Frankenstein vs Baragon vs War of the Gargantuas

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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Which is the better film to you?

Frankenstein vs Baragon [1965]
30
52%
War of the Garntantuas [1966]
28
48%
 
Total votes : 58

Postby zekend01 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:16 pm

I agree. None of this takes him down at all to me. 8-)
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Postby king_ghidorah » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:30 pm

Felt like it was time to resurrect this thread.

I still feel the same way I did when I originally posted a reply to this four years ago....

Frankenstein is a better film...

But I like the Gargantuas more...


Gah! If we only we could have gotten a movie where the Gargantuas had to fight Baragon starring Nick Adams!!!!
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Postby briizilla » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:11 pm

Baragon. This was like a lost movie when I was a kid. I remember it finally playing on the creature feature one Saturday and I got dragged to visit relatives in another state. This was before VCRs. Man I'm old.

Plus Baragon is so freaking goofy looking and cute. He's my favorite lower tier kaiju.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:33 pm

king_ghidorah wrote:Felt like it was time to resurrect this thread.

I still feel the same way I did when I originally posted a reply to this four years ago....

Frankenstein is a better film...

But I like the Gargantuas more...


Gah! If we only we could have gotten a movie where the Gargantuas had to fight Baragon starring Nick Adams!!!!


If you had Baragon and Nick Adams in War of the Gargantuas, you'd have the best film ever. Probably.

Although the whole ludicrous concept of eating Frankenstein's irradiated heart and grown huge is hard to top.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:05 pm

BTW I'm probably in the minority on this...but I prefer Neronga to Baragon...Neronga is like some sort of fat toad, dinosaur thing....love it!
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Postby lhb412 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:02 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:If you had Baragon and Nick Adams in War of the Gargantuas, you'd have the best film ever. Probably.


Oh, definitely!
:lol:

I love Sanda and Gaira, on a conceptual level and in execution, but the move they're embedded in just isn't as lively and enjoyable as it's semi-prequel.
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Re: Frankenstein vs Baragon vs War of the Gargantuas

Postby Russzilla » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:16 pm

It took awhile for this to happen, but i'm finally beginning to put FCTW over WOTG. I've had Gargantuas on top for years mainly because it's held a nostalgic spot with me since I use to watch it as a kid. It wasn't until my teen years that I found out that the movies were related. (I never really added the two together when I use to watch the American versions for some odd reason) One thing that I often wondered though is why Classic Media got such a kinda lousy print of the movie? Or did Toho just not have a better print before they released their own HD version of it?
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Re: Frankenstein vs Baragon vs War of the Gargantuas

Postby tbeasley » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:02 am

I really enjoy both. Giant humanoid monsters have been growing on me recently. But if I had to choose, it would be Frankenstein. From the great WWII opening to Frank looking into Kumi Mizuno's window after escaping from the lab, to Nick Adam's genuine performance, Ifukube's mysterious score and of course Baragon (one of Tsuburaya's coolest creations)... there's so much to appreciate on both sides of the drama.

Gargantuas is a bit more lopsided to me... the Tsuburaya scenes are so well done (Sanda waking Gaira up and confronting him about eating people is great, as are the airport scenes - and of course the maser cannons!) but the human scenes are lacking a drive to make it fully satisfying. I reminds me of Battle in Outer Space. The space stuff is exciting to look at but the people are going through motions.

Both movies end with the earth swallowing our monsters up, but it somehow feels far more somber and bittersweet in Frankenstein. With Gargantuas it's just, "Well that's that then."
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Re: Frankenstein vs Baragon vs War of the Gargantuas

Postby Rodan » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:01 am

I think this is my first actual post on Monster Zero. Previously only posted at TK.

Anyway, during a recent viewing, probably my second or third ever, I came away feeling Frankenstein vs. Baragon is quietly Toho's third best Showa monster film after Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla. Of all the monster films Honda directed in the mid 1960s, it feels like he gave this and Mothra vs. Godzilla the most love -- they're tightly shot and edited, and the performances in both wind up a cut above the rest of Toho's output at the time (Adams and Mizuno are amazingly pleasant to watch together). Frankenstein winds up being an intensely political (I'd forgotten how bold it is, actually), humanist film, but its comparatively more down-to-Earth and down-beat style, from script to sets, plays with its fantastic content in a different way than most of Honda's other '60s work. Mothra vs. Godzilla and Frankenstein actually wind up turning over a lot of the same thematic and even structural beats, but the former is very Sekizawa while this is clearly a Kimura joint. They wind up making a wonderful pair -- though, unfortunately, like Mothra vs., Frankenstein is somewhat let down by its abrupt ending.

I think Frankenstein is a real highlight of the era while War of the Gargantuas/Sanda vs. Gaira is passably pleasant at best. It might be more colorful and fan-pleasing, and it's certainly more heartfelt than Western B-movies at the time, but I don't think it's any of its crew's best work -- not even Tsubaraya's. I believe even Honda has said that one felt a little phoned in, and that feeling definitely extends to its cast.

Re: Nick Adams: I find his story mostly a tragic one. He apparently never attained the level of success he desired -- though, as an actor, he was already quite successful to have made his art form his job, and it's a shame he couldn't find satisfaction in that. Such is the nature of depression and the pressure cooker of Hollywood. Perhaps s a result of his yearning though, you can tell he's putting 110 percent of his energy into his roles in Toho films, and that on-screen energy is infectious.

Re: Tamblyn: He's a great actor and I have an enormous fondness from him for his eccentric performance in Twin Peaks if nothing else. It's clear he doesn't want to be on set in WotG. Can't really blame him.
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Re: Frankenstein vs Baragon vs War of the Gargantuas

Postby lhb412 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:56 pm

Nick Adams was in a lot of films, but was always trying to break as a big lead. The fact that he always seemed tantalizingly close must've made it worse. In retrospect, since he enjoyed his working in Japan and was well liked he may've been better off just staying there and becoming a resident Caucasian actor.

If Tamblyn was actually trying I think Gargantuas would be improved dramatically, and speaking of him: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was on TCM the other day, and I think maybe what Gargantuas needed was a few good dance numbers.
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