Back in the day before DVR’s, I would often use my VCR to tape movies off of the TV. Today’s movie was one of the first Godzilla movies that I recorded in this way. This was back when I lived in Texas and one of the local channels was doing a Godzilla marathon one Saturday, starting with this movie. Well naturally, I put a tape in the VCR and recorded all three movies. So in a way, Godzilla Vs Megalon was the first Godzilla movie that I ever owned.
The plot: While at an outing on the lake, inventor Goro Ibuki, along with his nephew Rokuro and his friend Hiroshi Jinkawa, are caught in an earthquake which results in the lake being drained of water. Unknown to them, the earthquake was caused by the undersea kingdom of Seatopia, who plans to destroy the surface world as revenge for the nuclear tests that have affected the underground civilization. When the trio arrive back home, they are attacked by two Seatopian agents, who had broken into the house to steal Goro’s latest invention, but the two agents are chased out of the house. A few days later, Goro finishes his invention, a humanoid robot named Jet Jaguar, but the two Seatopian agents return, knocking the three humans unconscious and stealing the robot. The Seatopians plan to use Jet Jaguar to guide Megalon, a giant beetle-like monster, to destroy the surface. Goro manages to override the Seatopians control and sends Jet Jaguar off to get Godzilla to fight Megalon. After contacting Godzilla, Jet Jaguar returns and manages to grow in size so he is able to battle Megalon. However, the Seatopian emperor contacts Space Hunter Nebula M and has them send Gigan to assist him. Gigan and Megalon began to beat on Jet Jaguar but Godzilla soon arrives to help even the odds. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar eventually defeat the two evil monsters and after thanking each other, Godzilla heads back to Monster Island while Jet Jaguar shrinks back down to normal size and heads home with Goro, Rokuro, and Hiroshi.
This movie is has long been considered the low point of the Showa era movies. A lot of fans feel that this movie led to many people considering Godzilla movies to be cheap, childrens films. Just about everything was criticized in this movie, from the lack of special effects (due to mostly stock footage being used), the bad plot, bad acting, everything. However, this happened to be one of the most watched films in the series when it was released in the U.S in 1976, partially due to the marketing, having cashed in on the hype for the King Kong remake. It also received a lot of notoriety when it was shown on MST3K.
While I do not despise this movie like some fans, I will admit that this is not a good movie. The plot was incredibly weak and just plain boring. The acting was pretty bad, there was one scene where the people were just standing around waiting for something to happen. The special effects were practically non-existent since many of the scenes involved footage from previous movies. When the monsters were fighting, it had the feel of a pro wrestling match, which was really funny. The suit design for Megalon was interesting but Jet Jaguar was a total ripoff of Ultraman. The one scene that I thought was kind of stupid, but many people say was the best part of the movie, was Godzilla’s final attack on Megalon. As Jet Jaguar held onto Megalon, Godzilla would slide across the ground on his tail and deliver a drop kick to the giant beetle. It doesn’t rank as high as the whole “Godzilla flying” bit, but this was still a pretty ridiculous scene.
A ridiculous movie in the Godzilla series but it can be somewhat entertaining to watch.
Rating: 2 out of 5