TALKBACK #5: Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster

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TALKBACK #5: Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster

Postby lhb412 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:19 pm

It's interesting to watch these movies in order and see the gradual evolution of things. What struck me most was how funny this movie was. Not the kind of slapstick funny of KK v G, but rather an extension of the comedic relief in Mothra vs. Godzilla. There is (of course) slapstick monster action, but the human characters always seem to have some witty or sarcastic comment in this film.

The initial scenes in this flick have a nice sense of oncoming dread. I love those moments in the beginning of some sci-fi or horror flick where characters realize something weird is going on but are not too removed from normalcy.

The first real hint that we're in for a more wild and woolly type of film is when the Shobijin have a TV appearance. It's so weird, but in an odd sort of way it makes sense considering how this is a world where these sorts of fantastic things are always happening.

King Kong was an icon when he fought Godzilla and Mothra was Toho's blockbuster and the focus of Mothra vs. Godzilla. By comparison, the absorption of the movie Rodan into Godzilla continuity is quick and subtle. Rodan was buried in Mt. Aso and now he bursts out and no one makes a big deal about where Rodan was from.


I suppose I'm a fan of the more whimsical side of Sci-Fi and fantasy. Sure I love 2001 and Blade Runner, but I'm not really a hard science fiction guy. I prefer Doctor Who, Hitchhiker's Guide, Red Dwarf, Discworld, Hellboy and Godzilla movies, you know? But I think that the idea of an alien descended human who's racial memory is activated by the coming of an intergalactic doomsday beast is a pretty nifty science fiction plot if I do say so myself!


Anyone want a Blue Mountain? Blue Mountain?

...exactly what is a Blue Mountain?


(My fav film is next!)
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Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:30 pm

I watched this the other day and have been just waiting for you to star the talkback (somehow I feel like talback threads are your intellectual property :lol: )

That said, I have a love/hate relationship with this film. In the right mood (which I was at the time) I love it. It's really the first movie that decides it's not a HUGE deal that monster attacks are happening. The focus is not on the fact that a monster is attacking, rather it's on how to overcome the imprending doom. (if that makes sense)

I've always wished the Rodan/Godzilla rivalry had been explored more fully at some point. I would have enjoyed a Godzilla vs. Rodan, I think. Interestingly, Rodan seems to be the first monster to be largely immune to Godzilla's breath, and Ghidrah seems to be the first monster that would have been more than a match for the big G by himself.

I've always enjoyed the monster-tea-party scene. Talk about making the monsters into characters! This movie goes way over-the-top for that and I love it!

The human drama has blah'ed a bit for me over the years, but I still get revved up inside when Godzilla and Rodan go on about how man has caused THEM nothing but trouble...awesome...

EDIT: I'd also like to know what a Blue Mountain is...and have one...
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Postby lhb412 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:40 pm

Also, first re-use of a Godzilla suit. The head has been tweaked, making it really look halfway between the face of the last film and the one in the next.

I really like the "human drama" in this one. I think all the human plots in the '60s films (aside from DAM) are likeable.
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great

Postby Xenorama » Fri May 01, 2009 10:24 pm

i owned the 8mm comp of "Battle of the Monsters" before i ever saw this movie. even when on tv, fullscreen, mono sound and a possibly questionable picture (due to antenna problems) it was great.

one of my favorites to this day.

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Postby gfan1984 » Sat May 02, 2009 1:36 am

To me Ghidorah was one of the first G movies I taped on tv when i was little. I use to watch it all of the time (and interestingly enough on that tape one of the commercials of toothpaste features Ghidorah spiting out toothpaste instead of Gravity beams). I also felt that Godzilla vs. Rodan could have been a great movie. However I felt that Toho wanted a brand new monster to fight the other monsters.
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Postby kent » Tue May 12, 2009 12:49 am

Up until about two years ago, I couldn't care less for the movie. I found the human drama weak and dull and the kaiju scenes the wackiest ever.

Now the film is gradually growing on me. Granted, I still think the human drama is relatively weak and the kaiju scenes pretty goofy, but I am starting to see the charm in it more.

I still prefer Monster Zero over this one and find it to be the weakest entry in the first six Godzilla films (yes, even behind GRA). Although, with time, that could change.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Thu May 14, 2009 6:10 pm

This is probably my third overall favorite Godzilla suit...I really don't think it get's enough love...although not as malevolent looking as the un-modified suit in Mothra...I prefer the slightly more saurian looking suit in Ghidrah. One of my favorite Godzilla films as well...
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Postby heroforhirerob » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:22 pm

I like this one quite a bit..despite(or perhaps because of) the "humanizing" of the monsters.

-The SPFX are still top notch. You have a few lackluster puppet shots, but generally you are witness to wonderful miniatures and optical effects throughout.

-A Godzilla to suit every style. Whether you like "evil" Godzilla, convenient force of nature Godzilla(heisei series), or superhero Godzilla...this movie has you covered.

-Ifukube's score adds to the overall feel(as always) of excellence, especially the King Ghidorah theme and Rodan's theme.

