Year: 1975 Company: Toho Co. Ltd. Runtime: 83′ Director: Ishiro Honda
Writer: Yukiko Takayama Cinematography: Mototaka Tomioka Music: Akira Ifukube
SPFX Director: Teruyoshi Nakano Cast: Tomoko Ai, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akihiko Hirata,
Katsumasa Uchida, Goro Mutsumi, Toru Ibuki, Kenji Sahara , Kotaro Tomita, Ikio Sawamura
Godzilla: Toru Kawai Mechagodzilla: Kazunari Mori Titanosaurus: Katsumi Nimiamoto
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It’s 1974… Toho Co., LTD’s famed Godzilla series is dying a slow unnatural death. The 20th anniversary came and went and the celebratory film, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA, was a bigger success than usual at the box office. But the audiences just weren’t flocking to the cinemas to watch monsters when they can watch them for free thanks to Tsuburaya’s seemingly endless lineup of superhero shows. Desperate for some new blood and ideas to infuse into the series, Toho held a contest to come up with the story of the next entry of the Godzilla series, already slated to be a follow-up to MECHAGODZILLA. This is what won:
It’s some time after the fierce, jazz-driven, spaghetti western and Sonny Chiba-inspired showdown between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla and Interpol has sent out an exploratory submarine to find the remains of Mechagodzilla off the Bonin Islands (you’re not supposed to remember that Godzilla destroyed Mechagodzilla on Okinawa. Shhh!). Their detectors can find nothing of the metal beast (but not for the obvious reason) and suddenly they are beset by an underwater cyclone. Attempting to surface, they are attacked by the sea dinosaur Titanosaurus (Nimiamoto) who promptly makes short work of the sub.
Interpol isn’t about to take this lying down but at a loss, they call in biologist Ichinose (Sasaki) to review the final recordings of the sub’s crew. Bewildered by their cries of “dinosaur!”, Ichinose and his Interpol buddy Murakoshi (Uchida) head off to find one Dr. Shinzo Mafune (Hirata) who had a radical theory that he had discovered a living dinosaur in the sea near the Bonin Islands. It seems Mafune was driven out of his profession for such an announcement (the fact that at the time this supposedly happened, Godzilla, Angilas, Rodan, and Varan would be known to such scientists and is especially puzzling… as is these scientists’ bum-rushing Mafune in response).
Tracking down Mafune’s house, Ichinose and Murakoshi discover Mafune’s young daughter Katsura (Ai) and that Mafune had died and burnt all his notes. Of course it’s just a ruse. Downstairs, Mafune is toasting his financier Tsuda (Ibuki) now that his patented Titanosaurus Controller works. Katsura returns to report people are looking for him and Mafune goes off on the first of many “I’m gonna get them!” type speeches. Tsuda decides to let Mafune in on a little secret… and a weapon that will help Mafune get his revenge.
The three beat feet for the Amagi Mountains and into a secret base. Once there, Mafune is shocked to discover Mechagodzilla (Mori) in a dock undergoing full repairs. Men in bizarre GATCHMAN-inspired uniforms force enslaved earthlings to work on the robot. Tsuda introduces the scientist to their “project leader” Mugal (Mutsumi, not reprising his role from the previous film). That’s right… yet another squad of aliens from the Third Planet of the Black Hole, Outer Space have their eyes on the conquest of earth. And they want Mafune’s help to do it.
Katsura suddenly has a change of heart and decides to give Ichinose one of Mafune’s notebooks. The two become fast friends, almost to the point of dating, much to the chagrin of Mafune and his alien overlords. You see, Katsura isn’t what she seems (they never are, are they?)—around 1960 after Mafune was driven out of his profession, he was conducting experiments with Katsura when she was suddenly killed by an electrical discharge. Out of nowhere, the Black Hole aliens (dressed as beatniks) charge in and haul Katsura off… only to resurrect her as a cyborg. Tsuda scolds Katsura for helping the earthlings, even going so far as to shoot her in the head with a laser beam.
This apparently gets Katsura’s mind right, for when Ichinose and another team go on a hunt to find Titanosaurus, she sends the sea dinosaur to attack their sub. Panicking, one of the crew hits the supersonic wave switch, which causes Titanosaurus to reel off in pain. As our heroes beat a hasty retreat, Tsuda shakes his fist at the monitors and growls “Damned earthmen!”
