Wow. It has been 20 years since Godzilla first appeared on the big screen. For the 10th anniversary, Toho Studios created one of Godzilla’s most popular foes to date. So for the 20th anniversary, they decided to see if they could do it again. This time, they borrowed an idea from another Toho movie, King Kong Escapes, and created a mechanical counterpart to Godzilla. Controlled by an alien race and armed with a plethora of advanced weaponry, Mechagodzilla was the perfect villain for Godzilla to face. So let’s go ahead and get on with today’s movie, Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla (1974) (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs The Cosmic Monster).
The plot: While watching a performance in Okinawa, Keisuke Shimizu witnesses an Azumi priestess collapse after seeing a vision of a giant monster destroying the city. Later, at an excavation that Keisuke is in charge of, a large chamber is discovered, filled with ancient artifacts and an ominous looking mural. An archaeologist named Saeko Kaneshiro investigates the mural and determines that the mural is a prophecy. “When a black mountain rises above the clouds, a monster will appear to destroy the world. But when the red moon sets and the sun rises from the west, two monsters will appear to save the world.” As Keisuke and Saeko are flying to see Keisuke’s uncle, Professor Wagura, they see a large black cloud in the shape of a mountain floating in the sky. At Professor Wagura’s house, Professor Wagura and Saeko are studying a statue that resembles the legendary King Caesar when a thief tries to steal the statue but he is chased off by Keisuke. The next day, Godzilla appears near Mt. Fuji and begins a destructive rampage throughout the area. Anguirus shows up to fight Godzilla but is forced to retreat after Godzilla breaks his jaw. Keisuke goes to the area to look for his brother, Masahiko, and discovers some strange metal in the rubble, the same type of metal that Masahiko had discovered in Okinawa and taken to Professor Miyajima to study. Godzilla’s rampage continues at the harbor, but a second Godzilla appears and begins battling it. As Keisuke, Masahiko, Professor Miyajima and his daughter watch, the second Godzilla damages the first Godzilla’s arm, revealing a metallic surface underneath the flesh. Professor Miyajima theorizes that the Godzilla that came from Mt. Fuji is a robot made from the strange metal, which he calls space titanium. The robot Godzilla and the real Godzilla wind up injuring each other and both monsters retreat. Later, Professor Miyajima, his daughter, and Masahiko are investigating the cave where Masahiko found the space titanium when they are captured by the aliens controlling Mechagodzilla. While the alien commander, from the third planet of the black hole, forces Professor Miyajima to repair Mechagodzilla, Keisuke and Saeko are bringing the statue of King Caesar back to Okinawa by boat. The alien thief tries to steal the statue again but this time he is wounded in the face, revealing a simian-like appearance. The alien almost kills Keisuke but he is saved by an interpol agent named Nanbara. Nanbara and Keisuke go to locate Professor Miyajima and the others and manage to free them from the aliens base. While Miyajima, Nanbara, and Masahiko try to stop the aliens from launching Mechagodzilla, the rest of the group see the red moon causing a mirage so that it appears the sun is rising from the west. They then take the statue back to the Azumi shrine, where it reveals the location of King Caesar and the Azumi priestess wakes the monster up. Mechagodzilla is sent to battle King Caesar and almost kills him but Godzilla arrives to help battle the evil robot. As the two monsters manage to defeat the robot, Miyajima and the others manage to kill the alien invaders and destroy the base. As the people celebrate the alien’s defeat, King Caesar returns to his mountain lair while Godzilla returns to his ocean home.
This is the best of the 70’s Godzilla movies and also my favorite. The story was great with a much better plot than the previous movies. The special effects were some of the best in the final Showa era films, except for the effects involving the aliens revealing their true form. When that happened, they would freeze the scene while the visual effect took place, but then when the scene would resume, the other people in the scene would have usually moved some. The effect looked weird, but I did like the look of the aliens, very reminiscent of Planet Of The Apes. King Caesar looked ok but Mechagodzilla definitely stole the show in this movie. The fights between all the monsters were definitely some of the best battles from the last few movies.
A great movie that is worthy of the 20th anniversary film.
Rating: 3 out of 5