My favorite of the Godzilla films to come out of the 70s. Sure, the typical insane Japanese-stuff happens and then there's a big rubber-monster battle. But, this one stands out because of the big robot Godzilla.
Mechanical Titan of Terror!
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 12/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who is Godzilla's greatest enemy? While some may vote for the three-headed King Ghidora or the soaring Mothra, to me that honor will always rest on MechaGodzilla, the star of no less than five Godzilla films, more than any other monster. Here, in the 1974 "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla," we have the first appearance of that mechanical menace.
Filmed as a 20th anniversary celebration of Japan's most famous monster, "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla" is a bloody and violent entry in the Godzilla series, with MechaGodzilla being a merciless killer, tearing the dinosaur-like Angirasu's jaw in half in the opening battle scene, then stomping off with bloody hands. The vanguard of an invasion, and controlled by a clan of ape-faced aliens from outer space, MechaGodzilla rampages throughout the unhappy island nation of Japan, and Godzilla is powerless to stop him. In order to stop the mechanical terror, an ancient, sleeping deity, King Seesar, is awakened and brought into the fray. Together, Godzilla and King Seesar withstand the assault of missiles, ray blasts, and a host of other weapons in the arsenal of MechaGodzilla.
If you like Godzilla films, than you pretty much know what you are getting yourself into. Big stompy fun, with giant monsters treading on toy tanks and beating the heck out of each other. "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla" has all of these traditional delights, with a bit of a harder, more violent edge than the more-campy releases. It is still brilliant, Sunday morning fun.
This DVD release is one of the best available Godzilla flicks on the US market, but still not complete. The Japanese language track is included, which is an absolute must. This is an 85 minute version, rather than the full 97 minutes of the Japanese release. However, it is superior to the original US "Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster" version, which ran 80 minutes."
Everything I want in a Godzilla movie
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 04/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has everything a good Godzilla movie should have--monsters, fights, spies, scientists, aliens, the works. You don't even have to wait until the end of the movie to see a fight because the action starts early in this one. First, an old cave is discovered with mysterious artwork on the walls and a unique statue in a cleft, and a young woman has a prophecy that a monster will come to destroy the earth. As if on cue, Godzilla pops up, but he is immediately attacked by Anguiras. Right away, you know something's fishy because Anguiras is Godzilla's sidekick. This Godzilla is ruthless, and I am still upset about the injury poor Anguiras receives at his hand. Before long, Godzilla shows up, the two Godzillas fight and the impostor is exposed as a cyborg. Godzilla takes a pretty good beating and disappears, but MechaGodzilla is also forced to retreat and seek repair. Aliens are controlling MechaGodzilla, but they need the help of a brilliant Japanese scientist to make the necessary repairs. They capture the scientist and coerce him into helping them. Meanwhile, the good guys are running around trying to figure out the meaning of the strange statue found at the start of the movie. They find out that King Seesar, a guardian monster of sorts on Okinawa, is portrayed on the statue, so they must race to awaken Seesar to fight MechaGodzilla because they do not know if Godzilla is still alive.The battles in this movie are quite good. MechaGodzilla has everything but the kitchen sink in his arsenal, and he even flies. King Seesar is a little weird, basically looking like a giant dog of some sort mixed with who knows what. The explosions, laser weapons, fiery breath, and general mayhem are very good, and many models are blown to bits. One of my favorite parts, though, is the song that is sung to awaken King Seesar--I have no idea what the words mean, but it is a great song I sometimes listen to just by itself. Interestingly enough, I assume the song is in Japanese, yet it is still dubbed (and rather badly in places). In conclusion, this is easily one of the best movies in the original Godzilla series. If you don't enjoy this one, you almost surely won't enjoy any of the others, so this is a good litmus test for Godzilla newbies."
Finally We Get Godzilla VS MechaGodzilla done right!