Reviewing the situation, Ichinose and Interpol decide supersonic waves will repel Titanosaurus and decide to build a… wait for it… Supersonic Wave Oscillator (or SSWO for short). Think a ray gun that shoots supersonic waves. Katsura goes for another pseudo-date with Ichinose where he informs her of Titanosaurus’ weakness. Katsura reports back to her father, who balks at the idea Titanosaurus is susceptible to anything or is a pawn in Mugal’s power play. To show them who’s boss, Mafune orders Titanosaurus to raid Tokyo.
Of course the Japanese self defense force springs into action for their time-honored tradition of getting their ass kicked. While Titanosaurus makes short work of tanks and jets, Katsura succeeds in disabling the SSWO. Meanwhile, as if spoiling for a fight, Godzilla (Kawai) suddenly appears from behind the Tokyo skyline and topples Titanosaurus with a blast of his radioactive breath. As the two dino-monsters have at it, Murakoshi finds and guns down Katsura. Falling to her apparent death and calling out for her father, Mafune calls back Titanosaurus, much to the confusion of the King of the Monsters.
When told the news of what’s happened, Ichinose refuses to accept that Katsura is dead and that she had anything to do with sabotaging the SSWO. He’s half right as the Black Hole aliens are hard at work bringing her back to life once again. However, this time it’s come at a terrible price: Mugal has had the controls for Mechagodzilla placed into Katsura’s stomach. This idea seems to work two-fold: 1.) to punish Mafune for disobeying Mugal’s orders and 2.) to keep Interpol from ever discovering the controller’s location. As a much colder Katsura lies on a stretcher, Mafune weeps over the fate of his daughter.
In search of his now beloved, Ichinose is captured by Black Hole agents who haul him to Mafune’s home where he discovers that Katsura and Mafune are still alive and that they are in fact in league with the aliens. Tied up, he is forced to watch not only Katsura follow the aliens’ every beck and call, but also the beginning of Mugal’s invasion. With a bizarre Nazi-style salute, Mechagodzilla springs into action and jets away. Mugal then orders the base in the Amagi Mountains destroyed. Murakoshi and some human hostages barely make it out alive before the whole thing goes up in a patented Nakano explosion.
Mechagodzilla zooms to Tokyo where Titanosaurus is already engaged with the military. Landing, and goaded by Mugal’s commands and Katsura’s rage, Mechagodzilla’s Counterattack (the Japanese title) goes into full sing. The robot monster’s lethal cosmic rays destroy whole city blocks in a matter of seconds and his new revolving missiles level city streets just as quickly. Things look bad for Tokyo and its fleeing citizens. The military is at such a loss before the two monsters they’re left to wonder where the hell Godzilla could be.
A couple of kids ignoring the evacuation orders grabs Titanosaurus’ attention. Calling out to the monster king as the dinosaur closes in on them, Godzilla seems to teleport out of nowhere and tackles Titanosaurus. The dino-monster sends Godzilla on a moonwalk and kicks him around like a football. Godzilla retaliates and hands Titanosaurus’ ass to him in a furious assault of punches, body blows, and head buts. Unfortunately, Mechagodzilla intervenes at an optimum moment and the two monsters take turns treating Godzilla like a punching bag. Mechagodzilla shoots Godzilla’s stomach full of his missiles and Titanosaurus kicks the stunned monster king into a pit which Mechagodzilla turns it into a makeshift grave.
By now, Interpol has repaired their SSWO and set it aboard a helicopter. As the helicopter zooms off for the monsters, Murakoshi and his team head out to Mafune’s home. The SSWO fires away at Titanosaurus, stopping him from dancing on Godzilla’s grave. Godzilla suddenly springs to life again and engages Mechagodzilla. Braving the robot monster’s long range attacks, Godzilla eventually closes in for a close-quarters hand-to-hand ass-kicking.
Interpol has closed in on Mafune’s house, calling Mugal’s attention away from the battle. Ichinose has also freed himself and uses his ropes to strangle Tsuda to death. He’s horrified to discover that Tsuda’s face is just a mask, and that the alien’s true face is that of a radiation-scarred burn victim (whereas the previous film’s aliens were inspired by PLANET OF THE APES, it appears this wave came from BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES). Ichinose pleads with Katsura to come to her senses, but she insists that she isn’t alive but a cyborg. Murakoshi cuts off her speech by shooting her in the arm. During all this, Godzilla has succeeded in beheading Mechagodzilla once again. But this time, the aliens have a nasty surprise for earth’s champion: a secondary encased brain (complete with creepy veins), apparently capable of firing even more powerful lasers, only one of which is able to send Godzilla shrieking to the ground in pain.
