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TALKBACK #13: Godzilla vs. Megalon

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:57 pm
by lhb412
A film made on the quick and widely considered to be the worst in the series which also is one of the most widely seen in the US due to a successful theatrical release and the famous NBC airing a year later hosted by John Belushi in a Godzilla suit.

I watched this in the perfect mood: utter exhaustion from a hard day's work. Pop in the movie, and veg out.

I had never noticed how cool the music is for the military martialing its forces (stock footage) about 34 minutes into the film. It sounds decades ahead of its time!

Godzilla really plays second fiddle to Jet Jaguar in this film. No doubt a main reason why a lot of folks write this film off.

On a personal note, this was the second Godzilla movie I saw. When I was very little I saw KKvG over at my cousins house and came back home later and asked my dad how come we didn't have any Godzilla movies. The next day he came home with King Kong vs. Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Megalon VHS tapes.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:07 pm
by Mac
Godzilla plays a small role in this film beause Jet Jaguar was supposed to be the star, but Toho thought they could generate more revenue with Godzilla at top billing.

Anyways, enjoyable film and leagues better than most of the Heisei efforts.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:54 pm
by kidnicky
Best. Movie. Ever.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:05 pm
by MekaGojira3k
I grew to like this film. I used to hate it, but I then got my hands on something other than the Video Treasures release and found I loved it a great deal. This film was one of the earlier films I saw. I was bribed by a teacher to read. You see my mother, who was a teacher in the school I attended, had bragged that I could read. I was quiet and refused to do a lot of the reading work. My teacher then found the VHS tape while cleaning, she offered it to me if I would read a full book. Which I believe was Ian Thorne's Godzilla book. Needless to say I got the tape, and watched it till it barely played. I'm sure all of you wanted to read that.

Megalon is a neat guy. One of my favorite moments in this film happens
after Megalon and Gigan have our two heroes trapped in a ring of fire. Jet Jaguar and Godzilla get the idea to fly out of it. The moment this happens we get reaction shots of Gigan/Megalon. Gigan, who has his claws up at the ready, drops his claws suddenly. The moment seemed to be the kaiju equivalent of a "You've got to be kidding me" sort of thing. I found it humorous anyway.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:59 pm
by G2KMaster
This film is ok. Over the three VHS copies I have had (one goodtimes, one anchor bay, and one "Burbank Video", which Megalon's domain said was legit but was a bootleg) and the one which was a widescreen version off of Sci-Fi Channel, the film is good as long as you don't take it seriously. Here are the three things which make it worth while:

-Megalon is the one kaiju other than Godzilla that has destroyed Tokyo as much as he did in the Goji continuity. Bet if Godzilla did not come into the film, he would have taken on Sendai or Osaka next.

-Some of the battle scenes are great and have great potential if remade. Imagine Jet Jaguar with Kiryu's drill hand drilling into Megalon's skull and we see blood splatter onto Jet Jaguar's smiling face.

-Godzilla popular in America for a year or two!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:05 am
by Mac
Megalon is the one kaiju other than Godzilla that has destroyed Tokyo as much as he did in the Goji continuity.


How do you measure that?


-Some of the battle scenes are great and have great potential if remade. Imagine Jet Jaguar with Kiryu's drill hand drilling into Megalon's skull and we see blood splatter onto Jet Jaguar's smiling face.


That is way too "dark" for a Godzilla film.

uh...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:22 am
by Xenorama
drilling into Megalon's head? really? cut the dosage, man!

anyway, this was the first Godzilla movie I went to see ON MY OWN in the theater, in it's uncut 1976 run. I was so hyped for it when I saw the trailer (before the Bambi re-release) I stayed to see it twice. I wondered about who Robotman was, and was really looking forward to seeing Gigan for the first time.

I was not disappointed at all- we got three monsters and an heroic robot- what more could an 11 year old ask for?

as I am a bit older than that now, I do see what some fans would call flaws, but it's not dull like many of the movies after it (I'm looking at the 90s here) that's for sure.

I do wish that AIP could have released this movie, with Titra dubbing it. that would make it perfect. and I love the fact that it was the first Godzilla movie to be shown on network tv.

David

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:55 am
by Thomas
I'm surprised I'm the first one who gets to say this:

"Stand by for Action!

Rex Dart... Eskimo Spy!

Rex Dart IS... Eskimo Spy."

Growing up this was the Godzilla movie I was most likely to see on broadcast television (WKBD's Creature Feature on Saturdays). It earned a special place in my heart through so many repeat viewings and I gotta say I love this film. I loved the fights when I was a kid and as an adult I love the bad edits and the fights. Jet Jaguar and Megalon forever!

I don't have this movie in any form and it's been at least 7 years since I last saw it. Sigh.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:13 am
by G2KMaster
Mac wrote:
Megalon is the one kaiju other than Godzilla that has destroyed Tokyo as much as he did in the Goji continuity.


How do you measure that?


