Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975)
This movie is a direct sequel to 1974's Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla I. As such it is the first Godzilla movie that uses the preceding movie as the basis of the plot, a feature found in most western series but not so common in Japanese cinema. Much of the cast has returned, though with many notable exceptions, and of course the titular evil robot is back for another go-around with our favorite radioactive mutant lizard.
The script for this film was written by Yukiko Takayama, the winner of a story contest Toho held for fans to pick the next screenplay to become Terror of MechaGodzilla. Due to the limited cash budget Toho had for this movie, however, the production crew were unable to film the screenplay exactly as Takayama had written it. The great Ishiro Honda was back from a long absence as director, which just might have saved this film from greater suffering. His adult and quick-paced treatment of the pathetically rehashed script was truly yeoman's work, showing his skill better than with any of his actual "good" movies.
Despite Toho's last ditch effort to preserve the series with the return of Honda and MechaGodzilla, this movie had the lowest attendance record of any other Godzilla film, causing them to pull the plug on the franchise. This was to be the end of the first run of the Godzilla series (1954-1975) and it would be some nine years before the next movie would appear. As with all long running series, Godzilla needed a rest after this movie, both creatively and to let the audience anticipation grow. It's a shame that this movie couldn't have been better seeing how it was the swan song of the first generation of the series.
The same 1970s fashions and hairstyles that plagued the previous few movies are here in all their wretched glory. As well, the special effects are still just as lame and the English dubbing is some of the worst in the history of film. However, this is a great movie to dissect for those of us with too much time on our hands.
On to our show...
We open with the credits while a nifty flashback of Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla I zips by behind them. The flashbacks hit all the highlights and do a pretty good job of setting the tone of the movie right off the bat, we're sure that this movie is going to provide us with some serious monster mayhem. Akira Ifukube's musical score here is great--a throbbing, jazzy bongo beat that just screams plaid and polyester.
We first cut to a rocky seashore on a sunny day, a young woman is sitting by the rocks watching a ship riding at anchor some distance offshore. We will soon learn that this is off the southwestern coast of Okinawa, where the climatic battle between Godzilla, King Seesar and MechaGodzilla was fought at the end of the last movie.
The girl, wearing a flowing green dress with her longish hair blowing in the breeze, strikes a rather pretty picture. Her piercing dark eyes and soft, full face make her a welcome way to open any movie and I will enjoy seeing more of her as the show goes on. We will see in a few minutes that she has some sort of ESP-like ability to see what's going on beneath the sea (I guess...we never really get an explanation and we never see this ability again so you might as well forget it).
As pretty as the girl is, the shots of the ship at sea are just the opposite. Instead of just getting a few seconds of stock footage of some random ship at sea to insert here, the producers decided to build this tacky little model boat and stick it in a pool in front of a blatantly fake oil painting of sky and clouds. Such wasted effort, such wasted time. This is the dive-support ship for a largish research mini-submarine, which is also realized by a model placed in a tank of water with a fan blowing on it to simulate waves. Egads.
Just to help you all out, I'll tell you in advance that this sub is on a well-funded scientific mission to look for the shattered remains of MechaGodzilla (blown to bits at the end of the last movie, and presumably into the ocean). It's not a military mission, but seemingly funded by an organization much like our NUMA. Where's Dirk Pitt when you need him?
We thankfully cut inside the minisub, where we see half a dozen or so crewmen working on control panels and other fancy levers and stuff. The crew are all dressed in matching gray jackets over suits and ties (!!!) with geeky hats with little anchor patches on them. The Japanese culture is obsessed with matching uniforms, in case you didn't know.
On a bulkhead of the sub is a large poster of MechaGodzilla. Not an engineering schematic, mind you, or even a three-view technical drawing, but a cartoonish rendering of the robot striking a stupidass ninja pose. A few tag lines in Japanese point to the robot's joints and stuff, but not much else scientific is noted. As money seems to flow like water with this group, you'd think they'd have a better picture of MechaGodzilla to use as their reference.
Anyway, the sub's captain informs us that they're now in the right position to start their search and are starting their descent. They set their depth for 750 meters, which is pretty deep. Some stock footage of fish and algae and stuff precedes some shots of the model sub gliding through a murky fish tank. An insert shot of a nautical chart of Okinawa shows us the "search area" as a red block. This is helpful in establishing where the events of the last movie occurred, as it was rather confusing in that one.
Ok, they clearly state several times that they're looking for the robot's remains (including his head) in 750 meters of water off the coast. How the hell did the robot get that far out to sea? In the last movie (and even in the flashbacks at the beginning of this movie) we clearly see that MechaGodzilla was beheaded and blown up some distance from the shore. You're telling me that the debris from the explosion flew several tens of miles (!!!) out to sea when the robot exploded? Not a chance. And we're led to believe that there are no remains on land (!!!) and everything is in the sea. This must mean that someone or something drug all the remains far out to sea following the battle. Arg! Stupid movie, didn't anyone watch the first one?
Anyway, we now hear a crewman announce that they're "at 200 meters depth" and the captain turns on the spotlights and the sonar, showing them to be at the seafloor. 200 meters? Not ten seconds ago they said that they were going down to 750. Which one is it?
So they prowl around the seafloor for a while, probing with their sonar and instruments, as well as a spotlight. Apparently they have an "analyzer" aboard that detects even the smallest amount of Space Titanium (which is what MechaGodzilla is made out of), though strangely it's not picking up anything. BTW, the actors dubbing the sub crewmen have the thickest British accents you could imagine, making it sound like an episode of Keeping Up Appearances every time they talk.
A monster attacks! The sub is suddenly tossed around like a...umm, like a small plastic model in a stirred-up tank of water. The physics are terrible, with the sub being thrashed around far beyond the breaking strength of any earthly metal. Inside the sub, however, the crew is just doing a moderate Star Trek maneuver, where they lurch around and grab onto stuff as the camera shakes a little bit.
We see the monster is a big, aquatic, long-necked, bipedal dinosaur with fins and a thick tail. It has three- clawed hands, webbed thingies on its head, and sports a screeching noise that will quickly pull at your last nerve. I find that it looks a whole lot like the monster Gorgo from the 1961 movie Gorgo, even to the pointless little fins on the top of its head. This is Titanosaurus!!!!! Ugh, Roger Corman would feel at home here.
The minisub blows emergency ballast (I guess) because it pops to the surface and bobs there. Then the water nearby boils and Titanosaurus rears up out of the water. Ummm...rears up out of the water? The camera angle clearly shows the creature almost completely out of the water, how is this possible in water 200 meters (or 750?) deep? Anyway, the dinosaur attacks the drifting sub, thrashing it about, pulling it back underwater and then crushing it between his hands like a redneck crushing a beer can on his forehead to impress his cousin/girlfriend. Ouch, the creature's roar is painful to hear, stop it!!!!
Ah, blessed silence. We now cut to some big city, presumably Tokyo as all these movies are set in that city, much like all American movies are set in New York City or Los Angeles. At the headquarters of the Japanese branch of the International Police Organization (Interpol) we join a meeting in progress. They're discussing the minisub being lost. This will seem weird as the movie goes on, as we ask ourselves why a police agency would be involved with a lost commercial submarine and a rogue dinosaur. Where is the government, or the military, or even the scientific community? In a monster-plagued nation like Japan, you'd think they'd have a group set up to deal with strange monsters and such.
Anyway, there are ten men seated around a round table here, all dressed in horrible 1970s suits and ties presided over by the "Chief". The worst fashion offender (a too-tight double-breasted brown coat over a brown-checked shirt with a wide collar hanging outside the jacket) is explaining how the sub was an experimental model built by his agency, the aptly named "Ocean Exploitation Institute". He's expressing disbelief that the accident could have been caused by a fault on their part (right, like "experimental craft" never have accidents). He even provides a "wreck analysis" to prove that it was an external cause and not an internal explosion (which presumably would make them financially liable).
Damn, you people wore those in the '70s? We should have nuked you again.
The Chief then shows us all some photos that have come to him, taken by some fisherman the day of the accident. They show some undefined object (we know that it's Titanosaurus' head) rising up out of the water.
As they discuss the photos, a man enters the meeting room. He introduces himself as Ichinose with the Ocean Exploitation Institute (OEI). Ichinose will prove to be a marine biologist with top secret clearance and a flair for adventure and hot women. Just like all marine biologists, I presume, I knew I should have changed my major in college... Ichinose is played by 31-year old Katsuhiko Sasaki (son of veteran actor Takamaru Sasaki), and was also a player in Godzilla vs. Megalon. Because I've been reading too much Clive Cussler lately, I'm going to call him "Dirk Pitt" from now on.
At Dirk's entrance, one of the Interpol agents jumps up and shakes his hand, they claim to have known each other from college. How convenient, eh? I hate it when movies have every one know each other regardless of the chances of it happening. Dirk is clearly younger than the agent, and they probably had widely different majors in college, so to have them meet here like this is pretty lame. This agent will be our other main protagonist and is named Jiro Murakoshi and is played by relatively-unknown actor Katsumasa Uchida. For the leading man in a movie he's a remarkably ugly man, with a wide distended face and a greasy foppish haircut.
As soon as Dirk sits down, the Chief plays a recording for him of the sub's last radio message. It's basically the frantic voice of the sub captain pleading for help as some "dinosaur" eats them. Not very emotionally pulling, despite the film maker's efforts to make it so. They all gasp in wonder and amazement at the fact that it could be a dinosaur. Hey, wait, isn't Godzilla a dinosaur? Weren't several of the monsters (Gorosaurus, Baragon, Manda, Rodan, etc) that have been stomping Japan over the years also dinosaurs? Why would they be so surprised to learn that yet another dinosaur is now on the loose?
