Terror of Mechagodzilla


1h 23m 1975
Terror of Mechagodzilla

Brief Synopsis

A robot monster made by aliens comes back to Earth to do battle with Godzilla.

Film Details

Also Known As
Escape of MechaGodzilla, The
MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Adventure
Horror
Foreign
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1975

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Color
Color
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Alien robot monster come back to Earth to do battle with Godzilla.

Film Details

Also Known As
Escape of MechaGodzilla, The
MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Adventure
Horror
Foreign
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1975

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Color
Color
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Terror of Mechagodzilla


Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) marked the 15th film in the Godzilla series, the legendary giant monster franchise that launched in 1954 with the original Godzilla. After more than two decades, the series was showing signs of fatigue. Audiences were dwindling as the lizard king had evolved from menace to humanity to protector of mankind, rising to take on every new giant monster threat, and the kaiju (Japanese for monster) movie fantasy was challenged by more adult moviemaking and a new sophistication in special effects.

Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka decided to take the series back to a darker atmosphere of earlier Godzilla films. He brought Ishiro Honda, director of the original Godzilla and many of the best entries in the series, out of semi-retirement for one last bout. Along with Honda, the film welcomed the return of composer Akira Ifukube, who wrote the defining "Godzilla March" for the original film and scored many of the sequels. Along with the two esteemed series veterans, Tanaka injected some new blood into the series. Toho held a story contest for the sequel and Yukiko Takayama, a student at a Tokyo screenwriting school, won and was invited to develop her outline into a full script. She became the first female writer of a Godzilla script.

Mechagodzilla, a giant robot created from space titanium by an alien race and covered in fake skin to resemble the Big G, was introduced in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), also known as Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster. A mighty and visually impressive nemesis for the King of the Monsters, it was brought back for Terror of Mechagodzilla, the first direct sequel in a decade. Takayama's story brings back the aliens of the third planet of the Black Hole, who enlist the bitter Dr. Shinzo Mafune in their plan to take over the planet, and introduces a new giant monster: Titanosaurus, a prehistoric dinosaur woken from its dormant state at the bottom of the ocean. Mafune controls the dinosaur through his daughter Katsura, a cyborg with a human brain and a mechanical body, and the aliens team Titanosaurus with the newly rebuilt Mechagodzilla in their mission to level Tokyo. Akihiko Hirata, who played the conflicted Dr. Serizawa in the original Godzilla, goes full-on mad scientist (complete with maniacal laugh) as the vengeful Dr. Mafune, a sharp contrast to Katsura. Tomoko Ai makes her feature debut as Katsura and offers the most complex female character in the series to date, a cyborg with human emotions torn between loyalty to her father and feelings of affection for a devoted biologist (Katsuhiko Sasaki, another series veteran) who never loses his faith in her.

The film features a bigger budget, better special effects scenes, and more elaborate fight scenes than the previous installment. Teruyoshi Nakano, head of Toho's special effects department, was also Honda's former assistant director. Reunited with his mentor for the last time, he brought a majesty to Godzilla's entrance and drama to the giant monster battles, with low angle shots against a real sky to add authenticity to the otherwise studio-bound scenes of men in elaborate suits stomping through miniature cities. Titanosaurus is the most colorful of Godzilla's monster club, with a rich red skin with yellow and black spots, and Mechagodzilla fires missiles from his hands, adding to the scope of destruction onscreen. And in one scene of the aliens operating on the cyborg girl, the breasts of her naked humanoid torso are shown. Though completely artificial, it is nonetheless the closest that the series has ever come to nudity.

The film was a box-office disappointment in Japan, where the American import The Towering Inferno (1975) was the year's big hit, and it took two years for an American release, which was heavily edited on its initial release to get a G rating. With ticket sales so low, Toho concluded the series was out of step with contemporary cinema audiences and retired the franchise, at least for the time being. Terror of Mechagodzilla became the final film in what is known as the Showa period. It also marked the final feature directed by Honda, the Godfather of kaiju and Japanese science fiction cinema, though it was not the end of his career. Honda worked with Akira Kurosawa early in his career and returned to work for the auteur as an assistant director and second unit director on Kagemusha (1980), Ran (1985) and Dreams (1990).

When Godzilla waded back into the ocean at the end of Terror of Mechagodzilla, he remained offscreen for a decade. But it was not the end of series. Godzilla returned in Godzilla 1985 (1984), also known as The Return of Godzilla or simply Godzilla, and continues to reign over big screen monster battles to this day.

Sources:
A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, David Kalat. McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.
The Official Godzilla Compendium, J.D. Lees and Marc Cerasini. Random House, 1998.
Japan's Favorite Mon-star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G", Steve Ryfle. ECW Press, 1998.
Godzilla FAQ, Brian Solomon. Applause Theater and Cinema Books, 2017.
IMDb

