Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

*. Terror of Mechagodzilla is one of the most direct sequels in the Godzilla canon, with the action picking up right where Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla signed off. As things get started a submarine is looking for the remains of Mechagodzilla and finds a new monster named Titanosaurus instead. Titanosaurus is, in turn, being controlled by a mad scientist who looks like a Japanese Colonel Sanders and who is in cahoots with the bad guys from the Third Planet of the Black Hole.
*. Given how much I liked Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla I feel like I should have enjoyed this one more. And to be sure it has some highlights. For example, I liked hearing Akira Ifukube’s Godzilla (Main Theme) again. Remarkably, it hadn’t been used since Gojira.
*. Titanosaurus didn’t become a fan favourite (I think this may have been his only appearance, making him this film’s King Caesar) but I think he looks fine, even if his elephant-trumpeting is only slightly less annoying than the racket made by Gabara in All Monsters Attack.
*. Best of all are the fight scenes between the three heavyweights, culminating in Godzilla charging at Mechagodzilla while eating everything the giant robot throws at him. The Big G’s not going to let any of those fancy bells and whistles stop him now! It’s ass-kicking time!
*. And yet I didn’t care for this movie that much. Nor, I should add, did fans. It had the lowest box office of any Godzilla film thus far so Toho figured it was time to move on from the franchise, making this the last film from the monster’s Showa era (which is how they reckon these things).

*. I think it may be that the story just doesn’t come together well enough. Sure it’s loopy and weird in the usual way, but there’s just too much going on. Godzilla doesn’t even show up until quite late in the day, and Titanosaur, whose super power is basically waving his tail and making a wind storm like Rodan does with his wings, has to carry most of the first part of the movie. Then there’s the crowded human story, which involves not only the scientist and the aliens but the scientist’s daughter, who is a cyborg connected, somehow, to Mechagodzilla’s brain.
*. Bottom line: not a bad entry, but I can understand why, even without the box office declining, Toho wanted to take a break. They were clearly nearing a point of creative exhaustion that matched the audience growing tired of seeing the same thing all the time. Even the screenplay here was based on a script that won a Godzilla story-writing contest, which is as clear an indication as you can get that Toho was beyond running dry at this point.

3 thoughts on “Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

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