We then cut to some tacky apartment overlooking downtown Tokyo. But first, between scenes we get a two-second segue of a spaceship model out in space accompanied by a snippet of spacey music. This is supposed to let us know that the men we're about to meet are aliens. One, called "Captain" here, says he just came in on a commercial air flight and complains about the slowness and trouble of Earthling flight, hinting that his race can zip around the stars. The other agrees, but cautions that they will soon get their chance to show us humans what real power is. They laugh and cast threats of destruction out the window at Tokyo, their soon-to-be target. We assume that the Captain came in on the spaceship we saw in the segue, but instead of landing near enough to Tokyo, he caught a connecting flight from somewhere on a civil airliner. Does this make any sense? I guess if they were really trying to be sneaky, but there just seems like an easier way.
The just-arrived alien Captain is very familiar looking to us as he's played by Goro Mutsumi, the same 39-year old actor who just played the similar alien commander in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla I from the year before. In that review I called him "Mr. Sulu" due to his striking facial similarity to George Takai from the Star Trek universe. Here, as well, I'll call him Mr. Sulu, ok? This is made easier by the fact that in this movie his role is pretty much the same, that of diabolical but lame alien commander.
The alien he came to see is named Tsuda, and is played by Toru Ibuki, a veteran Toho actor with five previous Godzilla films under his belt. Sporting a pointy goatee with a long, narrow face and round frame glasses, he looks exactly like the infamous communist Karl Marx. So for the purposes of this review I'll refer to him "Karl Marx", ok?
Karl Marx continues, claiming that Tokyo will do just fine because "as an Earthling city it's typified by its pollution and confusion. In spite of their attempts to control it, the Earthlings don't know what to do. They're so ignorant." Hmmm, ok, and Moscow or London or Fort Wayne, Indiana aren't just as polluted and confused as Tokyo? Ah, yes, but Tokyo will do just fine...Mr. Sulu says that after they destroy the city they will build a new one over the rubble that will be more "convenient" for them. So why did they pick Tokyo if it was so messed up? Wouldn't it have been easier to pick somewhere that was ready-made for reconstruction with nicely laid out street grids, like Phoenix or Brasilia? [Editor Pam: Or just build one from scratch?]
Mr. Sulu then goes over to a gas-station road map of Tokyo laid out on a desk, where he puts a transparent overlay of some futuristic city/starport over it. The alien plan looks like a spoked wagon wheel with the "hub" placed right on top of the Imperial Palace. I think they could have gotten a better map, and why show it to him at all, Karl Marx already knows what the plan is. It should also be noted that during the above discussion of the new city, we get a two-second cut of an artsy rendering of what the new city will look like when they are done with it. The drawing, in muted blues and grays, is straight out of a 1940s Flash Gordon comic book.
Karl Marx then sighs, saying that they must act fast as "the last of our planets is fading into the black hole." This pegs them as the same ape aliens from our last movie (the Simeons), though the reappearance of Mr. Sulu was a give-away. While I'm thinking about it, why did they use the same actor when he was clearly killed in the last movie? Perhaps whatever process that they use to create the human skin covering over their ape bodies only has a limited number of templates. Perhaps the Mr. Sulu-look is "Commander Template #1" and they use it for all the leaders? Who knows, but I do care.
Karl Mark says that he has found an Earthling who can help them on their "project". One Shinji Mafune, a "doctor of science" (???) and "as an Earthling his knowledge is exceptionally advanced" (???). The doctor's loyalty is apparently solid because the aliens saved his daughter and he himself hates humans because his scientific peers laughed at him 20 years ago for his controversial dinosaur research (!!!). Man, this guy never lets it go. Why, pray tell, these space faring aliens need the help of a disgraced human scientist to take over Tokyo we will have to wait and see. I'm more concerned with how bushy-bad these guys' sideburns are. Where's Joan Rivers when you need her? I'm assuming that Interpol made the connection between the dinosaur and Mifune's discredited research and super-agent Jiro is sent on his trail.
We now cut back to the "Ocean Development Laboratory", which I assume is a part of the "Ocean Exploitation Institute". Jiro pulls up in a sleek black sports coupe in a scene that mirrors a similar one in the last movie. I think it's a Pontiac Firebird Formula but with an Interpol sticker on the door (!). Either Interpol is wasting taxpayer money on buying sports cars for their field agents (ala Miami Vice) or they allow their agents to use their own personal cars on assignments as long as they carry a tacky sticker on the door. Oh, and while I'm at it, another pet peeve of mine is when everyone in movies can find a great parking place on the first try. Here Jiro just pulls up to the front door and gets out, must be the power of the sticker.
What year is this?
The movie now gets nifty on us. As a way of explaining Doctor Shinji Mafune's fall from grace and the reasons behind his hatred and eventual betrayal of mankind, we get some grainy black and white flashback inserts while a voiceover explains it all. Somber, funeral parlor organ music will drone under the dialogue to set the tone. It seems that Mafune, a brilliant biologist who once studied at this very institute, had big plans to exploit and farm the seas for the benefit of mankind. Great plan, but soon he announced that he had found a dinosaur living under the sea near the Bonin Islands. He also claimed to "control it" and named it "Titanosaurus". This labeled him a quack and the scientific community tossed him out the door and over the mental cliff edge. Again, why would scientists who have seen monsters in the past recent react so coldly to the idea of more being found? It has been established that this discovery took place "20 years ago" (so around 1955) which would be pretty close to the first coming of Godzilla (in 1954) so maybe it did sound a little crazy.
We see that the above narration is being told to Jiro by Professor Ota, a big-wig at the Institute with a terrible hair cut and an unfortunate Hitler mustache. Jiro meets with him in a room with a comfy couch, Dirk Pitt and some chick in a brown and white jumper are here also. Professor Ota says that crazy Mafune was fired "15 years ago" (so maybe it took five years to run him off?). They then get into a politically correct discussion about the perils of genetic manipulation. Keep in mind the timeframe of the 1970s and the amazing advances in such genetic science since that time. Ironic, isn't it, that Japan would lead the world in genetic meddling in the 1990s?
Anyway, they learn that Mafune's last known forwarding address was his house on "Manizura Island", and off they go. A thorough Google search failed to turn up the island, so either the name on the subtitles was spelled wrong or the island is fake.
Next we see Jiro and Dirk on our mysterious Manizura Island, walking along a pier and asking an old couple for directions to Mafune's house. They're dressed the same as the last scene so it must be the same day, and it's still light, and they drove here, so Manizura Island must be relatively close to Tokyo, right? (Hey, where did the girl in the brown jumper go? Who was she?) Anyway, the locals claim that the doctor lives in the "haunted house" beyond the forest, a place where no one has been seen for years. To show us how spooky the place is supposed to be, we see and hear a lot of squawking sea birds. Ohhh, how scary...
They pull up to the house, which is seemingly abandoned and infested with birds. They go to the door and ring the buzzer. Ok, three things here. One, Dirk's hair is so thick with gel that it must be as strong as Kevlar. Two, the house obviously has electricity (the buzzer, plus all that we will soon see), so that shoots the whole "haunted house" idea, I mean, really, how many ghosts still pay their electric bill on time? Three, Dirk's jacket looks painfully tight, how did he breathe in that? It forces him to walk with a swagger like John Wayne. [Editor Pam: I wonder if it's that tight because he thought he looked good in it, or if Wardrobe made it too small and there wasn't time to make another one.]
The door opens eventually and we meet our Hot Babe of the movie. This will prove to be Doctor Mafune's sexy daughter Katsura (who we saw briefly in the opening scene of the movie sitting on the beach). Katsura Mafune is played by the lovely actress Tomoko Ai. She was just 20-years old when this movie was filmed and her youth shows. Unlike the equally young Momoko Kochi from the original 1954 Godzilla, whose performance was veteran in quality, Tomoko Ai displays a limited range of emotions and flair. She is, however, extremely hawt and that makes up for a lot of her other glaring faults as an actress. This was to be her only Godzilla film and she stopped acting in movies altogether in the early 1980s. When we first meet her here, she's wearing a long, flowing scarlet red-belted skirt with a long-sleeved white blouse. The blouse is made of thin silk and her white bra is strikingly clear beneath the fabric. While I'm not complaining (she has a very nice rack), it just seems pretty racy for a Godzilla movie.
Katsura informs them that her father died five years ago, and she then attempts to close the door on them. Jiro and Dirk, however, push the door open and barge in. Hey, isn't that unlawful forced entry? Don't Interpol agents and dashing marine biologists have to abide by the laws? Anyway, Katsura claims no knowledge of dinosaurs and says she burned all her father's notebooks after he died, though she gives no explanation as to why she did so. The two men then leave, sure as we are that Katsura is hiding something.
We now cut down to the basement of the Mafune house to meet our movie's insane, disgruntled Mad Scientist, the infamous Doctor Mafune. Because of the large amount of confusing Japanese names in this movie, I will refer to him as "The Mad Scientist" for the rest of this review. The Mad Scientist is a familiar face, being played by the wonderful Akihiko Hirata, who, of course, was a fixture in the Godzilla/Toho universe, having appeared in six other series movies, most notably as Professor Miyajima in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla I the year previous.
The Mad Scientist.
In a room full of sci-fi looking blinking lights and whirring computer banks, The Mad Scientist swills wine with the alien Karl Marx (!). [Editor Pam: What is it with all the blinking lights, anyway? I've never been in a lab that had anything like that many lights.] Here we learn that the aliens are financing The Mad Scientist's attempts to control Titanosaurus, and the "controller" is now ready. They laugh and gloat over their diabolical plans for global domination. I'll give you the lowdown here. After years of studying Titanosaurus, The Mad Scientist discovered that the creature could be controlled by "sonic waves", even to the point of enticing the normally docile dinosaur to commit violent acts, such as his earlier attack on the submarine.
Katsura now comes in, saying that an Interpol agent was just there. They seem shocked. Don't they have any security in this place? You'd think such a high-value lab would have a guard or two. Anyway, The Mad Scientist takes a minute to rage about the injustice he received 15 years ago and how they will all suffer his vengeful wrath. This man has been carrying a grudge since 1960? Perhaps he needs to go look into some counseling options or maybe get some prozac or something. Karl Marx tells him that he has the perfect weapon for his revenge.
