Godzilla-thon: GHIDORAH THE THREE HEADED MONSTER (1964/1965)



Before Mothra vs Godzilla was released, there were already plans for another movie due for release the same year. Producer, Tomoyuki Tanaka, wanted to develop a film that featured Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan together in the same movie. Rodan was first featured in the movie, Rodan, which was made in 1956 and he will become a regular in the Godzilla series alongside Mothra and King Ghidorah.


During production of Mothra vs. Godzilla, the scene where Godzilla was swimming to a near by island a different Godzilla suit had to be used so the main suit would avoid wear and tear for the next film. Despite trying to avoid ruin, the suit still had to under go repairs.


Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster is the first movie that features Godzilla as the good guy rather than the bad guy and will continue playing the good guy role until 1975, the year Godzilla goes into temporary retirement.


Susanoo slaying Yamata no Orochi, the eight headed serpent

The design for the monster, King Ghidorah, is inspired by the story, Yamata no Orochi (Eight-Forked Serpent), which was slain by the exiled deity, Susanoo, when it was terrorizing a village for being denied a sacrifice. I am not sure how true this fact is, but apparently King Ghidorah was also supposed to be a mockery of China as well, which is why he has been the villain in most of the movies he has appeared in. King Ghidorah is also the largest costume that anyone had to handle. Shoichi Hirose, who played the monster, had to spend hours hunched over inside the costume holding onto a crossbar for support. A team of seven puppeteers were in the rafters over the sound stage just to work the wires to make the necks, tails, and wings move. It was stated from Tsuburaya's assistant, Sadamasa Arikawa, that there were times where something would go wrong whether it's all three necks getting all tangled up or the plastic wires would reflect from the studio lights or the wires would get stuck in one of Ghidorah's scales.


Review:


When a princess goes missing after an assassination attempt, a girl claiming to be a martian appears and tries to warn the people of Earth of a terrible tragedy that is about to happen to them. A meteor falls to Earth, but harboring a three headed nightmare. Mothra must convince Godzilla and Rodan to fight the monster known as Ghidorah to save the planet.


Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster was one of my favorite childhood movies. I remember watching this, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Son Of Godzilla over and over when I was little. This was back when I always thought Godzilla was always the good guy. Between the two versions I didn't even know that the American version was actually shorter than the Japanese version. The editing is hardly noticeable unless you're truly looking for them. Taking the nostalgia glasses off, the movie drags and I sometimes forget that I'm even watching a Godzilla movie because of the plot. It is not about Godzilla or any of the other monsters until the Prophetess warns everyone. She gives settle hints of the danger, but she doesn't explain what kind of danger until the last minute when Rodan, Godzilla, or King Ghidorah emerge. It's no wonder why people wont believe in her. If she said so in the first place then maybe people would believe her, but no she had to warn everyone in vague riddles. As for Godzilla, this is the first movie where you want Godzilla to win the fight instead of rooting for the opposing monster. The fights are goofy, but that is what I love about the old movies.


Final Verdict:


Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster is pretty boring for the most part. The fight between Godzilla and Rodan and the finale scenes are fun to watch, but the story drags and the characters are bland. Only watch for the fights instead of the story.

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