Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

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Image godzilla.wikia.com

After “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” proved to be a hit, Toho moved quickly to capitalize on their new co-star.  To stack the odds in the new movie’s favor, veteran director Ishiro Honda was brought back, as was Akira Ifukube to compose.  A script writing contest was held, and the winning script was revised and used as the basis for this movie.  The human plot was more involved emotionally than the last few movies, featuring a mad scientist and a tragic love story at its heart.

Shortly after the destruction of Mechagodzilla, a submarine is dispatched to find its parts for study.  The submarine is attacked and destroyed by a previously unknown dinosaur.  Interpol launches an investigation, and consult the marine biologist, Akira.  The investigation leads to a reclusive scientist named Dr. Mafune.  Dr. Mafune was involved in many unethical experiments centered around controlling living creatures.  He also believed he had found a revived dinosaur, which he called Titanosaurus, and he believed he could use his created technology to control it.  He was eventually rejected by the scientific community, and when Akira investigates his former home, he finds Mafune’s daughter, Katsura.  She reveals that the Doctor has been dead for some time, and Akira heads back to Interpol.  In actuality, Dr. Mafune is alive, and is in league with the Black Hole aliens from the previous movie.  The aliens are rebuilding Mechagodzilla with the help of kidnapped engineers, and plan to team it up with Titanosaurus to take over the world.  After another visit, Akira falls in love with Katsura and reveals that Interpol knows that Titanosaurus is injured by sound waves.  Dr. Mafune is alarmed by this, so he sends Katsura to disable the sound wave machine Interpol is building and unleashes Titanosaurus to attack a city.

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Image realmofryan.blogspot.com

During the attack, it is revealed that years ago, Katsura was injured by one of the Doctor’s machines, and the aliens turned her into a cyborg to save her life.  The alien leader seems to have some undisclosed plans for her.  Godzilla appears and fights off Titanosaurus, and when Akira returns to question Katsura, he is captured by the aliens.  The alien leader reveals that Katsura has been augmented to control Mechagodzilla with her cyborg parts, and both Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus are unleashed upon Japan.  Godzilla appears, but is overwhelmed by the two monsters.  Interpol agents arrive with the rebuilt sonic wave machine and use it to incapacitate Titanosaurus, while Akira breaks free and attempts to reason with the cyborg Katsura.  She weeps at his declaration of love, and reveals that the only way to shut down Mechagodzilla is for her to die.  Akira refuses, so Katsura shoots herself and Mechagodzilla is deactivated and destroyed by Godzilla.  He then finishes off Titanosaurus and the fleeing alien ships, and heads off into the sunset.

“Terror of Mechagodzilla” is a worthy sequel to the original.  The human plot is entertaining, and the battle between the three monsters at the end is well choreographed.  Despite not being as well armed as Mechagodzilla, Titanosaurus proves to be a difficult opponent for Godzilla, and the pair come very close to defeating him at one point.  The film is notably darker than the previous few entries, and it seems the intent was to steer the series away from children and back to more “serious” plots (there is even a scene where two children attempt to steal away to spy on Godzilla and Titanosaurus, but nothing comes of it).  Strangely, though the aliens are stated to be the same from the previous movie, they look completely different from their ape-like appearances before.  There is even a scene where one of their faces is taken off, like a mask, but underneath the alien has a “melted” look to his face instead of looking simian.  Sadly, even with as much effort as was put into this film, it ended up being the lowest grossing film in the original Godzilla series.  The decision was made to give Godzilla a break for awhile.  Ultimately, he would be revived almost a decade later, with a clean slate and a fearsome new attitude.

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Image japanesegiants.com

Trivia

Titanosaurus was supposed to be a pair of monsters called the Titans that would merge into Titanosaurus.  This was deemed too expensive and the idea was dropped.

During the firefight with Mechagodzilla, the Godzilla suit caught fire.  This was left in the film.

While Katsura is being made into a cyborg, there is a brief nude shot of her in the Japanese version (this was edited out in the American version).  To date, this is the only Godzilla film with nudity in it.

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Image freewebs.com

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~ by Chris on May 2, 2014.

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