Karl Marx then leads The Mad Scientist and his sizzling hot daughter Katsura out into a mountainous region on the mainland. We learn later that this is in Shizuka Prefecture, in the Imagi Mountains. A Google search failed to turn up any mention of "Imagi Mountains" but "Shizuka" is a prefecture about 80 miles southwest down the coast from Tokyo.
As they hike, the camera zooms up to focus on a high ridge. It's steep, rugged and heavily forested, and they soon enter the mouth of a rocky cave and venture some distance into it. Despite this terrain, we see that Katsura is still wearing her silk blouse, red skirt that goes down to her ankles, and open-toed sandals (!!!). The Mad Scientist is not much better, dressed in a full suit with a waist coat and loafers. There's no way that these people made it up into the mountains dressed this way.
A secret door in the cave wall slides back to reveal a long corridor. It's clear that (much like in the last movie) these aliens have constructed an elaborate underground base beneath a mountain range accessed through a cave. How original! The Simeon guards of this movie are wearing almost identical tight silver jumpsuits, though they have added this ridiculous headgear that looks like a motorcycle helmet with cones glued on the top and spray-painted silver. I guess I should be happy with the continuity of these two movies, after all, they are the same aliens. But why the new helmets? Perhaps this bunch of aliens are smarter than the last group that got themselves blown up on Okinawa?
Anyway, the humans are led to the control room where they see to their surprise that the Simeons are rebuilding MechaGodzilla! A lovely tracking shot shows us the robot in another ICBM-like silo, surrounded by scaffolds and sparking torches.
The Mad Scientist asks in wonderment, "What on earth is it?" to which Karl Marx replies, "MechaGodzilla." To which The Mad Scientist blanches and just then (!!!) realizes that these men (including Karl Marx) are aliens. So, The Mad Scientist has been associating with these guys for at least the last five years, and he never suspected that they were aliens? Really, no clue at all? So he must have thought they were humans, too, which makes his continual ranting against the human race kinda suspect. I mean if he thought these men who believed and funded his research were human, then why was he so quick to say that all humans had to die because they mocked him? Am I right?
Umm, this was apparent in the last movie but I didn't mention it there, but I have some issues with the size of the base. At the very least (due to MechaGodzilla's height) the underground base is 200-feet deep and at least as much wide. Not to mention all the infrastructure, power systems, supply networks, living space, waste disposal, and much more. Building this base must have been a major undertaking, even for a race of spacemen. Are they telling us that all this work was done in over-populated Japan without anyone noticing? Where do they get their food and water, their power, their supplies? I just don't see how such a place could exist undetected.
Mr. Sulu walks up now, wearing a silver jumpsuit and tacky sunglasses similar to the ones he wore in the last movie. He's introduced as "Project Leader Mugan", which I guess means that maybe he's the twin brother of the guy from the last film. That's possible. Confirming The Mad Scientist's revelation, he says, "Indeed, we are the spacemen from the third planet. The only surviving planet in the black hole." Ok, that just sounds silly and it is. Was the knowledge of the universe and black holes really that juvenile in 1975 or were the producers of this film just dumb? You can't have planets around a black hole to begin with, right? A black hole is formed long after a star goes supernova, which would incinerate any planets, right? Somebody tell me I'm right. [Editor Pam: Wikipedia says that a black hole forms "when an object's internal pressure is insufficient to resist the object's own gravity," usually when a star's temperature drops too low. I'd say once a star becomes a black hole, the planets around it become unable to support life very quickly, if they aren't destroyed when the black hole forms.]
Mister Sulu then claims that after Godzilla trashed the robot, they found it in the sea and brought it back to land and are now repairing it. Wait, wait, no! Ok, you mean that the aliens got to it first? This means that between the time Godzilla mangled it and when the minisub from the beginning of this movie was poking around, there were no other attempts to find the wreckage of the robot? A goldmine of technology like this, something that had never been seen before, would have people crawling over it from minute one, right? And how did the aliens manage to get the robot's remains back to land without anyone knowing? The whole idea just seems utterly preposterous. Hey, and didn't we see the robot blow itself seemingly into dust at the end of the last movie? Would there really be anything left to salvage? Arg.
Then he tells The Mad Scientist that they need him and his Titanosaurus, which "involves ideas similar to our MechaGodzilla" to solve some problems of control with the robot. What? Titanosaurus is an organic creature, MechaGodzilla is a robot, so how would they share a control mechanism in any way similar? Ummm, and Mister Spaceman? Are you suggesting that you built a robot that you don't know how to control? And you need some quack Earthling marine biologist to figure it out for you? Are you the lamest aliens ever?
Something that I just noticed here. This movie is a direct sequel to the last, right? In that one, the aliens made this big deal about bribing Professor Miyajima to get him to work on the first MechaGodzilla, even to the point of kidnapping his daughter. Well, in this movie we learn that The Mad Scientist has been "on the payroll" for at the very least the last five years. So why were they all freaking out about Miyajima when they had a brilliant Earthling scientist already, one who was more than willing to do their bidding? Am I right?
Just then, our riveting action is interrupted by an alarm klaxon. It seems one of the "human slaves" has escaped. Apparently (though I'm just guessing here) humans are used for cheap labor, perhaps to build the spacebase and do the laundry.
We now cut to a man running frantically through the dense woods of Shizuka. He's being pursued by at least four silver-suited alien guards with Space-Guns drawn. He must have a black belt in some martial art. He does this nifty kung-fu flip over a log for no apparent reason other than it looked neat. He then runs past a sewer worker poking his head out of a manhole (!!!???). The guards then corner him and surround him and shoot him dead. Why didn't the slave just jump down into the manhole with the sewer worker? The aliens didn't see him, after all. For the interests of clarity, I'll jump ahead a bit to later in the movie when we get a flashback as the sewer worker (named Yamashita) is at Interpol HQ telling the story to our heroes.
The sewer worker gets a surprise.
The sewer worker tells them that the escaped man handed him a piece of metal and then pantomimed the pictograph for Interpol on his hand before pushing him back down into the manhole and running off to his demise. He had to act it out because the aliens apparently cut out his vocal chords, as the wicked scar on his throat would indicate. Making your slave workers mute would seem like a good idea to keep them from spreading gossip, but it seems a hazard on the job site. What if a slave wanted to say, "Hey, alien guy! Watch out for that falling I-beam!"?
Back at Interpol HQ, Jiro takes the piece of metal from the sewer worker and declares it to be space titanium (!!!). He must have minored in metallurgy at Secret Agent School. I swear that this little chip is the exact same chip that Joey found in the cave in Okinawa at the beginning of the last movie. Terrible reuse of props, just terrible.
The men then discuss who the mysterious man was, who I will tell you is named Kusigari, and he was the captain of the minisub that was lost at the beginning of this movie. Despite the violent end that sub received, the captain and at least some of the crew escaped to be made captive by the aliens. That does beg the question how they were captured? We didn't see any alien ships at that time, but maybe they were offscreen? The Chief says "From the report it was Kusigari". What report? Did the sewer worker identify him from a lineup of photos? Did he radio a report in before the monster sank his sub? Anyway, from the fact that Kusigari's hair was still trimmed and he had no facial hair, we can assume that he hadn't been missing very long. Either that or the aliens shave their slaves every morning. The chief orders a full search.
Ok, that interlude over, we go back now to the Ocean Exploitation Institute where the scientists are meeting about the construction of the new minisub that will replace the one that Titanosaurus sunk. Dirk Pitt is here, seemingly leading the engineering effort despite supposedly being a marine biologist. Professor Oto, some science guy named Wakayama, and a host of wide-lapel, big-sideburns scientists are also on hand. On an easel behind them is a drawing and schematic of the new sub. It looks just like a smaller, sleeker Spacecruiser Yamato from the Star Blazers series, complete with Yamato-style conning tower and a notable lack of diving planes or rudders.
Dirk is saying, "Extra weapons will diminish the sub's speed" and states that they need to improve the sonar to "cover a wider area" out to a thousand meters. It's hard to tell on the Internet (where that sort of thing is still classified), but a thousand-meter range sonar set is pretty weak as they go, even in 1975. You'd think they could get something stronger. It will also be noted that we never actually see on screen any weapons on the sub, just the sonar.
The girl in the brown jumper from several scenes ago is back now, sitting in the group of scientists. She reads from a notebook (that she claims that she and Dirk found in the Institute's archives in the old library) that Titanosaurus is gentle and slow to provoke. The notebook was written by The Mad Scientist and one wonders why it took so long for this information to come to light, especially considering the wealth of dinosaurs running around Japan. The notebook looks just exactly like one of those "blue book" exam booklets that we all used in college. We also see that on the cover of the notebook, the name "S. Mafune" appears in English as well as Japanese characters. This seems strange, unless the OEI has a large number of English-speakers on staff.
We pan to see that Interpol agent Jiro is also here. This seems an odd place for him to be, in an engineering meeting at a private company, but his hair does look great. He waxes poetical on the irony of a "gentle dinosaur" as the scene fades away.
We then get a two-second insert shot of an old man in a car watching out the window. Astute viewers will see that this is the same old man who was at The Mad Scientist's house when our heroes first visited. He's listed as the "gardener" in the credits but his role will prove to be more sinister, so I will call him the "Sinister Gardener" from now on. This silent man is played by Ikio Sawamura. He had some 80 films to his credit, including six Godzilla movies and Yojimbo and High and Low, and was nearly 70-years old when this movie was filmed. He died in 1975, probably of shame after seeing the finished movie.
Now we cut to what I guess is the lobby of the OEI, where Dirk has an unexpected visitor. It's Katsura, looking cute in a tight, white long-sleeved sweater. She is, however, wearing these nasty Valley Girl lime green gloves that hurt the eyes. From what Dirk says, apparently he asked her to come see him here at the Institute. Katsura is shy and demure, even when presented with one of her father's notebooks (which she earlier claimed were all destroyed by her). Dirk says he now believes that her father's theories on the dinosaur were right. Katsura (obviously conflicted emotionally) asks him to "forget about dinosaurs" and go study lobsters or something. Dirk tells her that another search submarine is being readied, at which Katsura is mortified, and she begs him to no avail to not look for Titanosaurus anymore. Oh my god, Tomoko Ai is a horrible actress! She must have slept with the director to get this part.