A gunfight breaks out between the aliens and Interpol. Mafune is hit in the crossfire as Mugal flees. Crying out to Katsura, Mafune expires. Ichinose tries to comfort Katsura, reassuring her “none of this is your fault.” Her humanity returning to her, Katsura explains how Mechagodzilla’s controller is inside her body and if she were to be killed, the robot could be destroyed. Ichinose balks at the suggestion, instead opting to live happily ever after with Katsura. It’s not to be, though, as Katsura picks up an errant alien gun and blasts her stomach apart. She subsequently expires in Ichinose’s arms.
Sure enough, Mechagodzilla “dies” as well and Godzilla takes the opportunity to hurl the metal beast into his intended grave, blasting it to kingdom come with his radioactive breath. The monster king (his eyes locked in a furious glare) turns his attention to Titanosaurus, still swarmed by the SSWO.
Mugal makes it to a cliff as Murakoshi closes in on him. As they prepare to shoot, he taunts “You think your bullets can hurt the great Mugal? Go ahead and shoot!” Murakoshi’s men oblige, but it does nothing by illicit laughter from the alien as he leaps into the sea. The aliens’ craft suddenly emerge and try to sail away. Godzilla takes a moment from kicking Titanosaurus’ ass to obliterate them with a blast of his breath. The alien threat over, Godzilla works with Interpol’s helicopter to subdue Titanosaurus with the SSWO. After a couple more blasts of Godzilla’s heat ray, Titanosaurus topples back into the sea in defeat.
The watching humans go crazy with victory. Godzilla is not as celebratory though and nor is Ichinose, who stands over Katsura’s body in a field as he mournfully watches Godzilla slip into the sea and head away for parts unknown. Owari.
TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA was an attempt by series producer Tomoyuki Tanaka to reach back to the series’ glory days, even decreeing to the effects staff that Godzilla was to be portrayed in this film just as he was in the original film. So I guess if you ever wondered what the first Godzilla’s fighting style would have been, this is it. Yeah, I was shocked too. As for the rest of the film, it comes off very schizophrenic. It’s trying its damnedest to be a 60s Godzilla film, but it can’t escape the 70s sensibilities. In fact, this schizo feeling would permeate almost every aspect of the film as if no one could fully commit to what they wanted out of the project.
The winner of Toho’s aforementioned story idea was novice writer, Yukiko Takayama, the only woman to fully write a Godzilla film (1967’s SON OF GODZILLA was co-written by a woman, Kazue Shiba). Tanaka was very pleased with her story submission and commissioned her to write her own script. For a first time script, it’s very well done, but at a deeper look, it’s nothing like what the Godzilla movies before had been. There is no central “boogeyman theme” like radiation or pollution or Lord help us, bioengineering and the film is certainly not about some big end-all showdown between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla (as the publicity for the film would have you believe) or even about the monsters at all. No, the film is solely about Katsura Mafune and her loss and eventual regaining of humanity. The monsters are merely auxiliary in the grand scheme of things. It’s commendable that Takayama would take this route when it might have been much easier to just crank out another by the numbers monster saga. Interesting concepts Takayama created such as Titanosaurus being two monsters that join together as one, Tokyo being completely destroyed by the monsters’ battle, and the aliens’ home world seen being sucked into the black hole were abandoned for budgetary reasons.
Tomoyuki Tanaka lured Ishiro Honda back into the director’s chair for this 15th Godzilla movie, likely with the promise that he wanted it to be more like the first movie. Honda had put himself into a self-imposed retirement following the release of YOG, MONSTER FROM SPACE but had been working on various television series in the interim (see the review of that film for more). Perhaps it was his contributions to these anything goes TV shows that lead to this film being his least personalized work. At the end of the day, Honda’s direction comes off as feeling like another Jun Fukuda film. Not that that’s a bad thing mind you (despite what some Godzilla fans might have you think). I don’t think it’s Honda’s fault though. It may be more Toho’s doing or Nakano’s or both or neither, but it just doesn’t feel as much Honda-ized as other films. That’s not to say his trademarks aren’t there or can’t be found; far from it. The film’s attention to characterization and themes of humanity are just as prevalent here as in the original GODZILLA of 1954. It can be no coincidence that Katsura is a stand-in for that film’s Dr. Serizawa, yet another series self-sacrificial lamb.