-Some of the battle scenes are great and have great potential if remade. Imagine Jet Jaguar with Kiryu's drill hand drilling into Megalon's skull and we see blood splatter onto Jet Jaguar's smiling face.


That is way too "dark" for a Godzilla film.


Seeing that he destroyed the industrial, bay area, and metroplitan parts of Tokyo all by himself shows that. Plus, his mission was to destroy Tokyo and he completed that and went on his way before Jet Jaguar and Godzilla got there.

Not if you do it in a "Kill Bill" way (or, for a good kaiju alternative, Goji's neck in Gvs.MG74). Though to each his own. I like the idea.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:47 am
by KaijuZoo
Thomas wrote:I'm surprised I'm the first one who gets to say this:

"Stand by for Action!

Rex Dart... Eskimo Spy!

Rex Dart IS... Eskimo Spy."

Hah, I forgot about that endearing bit from MST3K.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRPWHrufy4o

And of course we all also need to reminisce about the Jet Jaguar song as so hysterically parodied on MST3K.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cxV8Bf8ND4

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:02 am
by Garasharp K7
Well technically it was Ghidorah that destroyed Tokyo, since those scenes were lifted from 'Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster'. (yet again) :)
I wasn't all that fond of this movie when I first saw it, but it's one of my favourites now. Love that scene with the tiny Jet Jaguar challenging Megalon to a fight, and the big bug just laughs at him. His "what the hell?" reaction to JJ's sudden growth is classic. :)
As it happens I was watching the flick yesterday, only it was the German version that inexplicably renames Jet Jaguar as King Kong. No mention of Frankenstein, though.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:39 am
by jellydonut25
KaijuZoo wrote:
Thomas wrote:I'm surprised I'm the first one who gets to say this:

"Stand by for Action!

Rex Dart... Eskimo Spy!

Rex Dart IS... Eskimo Spy."

Hah, I forgot about that endearing bit from MST3K.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRPWHrufy4o

And of course we all also need to reminisce about the Jet Jaguar song as so hysterically parodied on MST3K.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cxV8Bf8ND4

The Jet Jaguar theme song parody is one of the funniest things EVER

anyway...

I like this one. I think it's due to the massively long monster battle but beyond that, there's at least one other very cool sequence involving Megalon (the dam)

This was one of my first Godzilla films, I had the VHS where it gave away the ending

Didn't find out until recently that Toho had wanted it to be a pure Jet Jaguar movie prime to make a tv series spinoff

Also, i've always thought our two main characters were a little bit:
Image

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:31 am
by McGodzilla
KaijuZoo wrote:
Thomas wrote:I'm surprised I'm the first one who gets to say this:

"Stand by for Action!

Rex Dart... Eskimo Spy!

Rex Dart IS... Eskimo Spy."

Hah, I forgot about that endearing bit from MST3K.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRPWHrufy4o

And of course we all also need to reminisce about the Jet Jaguar song as so hysterically parodied on MST3K.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cxV8Bf8ND4


I have always wondered how Toho could let that terrible editing goof make it to the final film. (Found around the 30 second mark of the MST3K Jet Jaguar Song parody.) Pretty bad!

Overall, Godzilla vs. Megalon is a fun film. It is the perfect film for a rainy Saturday afternoon.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:53 am
by Gwangi
My poor parents (who had to endure my enthusiastic love for kaiju), took me and my sisters to see this movie back in 1976. I don't know what they thought, but I certainly loved it (and playing on a double-bill with the original "King Kong").

Today, I would not consider this as a favorite, but to reiterate to what David said, the movie is really never boring, unlike some later Heisei features, I thought.

Yes, and I did see the network premier on NBC. I think this has been the only G-film (aside from GINO), to appear on network T.V.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:14 pm
by Reaper G
This was also my second G-film, and for all its considerable faults, I love it. It's unpretentious, goofy fun, and it made for maybe my favorite MST3K episode. Man, that house... I'd love to know what it looks like today.

"The humidifier commited suicide!"

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:26 pm
by lhb412
The MST3K version is one of the best episodes in that show's run. As a fan I can tell you that the savaging they gave the film was rather light (aside from the kid's aweful dubbed voice), and the end battle where they actually seem to be getting into the film, providing a parody of boxing commentary, is classic.

And of course there is the end when Joel says to the Mads: "Thanks for sending us not such a bad movie this time."

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:29 pm
by KaijuHQ
"... and now my impression of Jack Nicholson at a Burger King!"

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:23 pm
by kent
Like one member here, this was the second Godzilla movie and it held a special place in my heart for years. As I got older, I didn't enjoy it as much and, for the first time in about ten years, I popped the movie in back at January and cringing at the thought of watching it. I did my best to keep an open mind and came away thinking the movie really wasn't that bad; which made me ecstatic of course. Haven't watched it since but hope to soon.

but it's not dull like many of the movies after it (I'm looking at the 90s here) that's for sure.


That's a matter of personal opinion. It does have some fun parts but I think the 90s films were more fun in destruction and some of the battles. Although this film may have some such battles beat, the overall movie is nowhere near as interesting.