Hot, but lame.
We cut back to The Mad Scientist's basement lab, where the Sinister Gardener is rat-finking on Katsura for going to see Dirk. One wonders in light of future knowledge why she has access to the outside world at all. This seems like a bad idea to let the most important part of your plans for global domination just wander about Tokyo unsupervised. What if she gets hit by a bus? Anyway, Katsura comes down the stairs just then and is accosted by her irate father. She tries to get him to relax, but he's adamant about his revenge fixation. He reminds her, via a slow cut to some photos of her as a child, that her own mother, his wife, "slaved so I could complete my studies, she never once raised a complaint." By that bit of 18th century chauvinistic logic he's telling her that her mom was a good wife because she let the man walk all over her, and she needs to do the same.
Hey! Katsura is now wearing the same see-through silk blouse outfit that she had on the first time we saw her. What the hell? Ok, maybe she has a small closet and it's just back in the rotation, but it seems lame that they couldn't put her in a different outfit for a totally different scene. Unless, of course, they filmed this bit at the same time as the other parts and just inserted it in later in the movie. Or maybe they just didn't have the money to buy more clothes for her because they spent it all on those cool space helmets.
A few quick notes here. In one of the photos of a young Katsura and her mom, her mother is clearly smoking a long cigarette. Also, when at the end of the scene Katsura tells her father that they're sending out another search party, the camera zooms into his face as the scene ends just like a bad American soap opera. This is a common segue trick in this movie, but it just seems especially hokey here.
Ok, now we jump ahead to the underground alien base, where now The Mad Scientist is up in MechaGodzilla's head working on the control mechanism. As we just saw him back at his island lab, we can now assume that the previous scene was shot at the same time as the first scenes (as we guessed by Katsura's clothes). There seems no reason why The Mad Scientist would be back at his lab for just that one scene and then back at the spacebase. Very shoddy editing, indeed.
The robot's "head" is a tiny, barebones set with a few shiny lights and some pitifully small gauges scattered about a console. In walks Mr. Sulu, wearing one of the funky space helmets. As the helmet has a clear visor, we wonder why anyone would wear it indoors, especially since we saw Mr. Sulu not wearing one earlier. I guess they just thought it looked really cool and wanted to get it on camera as much as possible. Mr. Sulu compliments him on his work on the robot, making it plain to us that these spacemen couldn't figure out how to operate their own robot without asking the puny humans for help.
The Mad Scientist claims that all is not ready and to make a perfect robot it's necessary to use "living brain cells". What? What? What? Mr. Sulu then expresses some undefined suspicion about his daughter Katsura's devotion to the cause of global domination. The Mad Scientist assures him that she can handle Titanosaurus just fine. Apparently, Katsura is the most adept at controlling the dinosaur, as we shall see later.
We now cut back to The Mad Scientist's house where Katsura is wandering around. She's still wearing the silk blouse outfit so perhaps this is still part of the footage they filmed on the same day. The phone rings, it's Dirk Pitt, who tells her that the sub is leaving at 1:00pm today to look for the dinosaur. She again refuses to go along with him.
Just then, Karl Marx (where did he come from?) hangs up for her. Katsura, now distraught that Dirk is going down in the sub himself, makes to run off, presumably to warn him and maybe fall in love or something. She easily breaks away from the Sinister Gardener (???) in one of the goofiest moments in action film history, but doesn't make it to the door. Karl Marx pulls out this space-zapper thing that looks like a fountain pen and hits her in the back of the head with some sort of stun ray. Sedated, Karl Marx tells her not to forget why she's still alive and to toe the company line.
We now get a nifty flashback scene that explains all that. Set to an ominous organ score, we go back in time to a laboratory some time in the past. The Mad Scientist and daughter Katsura are there, and judging from their appearances, it's about five years in the past. The Mad Scientist's hair is black and trimmed and his face made up, so this is obviously in his pre-insanity days. Katsura is dressed like a typical Japanese school girl, with pig tails and girlish bounce. She's wearing a pink, ribbed top and a white skirt that shows off a great pair of well-muscled legs (the Japanese obsession with school girl outfits both befuddles and excites me to no end).
Hard to see here, but she's hot, trust me.
He's running some sort of experiment with electricity with his daughter assisting him. An electrical short suddenly zaps her with a jolt of electricity, presumably killing her on the spot. Her death scene is painfully overacted (like Al Pacino in his worst post-Scarface moment) but her death throes do allow us to get a good look at her flat, sexy tummy as her shirt rides up.
Katsura has been dead for all of three seconds when the door opens and three men come in and take Katsura's lifeless body out. They're wearing red crushed velvet outfits with matching berets and one of them is clearly Karl Marx. They must have been observing the experiment from the other room, either that or they planned the accident for some nefarious reason. Their nonchalant reaction when carting her body off seems to lend credence to the idea that the aliens planned the accident. This point is never fully explained, but we wonder why The Mad Scientist didn't question the timing of the accident like we do. As well, when The Mad Scientist tries to follow them out of the lab with his daughter's body, they rudely shut the door on him. This gives the impression that he's being held against his will, another point that's not expanded on. In fact, we saw earlier that The Mad Scientists and Karl Marx were on rather chummy terms. Argg.
Anyway, they take Katsura to an "operating room" and, to make a long story short, convert her into a cyborg. This is done with some flashing lights and sparking electrodes and not much else. The original Japanese version had a brief nude scene showing Katsura's breasts during her operation (even though the breasts were phony plastic props). This was, of course, edited out in the American release. For shame.
This is what the inside of Katsura's robot chest looks like.
Back to the present, Karl Marx is telling the zapped Katsura that "your heart is frozen and dry. Who'd love a cyborg, a person who is not a person?", obviously alluding to the budding romance between Katsura and the dashing young Dirk Pitt. This seems unusually cruel, even for space aliens. At his prompting, Katsura repeats that the only emotions that control her actions are "vengeance and hate, revenge." Karl Marx then tells her to call up Titanosaurus and have it attack the submarine.
We cut now to the sub, purring along through the dark waters, presumably off the coast of Okinawa where the last sub was lost. Please tell me the wisdom of sending another small research sub out to confront a creature so large and powerful to have crushed the first sub like a soda can? Is this the Japanese concept of Kamikaze at work again? We see on the back of one of the chairs, written in English, "Akatsuki II". I assume this is the name of the sub, leading us to believe that the first sub was the Akatsuki I. Inside are a crew and a Sub Captain along with Dirk.
Suddenly, the sub begins to shake and shimmy, Titanosaurus attacks again! The meters stop working due to a "strong magnetic force", which is never explained, though assumed to be coming from the creature. They see out a porthole the dinosaur coming at them and turn and run. Judging from the speed of the swimming creature, this is a race they cannot win.
Back at what we assume is The Mad Scientist's house, we see Katsura at a control station guiding the creature with some dorky-looking knobs and switches arrangement. She has changed into a button-up lavender work shirt under a pair of khaki overalls for this scene. Karl Marx is there also, wearing some bad plaid golf pants and a blazer, encouraging her on. The only method of seeing what she's doing is by a single TV monitor set on the wall (later we see that there are two). It shows a view of the minisub that leads us to believe that there's a camera mounted on Titanosaurus. This, along with the obvious control method, tells us that the aliens (or perhaps just The Mad Scientist) have captured the creature at some point in the past and outfitted it with cameras. We already knew that they were controlling it via some sonar pulse method, but I never guessed that they had actually captured it. This, as always, is not explained.
Ok, something weird happens here. We see the sub crew frantically flipping switches at random, then we see a reddish glow and blue lightning bolts spark inside Titanosaurus's mouth. (???) Katsura looses control for a moment, and unsure of the cause, jumps up and reaches for a control switch. The switch sparks and shocks her (girl has bad luck with switches) and she falls back. Hey, wait, why would the dinosaur being shocked many hundreds of miles away cause the switch to short out? Does that make any sense?
Katsura rages at this turn of events.
Titanosaurus drifts off, obviously hurt, and the sub accelerates away to safety. The helmsman says "Hard to port!", and then the next scene shows the sub clearly turning to starboard. Nice work, guys.
Katsura regains her feet and struggles to reestablish control of her creature, but it's too late to catch the sub. We then see on the monitor the image of Titanosaurus' anguished face. Hmmm, where's this camera angle coming from? I hate it when movies do this, one of my biggest pet peeves.
We now cut back to Tokyo to the Interpol HQ where a briefing is being held. We wonder why this meeting is being held at Interpol HQ and not at the OEI's offices. We wonder as well why Interpol is involved at all in a scientific mission. The Chief is asking, "The dinosaur can't stand supersonic waves?". The Sub Captain replies that in his desperation to contact HQ, he switched on everything, including the sonar set which sent out "supersonic beams" that stunned the creature long enough for them to escape. Please explain this to me, please? How does a sonar set create "supersonic beams"? And what was with all that sparking and stuff in the dinosaur's mouth, would sonar waves cause that?
The Sub Captain then asks the Chief to let him build a "giant supersonic wave oscillator" to combat the dinosaur. The Chief agrees and we must scream out why is a sub captain asking a police chief for permission to build a scientific instrument with corporate help and material? How all-encompassing are the Interpol Chief's powers, anyway? Where's the government? The military? Anyone?
Anyway, we now cut back to The Mad Scientist's house, where we see Dirk Pitt (in the same bad plaid jacket and icky brown pants he was wearing the last time he came to this house). Why Dirk is here we don't know but we can assume he's sniffing around for his future true-love Katsura. He's poking around the front yard when he's surprised by a beige Chevy Monte Carlo which peels out of the driveway and down the road. In it are the Sinister Gardener, Karl Marx and Katsura.
Dirk jumps into his own car and gives chase. He gets in the right hand side of the car, which is clearly a conventional left-driver like our cars in America. Maybe he's going to scoot over to the driver's seat? Maybe this car was righter-driver? No, later we see that it's not. Was there someone driving the car who was edited out later but this clue remained? We then get a slow car chase along curvy mountain roads for about ten seconds of screen time.
