he loves her even though she’s a cyborg, you tear the freak up a little! And then a honest to gosh tear rolls down her cheek, too!

And when she says that Mechagodzilla’s brain is implanted in her stomach – well, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t lose it right then and there, right? Heck, it was a love scene the Bard himself might have penned! If the Bard was a kick ass MechaBard!

Terror of Mechagodzilla wasn’t just a high powered drama of broads in silver spandex and guys in ugly checkered sport coats though. It was also a grossly underpowered monster demolition derby featuring a monster Godzilla already left at the bottom of the sea once before and another monster that should have just stayed there in the first place.

Mechagodzilla has been salvaged from his watery grave by yet another race of space aliens bent on taking over the world by destroying it with the evil monsters they control. Perhaps realizing the track record of past alien invasions hasn’t been very good, they decide not to go it alone this time and enlist the aid of disgraced scientist Dr. Mafune.

Dr. Mafune was run out of the science biz because of his crackpot theories about the presence of a dinosaur in the ocean named Titanosaurus.

His crackpot theories turn out to be true and even better than that, despite being unemployed, he manages to find the resources to locate the monster and invent a gizmo to control it. Of course he manages to kill his daughter in the process, but then that what’s alien invaders are there to fix, isn’t it?

In exchange for saving his daughter (by cyborging her all up), Dr. Mafune agrees to work with the aliens to destroy humanity. With him controlling Titanosaurus and them guiding Mechagodzilla, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing much except that when you’re dealing with a crazed, vengeance-obsessed mad scientist, sometimes he’s going to go and do what crazed, vengeance-obsessed mad scientists are prone to do. Like jumping the gun and starting the monster rampage early without his alien pals!

The initial confrontation between Godzilla and Titanosaurus doesn’t last long and once Mafune’s daughter gets herself killed a second time, he agrees to really work with the aliens. This is when his daughter gets the Mechagodzilla brain upgrade inside her belly and sets up the final two on one match with Godzilla.

Though the odds appear to be stacked against Godzilla, he gets some welcome help from Interpol who have figured out that Titanosaurus has a weakness to supersonic waves.

After Godzilla has been kicked in the head, booted into the air a couple of times, been blown up by a missile from Mechagodzilla and buried alive, Interpol finally gets around to firing up the supersonic oscillator and disorients Titanosaurus.

Once Godzilla dramatically breaks out of his shallow grave (which Titanosaurus had been jumping up and down on!), he makes pretty short work of Mechagodzilla (with the help of a cyborg suicide) and then dispatches Titanosaurus by dumping his ass back into the sea.

The beatings Godzilla administered to these two were very satisfying since these monsters were so lame. Mechagodzilla just stood around shooting fireworks at Godzilla, while Titanosaurus just looked wimpy with its long, skinny neck and silly windstorms it generated with its tail.

Much of the movie is tedious to sit through due to both its overly-familiar alien invader/Mechagodzilla story line and the dearth of Godzilla-related action.

The first ten minutes of the American version is merely a highlight package of previous Godzilla antics with a never-ending commentary by an unseen narrator. Godzilla wouldn’t actually appear for real for the first time until a brief sequence in the middle of the film and then would only show up again for the final battle.

Everything else in the movie is a lot of talky scenes involving Interpol, the aliens, and the mad scientist and his daughter. It’s only marginally important if you have to know exactly why Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus end up fighting Godzilla.

To paraphrase the Bard himself, “the fault, dear Brutus, is not in Godzilla, but in ourselves, especially those of us with robot brains in our guts and aliens with fake beards and maniacal laughs.”

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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