Godzilla vs Gigan (1972)

aka Chikyu kogeki meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan, Godzilla on Monster Island
Article 2982 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-7-2009
Posting Date: 10-13-2009
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Featuring Hiroshi Ishikawa, Yuriko Hishimi, Minoru Takashima
Country: Japan

A monster designer goes to work for a theme park, but his bosses turn out to have an agenda; they’re space aliens who plan to take over the earth with the help of two monsters, King Ghidorah and Gigan. Fortunately, Godzilla and Angilus are there to save the day…

If I were to choose the weakest of the Godzilla movies, this one would be close to the top of the list. Back when I covered DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, I expressed disappointment that they basically recycled the space aliens theme from MONSTER ZERO. This would turn out to be the most tired theme of the series, and here it is again, with the aliens being cockroaches in human form. The script is muddled and ridiculous, the special effects are at their nadir (the early shots of Gigan and Ghidorah are particularly bad, looking like they were no more than immobile toys), the English dubbing is extremely poor, and the movie is full of stock footage from earlier and better entries from the series. This is also the movie that made the mistake of giving Godzilla and Angilus human dialogue during a couple of the scenes, a poor idea even if they had anything of interest to say, which they don’t (incidentally, I have a collection of trailers from the Japanese editions of the movies, and it looks like in that version, they had dialogue balloons, which is certainly a more amusing idea). Much as I love the Godzilla movies, I find this one hard to sit through, though its follow-up, GODZILLA VS MEGALON, is just as bad. I consider this movie the nadir of the series.

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