Okay, now we see the Sinister Gardener, Karl Marx and Katsura walking through the Imagi Mountains towards the underground alien base, followed on foot by Dirk. What the hell? Wasn't Katsura's house on "Manizura Island", presumably an offshore locale? And we're now in the mountains in the interior of the mainland? How long was that car chase?
While watching, Dirk is jumped by a dude from behind who hits him over the head with a pistol butt. There are three dudes altogether, all dressed in suits, ties and trenchcoats but carrying spaceman rayguns. For some reason, they speak with obvious and bad German accents, making us think we're watching an episode of Hogan's Heroes. These are obviously well-dressed alien sentries on patrol, right? How else would they have known that Dirk was out here in the mountains? And how did they manage to sneak up on him so quietly? Dirk must be deaf in one ear.
Just as things look hairy for our plucky marine biologist, shots ring out! It's Interpol Agent Jiro (!!!) leaping out of the woods with his gun blazing to save the day! The scene is cut confusingly, but it seems that he fires two shots. One hits (maybe) one of the sentries solidly, the other hits one of them in the right forearm. Dirk, showing the quick combat reflexes he learned in sophomore-level marine biology class, grabs and tosses the third armed sentry into the grass and runs to join Jiro.
Dirk and Jiro then run off into the woods, being chased by someone, presumably the surviving sentries. We see two laser beams come at them from opposite directions at the same time so we know there are at least two pursuers. Our heroes manage to avoid four laser beams and escape into the darkness. Outrunning light, very nice.
Back now in the control room of the underground alien base, we see that Katsura and Karl Marx have arrived, seemingly oblivious to the gun battle that they left behind them. They meet up with The Mad Scientist and Mr. Sulu, who's sitting in his captain's chair wearing his sunglasses. Katsura breaks the bad news to her father that Titanosaurus was wounded chasing the sub. The Mad Scientist seems shocked and horrified, leading us to believe that he had no idea that the creature was going to attack the sub in the first place. Does this mean that the use and operations of the good doctor's dinosaur are now completely out of his hands? The attack was ordered by Karl Marx, right? More on this later.
We across the country now to what we assume is a staff meeting of the Japanese Self-Defense Force. The Sub Captain is explaining to some uniformed General about supersonic waves, saying that "their direction is the same as light waves." What? I thought light was emitted in all directions at once? Help me? He explains further that with a parabolic mirror they can direct the beam in a nice, tight cone at their target. The General, by the way, is played by none other than Kenji Sahara, the longtime Toho bit player with many Godzilla films behind him.
The military plans the defense.
Jiro and the Interpol Chief are here also. They step aside to discuss the attack by the sentries in the Imagi Mountains. The Chief, sure they were spacemen, says he will alert civil defense. Why didn't Jiro tell the military about the spacemen? Don't you think that they might be interested in alien invaders on Japanese soil?
We now cut to the Ocean Exploitation Institute where we reconnect with Dirk Pitt. He's wearing the same outfit that he just got ambushed in, did he wash it again or was this entire movie shot in one day using one outfit for each actor? He's surprised to meet Katsura in the hallway, as are we. She's wearing this foolish-looking bright red cape with these black snowball pom-poms hanging from the trim, over a red plaid skirt and white top outfit. She's here to give Dirk five thick notebooks, which she says contain all her father's notes on Titanosaurus, which she hopes will help him in his study of the dinosaur. With a disturbingly happy smile she tells him that she went to her father's hometown "all the way out there in Kanigowa" where she found these. I can't find "Kanigowa" anywhere by Google, but I assume it is a ways away from Tokyo by Dirk's comment.
Tell me again why Katsura, being an integral part of the alien's plans for global invasion, is allowed to wander around the country unchecked. Where's the Sinister Gardener? And what's up with this woman? One minute she's a cold-blooded monster-controller, then next she's a love-sick little puppy.
They go down to a cafe in the building for some tea. Now we have just a little bit of a love triangle, though a confusing one. Down in the cafe is the woman we've seen before (brown jumper) who apparently works with Dirk. She's a pretty girl with a open face and full-bodied long hair and her name will prove to be Yuri Yamamoto. I don't know why, but she reminds me of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld, so I will call her "Elaine" from now on. Maybe it's the hair.
She watches Dirk and Katsura from another table, a mix of jealousy and curiosity in her eyes. They do not notice that she's there. Soon, Elaine starts to sneak up on them, seemingly to surprise Dirk, but then backs off with a frown when she sees Katsura. This weird love angle is not explored again and we're left hanging as to what their prior history is, if any.
They small talk about the creature and Dirk lets slip that they think that supersonic waves can defeat him. This seems a dangerous admission, considering that Dirk already knows that something is fishy with Katsura (he saw her walking off into the mountains with the alien dude before the sentries jumped him). Perhaps he's so smitten that his brain has shut off, happened to me before.
Cut immediately then to The Mad Scientist's house. True to our suspicion, Katsura has run back home to tell her father about the supersonic waves theory. She, however, is wearing the same outfit she had on when she was directing Titanosaurus's attack before (and not the outfit she just had on when she was with Dirk), telling me that all the footage set in her house was filmed in maybe two days tops and cut into various places in the movie later. Bad editing. The Mad Scientist scoffs at the supersonic wave idea, boasting that his dinosaur will show them all!
Katsura, perhaps now feeling bad about her role in all this, asks him why he would want to make this gentle dinosaur into a rampaging monster like others before him. She suggests that they just "hand over the earth to the spacemen" and not release the "disaster monsters" again. We then get a 1970s-style collage of stock-footage clips of King Ghidorah, Rodan, and Manda from their previous movies. The collage lasts a full twenty seconds and reeks of a cheap way to get more monsters into the movie without having to shoot any new footage. Are we to assume by her comment that the aliens plan on somehow releasing other "disaster monsters"? Maybe using his control method?
The Mad Scientist blows her off, claiming that the spacemen don't control him (right...) and that MechaGodzilla is no match for his Titanosaurus (right...) because the dinosaur has brains and wicked hops. He wants real bad to show the spacemen what his creature can do. He then goes off on another tirade against those puny humans who mocked his work and took his lunch money, yada yada yada. He then looks directly into the camera and yells, "Go, Titanosaurus!".
We go out to sea now, a sea frothing and flashing with some eerie electrical discharge. Out of the boiling water jumps Titanosaurus, roaring and flexing like Rambo on the dusty plains of Afghanistan. No clue what the electrical lightshow was for, or even what caused it, but it did look cool. We shall see that he's headed for Tokyo to cause some havoc.
Ok, here's a good a spot as any to make a nitpick. Earlier it was said that The Mad Scientist found his creature in the Bonin Islands, which are about 800 miles south of Japan. But we clearly saw the same creature attacking the minisubs off the western coast of Okinawa, some 900 miles west of the Bonin Islands. And now we have the monster attacking Tokyo, some 1,100 miles northeast of Okinawa? Where exactly does this creature hang out between battles? How fast does he swim, can he cover such distances in relative speed?
We cut now to what I'll assume is Tokyo harbor. We see that it is dusk (or dawn?) and there are armed policemen patrolling the docks. I guess this is the "civil defense plan" that the Interpol Chief started a while back. We see the minisub Akatsuki II tied up along a pier. We go inside it where the sub crew are installing the Supersonic Wave Oscillator, which looks like a big, 1980s-vintage VCR.
Back we go now to Titanosaurus making for Tokyo. The Japanese Self-Defense Force, presumably alerted to his coming, is gearing up for the battle. Much of what follows is stock footage, though I'm just guessing on some of it. I will, however, treat it as new stuff for my record keeping.
First we get assorted shots of tanks in various locations, both idling and driving. There are at least fourteen tanks in action here, along with two jeeps we see on a road. The tanks are all Type 61s with 90mm guns, though in several of the shots they're definitely plastic models. The varied mix of stock footage here runs the gamut from shots in broad daylight to others in the darkness more relevant to our movie's timeframe.
Back at the harbor, a runner tells a commander that "Number One and Number Two batteries are deployed." And just in time, too, as we get an atrociously horrible back-matting effect of Titanosaurus looming over the docks. Oh, just a note here. Over this scene we can hear a loudspeaker shouting instructions to the civilians to evacuate. The announcer then says, "This is a warning! All military personnel must remain on station!". While it might just be background filler, it hints that maybe some of the army soldiers have realized that their guns and tanks are powerless against these monsters and are running for cover. It's not often that you see a hint of bad morale in the JSDF.
Just noticed this when pulling screen caps, but in this half-second shot we see on the Tokyo waterfront a number of docked US Navy warships of the Seventh Fleet. I sure hope they are helping out during the attack.
We now cut swiftly back to the minisub, where inside the crew is in crisis. It seems that their spiffy new Supersonic Wave Oscillator has been sabotaged, with a bunch of wires pulled out of the back and cut. How the hell did this happen? We clearly saw the device set into a port in the sub's control room, so whoever did it had to have somehow gained entrance to the sub while no one was inside or around it. This seems impossible to do under the circumstances, but we will see in a minute what happened. The Sub Captain orders it taken back to HQ, which I assume is OEI.
The Sub Captain then meets Jiro who's pulling up in a jeep with some men. The Sub Captain tells him about the sabotage and laments that all is lost now. Oddly, he calls it a "gadget", which just seems so un-scientific. In typical Japanese fashion, he takes the failure of his device as a personal affront to his honor and almost starts to cry.
But no time for histrionics now, Titanosaurus is ashore! We get a shot of tracers zipping out towards the dinosaur as he moves through the shipyard. Seemingly hundreds of rounds pour through the air, many hit him, geysering smoke and sparks.
Actually a pretty good matte shot.
Jiro notes that it's too late for fancy sonar gadgets and then turns to the Sub Captain and tells him to order in some fighter planes to attack the monster (!!!), to which the Sub Captain replies, "Yes." (!!!). Right, like he has the authority to do that, he's just a captain of a civilian research sub!
