Godzilla-thon: GODZILLA VS MEGALON (1973/1976)



With shows like Ultraman, Mazinger Z, and Super Sentai (known as Power Rangers in America) becoming popular at the time, TOHO wanted to create a superhero of their own to compete with the other franchises. A contest was held for fans and the winner was an elementary school student who submitted a drawing of a robot called Red Arone, which had a lot of resemblance to both UltraMan and Mazinger Z. The robot was renamed to Jet Jaguar and the robot was set to star in its own films starting with Jet Jaguar vs Megalon. After some screening and story boarding, TOHO finds out that Jet Jaguar would not be able to carry the film on its own. The idea was scrapped during pre-production until a month later when Tomoyuki Tanaka asked screenwriter, Shinichi Sekizawa, to rewrite the script to add Godzilla and Gigan to add more marquee value since Godzilla was still popular with children at the time.


After reusing and fixing the 64 suit, it was time for a new Godzilla suit to be made. The new suit was made in a week, the fastest Godzilla suit made to date. They didn't have time to fix the eyes, but it was fixed later when Godzilla was featured in a show called, Zone Fighter.


Even though Godzilla vs Megalon was released in Japan in 1973, it would be released in the US in 1976 in hopes to compete with Dino De Laurentis's King Kong. This also became apparent when the poster for the film had both Godzilla and Megalon standing on top of the World Trade Center even though the World Trade Center was never seen in the movie. In 1977, the distribution company, Cinema Shares, made drastic cuts to the film for prime-time television to fit the one hour time slot and fans heavily criticized it.


Review:


The people of the underground nation, Seatopia, send Megalon to attack the surface world after being disturbed by a series of nuclear tests. Jet Jaguar must team up with Godzilla to end Megalon's attack on the planet.


This was one of my favorite childhood movies and rewatching the movie brought back a lot of nostalgia. However, my tastes in Godzilla movies as a kid have changed. This is not to say that I didn't like Godzilla vs Megalon, it is just that what I thought was good back then is not as good now. It still has its moments and the movie's theme song really had me feeling a little excited, but it was only okay for the most part. The best moments are when Godzilla shoves a tree into Megalon's eyes and when he slides on his tail to do a drop kick. It is so off the wall that I couldn't help laugh at it. So it's a fun movie to watch just not how I use to remember them.


Final Verdict:


Godzilla vs Megalon is an enjoyable movie for kids, but without the nostalgia goggles it's really goofy. You can get some enjoyment out of it, but it's not as great as I use to remember it.

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