SON OF KAIJU DAY MARATHON: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

The final film in Godzilla’s showa era which lasted from 1952 to 1975 and is made up of fifteen movies. They include the original two films, the revival films that ends with Destroy All Monsters and is followed by the Champion series that starts with All Monsters Attack and ends with this film.

Obviously, this was the least successful of all the films.

Yukiko Takayama wrote this movie after winning Toho’s story contest for the next installment in the Godzilla series. Director Ishiro Honda spoke highly of her work, saying that having a “woman’s perspective was especially fresh.”

It’s also one of only two Japanese Godzilla films with nudity, as Katsura’s breasts are shown when she has an operation to have Mechagodzilla 2’s control device placed inside her body.

The alien Simeons are back and they have a mad scientist who has access to another kaiju, Titanosaurus. His role is to guard the remains of Mechagodzilla long enough for the aliens and their new colleague Dr. Shinzô Mafune to take control of it and destroy the planet.

There’s more spy action than I’d prefer in this movie, but Mechagodzilla looks absolutely awesome. Sadly, he’s so tied to Katsura that the only way she can stop it is to end her own life.

This came out in the U.S. using a Toho-made dub distributed by Bob Conn Enterprises under the title The Terror of Godzilla. Henry G. Saperstein, who kept the TV rights, sold it it to UHF stations as Terror of Mechagodzilla and added a ten-minute opening with stock footage from past films that explained Godzilla’s history.

Meanwhile, in Germany, this was called Konga, Godzilla, King Kong – Die Brut des Teufels (Konga, Godzilla, King Kong – The Brood of the Devil). They were referring to Mechagodzilla as Kong — not in the film itself but in the advertising — and Titanosaurus as Konga. This is the same country that continually tied Dracula into Godzilla movies.

In Italy. this was called Distruggete Kong! la Terra e in Pericolo (Destroy Kong! Earth is in Peril), Titanosaurus was renamed Kong. To further tempt lawsuits, the actual King Kong was is on the poster yet doesn’t appear in the movie. Well, I guess King Kong was in Italian theaters at the time.

This would be the last Godzilla movie until 1985 and the last time he would be seen as a hero until 2004’s Godzilla Final Wars. It would also be the last time that Ishirô Honda would direct a Godzilla movie.

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