Favorite Non-Godzilla Toho Fantasy Films

Godzilla wasn't the only daikaiju to go stomping through Asia! From Rodan and Mothra to Yongarry and Gappa, discuss other JAPANESE/ASIAN kaiju films here!

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Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:13 pm

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Postby Gabbara Davis, Jr. » Sat May 09, 2009 9:06 pm

I JUST saw Matango for the first time in my life (I am in my 40's and an avid Toho fan) -- so it was a welcome surprise. It really is one of the best horror films ever made. Atmospheric, great performances (REALLY great, in fact), a solid script, and genuinely scary monsters, despite what sounds like a ridiculous concept ("mushroom people").

Wow, so glad I finally got to see this. A genuinely GREAT film. Almost reminiscent of a Hammer classic, but unique in its own way, and VERY dark. Very surprising it was from Honda.

Even the surprise ending "surprised" me, as I wasn't expecting one. (In retrospect, I bet a lot of you saw it coming, I just didn't even think that there would be one.)

A great film, even with the bad dubbed version I saw.
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Postby Benjamin Haines » Sun May 10, 2009 4:13 am

My favorites:
    Rodan
    Matango
    Dogora
    Frankenstein vs. Baragon
    War of the Gargantuas
Honorable mentions:
    The Mysterians
    Varan
    Atragon
    Latitude Zero
    Space Amoeba

I still have not seen Half-Human, The H-Man, Battle in Outer Space, The Human Vapor, The Secret of the Telegian, The Last War, Mothra, Gorath, or Sayonara Jupiter.

I've never cared for King Kong Escapes at all, though I've only seen the US version. I also don't like The War in Space or any of the Rebirth of Mothra movies.
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Postby ultrazilla2000 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:33 am

Rodan, Frankenstein vs Baragon, and Space Amoeba...with Mysterians right behind.

I'm also a huge Mothra fan though...and yes, that means the 90's trilogy as well. :D I know they are silly, but I think the kaiju costumes/props are AWESOME.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:58 am

Yah the Mothra films are ...poop...but they have some decent kaiju designs and ideas I think...
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Postby kent » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:25 pm

Rodan- Always has been one of my favorite. The atmosphere, kaiju action, and human drama are top-notch!

Matango- One of my all-time favorites! It's so funny that when I purchased this movie I wouldn't watch it for about two weeks as I thought it would be a really over-the-top B movie about people turning into mushrooms. Boy I was wrong and happy to be proven wrong! I love the atmosphere, actors, characters, story, everything!

War of the Gargantuas- I find this to be superior to Frankenstein Conquers the World. I love the story and the action behind it is more entertaining, imo, than its predecessor.

I like some of the other Toho films as well but these are my absolute favorites.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:32 pm

Honestly, almost ALL the Toho non-Godzilla films are very good. A few are weaker than others(Space Amoeba, Latitude Zero), but for the most part, they're all excellent. Well worth repeated viewings....every one of them!
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:09 pm

I love Rodan, Frankenstein vs Baragon, War of the Gargantuas, Mothra and I'm not sure if its Toho or not but I seen a film called I think called ``Rashmon`` a long time ago and I believe its directed by Akira Kurosawa and that was very good.
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Postby StarhunterNebulaM » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:01 pm

What was that movie with that giant frog? I remember seeing something like that from Reel Wild Cinema. It was Japanese fantasy of some kind.
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Postby Destroysall » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:49 pm

Among all, I believe Rodan would be the top. It's just an amazing film over all. Close second would be The War of the Gargantuas. Then would come The Mysterians.

Here's my list:

1. Rodan
2. The War of the Gargantuas
3. The Mysterians
4. Varan
5. Matango
6. Frankenstein vs. Baragon
7. Mothra
8. Space Amoeba
9. King Kong Escapes
X. Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare

I have yet to see the other classics others have mentioned. One I truly wish to see is Battle In Outer Space.
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Postby KaijuZoo » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:40 am

StarhunterNebulaM wrote:What was that movie with that giant frog? I remember seeing something like that from Reel Wild Cinema. It was Japanese fantasy of some kind.

Perhaps you are referring to Toei's 1966 film "The Magic Serpent"?

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Postby DannyBeane » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:40 am

KaijuZoo wrote:
StarhunterNebulaM wrote:What was that movie with that giant frog? I remember seeing something like that from Reel Wild Cinema. It was Japanese fantasy of some kind.

Perhaps you are referring to Toei's 1966 film "The Magic Serpent"?

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The Magic Serpent is one of he most kick ass movies ever heh.
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Postby zekend01 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:21 pm

Once again, RODAN followed by War of the Gargantuas with Frankenstein Conquers the World and Matango tied for 3rd and Varan rounding out the list. Atragon gets the honorable mention:D
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:31 pm

zekend01 wrote:Once again, RODAN followed by War of the Gargantuas with Frankenstein Conquers the World and Matango tied for 3rd and Varan rounding out the list. Atragon gets the honorable mention:D
I heard mixed reviews over Varan. Do you recommend me to see as a beginner Godzilla fan?
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Postby heroforhirerob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:29 pm

The Dark Uniter wrote:
zekend01 wrote:Once again, RODAN followed by War of the Gargantuas with Frankenstein Conquers the World and Matango tied for 3rd and Varan rounding out the list. Atragon gets the honorable mention:D
I heard mixed reviews over Varan. Do you recommend me to see as a beginner Godzilla fan?


I'd say it's worth watching. Only real downside to it is there isn't a lot of city destruction. The monster looks really good when it's on all fours. Ifukube does the score too.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:32 pm

Destroysall wrote:Among all, I believe Rodan would be the top. It's just an amazing film over all. Close second would be The War of the Gargantuas. Then would come The Mysterians.