It's a fun movie but it definitely is a weaker entry in the series. The final battle is what makes it worthwhile.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:42 am
by kiryugoji04
Will never be my favorite but I have to echo what others have stated previously and say that it is, at least, a massively entertaining film. The same cannot be said of the 90s films.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:56 pm
by Tyler E. Martin
One of my favorites as a kid, then I grew to really dislike it. However, upon viewing it again recently, I liked it more than I thought I would. In short, I really dislike the excessive use of stock footage, and the big fight at the end is the weakest part of the movie for me. The idea of Godzilla being threatened by a circle of fire is just ludicrous. Why couldn't he just walk through it? Not a very convincing way to create a sense of peril for our heroes, though I do love the way Megalon and Gigan's moods change clearly from joy to disappointment once they escape. I also think Gigan looks a lot let impressive in this one. And little Roku-san (for the longest time, I thought his name was "Roxanne")...bleh. Seriously one of the most annoying characters in any movie.

That being said, I do find some genuine enjoyment in the film. The way the story clips along is fairly exciting. The design for Megalon is pretty interesting, and Jet Jaguar just appeals to me for whatever reason. The music, excluding the material used in the final battle, is terrific, with a great mixing of styles that works better for the film than one might expect. While the effects are generally rather weak, the scene of the lake drying out at the beginning and the dam burst later on are pulled off beautifully.

One question: What was the deal with Hiroshi and Rokuro using a model plane to take out the Seatopian agent? If their goal was to take him by surprise and knock him out, there are plenty of other things around the shop they could have used without going to the trouble of making a trip out to a hobby shop to take a model plane. :?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:40 pm
by Legion
Tyler E. Martin wrote:I do love the way Megalon and Gigan's moods change clearly from joy to disappointment once they escape.


Watch Megalon's reaction closely. He throws his arms out as if to say "WTF?"

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:02 pm
by MekaGojira3k
That moment seems to have made an impact on many of us.
By the way...I'm a moron. I honestly had never questioned the
ring of fire scene in Megalon as Tyler did.
I feel sort of sad now, or maybe I recognize peril the same way
five year olds do.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:11 am
by jellydonut25
Tyler E. Martin wrote:The idea of Godzilla being threatened by a circle of fire is just ludicrous.

yeah, i noticed that one of the more recent times i watched it

also, something i noticed the most recent time i watched it...another wtf, how/WHY would Jet Jaguar get TIRED since he's a robot, not like a cyborg or a metallicized human or something...he's a robot, how can a robot have (or LACK) stamina?

metal

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:43 am
by Xenorama
metal will fatigue just like human muscles. if pushed too far or overheated, they will break or bend or what have you. Jet needed a cool down, and to let his circuits repair after the beating he had taken from the two bully monsters.

as far as the ring of fire- it's napalm fire, from a monster. it's not normal fire, so that's why our heroes were wary of it.

at least, that's always what I figured.

David

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:56 am
by ryuuseipro
Still my personal favorite Godzilla film of all time.

Not to mention the very first film I saw in theaters in general.

For me, it was the best of all worlds. And a movie that worked for its target audience (children). I mean, who wouldn't enjoy a movie about a dinosaur-monster (Godzilla) teaming up with a cool super-robot (Jet Jaguar) against two other cool monsters (Megalon and Gigan)? The ingredients that made a very fun movie!

Godzilla, here, is the cutest I've ever seen him, like a dog. He looks sort of like Snoopy here (same round snout)! I nicknamed him "Snoopy-Goji." (Speaking of Snoopy, look at Rokurou's sweater!) Jet Jaguar got me interested in both Japanese robots and superheroes! I always thought he was a Shogun Warrior (because he was partly based in design on Mazinger Z)!

The human characters were quite unique, for being the first Godzilla film without a main female character. I could accept the three leads (Katsuhiko Sasaki as Gorou Ibuki, Hiroyuki Kawase as Rokurou "Roku-chan" Ibuki, and Yutaka Hayashi as the hot-rodding Hiroshi "Jinko" Jinkawa) with no problem. For some reason, every time I saw Zardoz (released the same year), I think of Seatopia (it's the neo-Greek style), and Sean Connery's role brings Robert Dunham's Antonio role to mind. As a kid, I always thought the lead Seatopian agent (played by Koutarou Tomita) looked like a black-haired George Washington, though Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series looks like him!

The special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano are on par with the Japanese superhero TV show of the day, with several standout effects (especially the drainage of Lake Kiriyama and the dam sequence). The use of stock footage throughout the film is funny, but fun to identify at the same time! Nakano slapstick comedy, infused into the monster battles, is a keeper.

I recognize that the film doesn't have a stellar reputation with fans of the franchise, but I still hold this film with sentimental and nostalgic childhood value. As both a Godzilla fan and J-Hero fan, I highly recommend Godzilla Vs. Megalon, one of my favorite films of all time.