-King Ghidorah is just drop dead awesome....even today. One marvels at the incredible amount of work it took to bring this kaiju to life on screen. Simply amazing. When the princess claims the monster destroyed Venus in a week, you want to scoff at first. Then, you witness the jaw dropping obliteration of Tokyo in about 60 seconds...and you suddenly have no trouble believing King Ghidorah could wipe out the earth in a similiar amount of time. One of the best city destruction scenes in any kaiju film. The three heads...the color...the tri-variable cry....every part of Ghidorah works. One of the best movie monsters ever created...bar none.

-The human drama is passable. It is relevent without taking the focus away from the kaiju. Akiko Wakabayashi is my favorite Toho actress...for many reasons...and this film is filled with an array of Toho's best talent.
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Postby Legion » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:26 pm

I swear to God, guys. heroforhirerob is not me under a different account, even though he's only posted twice and I agree with everything he's said 100%.

Keep posting, man. Always good to have a new member here with an intelligent opinion.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:41 am

This is a fan favorite, but I don't really care for it all that much. I've read a few reviews that praise the English dubbing, even though hearing the voice acting in the American version makes me want to claw my ears out. After seeing the film in its original language, I can't bear to sit through more than a few minutes of the dubbed version.

While the story isn't bad, I fail to find any of the characters very interesting. You've got some great actors lined up, but they're not given much to work with, and they've all seen better days. The monster humor that I found so appealing in "King Kong vs. Godzilla" doesn't work nearly as well here, in my opinion. The effects, sadly, fail to impress me for the most part. The puppet shots and Rodan's beak flying open when he initially appears especially make me cringe. And as devout a fan of Ifukube's as I am, a lot of his music just doesn't seem to have the strength it normally does.

But there are some things I really like about this movie. First and foremost, we have the debut of King Ghidorah, who comes across beautifully here. Though I'm not too fond of a lot of the special effects in this film, the shots of Ghidorah raining death down on the well-realized cityscapes are quite a thing to behold. I must also make mention of Ifukube's themes for Ghidorah and Kurobe Gorge, which are wonderful. The ending piece, with the Infant Island theme, is also very palatable.

I honestly think this one is overrated, but not bad when not watched too often.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:10 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:
The effects, sadly, fail to impress me for the most part. The puppet shots and Rodan's beak flying open when he initially appears especially make me cringe.

Though I'm not too fond of a lot of the special effects in this film.

I honestly think this one is overrated, but not bad when not watched too often.


Really? Which films in the showa series are your faves for special effects then? No, I'm not being an a$$ just curious, I like to hear others view points...this films is one of my faves so I'm obviously on the other side of things here.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:59 pm

King_Ghidorah wrote:
Tyler E. Martin wrote:
The effects, sadly, fail to impress me for the most part. The puppet shots and Rodan's beak flying open when he initially appears especially make me cringe.

Though I'm not too fond of a lot of the special effects in this film.

I honestly think this one is overrated, but not bad when not watched too often.


Really? Which films in the showa series are your faves for special effects then? No, I'm not being an a$$ just curious, I like to hear others view points...this films is one of my faves so I'm obviously on the other side of things here.


As a whole, the effects really aren't that terrible, but they mostly don't seem to stand up well against those in "Mothra vs. Godzilla" and "Monster Zero," at least in my opinion. As far as my favorite films for special effects go, if we're just talking about Godzilla movies, I'd have to say the aforementioned two, along with the original (which, granted, does have a few rather unappealing puppet shots as well), and "Terror of Mechagodzilla," mostly for the mass destruction. All those movies have some weaknesses in the effects area, but I don't find them nearly as noticeable as in "Ghidorah."

Like I said, I find the shots with the puppets to be repulsive, and they're used far too often to very poor effect. I just find them hard to look at. Those bloody puppets are probably my single biggest gripe with this movie. I already acknowledged that some of the effects sequences, most notably those of King Ghidorah trashing Tokyo and its suburbs, are fantastic.

I know the majority of the fans really like this one, and I can respect that. I'm not trying to knock anyone for enjoying this movie. Far from it. In fact, despite its weaknesses, I rather like it, just not as much as I do a lot of other kaiju films, particularly from the Showa era.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:01 pm

Cool man, thanks...always appreciate a well written, and tempered response...
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Postby Legion » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:06 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:As a whole, the effects really aren't that terrible, but they mostly don't seem to stand up well against those in "Mothra vs. Godzilla"


Oh absolutely. Lets remember that Ghidrah came at the tail end of one of the most productive times in Toho's sci-fi history. Matango, Atragon, Mothra vs Godzilla, Dogora and Ghidrah were all made in about a 20 month span, with about 4 months between each release. In fact, I've heard that Ghidrah was rushed into production when Toho's initial December effects release was canceled.