Jiro then happens to spy Katsura and Sinister Gardener skulking away from the waterfront. Katsura is now wearing a Lita Ford-esque black and white tiger-striped top with slim black pants. As the walk away, they both disappear into thin air like Frodo putting on the One True Ring (!!!). What the hell???? What the holy hell???? They can turn invisible? How come this amazing alien technology hasn't been used before? Imagine an invisible MechaGodzilla, man what a thought. I guess this is how she sabotaged the sonar set, eh? Jiro and some flunkies and soldiers give chase, spreading out amongst some rolling stock in a train yard. Just to prove I wasn't imagining it, Katsura turns invisible again for us.
Back at the underground alien base, Karl Marx has finally changed into the standard spaceman silver suit (he had been in earthman clothes for so long that I was beginning to think he was a human collaborator). He and Mr. Sulu watch the battle on their monitors. It seems that The Mad Scientist sent out Titanosaurus without informing the spacemen beforehand. Karl Marx is miffed but Mr. Sulu is happy to see just what the dinosaur can do. He then leads him over to this lame electronic machine. It's a "supergieger" (???) and it's overly simplistic screen shows Godzilla racing up towards the mouth of Tokyo Bay. There's going to be a smack down in Tokyo tonight, boys! Mr. Sulu predicts (not without justification) that Titanosaurus will be killed and Godzilla badly hurt, leaving MechaGodzilla an easy path to victory.
We cut back to the battle, now fully in the darkness, as the dinosaur wades through the docks. The population is evacuating in a panic, led by policemen with white gloves. Tracers fly in droves and I count four more good hits in this shot. The Type 61 tanks start firing but the monster stomps on relentlessly. Again, judging by the lighting differences, several of the tank-firing shots are reused stock footage. You can also tell which ones are models by the lack of back-blast and recoil.
And now the Japanese Air Force arrives on the scene. Yea! Three F-4EJ Phantom II jet fighters roar in, firing their M61A1 20mm cannons non-stop. The next shot shows flame and smoke blossoming from Titanosaurus' head and neck, though this could not be from the 20mm cannon shells. The jets don't have any underwing stores at all, just cannons, which seems like an odd loadout when attacking a giant dinosaur.
Pissed, Titanosaurus leaps into the air (!!!) in front of the jets, which run right into him and explode. Whatever. By the way, Titanosaurus is just a big dinosaur, right? Nowhere is it said that he has some super armor or power that keeps him from being hurt. Why is none of the firepower tossed at him here having any effect? An armored robot I can see, Godzilla with his regeneration cells I can see, but I can't imagine Titanosaurus could just shake off all these hits. I just went back and counted and I can see at least 23 big hits on his chest and head, in addition to having three jets ram into him.
Anyway, Titanosaurus is now into the city and smashing a few apartment blocks like the cheap plywood and styrofoam models they are. Suddenly, from out of the dark night, a familiar electric blue Fire Breath spears into Titanosaurus's chest, knocking him flat on his back in what must have been a painful moment for the stuntman inside the suit.
In one of the best Godzilla entrances in the whole series, we zoom in to see the big guy outlined in the smoky haze over the city. Yes!!!!! A quick check of the DVD player tells me that we're now a whopping 46 minutes and 40 seconds into our movie, and we now get our first view of the giant mutant lizard we all paid to see. I also have like 16 pages of review up to this point, even without him.
Okay! Now we have some monster fightin'!
The tale of the tape:
Height: 164 feet
Weight: 20,000 tons
Weapons: Atomic Fire Breath, nasty claws and bite, whip-lash tail, attitude to match.
Height: 197 feet
Weight: 33,000 tons
Weapons: Cyclone whip tail, boxing skills, fucking annoying roar.
Ding! Round one!
Titanosaurus jumps to his feet, obviously none the worse. They both strike stupid kung-fu poses for a second amongst the burning buildings before running at each other as the music bounces to a battle march. Godzilla gets the first hit, a solid right to the solar plexus, before Titanosaurus smacks him under the jaw with a left uppercut.
We cut momentarily back to Katsura, who's still running from three soldiers into the woods. The film can't decide if it's day or night here, with every other shot being brightly lit. Why doesn't she use that invisibility thing? And where did Sinister Gardener go? And is he a cyborg, too? Anyway, she hides in a cave but the three soldiers find her with flashlights. Katsura then uses some sort of energy ray that shoots from her eyes to zap two of the soldiers. What the hell!!! First she has stealth mode and now she has laser beam eyes? Pair that with a killer body and you have the woman of my dreams. I'm in love. But, alas, she missed the third soldier, who raises his M14 carbine and shoots my love down with a three-shot burst of 7.62mm heartbreak. Oh, love stinks, love bleeds...
Ok, we jump over to The Mad Scientist at the controls of the dinosaur screaming Katsura's name into the monitors. He flips a few switches and we see Titanosaurus suddenly turn around and run back into the water, leaving a befuddled Godzilla behind. So I guess somehow, maybe through some hidden camera, The Mad Scientist knew his daughter had been shot? Does this seem right?
Ok, that's over, I guess, because we now cut to what I assume is Dirk Pitt's office at the OEI. Ummm, excuse me. Sure Titanosaurus ran off, that's wonderful, but what about Godzilla? You know, that big green lizard last seen standing in the flaming wreckage of Tokyo a second ago? What happened to him? We never know. Stupid movie.
Anyway, Dirk is telling Elaine and Jiro that he must have been mistaken, it couldn't have been his lover Katsura at the docks last night. Elaine, perhaps for reasons of jealousy, thinks it has to be her. Dirk gets defensive and abrupt at the accusation, and then storms out of the room like a petulant child. Dirk, by the way, is still wearing the plaid coat and brown slacks that he's had on for about 95% of the movie so far. Get that man some Fabreeze, those must be some stinky duds by now.
Ok, we now cut to the underground alien base, to a surgery room where Katsura is being operated on. What? How did she get away? She was shot! Maybe the Sinister Gardener KO'ed the last soldier and drug her body to the base? Please, movie, help me help you!
Mr. Sulu dresses down The Mad Scientist for unleashing Titanosaurus on Tokyo without permission. The sad doctor, thankful that they have saved his daughter's life yet again, agrees. It's here that we see clearly that The Mad Scientist is well aware that his daughter is a cyborg. I had wondered all movie if that was a secret to him as well, but now I know. This makes his devotion to her even more interesting.
Back now to OEI headquarters where they're working to fix the sabotaged sonar set. The set will apparently take at least two days to fix (must not have been under warranty). The repairman is then challenged to do it in one day, and accepts. All of our main characters are here now. The General laments that all his weaponry is useless (all? Is that really all you have?). Jiro and the Chief talk, Jiro says he will go up north to "look for their base", and the Chief apparently sends him off alone without any backup or support. Is this how Interpol works? No wonder their agents get lost and killed. And did he say "north"? Do I have my geography right, thought the Imagi Mountains were south of Tokyo?
Back at the underground alien base (where ever it is), Mr. Sulu informs The Mad Scientist that the "MechaGodzilla controller" is now inside his daughter Katsura's newly rebuilt body. Her anger will be transmitted to the robot, her living brain cells will give it the edge over Godzilla. What the hell?!? Oh, dear god. Tell me they have a backup, because this girl has been shot once already and wandered off several times. You'd hate to think that if she slipped on a banana peel and fell over a cliff, they'd be out of the robot business. And why not implant this powerful device in Mr. Sulu? Wouldn't such a megalomaniac leader like him want all the glory himself? At this news, The Mad Scientist seems genuinely distraught and maybe even regretful that he's involved in this mess. To placate him, the aliens agree to let him and Katsura live alone in peace after the conquest. That's nice of them.
Mr. Sulu then says that the earthmen are quickly converging on his nifty underground base and it won't be long till they find it. Gee, maybe then you shouldn't have built it an hour's drive from Tokyo, eh? Doctor Evil built his lair on a distant island, why not you? He then says that once MechaGodzilla takes off, he will self-destruct the base and use Katsura as a mobile controller. Ummm...say, why don't you try and defend your expensive, high-tech base? You'd think with all that space alien technology and weaponry, they could keep the stupid earthlings out.
Anyway, The Mad Scientist then goes to see Katsura in the surgery recovery room. He leans over the sedated girl and begs her to forgive him. He then, and I'm not making this up, looks down at her robotic chest, running his left hand down her neck and fully cupping her right breast as he does so. This is done in full close-up slow motion so there's no missing it. Lucky Mad Scientist, stay off my lover! Ewww, icky father, groping his daughter like that. [Editor Pam: Let's assume he was checking for holes in the plastic.]
Hey! Stop that!
Ok, we now zip back out to The Mad Scientist's country island estate, where Dirk Pitt is again lurking around the front yard (I assume he went here after storming out of his offices earlier). Since he was just here before when he chased after her into the mountains, we have no choice but to mark Dirk as a stalker, obsessed with Katsura's beauty. For this he's eternally damned in my eyes. While he pines like Romeo beneath Juliet's window, he's surprised to see two men approach. We and he recognize them as two of the well-dressed sentries that jumped him in the mountains the day before. They recognize Dirk as well, probably because he's still wearing the same plaid coat and brown pants that he had on when they last met (that outfit must reek). Speaking of outfits, I just noticed that the sentries, though dressed in slacks and suitcoats, are wearing silver spaceman boots and gloves. This seems to be defeating the whole disguised-as-an-earthling act, eh? Attempting to run, Dirk is cold-cocked by a third sentry who magically snuck up behind him.
Our hero is tied up and dragged into the basement. There he's confronted by Mr. Sulu and Karl Marx (both wearing those goofyass spaceman helmets) and The Mad Scientist. Katsura is also here also, glaring down at him with cyborg evilness. Katsura is wearing a sequined silvery-white jumpsuit with a head band pulling her hair away from her face, a very nice look that accents her boobs well. Dirk is stunned but figures it all out soon enough. The aliens toss him in the corner and mockingly tell him that he's about to witness the destruction of his fair city.
