Godzilla vs. Gigan (地球攻撃命令 ゴジラ対ガイガン?, lit. Earth Attack Command: Godzilla Against Gigan) is a Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan1972 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the twelveth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 12, 1972.
Giant cockroaches from a dying Earth-like planet in the Space Hunter Nebula M plot to colonize the Earth and destroy all cities to make it more "peaceful" (peace and technology being the themes of this film). They inhabit the bodies of recently deceased humans, thus resembling them, and work as the staff of the Japan branch of the peace-themed theme park World Children's Land (based in Switzerland), the centerpiece being the Godzilla-shaped "Godzilla Tower". The plan of the Nebula M aliens is to use the space monsters King Ghidorah and Gigan (guided by two "Action Signal Tapes") to wipe out civilization. A cartoonist named Gengo Kotaka stumbles onto their plan after being hired as a concept artist for them. When Gengo and his friends play one of the incomprehensible Action Signal Tapes (which he obtained by accident) on their tape player, only Godzilla and Anguirus hear it from afar and catch on to this evil plot as well. Godzilla sends Anguirus to the source of the sound to make sure nothing's wrong, but once Anguirus arrives at Tokyo Bay, the Japanese military, having no clue on the monster's intentions, drives him away. Anguirus goes back to Monster Island, and Godzilla then follows him back to the city. Both monsters try to save the Earth from King Ghidorah and Gigan, though the Nebula M aliens plan to lure Godzilla into a shocking fatal trap via placing an extremely powerful laser cannon inside the Godzilla Tower's mouth and firing it at Godzilla. Once the tower is destroyed by the main human characters, Godzilla and Anguirus drive Gigan and King Ghidorah into a retreat back into space and saved the world.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Jun Fukuda
- Written by Takeshi Kimura, Shinichi Sekizawa
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Kunio Miyauchi, Susumu Ishikawa
- Stock Music by Kunio Miyauchi, Susumu Ishikawa
- Cinematography by Kiyoshi Hasegawa
- Edited by Yoshio Tamura
- Production Design by Yoshifumi Honda
- Assistant Directing by Fumisake Okada
- Special Effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hiroshi Ishikawa as Gengo Kotaka
- Yuriko Hishimi as Tomoko Tomoe
- Minoru Takashima as Shosaku Takasugi
- Tomoko Umeda as Machiko Shima
- Toshiaki Nishizawa as Head of World Children's Land Kubota
- Zan Fujita as Chairman Fumio Sudo
- Kunio Murai as Takashi Shima
- Gen Shimizu as Self Defense Force Commander
- Kurayoshi Nakamura as Priest
- Kuniko Ashihara as Female Assistant at Temple
- Akio Murata as Manga Editor
- Yasuhiko Saijo as Nebula M Henchman
- Noritake Saito as Nebula M Henchman
- Wataru Omae as Nebula M Henchman
- Naoya Kusakawa as Nebula M Henchman
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
In 1977, Cinema Shares released an edited cut of the international version of Godzilla vs. Gigan in North America. This version was re-titled Godzilla on Monster Island despite the fact that about a minute of the film actually takes place on Monster Island.
A few edits were made from the international print, although Cinema Shares made several cuts to obtain a G-rating from the MPAA:
- The title card reads "Godzilla on Monster Island" and the laser beam effect from the Japanese credits sequence is gone.
- Gengo calls his girlfriend "a hard bitch" under his breath. Cinema Shares muted the entire soundtrack when the word "bitch" is muttered.
- Two scenes of Godzilla bleeding from Gigan's attacks are trimmed. The scene where Gigan cuts Anguirus in his snout with his abdominal saw is also edited out. However, the scenes afterwards, despite having Godzilla and Anguirus covered in blood from their wounds, were unchanged.
- While Godzilla and Anguirus swim away at the end of the movie, Godzilla turns and blasts the camera with his radioactive breath, lifted from the opening of the film. The energy beam fills the camera, over which the words "THE END" are superimposed.
- Perhaps the most significant change in the English-language edit of the film occurs when Godzilla and Anguirus talk. In the original Japanese version, speech bubbles appear out of the monsters' mouths and display their dialogue. In the international version, voice actor Ted Thomas, the producer of the English-language soundtrack, recorded actual English dialogue for the scene, while the speech bubbles were removed. This alteration was retained in Cinema Shares' version of the film.
Godzilla On Monster Island was frequently shown in television syndication throughout the 80's, and it aired several times on the Sci-Fi Channel before being replaced by the widescreen international version in 2002. In 1988, New World Pictures picked up the home video rights to Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla. Toho provided New World Video with prints of the international versions, now titled Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, respectively. The dubbing was the same, but both films were now restored to their full length. These versions were subsequently re-released on video in 1992 by Starmaker Video, in 1997 by Anchor Bay and in 2004 by TriStar Pictures. The TriStar DVDs feature newly remastered prints of Toho's original international versions along with the original Japanese audio. Kraken Releasing also released Godzilla vs. Gigan, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep and Godzilla vs. Hedorah on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014. The versions of the films included in these releases are identical to those from the TriStar DVDs.
When Godzilla vs. Gigan was released to Japanese theaters on March 12, 1972, it received an attendance of 1,780,000.
This movie is often criticized due to its slow pacing, heavy use of stock footage, and an inconsistent tone. Many fans though enjoy the monster tag team battles, stock use of Akira Ifukube's music, the introduction of Gigan and the return of King Ghidorah and Anguirus.
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