Godzilla maestro Akira Ifukube was brought back to the series for the first time since 1968’s DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (his score for GODZILLA VS. GIGAN was all stock music), likely at Tanaka’s insistence to further drive home the old guard feel. Unfortunately, much of Ifukube’s flavor is lost in a rather listless score. Ifukube opted to use a synthesizer for much of the music, and while I don’t know if it’s his unfamiliarity of the medium or his absence from monster movies, but the score just doesn’t click. The music seems to lull rather than excite. Most of it is just variations on a couple of tunes, which aren’t very interesting to begin with. The notable exception is Ifukube’s new rendition of what would eventually become Godzilla’s Theme (and had not been heard since the 1954 original). The score as a whole is, however, much darker and eerier in tone than previous works by Riichiro Manabe and Masaru Sato and that does work in the film’s favor. Surely, Sato’s poppy Mechagodzilla theme music would not have worked here. And while it’s no “Oh Peace, Oh Light, Return” (which easily could have fit in), Ifukube’s requiem-esque ending track is a suitable coda for the film, if not the Showa series.
Back to blow the hell out of the Toho lot is special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano. Nakano’s work is uniform for the Godzilla series at this point, far better than 1973’s GODZILLA VS. MEGALON but about on par with the previous year’s MECHAGODZILLA outing. Though due to Toho’s penny-pinching, it’s nowhere near the quality of films like 1973’s SUBMERSION OF JAPAN. While the film wasn’t allocated any more budget than normal, the film certainly looks healthier than the others thanks to a whole Tokyo set leftover from 1974’s PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS. These miniatures that survived the end of the world are no match for the combined destructive might of Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus. This being the 70s, stock footage is utilized once again, but this time in a far less quantity or noticeable capacity than in say, GODZILLA VS. GIGAN or MEGALON. Look carefully and you’ll see a quick explosion shot from ATRAGON. Speaking of which, this being a Nakano film, explosions are plentiful. Anytime Titanosaurus rises or falls into the sea, the water explodes. Mechagodzilla makes an explosive coming to life. His finger missiles cause a Tokyo street to explode before our very eyes. Mechagodzilla’s destruction results in a huge explosion courtesy of Godzilla’s ray. And Godzilla explodes out of the ground at one point. When Mechagodzilla cranks up the juice against a charging Godzilla, the explosions are so numerous and massive, the daytime sky turns nighttime (not as in a continuity mistake) and the Godzilla suit manages to catch fire! The title card even appears over an explosion, announcing to the viewer “Yep. It’s a Nakano film” right off the bat.
The cast unfortunately aren’t up to snuff. Katsuhiko Sasaki has no charisma and even less chemistry with his love interest. Katsumasa Uchida looks bored even when in the middle of action sequences. Kenji Sahara is wasted in a throw-away role as a general and due to failing health, Toho character actor Ikio Sawamura (in his final appearance) doesn’t even utter a word (though he does surely creep the viewer out with his odd mugging).
Toho heavyweight Akihiko Hirata turns in an especially poor performance. His tortured but crazy Dr. Mafune could have been a performance worthy of Serizawa. But rather than go for the drama, Hirata chooses to ham it up. Dressed in a lab overcoat and wild, white mad scientist wig, Hirata as Mafune comes off as a less demented Dr. Wily, constantly ringing his hands and jabbering “I’ll show them!” to an increasingly disturbed Katsura. When he’s gunned down in the climax, it means next to nothing. It’s especially sad that Hirata’s turn as Mafune would be his final appearance in a Godzilla movie. After making brief appearances in THE WAR IN SPACE (1977) and SAYONARA JUPITER (1984), Hirata was slated to play Dr. Hayashida in GODZILLA (1984). However, he died of cancer just before shooting began. I personally have no doubt that Hirata would have brought the same intensity to Hayashida as he had to Serizawa, despite my misgivings about his performance here.
