Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Bloody Pit #35 - GHIDORAH, THE THREE HEADED MONSTER (1964)


The Toho Kaiju films are a joy on so many levels and I'm thrilled that we are starting a new series covering a set of them for 2016. The focus this year will be on the various movies that feature that golden skinned villain Ghidorah and we begin with his (her?) first appearance in 1964's GHIDORAH, THE THREE HEADED MONSTER. Released in the U.S. in 1965 it became a favorite of monster kids and it's screenings on domestic television pushed this fifth Godzilla film to new heights of popularity. This is much more a Godzilla or Mothra film than a Ghidorah tale points to it being a direct sequel to the monster film released earlier that same year MOTHRA VS GODZILLA. Throw in the second appearance by Rodan and this becomes a sequel to his solo movie from 1956! That's right - this is a four monster film making it a Toho Monster Rally! Pop the corn, lay in a supply of dried squid and get ready to watch the fireworks!

As always with these giant monster movies Troy is the fanatic with years of reading and watching informing his thoughts and I am the neophyte trying to line these movies up in my horror loving head. We talk a bit about the differences between the Japanese version and the shorter English language cut while admitting freely that we simply cannot settle on a set pronunciation of the title monster's name. We both were impressed by the excellent commentary track on this film's Classic Media DVD by author David Kalat and we speak to some of his opinions as we go along. I have to say that he makes some good points even if I disagree with his take on some specific ideas. Troy gives me some backup when I question the film's U.N. meeting of giant monsters and the credulity stretching table tennis sequence, but has some love for the concept of a kiaju group hug. Also, neither of us can understand why one of this film's alternate titles isn't GODZILLA VS something something..... anything! The Big G is the star here, title aside.

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