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Godzilla vs. Gigan

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Godzilla vs. Gigan (地球攻撃命令 ゴジラ対ガイガン,   Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan?, lit. Earth Attack Command: Godzilla Against Gigan) is a 1972 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.


Plot

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

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

Cast

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

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

U.S. Release

Godzilla vs. Gigan Poster United States

American Godzilla on Monster Island poster

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.

Box Office

When Godzilla vs. Gigan was released to Japanese theaters on March 12, 1972, it received an attendance of 1,780,000.

Reception

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.

Videos

Trailers

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla vs. Gigan. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

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