Here's my list:

1. Rodan
2. The War of the Gargantuas
3. The Mysterians
4. Varan
5. Matango
6. Frankenstein vs. Baragon
7. Mothra
8. Space Amoeba
9. King Kong Escapes
X. Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare

I have yet to see the other classics others have mentioned. One I truly wish to see is Battle In Outer Space.


Battle in Outer Spce is quite good. It's like a Pseudo sequel to The Mysterians. No kaiju, but plenty of SPFX work...and another fine Ifukube score(listen for the subtle theme that is eventually morphed into King Ghidorah's theme).
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Postby StarhunterNebulaM » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:11 pm

ALLOSAURZ wrote:
KaijuZoo wrote:
StarhunterNebulaM wrote:What was that movie with that giant frog? I remember seeing something like that from Reel Wild Cinema. It was Japanese fantasy of some kind.

Perhaps you are referring to Toei's 1966 film "The Magic Serpent"?

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The Magic Serpent is one of he most kick ass movies ever heh.


Yes that was it. I never seen the whole movie though.
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Postby zekend01 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:22 pm

The Dark Uniter wrote:
zekend01 wrote:Once again, RODAN followed by War of the Gargantuas with Frankenstein Conquers the World and Matango tied for 3rd and Varan rounding out the list. Atragon gets the honorable mention:D
I heard mixed reviews over Varan. Do you recommend me to see as a beginner Godzilla fan?


Heck yeah, why not?

It's not going to change your life or anything prolly. This movie is, IMO, the last of the 1st stage of Toho Kaiju flicks, done when these movies were still finding their footing. Rodan was a better step in the direction that the genre would take, and what followed after this movie exuded a style and confidence that can only be dubbed the Golden Age of Kaiju Film Making, and any fan knows it. Varan was a quickie effort and it shows in that it's a bit shallow in the plot department, and the effects are worst when they are most ambitious (I speak of the flying Varan prop).

I enjoy this movie/made for T.V. flick (in this age, it would have gone directly to DVD) mostly because it was rendered by assuming the audience was still awe-struck by the sight of a HORRIFIC oversized monster out for destruction. And so, sometimes this movie is kitschy by today's standards, and by viewer expectations, because it functions under these same assumptions.

Make sense?
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:27 pm

Yeah, it makes sense. I mean I heard that the movie was originally going to be a American- Japanese production [Like Latitude Zero] for the American TV audience but was drop off due to problems. I don't really expect much when I'm watching monster movies in general, so I'll give it a shot once I get the Toho 3 Pack. :)
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Postby Legion » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:33 pm

The Dark Uniter wrote:Yeah, it makes sense. I mean I heard that the movie was originally going to be a American- Japanese production [Like Latitude Zero] for the American TV audience but was drop off due to problems.


Yeah. Something like that.

But as weak as the Japanese version of Varan is, it can't hold a candle to how craptacular the American version was.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:00 pm

Legion wrote:
The Dark Uniter wrote:Yeah, it makes sense. I mean I heard that the movie was originally going to be a American- Japanese production [Like Latitude Zero] for the American TV audience but was drop off due to problems.


Yeah. Something like that.

But as weak as the Japanese version of Varan is, it can't hold a candle to how craptacular the American version was.


Compared to the Americanized version, the Japanese Varan deserves an Oscar! No lie. I like Varan....it's not spectacular, but it's a reasonably well made monster movie.
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Postby TXKaiju » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:26 pm

Well wheen it comes to non Godzilla movies that I like. I remember seen War of the Gargantuas and that was every bit as good as a Godzilla movie. Of course there was Rodan and Mothra but War of the Gargantuas had those really cool Mazer tanks!! And then there was Yog Monster From Space and that movie was just weird! but the kind of weird that you never foget. Well for me it comes down to Rodan and War of the Gargantuas for being best non Godzilla movies.
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Postby Giganfan » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:27 pm

Having watched a few films over the past few months, I believe it's necessary to do a revised list. What the hell, why not, right?

The Mysterians
Mothra (1961)
Matango
Atragon
Rodan
Frankenstein Conquers The World
War of the Gargantuas
The H-Man
Battle In Outer Space
Dogora
King Kong Escapes
The Secret of the Telegian
Gorath
Yog The Monster From Space
Latitude Zero
Varan The Unbelievable
The War in Space

Truthfully, I like them all. Some are better than others, but they all have their good points.

EDIT: Just watched Mothra again. The U.S. version, for two reasons. First, I grew up on it. I've seen this movie tons of times over the years. Secondly, the only thing that's really bad about the new Sony disc is that the subtitles for the Japanese version are ATROCIOUS. The same goes for the other two discs. I know that they basically copied the scripts from the American versions, but come on!

Anyway, let me get to the point. Honestly, I think that Mothra may be the best film that Ishiro Honda ever directed. Not only that, I think it's probably the best sci-fi/fantasy/monster movie that Toho ever made. Even better than the original Godzilla. Now, I know that's a very heavy-handed statement to make around here, and I owe an explanation. However, I'm just going to lay back for a minute, and see if there is anyone out there that may possibly agree with me, or atleast understand why I would think such a thing.

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Postby The Dark Uniter » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:38 pm

Well, I wouldn't say its Ishiro Honda's best film or say that its better than the original Gojira but it is to me one of my favorite monster movie from Toho in second place. Third place goes to Rodan. Mothra is of course lighter in mood compare to Gojira so its much more likeable. Like its more colorful, has a catchy theme song, and so on and so forth.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:07 pm

There needs to be a little more love for The Magic Serpent..that movie should truly be on everyone's list, I was just thinking about it today...I'll probably watch it after I finish watching Battle Royal
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