The one exception in the [human] cast is Tomoko Ai as Katsura. A veteran of TV’s ULTRAMAN LEO but making her film debut, Ai turns in a fabulous performance as the cyborg girl who yearns to be a real girl again. She suitably projects beauty, innocence, mystery, and malice… sometimes all in one scene. Unlike Hirata, when Katsura does the right thing by shooting herself (though honestly, couldn’t SOME other way been thought of to stop Mechagodzilla had they just thought for a second?), we’re genuinely moved. While mostly under alien control throughout the end of the movie, Katsura is ostensibly the heroine of the piece. Or at least, she carries the film much better than Ichinose does. And not to mention when Ai slips into her form-fitting alien one-piece, she is instantly cemented in the pantheon of Toho’s tokusatsu beauties. Unfortunately, due to the film’s box office performance, Ai’s career never really took off, which is a shame because if this is what she can do the first time out of the box, who knows what sort of performances she could have given in later years?
As for the true stars of the movie, the monsters are a top notch group. Despite only appearing in two sequences in the movie (three, if you count the opening credits), Godzilla is still the star of the show. When he finally appears to deal with Titanosaurus, the monster king is given an entrance befitting his status, one of the most breathtaking of the series—over a darkened Tokyo skyline, his familiar silhouette slowly rises behind the skyscrapers. Even his ludicrous “sudden appearance” later is brilliantly shot: Godzilla appearing in front of a gleaming light before charging into battle. The costume is a little worse for wear, having been refurbished for a fourth time. For this outing, the head of the costume has been radically altered. Gone are the puppy dog eyes from his MEGALON debut. Now, Godzilla has a perpetually pissed-off visage that would give Majin pause and his teeth have been changed to be more jagged and pointy than in previous incarnations. Serious disposition aside, Godzilla is still locked into pop culture icon status. He runs or jogs everywhere in the film (he’s never seen just walking), perhaps reflecting Japan’s jogging craze at the time. And when he finally gets into hand to hand combat with his mechanical doppelganger, Godzilla unleashes a torrent of punches (or at least a torrent as best can be done from inside a rubber suit) that would make Sonny Chiba proud. Toru Kawai, who had played Godzilla in ZONE FIGHTER gives a much better performance here, imbuing Godzilla with a Chiba-esque, no nonsense demeanor that is evident even when he’s being knocked through the air like a balloon. Kawai had played various monsters in other superhero shows before and would go on to kind of play Gamera in 1980’s stock footage fest GAMERA, SUPER MONSTER (he wore the new suit constructed for the film that didn’t really get used other than mere seconds’ worth of shots). He has the dubious honor of being the only actor to have played both of Japan’s greatest monsters.
Mechagodzilla is trotted out once more, but to less success than before. The costume has been altered with a new chest plate, edgier shoulders, menacing-looking finger missiles and his “tattoo” has been altered to read “MG2”. However, the entire costume has an unfinished, slapped-together look about it though that seems logical as the aliens would have literally slapped Mechagodzilla together again for their conquest of earth. I personally prefer the sleeker, slicker, more evil-looking incarnation from the previous film (amazingly, they are both the same suit—and actually still exists today!). Kazunari Mori returns as Mechagodzilla, but to lesser results. For unknown reasons, Mechagodzilla’s cruel streak and vicious disposition are gone. The previous film had cemented Mechagodzilla as one of Godzilla’s greatest opponents, perhaps the most evil of the bunch since King Ghidrah. But here, the mechanical monster has a Vegeta/Nappa (from DRAGONBALL Z) dynamic going on. Mechagodzilla prefers to be a spectator to the fray, only intervening when his partner is in trouble. Compare that to the throwdowns he engages in with Angilas and King Seesar in the previous film and there’s no contest. In fact, until it becomes one on one time late in the game. Mechagodzilla seems completely ambivalent about Godzilla’s very appearance, often seen looking off in other directions. There is one very interesting bit of business Mori gives though—when Mechagodzilla is felled by one Godzilla’s ray blasts, he falls over in an overly dramatic fashion, just as Katsura does when she’s gunned down by Interpol. Marvelous!
