Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla

  • 1974
  • 1 HR 23 MIN
  • NR
  • Science Fiction

The last of the Japanese GODZILLA films until the giant radioactive lizard was resusicitated in 1984, this sequel to GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1974) suffers from the usual flaws, though some above-average photography helps make it watchable. While searching for the wreckage of the giant robot Mechagodzilla, an experimental research submarine is attacked...read more

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The last of the Japanese GODZILLA films until the giant radioactive lizard was resusicitated in 1984, this sequel to GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1974) suffers from the usual flaws, though some above-average photography helps make it watchable.

While searching for the wreckage of the giant robot Mechagodzilla, an experimental research submarine is attacked and destroyed by an underwater dinosaur. Interpol agents Murakoshi (Katsumasa Uchida) and Ichinose (Katsuhiko Sasaki) search for Dr. Shinji Mafune (Akihiko Hirata), a once-prominent

scientist who was driven out of his profession 20 years ago for claiming that a giant dinosaur, which he named Titanosaurus, lived under the sea. At his house, they are told by his daughter Katsura (Tomoko Ai) that the doctor is dead. In reality, he is secretly working with the aliens from a dying

planet who built Mechagodzilla and now wish to revive it. The embittered Dr. Mafune plans to help the aliens use Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus to destroy Tokyo, which will be rebuilt as an alien city.

Continuing his investigation, biologist Ichinose discovers some of Mafune's notebooks and decides that the "dead" doctor was unfairly maligned. He falls in love with Katsura, and tells her that another submarine will be launched. She tries to warn him against this plan, and reports it to the

aliens. Katsura is actually a cyborg: her brain was placed in an artificial body by the aliens after she was killed in a lab accident. It is through her that her father can control Titanosaurus, his instrument of revenge on humanty. When the second sub is attacked by Titanosaurus, the crew

discovers that it is sensitive to sonar. International scientists create a device that emits supersonic waves in order to repel Titanosaurus. But when Ichinose tells this to Katsura, she helps the aliens sabatoge the device.

As Titanosaurus attacks Tokyo, Godzilla rises from the sea to do battle with it. The aliens implant the device to control Mechagodzilla in Katsura, and encourage her rage at being no longer human in order that she transfer it to the giant robot. Looking for Katsura, Ichinose is captured by the

aliens and learns of their evil plans. Bound, he watches as Katsura launches Mechagodzilla to help Titanosaurus defeat Godzilla. As the three giants battle, Ichinose breaks free. He is almost shot by Katsura, who is fatally wounded when agent Murakoshi arrives in the nick of time. The repaired

supersonic device drives away Titanosaurus, leaving Godzilla free to defeat Mechagodzilla, weakened now that he is no longer controlled by Katsura. The aliens escape, only to have their ships destroyed by Godzilla's radioactive breath.

TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA was directed by series creator Ishiro Honda, who seems to have regarded the assignment a bit more seriously than did the helmers of the other 1970s GODZILLAs. There's not much that could be done with a plot that wavers between perfunctory and silly, with Akihiko Hirata, who

played the scientist who destroyed the original Godzilla in the first film, appearing as a standard-order mad scientist whose thirst for vengeance is voiced in a comprehensive litany of mad-scientist cliches (at least in the English-dubbed version). But the monster fight scenes are among the best

photographed in the entire series, shot against a smoky background with subdued lighting that not only downplays the inherent ridiculousness of men in rubber monster suits but even makes them seem serious, almost frightening (something the series seldom accomplished). At least four minutes were

rather choppily removed from the original Japanese film for US release, which presumably accounts for at least some of the plot holes. Reportedly among the scenes missing is the only instance of nudity (albeit prosthetic) in a GODZILLA film, as the aliens operate on Katsura's cyborg body

(Violence.)

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