OKAY KAIJU FLICK - 59/100
Director: Motoyoshi Oda
Writers: Takeo Murata, Shigeaki Hidaka
Stars: Hiroshi Koizumi, Setsuko Wakayama, Minoru Chiaki
Release Date: 21 May 1959
Budget: $800,000 (estimated)
Production Co: Toho Company
Runtime: 82 min
Sound Mix: Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color: Black and White
Godzilla Rises Again is a 1955 science-fiction kaiju film from Japan. It was released by Toho Pictures and directed by Motoyoshi Oda. This is the direct sequel to the original Japanese kaiju epic, Godzilla. I am watching and reviewing the original Japanese release, ゴジラの逆襲 from 1955, also known as Godzilla's Counterattack or Godzilla Strikes Again. Following in the usual tradition of America releasing their own version, this was released in the US as Gigantis the Fire Monster. Just like Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this version took their own liberties with the story.
Nearly picking up where we left off, Godzilla has returned. Discovered by two stranded pilots on an uninhabited island, Godzilla was witnessed battling another giant creature, Anguirus. A creature so smart and cunning, it may actually have an advantage over our giant lizard death god. Now there are two kaiju, locked in a terrific battle that threatens Osaka. The entire city sits in peril as the Japanese government has to try to keep their people safe!
The film was released in Japan on the 24th of April, 1955. It had done fairly well at the Japanese box-office, and became Toho Pictures fourth highest grossing film of that year. But in the same fashion as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the American version was highly edited and cut. Retitled as Gigantis: The Fire Monster, this U.S. version had also taken a few liberties with the storyline. It wasn’t released until May 21st 1959 and it was a popular showing in double features with Teenagers from Mars. Unfortunately, both releases made money, but were panned for being too rushed and cheap. A knock-down blow that had kept the franchise on hiatus until 1962.
Godzilla Raids Again is a strong sequel for an intense film like 1954’s Godzilla. The acting, design and quality are all cheap. But it has an unmistakable charm that keeps it entertaining. This isn’t a good movie, but a passable one at best. The fight between Godzilla and Anguirus is comical and it’s not supposed to be. There is a scene with Godzilla biting Anguirus on the neck that shows blood gushing from the bite wound. Pretty neat. Then Anguirus is kicked over and hit with Godzilla’s atomic breath. It’s brutal and awesome. Not the best Godzilla film, but it is a great accompaniment to the original.