More interesting character-wise is the new kid on the block, Titanosaurus. He’s a call back to the early Toho monsters such as Angilas or Rodan or Varan. He’s literally just a giant dinosaur with—other than his hurricane-inducing fan tail—no extraordinary powers of any sort. Supposedly, Titanosaurus is a gentle monster, apparently preferring to live peacefully in the depths of the sea (or so the characters say), but Titanosaurus is never shown being anything but threatening or downright mean. He smashes Tokyo with aplomb, wipes out the air force with glee, gives Godzilla the once-over and even takes time out from city stomping to threaten a couple of onlooking kids (whose fate is surely left up to the viewer). Sentai veteran Katsumi Nimiamoto gives an energetic and attention-grabbing performance as the dino-monster. He would go so far as to wear the costume backwards to make Titanosaurus’ movements more unusual than normal. It’s a shame that Titanosaurus would never return to the series (his stock footage cameo in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS aside) but for reasons known only to them, the Japanese don’t think much of this rather inspired creation.
At the end of the day, though, TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA can’t compete with the previous entry. Nothing about it is up to par. Fukuda’s handling of his materials works better than Honda’s does. Masaru Sato’s score is far and away better than Ifukube’s here. The cinematography of the previous film blows away what’s on showcase here. And other than Katsura, the previous films’ characters were easily better. Ichinose and his Interpol buddy Murakoshi are dull as dirt. Imagine how much more exciting things would have been had Shin Kishida been brought back as Agent Nanbara. In MECHAGODZILLA, the Interpol agents were harbingers of badassery. Here, they’ve primarily been relegated to office-bound salarymen. Returning alien leader Goro Mutsumi can’t even rise to the occasion. Mugal has none of the quirks or charm of Kuronama—there’s isn’t a cigar or wine class to be found in his base. Although, apparently the alien is a sadist, as he is seen whipping subordinates and ordering their execution for failing to kill Ichinose.
Due to reasons beyond Toho’s control, TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA would prove to be the lowest-grossing movie of the series thus far, and would retain that until 2004’s wrongheaded FINAL WARS. With Toho unable to compete with the free monsters served up on Japanese TV, Godzilla was finally defeated by an opponent he couldn’t even see. Japan was in the middle of an economic depression and an oil crisis so movie ticket sales were at an all-time low. Not to mention, the Japanese were becoming far more enamored with American films of the time (a trend that continues to this day). This film would end up being an ipso-facto finale for the series, but not by design. Toho would continue announcing sequels throughout the rest of the decade—SPACE GODZILLA (unrelated to the Heisei monster) in 1977, American co-productions GODZILLA VS. GARGANTUA and GODZILLA VS. THE DEVIL in 1978, and GODZILLA VS. THE ASUKA FORTRESS in 1979—but nothing would ever get off the ground. Eventually, Tanaka would abandon the Showa series entirely and concentrate on a reboot of the franchise that only answered to the original film. The first of these attempts was THE RETURN OF GODZILLA in 1980, which would eventually be re-written and transformed into GODZILLA in 1984 and for better or worse, things have never been the same since.
Head of United Productions of America and long-time Toho partner Henry Saperstein picked up the U.S. rights to the film. For reasons known only to him, he didn’t release it in America until 1978 and then only direct to television. Because the film’s 83 minute running time was too short, Saperstein tacked on a ludicrous prologue that recapped a rather dubious telling of Godzilla’s life utilizing stock footage from GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO and GODZILLA’S REVENGE (though none of the new footage from that film). Other than Katsura’s nude shot (a first for the series), the film was relatively uncut. In 1979, Saperstein sold theatrical rights to Bob Conn Enterprises. This time the film was rechristened with the bizarre title THE TERROR OF GODZILLA and depending on where you saw it, was in two different edits. Some prints were uncut TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA prints just with a new title card. Others, however, were considerably cut down to remove all traces of violence and particularly Katsura’s suicide at the end (resulting in terrible jump cuts, complete with horrible music edits). When the film was released in the U.K. as MONSTERS FROM AN UNKNOWN PLANET, it was the cut down version that was used. This was also the print used when the film made its way to VHS and unfortunately, was how most people saw the film until recent times when the uncut version made its way to DVD.
TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA can’t quite live up to the standards of its predecessor but taken on its own merits, it’s a fine entry in the series and certainly not worthy of its abysmal box office take. If you’re looking to kill a weekend afternoon, want to see monsters beat the hell out of each other, and maybe even shed a tear or two, this one’s for you. Godzilla snobs that want more serious fare should look elsewhere. More serious in it tone as it may be, it’s still a 70s Godzilla movie.