|Godzilla vs. Megalon (Passion Productions)|
News & Updates
|Japanese Title: Gojira Tai Megaro (“Godzilla vs. Megalon”)
Director: Jun Fukuda (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla)
Original Release Year: 1973
Running Time: 78 minutes
DVD Released By: Passion Productions
Audio: English mono
Closed Captions: None
UPC #: 090328900021
Catalog #: None
Status: Out of print
BROWSE DVD REVIEWS:
- Eastern Kaiju:
Godzilla & Other
Gamera & Other Daiei Kaiju
- Western Kaiju:
Documentaries & Compilations
About the Site
|CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR A LARGER IMAGE|
|The Film: Goro, his friend Hiroshi, and his young brother Rokuro are picnicking near a lake. However, their countryside repose is interrupted by an earthquake! The once-tranquil waters of the lake are drained into a fissure that opens up in the lakebed. They learn from a news bulletin on the radio that widespread violent earthquakes are the result of underground nuclear testing. Even Godzilla and the other titans living on Monster Island are shaken by the seismic event.
Upon returning home, Goro and company find that their art-deco bachelor pad has been ransacked! They confront two intruders, who escape. The inventor Goro is relieved to find that his latest creation, a colorful humanoid robot called Jet Jaguar, has not been damaged or stolen. After the construction of Jet Jaguar is complete, however, the mysterious men return and take control of the robot.
It turns out that the robo-nappers are agents of the Kingdom of Seatopia. Like Atlantis, Seatopia is a legendary continent that sank into the ocean thousands of years ago. This advanced subterranean society has been severely damaged by the recent nuclear tests. Vowing revenge on the surface world, they invoke their monster guardian Megalon. The Seatopian agents use Jet Jaguar to guide Megalon to their targets.
Eventually, Goro manages to regain control of the robot and dispatches him to Monster Island. Using some kind of robot / monster sign language, he convinces Godzilla to come to Japan. However, it’s a long swim, and Megalon is still wreaking havoc! Flying ahead to confront the monster himself, Jet Jaguar grows to giant size and engages Megalon. The battle escalates when the evil space monster Gigan is summoned to assist the Seatopian cause. Godzilla himself finally arrives to even the odds and engage in an all-out monster tag-team battle!
Godzilla vs. Megalon is widely considered the low point of the Godzilla series. Like most of the 1970s Godzilla films, it’s a low-budget quickie made for kids. Megalon’s attack on Tokyo consists entirely of stock footage (including the same Mobil station that is destroyed in half of Toho’s kaiju eiga). As a cost-cutting measure, the monster battle is staged on a barren landscape. Jet Jaguar bears an obvious resemblance to Ultraman (who was immensely popular on Japanese television at the time). Megalon (a bipedal beetle with drill arms) and Gigan (a one-eyed cybernetic bird / dinosaur) also look like TV Ultra-kaiju. Godzilla has long since ceased being the nuclear terror of the 1950s and '60s. In this film, he has a simplified design with a friendly puppy-dog face. He also shakes hands with his robot friend and utilizes such silly tactics as the infamous sliding-tail drop kick.
Ironically, Godzilla vs. Megalon is probably one of the most widely seen Godzilla films in the States due to it being public domain for many years. The film’s negative reputation is somewhat undeserved. Its status as a VHS bargain-bin staple means that most people have only seen the film looking its worst. This is a shame. There’s also a lot to enjoy in it. There are a few impressive effects, such as the draining of the lake and Megalon’s destruction of a dam. The entire final third of the movie is dominated by monster battles. Godzilla vs. Megalon, in spite of its many shortcomings, manages to be a colorful, fun, and entertaining popcorn flick. Grade: C
Video: Godzilla vs. Megalon is presented in fullscreen. The overall image is very dull and lacking in detail. The colors are faded and washed-out. Blacks and flesh tones have an unnatural reddish tint to them. The transfer is also marred by occasional pixelization. There is also print damage (in the form of vertical lines) during the big monster fight. Grade: D
Audio: English mono is the only audio option. (The back of the box lists DTS 5.1, but it’s a lie.) The dubbing isn’t bad, except for the annoyingly shrill voice given to Rokuro (called “Roku-chan” in the film, and re-christened “Roxanne” on Mystery Science Theater 3000). However, the dialogue sounds muffled. The sound effects are dull and unimpressive. The music is so low that it sometimes gets lost in the mix. The entire audio track is dull and flat. Grade: D
Extras / Menus: The menus are still images with no music or sound. There are no extras. Grade: F
Final Analysis: This is a VHS bootleg-quality disc. That’s appropriate, since it’s not licensed by Toho. (Neither were the Alpha Video version or the Taiwanese “Real Action” version.) Final Grade: D
|Buy this and other DVDs at:|
(Click For A Larger Image):
|All reviews, articles, and images on this site are Copyright (c) 2003 - 2009.
Please do not re-publish these reviews, articles, and / or images without the consent of the webmaster.
All images, and character names and likenesses, are used here for informational purposes only
and remain the copyright of their respective owners.