It's surprising any of these films turned out as well as they did with a production schedule that rushed.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:41 pm

I love Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster! That's my second favorite Godzilla film after Gojira [Godzilla]. The first time I watched it, it was like love at first sight. The human plot is the most interesting [to me] of some of the Showa films. It reminds me alot about James Bond in a way and I love the slapstick monster action.
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Postby TXKaiju » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:06 pm

This is by far one of the best Showa Godzilla movies made in the 1960s. One of the best scenes in this movie is when you see the ball of fire turn into Ghidora the 3 HeadedMonster! The spfx here are awesome!! Also there seems to be a small group of either dolfins or whales that are just ahead of Godzilla when he destroys the ship. I didnt like that Godzilla did not use his atomic ray in the movie that much. I did like the final battle scene between the 4 kaiju. Its also a pleasure to see the Peanuts a 3rd time in a kaiju movie as the twin farries. Imo this was the movie that turned Godzilla into an AntiHeroe.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:51 pm

TXKaiju wrote:This is by far one of the best Showa Godzilla movies made in the 1960s. One of the best scenes in this movie is when you see the ball of fire turn into Ghidora the 3 HeadedMonster! The spfx here are awesome!! Also there seems to be a small group of either dolfins or whales that are just ahead of Godzilla when he destroys the ship. I didnt like that Godzilla did not use his atomic ray in the movie that much. I did like the final battle scene between the 4 kaiju. Its also a pleasure to see the Peanuts a 3rd time in a kaiju movie as the twin farries. Imo this was the movie that turned Godzilla into an AntiHeroe.
Yeah, he turn out a anti-hero for the first time in the series. But its not as bad like seeing Godzilla jumping up and down in Planet X. As far as the atomic ray is seen, its only shown when Godzilla attacks Rodan in the middle of the movie. I guess they didn't have the budget to use it on Godzilla's rays and wanted to focus the budget on Ghidorah's beams since he's the newer monster.
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Postby TXKaiju » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:32 pm

Another thing you notice after watching both the english and Japanese versions of Ghidora the 3 Headed Monster is that the psychic is from Mars in the english version and in the Japanese version she is from Venus.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:53 pm

Yeah, that was a pretty interesting change in the American version. But overall I think the American cut is better in terms of continity and better pacing.
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Postby TXKaiju » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:07 am

You could be right Darkhunter after all in the next movie Godzilla vs. Monster Zero Monster Zero is living on Planet X on the other side of Jupiter the next planet over from Mars in Ghidora the 3 headedMonster the American version. When I saw both movies when I was a kid that made sense to me. So I was very surprised to see that Venus was where Ghidora was from in the Japanese version of Ghidora the 3 Headed Monster. One thing is for sure the Japanese movie posters for Ghidora the 3 Headed Monster all look really nice!!
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Postby Green Dragon » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:41 pm

Showa Ghidorah is my favorite Kaiju, and has never been equalled in all of his reboots and reimaginings in the Heisei or Millennium series, not once. In fact, any attempt to do that just turned into a complete joke.

In Monster Zero, when the Controller of Planet X says (in the American version anyway) that he is "the demon of our galaxy", you believed it. This looked like a beast that could lay a planet to waste in a very short time.

The effects in GTTHM are hit-and-miss. I'm less sold on Rodan and Mothra, Goji is starting to look a little worn...the closeup puppet used for a couple scenes where he breathes his atomic ray just look like an aerosol can :lol: , and overall, the feel is somewhat cartoony, with the silly monster antics...the " "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" " comment from the Faeries, but the Ghidorah effects more than make up for it, from his birth to that one shot when he touches down and his beams hit a torii gate in the foreground and sends it crashing down, to the Tokyo destruction scenes that ended up as stock footage in a dozen other movies....

I'm okay with this movie, I mentioned elsewhere I got to see it at the Egyptian, and seeing it on the large screen was fun.

(My only resin figure...the rest are vinyl... is the X-Plus statue of Showa Ghidorah, nearly 20 inches tall, 21 inch wingspan.... seems impossible to find anymore...and a house guest of mine knocked it over recently. :eek: I got home and he was all sheepish, and well he should have been. :evil: He said he would put it back together, but I told him to not go near the thing. It broke at all the joints, but remained remarkably intact, and I've been piecing it back together with 2-part epoxy and resin putty, even sculpting scales, spines and horns that were taken out.... I've got some gold and silver metallic paints and framer's wax, and before long, he'll be no worse for wear. :? )
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Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:17 am

Full review is done. Check it out here. This movie has just gotten worse for me over time...except for the monster action which I find myself MORE awed by.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:08 am

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Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:27 am

kiryugoji04 wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus

:P
yeah, but i remember a joke when i was a kid that went something along the lines of 'men are from venus where they get their...."

and i think the next word was "Excellent sense of direction" but i also thought it RHYMED with venus...
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Postby MouthForWar » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:26 am

jellydonut25 wrote:Full review is done. Check it out here. This movie has just gotten worse for me over time...except for the monster action which I find myself MORE awed by.


Great review! I actually agree with most of it. The continuity errors ALWAYS bugged me in this movie and it seems very rushed in a lot of areas. I really love this film, but its got A LOT of problems. Fortunately most of these problems would be remedied in MONSTER ZERO. I know a lot of people worship this movie, but I think its one of Honda's weaker kaiju films.
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