Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Godzilla vs Megalon Godzilla goes superhero!
Year: 1973
Director: Jun Fukuda
Stars: Katsuhiko Sasaki, Hiroyuki Kawase, Yutaka Hayashi, Robert Dunham, Kotaro Tomita, Mori Mikita
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: The inhabitants of the underground kingdom of Seatopia are evil. Yup, every man, woman and child. Diabolically evil. Maybe it’s because they don’t get out much. Maybe it’s because of cultural confusion, since despite living near Japan everybody wears Greek togas and performs Hawaiian hula dances all the live-long day. Mostly it’s because of those damn surface-dwellers and their constant nuclear tests wreaking havoc with the environment. So the angry Seatopian Leader (Robert Dunham) dispatches their demon god Megalon, a giant cockroach with drills for arms and a death-dealing electric daisy on his head (Now that’s evil!), to save the environment by, uh, destroying the surface world. Who does he target first? Why, the nuke-loving people of Japan, of course!

Seatopian agents also target science whiz Goro (Katsuhiko Sasaki), who shares a space-age bachelor pad with kid brother, Rakusan (Hiroyuki Kawase, also in Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971)) and an unnamed friend (Yutaka Hayashi). Recent writers have suggested he is Goro’s gay lover, so never say Godzilla movies weren’t progressive. The dastardly Seatopians steal Goro’s latest invention, super-robot Jet Jaguar, an Ultraman clone with Jack Nicholson’s grin, but after a hair-raising escape, stock monster footage, and slapstick chases, our heroes retrieve the controls and send their metal marvel to fetch Godzilla. Big G agrees to help, wading across the sea towards Japan.

Sensing trouble, Seatopia places a call to “Starhunter Universe M”, requesting their monster Gigan. Part-robot, part-parrot with hooks for hands and a buzz saw in its stomach, Gigan got its ass kicked in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972). Clearly, the Starhunters want to offload some shoddy merchandise, so they don’t mention that. Goro, Rakusan and what’s-his-name grab ringside seats, cheering as Jet Jaguar super-sizes himself to battle Megalon and Gigan. Proving a resemblance to Jack Nicholson represents no technological advancement whatsoever, he gets thrashed (The possibilities of the real Jack tangling with rubber monsters remain tantalisingly unrealised). Fortunately, Godzilla shows up for a fire-breathing, death ray spewing, buzz saw spinning showdown. Gasp - as his shoulder wound spurts blood in the finest Sam Peckinpah tradition! Thrill - as Godzilla and Jet Jaguar are engulfed in a ring of fire! Cheer - as they come out swinging! And don’t forget to sing along with the Jet Jaguar theme tune: “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Despite Toho Studio’s efforts, Jet Jaguar didn’t prove popular enough to land a series of his own, although Godzilla made several television appearances alongside the very similar, Zone Fighter (1973). If poor Godzilla looks rather shoddy here, and Teruyoshi Nakano’s special effects seem haphazard, it’s because Toho diverted their megabucks into what became the most spectacular and critically acclaimed science fiction epic of the decade, The Submersion of Japan (1973). The jocular tone of this review may suggest otherwise, but j’adore Godzilla vs. Megalon. One cannot in good conscience call this a great movie, yet its colourful chaos delights monster-mad kids and, if all else fails, you can marvel at Robert Dunham’s scorching sideburns and porn star moustache. Dunham was regular in Japanese sci-fi, appearing in films like Dagora, the Space Monster (1964) and The Green Slime (1968). Here he seems less like a wrathful, otherworldly leader than a paunchy, toga-clad frat boy dispatching his killer cockroach on a drunken dare.

In their desperate bid to lure punters back to the Godzilla series, Toho latched onto seemingly every Seventies filmmaking trend. Psychedelia and eco-awareness (Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster), kiddie matinees (Godzilla vs. Gigan), the shojo manga boom (Terror of Mecha-Godzilla (1975)), and for Godzilla vs. Megalon, superheroes. Feature length edits of tokusatsu shows like Jumborg Ace (1973) - soundtrack by Pink Floyd! - and Koseidon (1979) - a.k.a. the greatest show ever made, but we’ll come to that another day - were big hits for rivals Toei Studios and Tsuburaya Enterprises, but Toho were never able to crack this market. When films like Star Wars (1977) and The Exorcist (1973) found international success, the studio drafted scripts for Star Godzilla and Godzilla vs. the Devil, but sadly these were never made. Shame they didn’t give sexploitation a try. Godzilla vs. Emmanuelle, anyone?
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 7518 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (3)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: