follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

"Now the monsters will start attacking and destroying everything in and around Tokyo."
- Fumio Sudo (Zun Fujita)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: October 18, 2004

Stars: Hiroshi Ishikawa, Tomoko Umeda, Yuriko Hishimi
Other Stars: Minoru Takashima, Toshiaki Nishizawa, Zun Fujita
Director: Jun Fukuda

MPAA Rating: PG for Sci-fi Monster Violence and Some Language
Run Time: 01h:29m:22s
Release Date: October 19, 2004
UPC: 043396076204
Genre: fantasy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ BB+B D-

DVD Review

This second of the first three Showa-era Godzilla movies to be released in the US in both the original widescreen and Japanese language option, this picture has a poor reputation amongst Godzilla fans. But with its sincere loopiness and a knockdown-dragout monster fest finale, it's really hard not to like this off-kilter entry in the long-running series.

Manga artist Gengo Kodaka (Hiroshi Ishikawa) is having a tough time making it until he is hired to produce monster designs for the new World Children's Land, a proposed amusement park run by director Kubota (Toshiaki Nishizawa). The amusement park prominently features the Godzilla Tower, a life-sized replica of the Big Green, as well as other attractions that somehow are intended to produce "absolute peace." But something sinister seems to be under way when Gengo comes in contact with Machiko Shima (Tomoko Umeda), who has stolen a strange tape and insists that her brother is being held prisoner in the Godzilla Tower. Things quickly get exceedingly weird as the tape summons Godzilla and spike-covered Anguirus from Monster Island; Kubota and the chairman of the park, Fumio Sudo (Zun Fujita) turn out to have died a year before; and three-headed King Ghidorah and the pincer-covered Gigan are summoned from the stars by, yes, cockroaches from outer space.

Although there's plenty that doesn't make sense in this film, it's so imaginative and bizarre in its creativity that it's irresistible. One gets the sense of the screenwriters sitting around saying, "Yes, that's very weird. Let's use that too." Although it takes a good long while for the monsters to make an appearance, it's worth it. The time is used to develop the mystery, such as it is, and to keep getting Gengo in deeper and deeper in trouble until finally he just throws up his hands and goes with the insanity. The finale is worth the price of admission, starting off with Ghidorah and Gigan ravaging Tokyo, and winding up with a lengthy confrontation at World Children's Land complete with lasers, explosions and tons of monster mayhem.

The human characters are reasonably well developed for such a picture, and best of all, there are zero young boys in short pants to be seen. Fumio, the mastermind behind the park, is a teenager, it's true, but he's a through and through villain that allows one to gratifyingly disregard his youth. Gengo is likeable, though a bit passive-aggressive with his girlfriend Tomoko (Yuriko Hishimi). The monsters have a bit more personality than usual too. Godzilla seems a bit more limber than we're used to seeing, and Gigan jumps and claps with childish glee after beating him up. Ghidorah has a vicious streak a mile wide, and Anguirus plays more than anything the faithful sidekick. Gigan's design is interesting, with clean lines and the equivalent of a bandsaw protruding from his chest for good measure.

I don't believe that this film suffered any cuts or alterations when originally released in the US, and this disc reflects the original version (though with English language video-generated credits). This picture seems to mostly disregard the previous couple entries, instead picking up with the notion of Monster Island from 1968's Destroy All Monsters, and if I'm not mistaken lifting a little footage from that film as well. Some shots of pollution are similarly borrowed from Godzilla vs. Hedorah from the year before. But these segments are not too irritating in their duplication, and they're more than outweighed by getting the kaiju eiga equivalent of a WWF program on top of an amazing array of goofy adventures. And how can you say no to cockroaches from outer space?

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen picture looks quite good for the most part, though a few scenes seem slightly overmatted; headroom is lacking and tops of monster heads are frequently brushing the top of the screen area. But color and detail look very nice, and even the wildly-patterned dress Tomoko wears throughout comes across fine, without aliasing or noise. The day-for-night sequences seem a little dark, and there's minor ringing in high contrast areas, but on the whole this looks very nice for a Columbia transfer. The source print is in excellent shape. Toho is clearly taking good care of these films.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoJapanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: 2.0 mono tracks for the original Japanese and the English dub are provided. The music during the main title is a little clipped in louder segments, but otherwise it sounds fine. When Ghidorah fires his breath weapons, there's some good low bass, though one can hardly expect anything house-shaking. The tracks are clean and have little in the way of noise or hiss.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Other than an arbitrarily-chosen trailer for another, unrelated movie, there's nothing here for extras. But the original Japanese language and aspect ratio will make many fans very happy nonetheless. Chaptering is a little thin.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

A daffy but endearing Godzilla film, happily presented in the original language and screen format. Nothing at all for extras but a good transfer, if a little cramped.


Back to top

Microsoft Store

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store