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Gojira no Gyakushu

Gigantis the Fire Monster
Godzilla Raids Again / Godzilla kehrt zurück / Godzilla's Counter Attack

Japan 1955
produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Motoyoshi Oda
starring Hiroshi Koizumi, Minoru Chiaki, Setsuko Wakayama, Takashi Shimura, Yukio Kasama, Mayuri Mokusho, Masao Shimizu, Seijiro Onda, Sonosuke Sawamura, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Minosuke Yamada
screenplay by Takeo Murata, Shigeaki Hidaka, special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, music by Masaru Sato

Godzilla, Anguirus

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Kobayashi (Minoru Chiaki), an airplane pilot working for Yamaji's (Yukio Kasama) fishery who guides the fishing boats to large tuna swarms, experiences a technical fault in his airplane & has to water his plane next to an uninhabited island. There he & Tsukioka (Hiroshi Koizumi), who has come to rescue him, to their great shock see the giant dinosaur-monster Godzilla - who was thought dead - fight a giant hedgehog-like monster Anguirus.

Fleeing in terror they reach safe land safely, however, when they report their findings to the authorities, they can do little to relieve our heroes of their fears ... since leading scientist Doctor Yamane (Takashi Shimura) is convinced there is no weapon that can harm let alone kill Godzilla, & the only chance humanity has against the monster is - since Godzilla is attracted by light - to completely darken the cities everytime the monster's approaching, & shoot lightballs off into a different direction to lure Godzilla away ...

Soon Godzilla approaches Osaka - where Kobayashi & Tsukioka live -, & the tactic to lure the monster away with lighballs seems to work fine ... until our heroes get involved in a carchase, with them pursuing 3 escaped convicts, at the end of which the convicts truck crashes into an oil refinery, which sets the whole refinery aflame.

Godzilla, spotting the fire, thinks this to be too nice an invitation to miss out on & soon lays waste to Osaka's harbour area ... when Anguisus arrives too, & the 2 fight it out once & for all, with the whole city as battleground & in the end Anguirus losing both the fight & his life ... Godzilla retreats - for the time being.

With the Osaka branche of the fisbhing company they work for literally laid to waste, Kobayashi, Tsukiko & Tsukiko's fiancée move to Hokkaido to resume working, where the men also meet their old friends for mthe air force.

Of course, soon Godzilla is sighted near Hokkaido, & all the air force pilots fly off on a search for the monster, but it is of course Tsukiko who finds Godzilla swimming through the sea, & when his plane runs out of gas, Kobayashi takes over & witnesses Godzilla leaving the water, taking a hike on a snowy island full of mountains. & while he, with some fancy flying maneuvres tries to keep the monster on the island, waiting for the army to arrive, Hidemi - Tsukiko's fiancée - finds out Kobayashi is in love with her too ... but it's too late for Kobayashi, who, when playing Godzilla's lure is killed, crashing into a mountain ... but the avalanche his crashing lane is causing gives the army the uidea to bury the monster under avalanches & avalanches of snow - so Kobayashi's death was not in vain.

 

Despite being far less childish than Godzilla-movies got in the 1960's, this first sequel to Godzilla from 1954 is of course no equal to the original on a pure quality level, it has pretty much all the qualities that hastily produced sequels to a surprise successes usually have: a very derivative, formulaic story, pedestrian storytelling, & special effctw that are on one hand only more of the same, on the other hand inferior to the original (partly due to the fact that the [relative] originality is gone).

The film taken by itself suffers too much from a dull human-interest-story abiout the love triangle between the three main characters, but this subplot, it seems, is not really thought through from the beginning, & further more it's only very loosely (& very late in the film) tied in with the main-(monster-)plot, which makes the movie, despite some massive monster wrestling, a rather boring affair.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD