30 Days of Godzilla – Day 12: Least Favorite Fight (All Time) and Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) Review
30 Days of Godzilla – Day 12: Least Favorite Fight (All Time): I think it’s agreed upon by the fandom that Godzilla’s fight with the Giant Condor from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. It’s short but it’s very much a jumbled mess of action.
30 Days of Godzilla- Review: Chikyuu Kougeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan aka Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla vs. Gigan aka Godzilla vs. Gigan aka Godzilla on Monster Island 1972:
So first thing is first, this was the last film to have Haruo Nakajima suit acting for Godzilla. Though I haven’t said much about him during the previous reviews, I think it’s only fair to say my thoughts. I love him as Godzilla, he is Godzilla to me, every film good or bad, he captures Godzilla and always makes his presence known. He gave Godzilla charm, personality, and every movement he made was gold in my opinion. I was very happy and honored to shake his hand, get his autograph and take a picture with him when I went to Anime Boston. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
So anyway back to the film, this movie introduces a fan favorite for Godzilla fans, Gigan, and features a more prominent role for another fan favorite, Anguirus. Already I say go see it for those two.
But there’s a little bit more to it than that. After Banno’s weird film known as Godzilla vs. Hedorah wasn’t exactly well received by producer Tanaka, Jun Fukuda returns to direct this film and he brings us a mixture of good and bad, but enjoyable. In a way a more refreshing return to the Godzilla films we know and love. Feels like back to basics film, in way.
The plot of the film is similar to previous Godzilla, alien invasion. The aliens much like the Xiliens and Kilaakians are dependent and rely very much on technology. They are called the Nebulans from the M Space Hunter Nebula. Their goal is for absolute “peace” for them. They see Earth as similar to their planet except for the fact that their planet, pollution and waste, have caused it to become almost dead. I feel the Nebulans aren’t as great as the Xiliens who left more of an impact on me, but have more substance to them, than the Kilaakians. So they make decent antagonists.
The humans are alright, they have some more memorable moments than the previous film, but I can’t help but feel some of the cast holds them back from being memorable.
The two who did leave an impact on me are Minoru Takashima played Shosaku Takasugi aka Corn Man and Yuriko Hishimi who played Tomoko Tomoe. It seemed like they gave more of an effort to the material they were working with.
All the monsters are great except sadly King Ghidorah, who design and presence wise felt stiff and not really alive.
Godzilla, while suit not looking the best still felt alive and a character who you root for.
Anguirus was great, he’s a kaiju who despite seeing an opponent is is vastly stronger than him, won’t quit and won’t stop. He even charged to help Godzilla after it was being attacked by Godzilla tower, the cost was that he got a taste of Gigan’s buzzsaw to the face.
Gigan is fantastic in this film, I loved his presence and destructive capabilities. He’s merciless, his body is full of blades, and he actually caused Godzilla to bleed badly.
When Godzilla was weaken by Godzilla Tower, despite not being in control of the Nebulans, Gigan continued to assault and beat on Godzilla. He’s deliciously evil and doesn’t care. He’s also is kind of coward, when he sees the tables have turned, he tries repeatedly to get away but Godzilla was not having any of it.
Music wise I like the film’s music, despite it being stock music from previous Godzilla films, it works, and flows smoothly into the movie. Something that wasn’t the case in Godzilla vs. Hedorah. Ifukube wasn’t the composer of the film but it’s nice to hear his tracks in it.
Now for the weaker aspect of the film and that is sadly the special effects. The flying effects in the film aren’t very good, when scene reveals King Ghidorah and Gigan it feels almost underwhelming because of the flying effects, they are puppets/toys and they felt so dead.
Gigan was actually at his best when the suit actor was in control and that really made his performance come to life. Also this film reuses stock footage as well, most notably from Ghidorah, the Three Headed Moster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, and Destroy All Monsters (All Ghidorah films).
Though again I understand the reasoning, it was budget and time. However they actually made an effort to try to have the stock footage flow well with the new stuff. It was a valiant effort and they managed to make it decent.
The final shot of the film I like a lot. It’s of Godzilla swimming as the sun rises as triumphant music plays. This film was actually one of Godzilla’s toughest challenges, Gigan, Ghidorah and Godzilla Tower prove to really be formidable and despite it looking like Godzilla and Anguirus were down and out they managed to rise up and save the day. So as the sun rises and as Nakajima’s final time in the suit comes to an end, he gets a nice and well deserved sun rise and rest for his hard work.
Overall Godzilla vs. Gigan is a mixed bag that has good and bad stuff, but it has a lot of personality and fun to it that it feels like it could of been a good pre-68 Godzilla film has they been give the time and budget for it. It’s shortcomings don’t ruin the film for me. I think it’s worth your time to check it out to see what it’s all about. It’s fun and director Fukada captures that and creates a nice welcoming film for new and old fans.
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