A. Langer | VA | 10/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, as someone who has been a Godzilla fan for ages, I know all the films by heart and can tell you why each one is good and bad in it's own various ways. Now for the DVD. This particular release is a new HD transfer of the international release print done by Sony Pictures as all of their DVD's now feature HD transfers. The original Japanese audio comes from the recently released Japanese 50th anniversary DVD collection so it sounds wonderful while the English audio is taken from the original international print and while neither one has real directional sound, oddly enough, the Japanese track sounds the best as the English one is poorly balanced. I guess it comes from the poor ADR dialogue techniques often used with dubs. The video is a pristine anamorphic transfer of the international release print and is as good as it can get without digital restoration considering the fact that the film has held up well this long. I would really love it if each of the classic and 84-95 films were restored using the Lowry Digital Imagining software and techniques as they would really bring out the true beauty of these films. Anyway, if you like your Godzilla DVD's done the right way with quality, buy this one!"
Re: Best Godzilla movie ever made,
Pei Kang | NYC, USA | 09/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was by far, the best Godzilla movie ever made. The only exceptions perhaps is the original Godzilla (his first movie) and the first appearance of Monster Zero. The fight sequences of man and beast were terrific.....dare I say the fights between man and alien were actually believable?
The main human hero, Shimizu was actually a complete character: thoughtful, cunning, headstrong, but take-action. Unlike most of the humans in the Godzilla film, he was not a complete idiot! I mean, making a copy statue of King Caesar was a brilliant move!
on the idiotic side for a character: why the Professor who helped fix Mechagodzilla bring his daughter to the most dangerous areas, is beyond me....I know, it's only a Godzilla film, still...! I guess those scientists aren't very wise, eh?
And, the other complaint is: if the aliens were so ruthless and bent on detroying Tokyo/Earth, why not just kill Shimizu and the girls to get the Statue of King Caesar? (and when the Chief of the aliens orders Mechagodzilla to kill Caesar, why didn't he just fly over and blow him to bits?)--well, of course, if that happened, we wouldn't get any of the cool and cheesy Japanese singing to wake King Caesar up!! Anyway, enough of the "plot" hole mistakes.... the music was intense and interacted well with the movie itself. the battles between the monsters reminded me of old wrestling moves, and or gladiator type battles. I always love it when Godzilla postures to his enemies with his gestures and body language. Even the camera angles to certain scenes made sense!
Yeah, I watched it too many times, but it brings a smile to my face whenever I watch these cheesy Godzilla films as I recall memories of my childhood--and it will always help me forget the stuff that happens now.
Cheesy or not, Godzilla, the guy in the rubber suit, will always be THE Godzilla to me, and not the CG stuff of the 2000s era.
The best Godzilla film of the 1970s, and one of the most fun
Tom Benton | North Springfield, VT USA | 08/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jun Fukuda's GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA is one of the most popular of the original Godzilla series. It's the best of the Godzilla films released in the 1970s, and possibly one of the best of the entire original series. The plot involves a group of apelike aliens (PLANETS OF THE APES, anyone?) which build a cyborg Godzilla to conquer Earth. Can Godzilla stop the cyborg? What do you think?
For me, the highlight of the film is Masaru Sato's kooky score. Akira Ifukube's music makes the monster battles seem horrifying, but Sato's music makes them seem like a major rumble, more like a major wrestling match than an epic battle of beasts. This was Sato's last Godzilla score; he'd previously written inventive and unusual scores for SON OF GODZILLA and GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, both directed by Jun Fukuda.
Jun Fukuda isn't a popular name amongst most Godzilla fans because his films tend to be more silly than most (namely SON OF GODZILLA, though he also directed the series' worst entry, GODZILLA VS. MEGALON). I must admit that I love him. Granted, he's no Ishiro Honda, but his Godzilla films are very fun and amusing. Though most of GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA is what you'd expect from a 70s Godzilla flick, there are some moments of greatness, including some apocalyptic shots of Godzilla during a thunderstorm and of Mechagodzilla setting Tokyo aflame at night. There's also a great scene where Anguirus, in his final appearance until 2004's GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, rumbles with the skin-covered Mechagodzilla.
The writing, like most everything else in the film, has its moments, but for the most part is just silly. Sometimes it's quite confusing. The Godzilla suit looks ridiculous rather than terrifying, but that may have been the producers' goal, as the series had become more for children than anyone else by this point. Mechagodzilla is neat, but King Caesar seems out of place and foolish.
All in all, this is one of the most fun entries in the Godzilla series, and very likely the best Godzilla film to come out of the 1970s. The Big G returned for one last rumble in the direct sequel, TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA, before disappearing for nine years."