Terror of Mechagodzilla (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Katsuhiko Sasaki, Tomoko Ai, Akihiko Hirata, Katsumasa Uchida
Directed by Ishirô Honda
Distributed by Classic Media
Now this is what I'm talking about! Aliens in wacky skin-tight suits wearing fish-like helmets, three different behemoths brawling and in turn wrecking Japan, a plot that thinks it's deeper than it actually is, and a massive amount of explosions and destruction! Behold the key ingredients of a successful Godzilla flick. 1975's (or 1977 here in the US) Terror of Mechagodzilla is the fifteenth and last of the original Godzilla series, and believe you me, it packs a serious amount of rubber-suited, ass-whippin' action!
Just try and follow the plot -- Aliens from a dying galaxy want to make Earth their new home so with the help of the evil Dr. Shinji Mafune (Hirata), along with his cyborg daughter, they use the twosome to rebuild Mechagodzilla. One giant guided missile shooting monster isn't enough for our evil-doers so before you know it another recently discovered sea creature (who is under the power of mind control) named Titanosaurus is added to the mix to stop Earth's biggest defense force, Godzilla! But how could even Big G hold his own against the monstrous tag-team? Simple! He has Interpol on his side, and they've discovered Titanosaurus' weakness! Let the bodies hit the floor!
Everything is thrown in here but the kitchen sink! Terror of Mechagodzilla is nothing short of total and absolute Kaiju chaos! Buildings fall, people flee, and Godzilla sets the entire city of Tokyo ablaze! Watching this again made me feel like a little kid! I was giddy and grinning from ear to ear. This is a classic example of why these movies rock! Whether you're a long-time fan or you're just discovering these flicks and want to get your feet wet, this is simply a can't miss bet, and probably one of the single greatest films in the franchise.
As with all of Classic Media's Godzilla DVD releases, both the American and the Japanese cuts of the film are presented here completely remastered from the original Toho negative. Surprisingly enough, the American version clocks in at nearly six minutes longer than the Japanese one with a few extra scenes of exposition and goofy fun. Hell yeah!
In terms of extras, there's an audio commentary with Keith Aiken, who worked on Dark Horse's Godzilla comics from the Nineties as well as the Sony Godzilla cartoon, and writer/film historian Bob Johnson. The chemistry these two have together is undeniable, and as a result they turned in a way entertaining commentary track! Really good stuff! From there we get a ten-minute documentary called The Women of Godzilla that focuses on the female leads in the series. This was way more interesting than I thought it was going to be. Add in the poster and still galleries, and we're all finished!
Classic Media needs to release a DVD of all its various featurettes that have appeared on these releases. They have crafted themselves a great time capsule of giant monster history that's always insightful and, more importantly, never dull. Maybe one day we'll even get a definitive box set of these films. Until then I'll eagerly continue consuming these impressive releases for as long they're hitting the market! Don't delay, folks! Get yourself a copy of this flick now!
4 1/2 out of 5
3 out of 5
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