Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Metal meets monster.

Aliens trying to take over Earth find and rebuild Mechagodzilla, making him even more deadlier than before. They also align themselves with a scientist who had previously claimed to have found a dinosaur, Titanosaurus, living at the bottom of the ocean. His theory had been mocked and now he wants revenge upon mankind using the monster as his weapon. So Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus are sent out to destroy the world and only Godzilla can stop them.

 

Godzilla’s final film appearance for nearly ten years is one of the best of the original series and that’s because it tries to take itself a little more seriously than the previous few films like Godzilla Vs Megalon. Long time Godzilla director Ishirô Honda was back in the seat for Godzila’s send off and the budget for this one seemed to be a bit higher than the previous few despite obvious use of stock footage and the limited screen time that the monsters do get. Mechagodzilla is resurrected. Aliens are back to take over the world. What can go wrong?

Of course you can’t really take it totally seriously because it’s a Godzilla flick but that’s beside the point. There are few of the comedic moments that plagued some of the previous films and even the monster fights are taken relatively seriously. No tag team wrestling or silly bits with Godzilla doing flying kicks and stuff will be found here. There are some decent battles here, mainly the finale where the three monsters duke it outside Tokyo. The Godzilla suit looks to be in good condition, save for his cheesy smile. The Mechagodzilla films are always decent enough watches for the fancy weapons that the monster displays. And newcomer Titanosaurus is one of the most original creations in the entire series. The suit looks really good and the monster has a rather unique roar. It’s a pity that the monster wasn’t used in any of the newer films. Apparently the monster was planned to return in a few of the 00s entries but was cut for budgetary reasons which is a big shame.

What I didn’t get was that Godzilla found it hard to beat Mechagodzilla in the previous film on his own before he had the assistance of King Caesar to help him win. So why put him up against the same opponent AND Titanosaurus at the same time? It’s a bit unfair but at least they didn’t pair Godzilla up with another monster and have another silly tag team wrestling match.

Anyway you can probably guess what is going to happen in this before you start watching but that doesn’t spoil any of this fun film. Titanosaurus shows up and does some damage before Godzilla comes along and kicks his ass. Then Mechagodzilla appears and starts to go on a rampage with Titanosaurus. The humans discover that aliens are controlling both monsters. Godzilla gets his ass kicked for a bit. The humans eventually defeat the aliens and release the control mechanisms of their monsters. Godzilla then miraculously recovers from his near-death state and kicks the metallic ass of Mechagodzilla and batters Titanosaurus around for a while. It’s more or less the same plot thread that Godzilla films have followed for years. Why change a successful and popular formula?

Miniature cities get stomped. There’s some bad rear projection when humans and monsters share the same screen. The humans and aliens are played by the usual array of Toho’s stock actors including Katsuhiko Sasaki and Tôru Ibuki so if you’ve watched any of the earlier films, you’ll recognise the faces. You won’t recognise the voices though as the dubbing job is pretty bad and the aliens come off more as slimy businessmen than intergalactic conquerors. Add in one of the best scores of the series by Akira Ifukube and we have a fitting send off for the end of the original series of Godzilla films.

 

What more do you want from an old school Godzilla film? Terror of Mechagodzilla is a decent if flawed entry into the series and was a worthy way to put the series on the back burner for as long as it was.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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