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Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975)

DVD Cover (Classic Media)
Movie Connections:
Godzilla
> Godzilla (1954)
> Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
> Godzilla, King Of The Monsters! (1956)
> King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
> Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
> Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)
> Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965)
> Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966)
> Son Of Godzilla (1967)
> Destroy All Monsters (1968)
> All Monsters Attack (1969)
> Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
> Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
> Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
> Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
> ...Show All Connections?
Genres:
Creature Film, Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction
Director:
Ishirô Honda Ishirô Honda
Starring:
Katsuhiko Sasaki Katsuhiko Sasaki
Tomoko Ai Tomoko Ai
Akihiko Hirata Akihiko Hirata
Katsumasa Uchida Katsumasa Uchida
Gorô Mutsumi Gorô Mutsumi

6.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: April 20, 2015
I mentioned in my review for the last movie that Mechagodzilla was my favorite Godzilla villain, so you'd think I'd be overjoyed for a second helping. However, I didn't exactly remember this one being that good from my childhood days and after firing it up again, I'm inclined to agree with my twelve-year-old self.

After Godzilla thwarted the efforts of the Black Hole aliens and wrecked Mechagodzilla, Interpol has been scouring the ocean floor looking for the robot. While their searches haven't turned anything up, the submarine did attract the attention of a large dinosaur, the Titanosaurus. Marine biologist Akira Ichinose is brought in to investigate and learns that a Dr. Mafune had written on the creature years earlier. Unfortunately, he was also the lead scientist on a project to control animals, and his announcement that he planned to control a dinosaur got him laughed out of the scientific community. To make matters worse, Ichinose learns from the good doctor's daughter, Katsura, that he died five years ago, and she burned all his notes. All is not how it seems however, as Dr. Mafune is in fact alive and well. Still bent on world domination, they aliens have funded his experiments, granting him control over the massive Titanosaurus. In addition, they've recovered the wreckage of Mechagodzilla and upgraded it, planning to control the Earth with a one-two kaiju punch that only Godzilla can hope to overcome.

After the beautiful complexity of the last movie's plot, this one is a childish mess. Those same aliens, so menacing not so long ago, just don't have the same punch this time around. They're more akin to the incompetent villains that frequent action hero cartoons. Dr. Mafune himself only drives that point home even farther; his motives are questionable at best, and he's much more of a stereotype than the troubled scientists we're used to seeing Akihiko Hirata play (shame that this was his last foray in a Godzilla movie before succumbing to lung cancer; he deserved a better send-off). Even Godzilla himself is almost an afterthought here, showing up in two blatant examples of deus ex machina. While I'll grant his first appearance was shot extremely well, blasting Titanosaurus with his breath from off-screen and then stepping out of the shadows, the second one was breath-takingly ridiculous. Then there's the little love story between Katsura and Ichinose. It's so cheesy and poorly put together I nearly sprained my eyes from rolling them. Those closing lines in particular were physically painful to hear. Watching this, I thought more than once the whole thing sounded like a fanfic penned by a pre-teen. I've read better Godzilla stories on LiveJournal.

Even more detrimental, Terror of Mechagodzilla's big climax could best be described as boring. Our pair of antagonists spend an awful lot of time just standing around awkwardly, and things don't get much better when it's time to actually throw down. Last time, Mechagodzilla was a force to be reckoned with, easily fighting off both Godzilla and King Ceasar before Big G was able to get the one-up on it. Now, it's basically a spectator. Mirroring the problem I had with Godzilla vs. Gigan, it spends a lot of time just watching Godzilla fight Titanosaurus. Kind of takes away the threat of a two-on-one fight if one of them isn't actually fighting. Not to mention, the one that isn't fighting is a proven badass who has shown to be an actual threat to Big G, and then take into consideration that it was replaced by an unmemorable lizard. Talk about a let-down. Even Mechagodzilla itself seemed neutered. They barely used any of the stock footage of it blasting all its lasers and missiles off, which would have been a nice cheap way to remind us he's a walking arsenal. Instead, he's got a new trick. Tornado missiles! Sounds terrifying doesn't it? Think again; his hands spin when he fires his finger missiles. It's almost laughable how they tried to hype this up as a brand new ability. Like Gigan before it, Mechagodzilla's second outing flopped, and hard.

By 1975, Godzilla had completely transformed from a physical manifestation of the Hiroshima atom bomb to a benevolent protector of mankind whose powers included flying with his own radioactive breath and using lightning bolts to turn himself into a magnet. It was too much, and the decision was made to shelve the King of the Monsters indefinitely. Indeed, we wouldn't see Godzilla again for another nine years when Toho decided to reboot the franchise. While, canonically, 1968's Destroy All Monsters is the true conclusion of the first series, there's no denying that Terror of Mechagodzilla was a pretty sad way for Godzilla's Showa run to end. 3/10.
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Mothra Godzilla vs. Megalon Shin Godzilla Godzilla vs. Gigan Rodan
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