Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Godzilla Raids Again Reviews

Made within months of GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (1955), this lukewarm sequel was released in the US several years later by a different company, which changed the Big Guy's name to "Gigantis" to avoid possible copyright infringement. (Though it was later retitled GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN, the original English dubbing was retained.) Whatever you all it, it's strictly second-rate, lacking both the drama of the first film and the goofy panache of later entries. Friends Tsukioka (Hiroshi Koizumi) and Kobayashi (Minoru Chiaki) are former fighter pilots who now work as airborne spotters for a commercial fishery. When engine trouble forces Kobayashi to land on a remote island, Tsukioka goes to retrieve him. Both are stunned to witness a battle between two giant monsters. When they report this to government authorities in Osaka, dinosaur expert Dr. Tadokoro (Maso Shimizu) is summoned. He helps them identify the beasts as Angurus and Gigantis. They are, he says, "fire monsters" from millions of years ago that went into hibernation underground because of changes in the Earth's atmosphere. Like the monster that attacked Tokyo several years ago, he says, they have been awakened by radioactive testing. The military is put on full alert to track the two monsters. Residents of Osaka, after an initial panic, are so relieved by the news that Gigantis will pass them by that they stage a mass celebration. But Gigantis changes course and attacks the city. Because the monsters are attracted to fire, Osaka is blacked out and flares are used to lure Gigantis away. Convicts being evacuated from an Osaka prison escape their guards and stage a getaway. Pursued by the police, they crash into an oil refinery, causing a fire that attracts not only Gigantis but Angurus as well. In the ensuing battle, Angurus is destroyed--as is most of Osaka. Determined to rebuild, the fishery shifts its operations to Hokkaido, a hundred miles north of Osaka. Tsukioka and Kobayashi return to work, and enjoy a reunion with some army friends. But the party is interrupted by the news that Gigantis has sunk a fishing boat. The world panics. Tsukioka and Kobayashi spot Gigantis on a frozen island, and Kobayashi dies in a vain attempt to ram the monster with his plane. The crash causes an avalanche which temporarily immobilizes Gigantis, giving Tsukioka an idea. He leads an effort to bomb the surrounding glaciers, burying the monster in a mountain of ice. GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN is the least seen of the Godzilla series, which is no great loss. Other than the monster battle in Osaka, there's very little to recommend this either to casual fans or diehard 'Zillaphiles, who will be left scratching their heads at the arbitrary explanations offered for the monsters' presence. (As the series producers later learned, it's better to leave these things unexplained than to try and rationalize the preposterous). The film tries but fails to get any emotional resonance out of the destruction of Osaka. This is partly because the English dubbing removes most of the references to radiation, preventing the viewer from making the link its predecessor so effectively exploited between Godzilla and the atom bomb. The oddest thing about GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN is that the monster fights are sped up rather than slowed down, as was the custom for the series (to give an impression of the monster's huge size). A technician misunderstood special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya's instructions and adjusted the camera speed in the wrong direction. Tsuburaya reportedly let the results stand because he liked the way it looked, though it seems more likely that he simply lacked either the time or the budget to reshoot. (Violence.)