When asked by Dirk who they are, Mr. Sulu haughtily replies that they're, "The second coming. We've come to save this planet earth from the earthmen who are destroying it." What? Before they were scouring the planet clean to have a home for their race because their home world was falling into a black hole. Now they're ecological superheroes out to save the earth from pollution and litterbugs? Did anyone even read the whole script before they started filming? Either Mr. Sulu is deliberately lying to Dirk or the filmmakers needed a good topical hook to get the audience behind them.
Karl Marx, Mr. Sulu and Katsura now sit down at the control panel (that before she used to control Titanosaurus) and start flipping switches. A few flips and Katsura activates Titanosaurus. Using her brainwaves (???) MechaGodzilla fires up its engines and prepares for takeoff. We see the silo roof slide away and MechaGodzilla lift out of the earth.
We also see that Jiro is witnessing the robot emerge from somewhere in the woods nearby. Ah, we see now that Jiro is not alone, he has three other mutton-chop-sporting Interpol agents with him as they dash through the mountains towards the alien base. I should note that the three flunkies are wearing black commando outfits but Jiro is wearing a bright white coat and blue jeans, the perfect camouflage outfit for sneaking about in the woods, eh?
We see now that the agents have found the cave and are now in the anteroom. Since before it took a secret mechanism to open the door to the anteroom, we can assume that the aliens left the door open, otherwise Jiro would never have found it. And we also wonder how he found this cave in the first place. There must be many such caves in these mountains, how did he know which one to go into? I guess that's why Interpol hired him.
They explore the base, which is strangely abandoned, with red emergency lights flashing. They make their way to the empty control room and Jiro suddenly realizes that this is bad. The scene is very similar to Star Trek III when the Klingons enter the Enterprise bridge just seconds before the self-destruct goes boom. Running back out, Jiro happens upon a brig with about half a dozen human slaves still locked in it. They're mute but alive. Jiro shoots the lock twice with his automatic and the slaves rush out. They all make for the exit as the base begins to explode. Tell me again why the aliens abandoned and blew up their state-of-the-art base to guide the conquest of the earth from some guy's basement?
Without any further segues, we now cut directly to the joint attack on the "heart of Tokyo" by Titanosaurus and MechaGodzilla. As before, buildings burn, tracers zip by and monsters roar. The dinosaur and robot take repeated hits from what looks like machinegun fire throughout these scenes, but neither are slowed. Apparently the JSDF has nothing left. A close-up of the robot's head shows us that the "hits" are just little squib flares burning on the suit.
The two monsters ravage Tokyo.
The two monsters stand side by side and begin to trash the city. MechaGodzilla fires his eye-beams, exploding huge swaths of the city in glorious model building-busting pyrotechnics. Titanosaurus, lacking particle beam weaponry, does his own thing. After first striking another ridiculous ninja pose, he whips his tail around and waves it back and forth, causing a "cyclone wind" to develop. This wind begins to knock down buildings and stir up the dust. The muscle power needed to create this much wind must be enormous, and surely beyond the capability of even a huge dinosaur. The two killers then wade further into the fiercely burning city.
The robot's maser beam eyes continue to flame entire blocks of the city, releasing an incredible amount of explosive energy with each burst. What physical property causes these "beams of energy" to explode with such force on contact? I could see them producing heat to melt objects like a laser, but what makes them so explosive? Arrg, they just showed a close-up of Titanosaurus's head, which here is the absolute worst puppet I've ever seen. Arggg...
Anyway, MechaGodzilla now fires off three of his finger-tip missiles on his right hand. They fly off and blow up a huge section of a highway, which is empty except for a few matchbox cars. Please see my review of Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla I for why these missiles are so lame. As well, we hear a voice-over from the Interpol Chief as he watches the action on TV, claiming that these "revolving missiles" are MechaGodzilla's "new weapon". New? Didn't we see the same missiles in the last movie? Perhaps they're new because he spun his hand around in an arc before firing them? I can't tell any difference in the power or effect of the missiles so far.
Ok, we now have the weirdest part of the movie. Right in the middle of Tokyo being blasted apart at the seams, we cut to two young teenagers in the city. One is a rather plump young girl in a red school letter jacket, the other is a boy with a Beatles haircut and a brown coat with monster-sized lapels. His name is Kenny, of course, and he wants to go get a better look at the monsters. "Kenny" is a Godzilla movie fixture, the annoying kid who somehow always gets into the action. We never see these kids again in this movie after this short scene, so hopefully they got crunched.
Well, what have we here? All of a sudden, from out of nowhere (and I truly mean from out of seemingly nowhere) Godzilla appears!!! No set up, no foreshadowing, no nothing, just Godzilla suddenly jumping into frame to challenge Titanosaurus. Anyway, Godzilla runs headlong at him and tackles him to the ground. That must have left a bruise. Both get back to their feet quickly, however, and do some more kung-fu hand moves as they face each other down. MechaGodzilla looks on from behind, perhaps waiting his turn. It just occurred to me that Katsura is controlling both these monsters at the same time, she must excel at multi-tasking.
Our three monsters all in the same city block.
Titanosaurus whips his tail around and does his cyclone-wind thing. Godzilla is staggered back by the wind, barely able to keep his feet. The effect is like watching some dude on the Weather Channel trying to do a remote from the eye of a hurricane. MechaGodzilla then fires an eye beam at him, blasting him right in the left shoulder, tossing him to the ground. I should note that the maser hit just produces some sparks here, when before it was blowing up whole apartment blocks in huge gouts of flame.
Oh, I did not just see that! Let me rewind...oh, man, I did just see that! Ok, while Godzilla is down, Titanosaurus runs up and kicks him in the stomach just like David Beckham slamming in a corner kick. Godzilla flies through the air from the impact (!) and crashes to the ground. No way. No law of physics would allow that much force to be applied by that kick to cause a 22,000 ton mass to fly that far.
Anyway, after a quick cutaway to show us that the Supersonic Wave Oscillator gadget is almost ready, we go back to the action. We see Titanosaurus again tackling Godzilla, tossing them both into a patently fake apartment building. Hey, that building looks to be out in the middle of nowhere. Are those trees? What the hell? A second ago they were in the "heart of Tokyo" and now they're fighting out in open ground? Come on! Did you not think that we would notice this, Mister Honda?
Anyway, Godzilla and the dinosaur then go toe-to-toe for a bit, exchanging head butts and punches. Titanosaurus lands just a single head butt to the stomach, while Godzilla gets in four solid head butts and a wicked one-two combination punch to his face, which sends Titanosaurus crashing into a cement plant. Ouch. Godzilla then goes over and picks Titanosaurus up (!) and lifts him up over his head (!), about to pound him down on the mat like Hulk Hogan owning Andre the Giant. Godzilla's arms are rather small compared to his legs, could he really have the strength to do this?
It doesn't matter, because MechaGodzilla maser eyebeams him, lancing into his right shoulder blade. Godzilla drops Titanosaurus, who falls on top of him! The dinosaur rolls back to his feet as Godzilla groans on the ground in pain. Oh, things look grim for our favorite green lizard!
But just then the Air Force comes to the rescue. Yea! Zipping in from behind them are three F-4EJ fighter jets, their gatling guns firing madly. Hmmm, suppose these are the same three plastic model jets as before? In fact, I think it's the same footage, just reversed. Ok, we clearly see that the jets are again lacking any external weaponry, just cannons, so why are there these huge explosions bursting up all around the monsters? The robot takes several hits to the neck and head, and two explosions rock Titanosaurus on the top of his head, stunning him. These must be those new plasma/nuclear 20mm cannon shells I read about in Jane's. By the way, this scene shows that they are now clearly having this fight way out in the woods and not anywhere near Tokyo.
Distracted, the two baddies don't see Godzilla sneaking up. He grabs Titanosaurus and throws him down and then tackles MechaGodzilla. Apparently Godzilla slips or something, because MechaGodzilla stays on his feet while Godzilla falls down again. The robot fires off a maser beam, which contacts one of the low-flying F-4EJs squarely, blowing it up. No chute. Titanosaurus is up again, and kicks Godzilla in the ribs. Bastard! He then slugs Godzilla twice in the head and head butts him twice, leaving Godzilla back on the ropes once again. Titanosaurus then grabs Godzilla's jaws in his hands and attempts to jerk his mouth open like MechaGodzilla did to Anguilius in the last movie. Failing in that, he kicks Godzilla in the ribs with his right leg and then bites his upper lip (!!!).
Oh, please no! I can't watch this!!! Having bitten his upper lip, Titanosaurus lifts up Godzilla into the air by his upper lip, suspending him horizontally for several seconds, and even giving him a right hand smack in the throat for good measure. No way on earth this could be physically possible. It's clear that the empty Godzilla suit is suspended on wires hung from a crane. Thankfully, Titanosaurus sets the dazed Godzilla down and steps away.
As our lizard staggers about like a boxer losing badly in the twelfth round, MechaGodzilla steps up and "revolves" his right hand missiles. He shoots three off, which hit Godzilla in the chest, but don't explode like they did before. However, we see smoke rolling out of Godzilla's mouth like a chimney (or a smoke pot set in an empty suit...) and he falls flat on his face. Hmmm...so maybe these new missiles are like armor-piercing shaped-charge anti-tank missiles that bore into the armor before exploding from within? Something obviously exploded inside Godzilla's body cavity to produce that amount of smoke, right?
Things are looking ugly for our green-man now. He's down and not moving, somebody call an ambulance. Titanosaurus gives him another kick to the ribs (stop that!), and Godzilla lands in a trench of sorts, maybe a gully. Ah, I see, MechaGodzilla means to bury our hero in that gully by using his missiles to explode dirt to cover him up...ok. To this end he fires off fifteen missiles in quick succession, which indeed leaves Godzilla completely buried in smoking dirt. Titanosaurus, in spite no doubt, goes over and stomps on the grave.
Ok, we now cut back to our human heroes, as the Sub Captain (I think, he's wearing a big hat that obscures his face) gets in a helicopter (a UH-B Iroquois in civilian markings) while the Chief and the General watch. Some teckies attach the Supersonic Wave Oscillator to the bottom of the chopper before they fly off (does sonar work in air as well as water?). The Sub Captain, by the way, is carrying an RPG-7 anti-armor rocket propelled grenade launcher with the warhead painted bright red in his hands.
