Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

"Why does no one pay heed to my warning? The entire human race will parish from the Earth. When the monster Ghidorah passes, only flaming ruins are left."   - Princess Salno

release year: 1964
genre: Godzilla
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/6/19

synopsis: A strange meteorite, a Venusian spirit, and other random factors bring not one, not two, but FOUR giant monsters together.

impressions: This one hinted at UFOs and an alien from Venus, though I have to say it could have all just been a clever deception. There was also a subplot about a princess with amnesia, and delusions of being a prophet from Venus. Other memorable elements: the twin Shobijin fairies are back, with longer hair, and they make a guest appearance and sing a song on a TV show!...assassins...a sleep scientist...another instance of the Mothra song being sung in Japan and causing the natives of Infant Island to start singing in sync...bad guys getting randomly killed by giant-monster-caused destruction. Now let's get to the giant monster details! Rodan was kind of dorky, and sometimes his battle cry sounded like a dog barking. Mothra looked the exact same as the larva from the last movie, but had an important role here: talk to the others and make peace. Yes, TALK. They talked. (And the twin fairies interpreted.) Godzilla regressed physically, in my opinion - this time he had a lumpy head and big eyes. This was the first appearance of King Ghidorah: three heads that breathe what looked like electricity, two tails, and no arms. It was obviously stronger than the others, which is why they had to team up to beat it. As for the giant monster fighting, it was very scattered, with human activity mixed in pretty much the whole time. Before the big battle, there was a non-fight and then a brief fight between Rodan and Godzilla. Overall, there were some noteworthy battle moments and tactics: Rodan picks Godzilla up and flies away with him...Godzilla body-slams Rodan...Godzilla kicks and throws boulders...Godzilla and Rodan engage in a short but spirited game of volley-boulder...Godzilla tows Mothra up a hill...Rodan and King Ghidorah have a big midair collision...Mothra hitches a ride on Rodan for some aerial silk-firing. And when it was over, the beaten King Ghidorah just...flew away. It seems like most of these battles end with either the loser falling into the ocean and vanishing, or the loser just leaving.

number in Godzilla series: 5

previous Godzilla movie in series: Mothra vs Godzilla

next Godzilla movie in series: Invasion of Astro-Monster

other giant monsters appearing in this one: Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah

total giant monster battle time: about 12 minutes

acting: Yosuke Natsuki is the main hero, a policeman. Yuriko Hoshi (who appeared Mothra vs Godzilla as the spunky photographer girl) is his sister, who's a reporter of some kind. Hiroshi Koizumi (who was a scientist in Mothra vs Godzilla) and the second pilot in Godzilla Raids Again) is a scientist in this one. Akiko Wakabayashi (who had a minor role in King Kong vs Godzilla and would go on to portray a Bond girl in You Only Live Twice) is the beautiful, possessed princess here.

final word: Good, if scattered, giant monster battle, and the turning point after which Godzilla is a good guy.

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