30 Days of Godzilla – Day 13: Emmerich Godzilla Yay or Nay and Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) Review
30 Days of Godzilla: Day 13: Emmerich Godzilla Yay or Nay:
The film as a Godzilla movie is a nay, as a monster movie it’s a slight yay, I guess and Zilla is a yay. Though I still don’t think it’s a good film sadly, love the practical stuff though, it’s everything else that keeps it from being a yay film for me.
30 Days of Godzilla- Review: Gojira tai Megaro aka Godzilla vs. Megalon aka (Jet Jaguar vs. Megalon featuring Godzilla and Gigan) 1973:
So this was the second Godzilla movie I ever saw as a kid. When I was a child I enjoyed this movie a lot, seeing all the monsters fighting against each other, the tag team match of Jet Jaguar and Godzilla against the forced of Megalon and Gigan. It was great. Now as I get older, I wonder if the movie holds up, and it’s kind of a mixed bag of yes and no.
The film is very much a product of really the issue Godzilla films faced, constantly releasing films within a year, no time for a break or take it easy. As a result the film was created in a rapid pace of three weeks. The reason for the rush was because it originally was going to be a Jet Jaguar vs. Megalon film but Toho didn’t think Jet Jaguar would be able to carry a film, so Godzilla and Gigan were added. A result of this haste, is a rushed product, that uses plentiful stock footage but not as well as how Godzilla vs. Gigan did it. So it kind of leaves a more “meh” feeling about some of the action going on. There are some new original stuff in the movie and it looks decent and watchable, I’m still not a fan of the lifeless flying effects.
Plot wise the film is about the people of an underground nation known as Seatopia. Because of the nuclear tests from above, it caused massive destruction to their nation and has disrupted their peace. They aren’t bad but they could of used more substance to them. They do move the plot along so I guess they serve their purpose. The human cast and characters are rather small in this film but are mediocre, no one really stood out. They again just serve the purpose.
Fukada’s directing is serviceable and feels competent. Riichiro Manabe is back for music and kind of adds a nice track here and there. It definitely feels like more of a heroic Godzilla track than normal. Also the Jet Jaguar theme, sung by Masato Shimon is great. The special effects are again probably the weakest part sadly, it’s not that Teruyoshi Nakano is a bad special effects director, I just don’t think he’s given the budget and time to really make the best product. The action is alright, however, there are weird cuts and jumbles that happen during the fight at times, that feel unnecessary.
The big stars of the film are the 4 kaiju; Godzilla, Jet Jaguar, Megalan and Gigan. Godzilla sadly doesn’t get too much screen time in this film but when he’s on it’s nice to see him. Shinji Takagi was the suit actor for him in this film and he kind of give Godzilla this kind of hero like vibe to him. Also the suit used is more innocent looking, so humans can root for him.
Gigan in this film was goofy but still had his moments of fun to watch.
Megalon was fun, he’s basically like a child who’s sees the above world as his playground. When you see him in action, he leaves an impact.
(I mean come on when you see this…
you can’t help be think of Megalon as a destructive child.)
Finally Jet Jaguar, the hero who was the result of a Toho contest for children. The contest winner submitted a robot called Red Alone.
Jet Jaguar is technically the star of the film as a robot who was once used by the Seatopians, but gained sentience and set out to stop the problem he helped cause, aka stopping Megalon. Though amusing, I do kind of agree Jet Jaguar couldn’t really carry a film on his own. He’s not terrible but lacks a certain personality that can draw people in.
Overall I know I ragged on the film for the most part, but it’s not super awful, it’s amusing to watch in a fun way with it’s good and bad stuff. I don’t think I would recommend it to everyone, because it’s far from perfect. But it will offer you some entertainment and despite it’s limitations, if you’re a fan of tokusatsu or B-Movies it might be up your alley, at least to make fun off. I still enjoy the film though, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, it’s not great, but I don’t think it’s terrible. But there was a lot to be desired. However it does have Godzilla’s dropkick, so I guess it’s required watching just for that alone.
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