By Sean Axmaker
Terror Of Mechagodzilla

Terror of Mechagodzilla

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) marked the 15th film in the Godzilla series, the legendary giant monster franchise that launched in 1954 with the original Godzilla. After more than two decades, the series was showing signs of fatigue. Audiences were dwindling as the lizard king had evolved from menace to humanity to protector of mankind, rising to take on every new giant monster threat, and the kaiju (Japanese for monster) movie fantasy was challenged by more adult moviemaking and a new sophistication in special effects. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka decided to take the series back to a darker atmosphere of earlier Godzilla films. He brought Ishiro Honda, director of the original Godzilla and many of the best entries in the series, out of semi-retirement for one last bout. Along with Honda, the film welcomed the return of composer Akira Ifukube, who wrote the defining "Godzilla March" for the original film and scored many of the sequels. Along with the two esteemed series veterans, Tanaka injected some new blood into the series. Toho held a story contest for the sequel and Yukiko Takayama, a student at a Tokyo screenwriting school, won and was invited to develop her outline into a full script. She became the first female writer of a Godzilla script. Mechagodzilla, a giant robot created from space titanium by an alien race and covered in fake skin to resemble the Big G, was introduced in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), also known as Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster. A mighty and visually impressive nemesis for the King of the Monsters, it was brought back for Terror of Mechagodzilla, the first direct sequel in a decade. Takayama's story brings back the aliens of the third planet of the Black Hole, who enlist the bitter Dr. Shinzo Mafune in their plan to take over the planet, and introduces a new giant monster: Titanosaurus, a prehistoric dinosaur woken from its dormant state at the bottom of the ocean. Mafune controls the dinosaur through his daughter Katsura, a cyborg with a human brain and a mechanical body, and the aliens team Titanosaurus with the newly rebuilt Mechagodzilla in their mission to level Tokyo. Akihiko Hirata, who played the conflicted Dr. Serizawa in the original Godzilla, goes full-on mad scientist (complete with maniacal laugh) as the vengeful Dr. Mafune, a sharp contrast to Katsura. Tomoko Ai makes her feature debut as Katsura and offers the most complex female character in the series to date, a cyborg with human emotions torn between loyalty to her father and feelings of affection for a devoted biologist (Katsuhiko Sasaki, another series veteran) who never loses his faith in her. The film features a bigger budget, better special effects scenes, and more elaborate fight scenes than the previous installment. Teruyoshi Nakano, head of Toho's special effects department, was also Honda's former assistant director. Reunited with his mentor for the last time, he brought a majesty to Godzilla's entrance and drama to the giant monster battles, with low angle shots against a real sky to add authenticity to the otherwise studio-bound scenes of men in elaborate suits stomping through miniature cities. Titanosaurus is the most colorful of Godzilla's monster club, with a rich red skin with yellow and black spots, and Mechagodzilla fires missiles from his hands, adding to the scope of destruction onscreen. And in one scene of the aliens operating on the cyborg girl, the breasts of her naked humanoid torso are shown. Though completely artificial, it is nonetheless the closest that the series has ever come to nudity. The film was a box-office disappointment in Japan, where the American import The Towering Inferno (1975) was the year's big hit, and it took two years for an American release, which was heavily edited on its initial release to get a G rating. With ticket sales so low, Toho concluded the series was out of step with contemporary cinema audiences and retired the franchise, at least for the time being. Terror of Mechagodzilla became the final film in what is known as the Showa period. It also marked the final feature directed by Honda, the Godfather of kaiju and Japanese science fiction cinema, though it was not the end of his career. Honda worked with Akira Kurosawa early in his career and returned to work for the auteur as an assistant director and second unit director on Kagemusha (1980), Ran (1985) and Dreams (1990). When Godzilla waded back into the ocean at the end of Terror of Mechagodzilla, he remained offscreen for a decade. But it was not the end of series. Godzilla returned in Godzilla 1985 (1984), also known as The Return of Godzilla or simply Godzilla, and continues to reign over big screen monster battles to this day. Sources: A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, David Kalat. McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997. The Official Godzilla Compendium, J.D. Lees and Marc Cerasini. Random House, 1998. Japan's Favorite Mon-star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G", Steve Ryfle. ECW Press, 1998. Godzilla FAQ, Brian Solomon. Applause Theater and Cinema Books, 2017. IMDb By Sean Axmaker

Quotes

I'm not alive. I may look like a girl, but I'm not, I'm a cyborg!
- Katsura Mafune
Even if you're a cyborg... Katsura, I still love you!
- Akira Ichinose

Trivia

Titanosaurus was originally supposed to be two smaller creatures called the Titans which would fuse together into Titanosaurus.

This, the 15th film, was the last film of the original Godzilla film series. Gojira (1984), filmed nine years later, was the first of a new series of films (called the "Versus Series" in Japan, or, alternatively, the "Heisei Series"), which returned Godzilla to his destructive original roots (Toho was apparently ashamed of their "hero" Godzilla).

This is not only the last Godzilla film directed by Ishiro Honda, it also marks the last time Godzilla is portrayed as a hero.

This was Akihiko Hirata's final appearance in the series. However, he was scheduled to appear in first film in the Versus/Heisei series, but died from cancer just before production began.

The original U.S. release was quite faithful to the original Japanese version. Broadcasters requested that the film be edited due to scenes involving the suicide of a character. This was at a time when there were a rash of teen suicides in the United States. Broadcasters began requesting that story elements involving suicide be removed from motion pictures, television programs and even cartoons.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1975

Released in United States on Video June 27, 1995

Sequel to "Godzilla Versus the Cosmic Monster."

Released in USA on video.

dubbed English

Released in United States 1975

Released in United States on Video June 27, 1995