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San Daikaiju: Chikyu Saidai no Kessen

Ghidrah, the Three Headed Monster
Gojira Mosura Kingughidorah: Chikyu Saidai no Kessen

Japan 1964
produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Inoshiro Honda
starring Yosuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Akiko Wakabayashi, Emi Ito, Yumi Ito, Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Minoru Takada, Somesho Matsumoto, Ikio Sawamura, Kozo Nomura, Kenji Sahara, Susume Kurobe, Toru Ibuki, Kazuo Suzuki, Haruya Kato, Shin Otomo, Senkichi Omura, Yutaka Nakayama, Heihachiro Okawa, Yutaka Oka, Eisei Amamoto, Yoshio Kosugi, Yoshifumi Tajima
written by Shinichi Sekizawa, special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, music by Akira Ifukube

Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Strange phenomena are threatening the world, like meteor showers going down onto the earth & both Godzilla & Rodan re.-emerging from where they were thought to hae died, but detective shindo (Yosuke Natsuki) is given the relatively uninteresting assignement of bodyguarding Princess Salno of Sergina (Akiko Wakabayashi) during her visit to Japan. But even before he can begin his job, the princess' airplane is blown up, with her in it of course. Curiously enough though, before long seemingly out of nowhere a woman appears who claim s to be from Venus & who predicts all kinds of desasters - & she is a splitting image of the princess - or might it be her, her body was never found ?

Soon, reporter Naoko (Yuriko Hoshi), Shindo's sister, starts showing an interest in the Venusian, & soon the Cosmos (Emi Ito, Yumi Ito), Mothra's twin fairies, hook up with her too - but unfortunately a quartet of assassins (Hisaya Ito, Toru Ibuki, Kazuo Suzuki, Susumu Kurobe) after the princess have figured out the striking similarity too & are now behind the Venusian ... only Shindo, who just happens to be about, can prevent the worst.

Soon, the Venusian predicts the worst desaster of them all: Ghidorah, the three-headed monster, who has already destroyed Venus & is now on the way to earth to destroy this plantet too. & soon enough, Ghidorah arrives, & starts to wreak havoc, so the Cosmos call Mothra, who is still in her caterpillar state (& stays so throughout the movie), who tries to persuade Godzilla & Rodan to fight Ghidorah with her (Really), but botht he monsters refuse, finding much more joy in fighting each other. So Mothra tries her luck alone, but with little success (after all, what can a caterpillar do against a three headed monster), but somehow, Godzilla & Rodan get drawn into the fight, & together the three monsters can defeat Ghidorah, with Godzilla giving the monster a good beating while Mothra - flying on the back of Rodan - covers its head in cocoon.

Humiliated, Ghidorah leaves the earth for good - but not for long, it would return in Monster Zero, the next film in the Godzilla series, & numerous times afterwards.

& the Venusian ... she has regained her memory & it turns out she is indeed princess Salno, while her assassins were buried under the rubble caused by the monster battle.

 

Undoubtedly, Ghidorah was Godzilla's most effective & most impressive (& thus most enduring) foe, however, this film, the first featuring the three-headed monster, is hardly one of the better ones of the Godzilla series: The rather weak human subplot about a princess who, instead of dieing in a planecrash turns clairvoyant, takes up way too much screentime & it takes simply ages before the monsters (naturally the series strongest selling point) appear, let alone wreak massive havoc.

That said, giant monster-lovers should find a few scenes to chuckle, like Godzilla & Rodan playing ball with a rock or Mothra trying to persuade them to help her (really !), & of course, Ghidorah is a good foe in any movie.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD

 

 

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