We also see that Jiro and a jeep full of sweater-wearing Interpol agents are now headed for Manizura Island to storm The Mad Scientist's house. I guess Jiro has figured out that the aliens must be using the house for a base now. He also requests some soldiers to back him up. .
And to that house we now return, to see that the aliens have been watching the action on two side-by-side TV monitors. On one we see that Titanosaurus is still jumping up and down on Godzilla's grave, while the other shows Titanosaurus just standing there. Please, where is the camera that is taking these pictures? Perhaps it's on MechaGodzilla? We hear Karl Marx shouting encouragement to the monitors, urging the dinosaur on vicariously.
Controlling the monsters.
Dirk, meanwhile is working on loosening his bonds. His grunting and shifting alerts Katsura, who gets up and walks over to him, which affords us a wonderful view of her tight jumpsuit. He tries to get her to stop the carnage, but she just sneers and says, "Shut up, you!" before returning to the control panel. Hey, maybe some of the sentries ought to be keeping an eye on the prisoner, eh? They have a tendency to escape in these movies, you know.
Just then we see the helicopter on the monitors, followed by a close up of the Oscillator mounted beneath. Grrr...I guess the camera on MechaGodzilla could be giving these shots, and even zooming into the tight shot. I guess. The chopper barrels in at Titanosaurus, the Sub Captain leaning out the door with his RPG. He pulls the trigger and we now see that the warhead is actually some sort of transceiver dart. It zips into the right side of the dinosaur's neck and sticks there. Ok, first, how freaking difficult is it to hit a target with an RPG from a moving helicopter? Got to be near impossible. Second, if all that military hardware and Godzilla Fire Breath couldn't dent his hide, how come a little rocket dart was able to stick into his skin so easily?
Anyway, the chopper crew turns on the Oscillator, which shoots a visible beam out to link up with the dart. Hey, are sonar waves in the visible spectrum? The Oscillator begins to mess up Titanosaurus bad, even somehow causing computer banks back to the Mafune house to spark and short out. How's that possible? Anyway, throughout all that happens next, Titanosaurus is still suffering from the Oscillator's waves, causing him to shriek in rage and stumble around. He is effectively out of the fight for the duration. MechaGodzilla now moves to stop all this foolishness and draws a bead on the chopper with his missiles.
Titanosaurus being zapped.
But before he can fire, the ground explodes up. Godzilla bursts out of his cruel grave! Still half embedded, he fires a Flame Breath blast at the robot, striking him in the left pectoral, knocking him down for about two seconds. Godzilla then brushes off the dirt from this chest (!!!!) and jumps up. He starts running towards MechaGodzilla. The robot now unleashes everything he's got at the charging Godzilla. We see copious stock footage of eyebeam, chest beams, finger missiles and toe missiles firing non-stop. We see Godzilla running through a firestorm of explosions and smoke, the earth bursting up all around him. Yet we only see one hit, a light one on his chest, despite all the firepower aimed at him. Man, this new robot shoots as badly as the last one did. How can it hit a jet flying through the air but not a 22,000 ton lizard at close range? I guess the concussion stuns Godzilla, or all the dirt got into his contacts, because he stumbles to a halt then starts running again. MechaGodzilla starts firing again, and this time we see several solid hits, including a nasty eyebeam hit on his chest. We even get one scene of Godzilla on fire!!! In the very next shot the fire is gone, so we wonder if something went wrong during the filming and the suit accidentally caught on fire?
Somehow wading successfully through this ill-aimed tornado of firepower, Godzilla is now upon the robot. He lands a flurry of punches to MechaGodzilla's midsection, nearly a dozen hits. He then grabs his right arm and pins it against his side and begins to hammer away at the elbow joint. Classic Steven Segal move there. MechaGodzilla, however, breaks the hold by spinning out of it. Godzilla then grabs his tail and then climbs on his back, punching him in the neck twice for the fun of it. He starts pounding on the robot for a bit, really smacking him around.
Back at the basement during all this, Dirk has managed to free his hands, as the aliens never learned how to tie a decent knot. An alien guard rushes in to tell them that more soldiers are coming towards the house. Mr. Sulu runs out with the guard, presumably to oversee the defense of the house. Now just facing Karl Marx and the father-and-daughter team, Dirk decides to make his move. Apparently he was in the Marine Force Recon before he went into the marine biology field (get it, both "marines", ha.) because he makes a garrote out of his bonds and jumps Karl Marx. Both men struggle, the alien getting some elbows in, but Dirk overpowers him (!!!) and by the look of it actually strangles the man to death.
While The Mad Scientist stands there doing nothing, Katsura then picks up a spacegun and points it at Dirk. They exchange some banter about her being a cyborg and he being all smitten and in love, before we hear a gun shot. Jiro then comes bursting into the basement, obviously having penetrated the alien's defensive cordon. The editing is very confusing here, but I think that Jiro just shot Katsura in the right shoulder, knocking her down and causing her to drop the raygun. Argg!!! Will you guys stop shooting at my future wife?!?!?!?!
Katsura with her raygun.
Back at the monster fight, we see that Godzilla has once again torn MechaGodzilla's head clean off! This time, however, instead of exploding, the robot continues to do combat. I guess the aliens watched the game film from the first fight and fixed that flaw. In fact, the maser beams can apparently still fire even without the head, as we now see. The beam is narrower, and a clear color, so maybe the eye-piece on the head is what gave it that rainbow hue? Anyway, it knocks Godzilla on his butt where he thrashes around as the headless robot advances on him.
Back to the humans again, where the battle for the house is not over yet. Mr. Sulu suddenly enters the room, gun drawn, obviously trying to hold off the soldiers who are forcing their way into the house. Having had a change of heart, The Mad Scientist runs to grapple him, but being an old man, is unable to do much good. Mr. Sulu fires off his raygun, the shot hitting a bookshelf near Jiro. Jiro, a certified trained marksman, whips up his pistol and fires one shot. The editing here is again very confusing, but we see The Mad Scientist die before our eyes and Mr. Sulu runs out the door, so I guess the bullet hit the wrong guy. Jiro then goes chasing out after Mr. Sulu.
Katsura is still alive, being held in the loving arms of Dirk. We clearly see the shoulder wound, it's bleeding but doesn't look life-threatening. Dirk starts blubbering, he tells her that even if she is a cyborg, he still loves her. Please! You've barely met the woman, you don't know her like I do.
Just die already.
Ok, I have to assume here that Katsura just died in his arms, because we now see MechaGodzilla fizzle out and become inert. Godzilla lifts up the limp robot and tosses him into a ditch. He then zaps the body with a Fire Breath blast, which explodes the robot in a massive fireball. Why this Fire Breath blast was able to do so much damage when other hits the robot just shook off is never explained. Perhaps the robot had some sort of electromagnetic shielding that was turned off when the power died?
Back in the woods behind the house, Jiro, another Interpol agent, and a soldier are chasing the fleeing Mr. Sulu through the underbrush. Man, it must be hard to run with that silly helmet on! Suddenly, the alien leader stops and turns around, having been cornered at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Laughing at his chasers, he tells them that their guns cannot hurt him. So they shoot him. The soldier fires two rounds from his M14, Jiro two rounds from his pistol, and the other agent one round from his pistol. True to his word, the bullets either miss him or not hurt him, because Mr. Sulu, laughing merrily, turns and jumps into the sea. We never see him again. So, what the hell? Bullets can't hurt him? Well, since we've seen bullets hurt other aliens, then he must be crazy or some super mutant alien. Either way, he's still alive for any future MechaGodzilla sequels.
Mr. Sulu goes bonkers.
Back on the mainland, Godzilla has now closed on Titanosaurus, still screwed up from the supersonic waves. Ok, what's this? We now see three saucer-shaped UFOs (?) emerging from the nearby water. Well, really it looks like three painted frisbees bobbing in the surf, but I'll let it go. The ships take to the air and race towards Godzilla. The lizard sees them and fires a Fire Breath blast, blowing up one of the ships in midair in a huge fireball! Yes!
Now we get some scenes of the helicopter, the Oscillator, Titanosaurus and Godzilla wrestling, more of the helicopter. Godzilla tosses him down and fires a Fire Breath blast that seemingly hits the ground beneath Titanosaurus, but the concussion rocks him hard. Stumbling to his feet one last time, Titanosaurus now stands with his back to the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Godzilla winds up and toasts out a mongo Fire Breath blast, catching the dinosaur right in the heart. Over the cliff he goes, never to be seen again (thank god). Yes!!!!! We then get scenes of the helicopter crew celebrating, the OEI HQ celebrating, Jiro and the soldiers celebrating, then Godzilla roaring in celebration and then walking slowly out to sea as the ending title card comes on the screen. The credits roll and we all clap.
So that was our movie, I hope that you have...hey, wait a minute! What about those UFOs!!!???? They just popped up on screen for like five seconds and then are never mentioned again? They had to be the same aliens, right? How come we never saw these before? I hated this movie.
[Editor Pam: Judging from the reviews out there on the Internet, a lot of people like this movie, finding a dark, tragic aspect to it that they feel makes it better than the usual Godzilla movie. I have to say that all I saw were stereotypical alien invaders and a lot of monster fighting. If the movie had been better made, there might have been some poignancy to Katsura's conflict between being a cyborg and her memories of once being a real girl, and the Mad Scientist could have been a genuinely tragic figure, but as it is, these themes are so poorly explored as to be irrelevant in the movie. I'm going to step out on a limb here and say that monster fighting and subtle character interaction usually just don't mix, although I have to admit, the original Godzilla didn't do too badly. There weren't any aliens in comical helmets in that one, though. It's these cartoony touches we see throughout this movie that make it difficult to take it seriously in any way. The monster fights aren't bad, though.]
Written in July 2004 by Nathan Decker and edited by Pam Burda and Darci Sharver.
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