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Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
When a black mountain appears in the sky, and the red sun rises in the West, a monster will appear and try to destroy the world.
When the people of Okinawa are in danger, a monster will appear and save them.
~ Two prophecies of the Azumi Royal Family
Both of the prophecies above are put to the test in Godzilla's 20th anniversary outing, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. The monster that will try to save the people of Okinawa is King Shisa, the ancient guardian of the Azumi Royal Family. The monster that will destroy the world...is at first believed to be Godzilla, but after Godzilla's ally Anguirus is brutally attacked and wounded by the beast, people start to notice that something is off. When Godzilla attacks a refinery, another Godzilla appears. A vicious battle soon follows, where the first Godzilla soon sheds its skin in a fiery display to reveal a mechanical weapon of destruction: Mechagodzilla. The resulting battle ends in a draw, but questions remain. Who built Mechagodzilla, and why?
The answer to the above questions is that a race of aliens from "The Third Planet of the Black Hole," or Simians, have come to Earth to setup a new home for themselves. Instead of asking nicely, however, they've decided that the best option is to use Mechagodzilla to destroy a sizable portion of Japan to make way for their own settlement.
However, there is still the issue of the Azumi prophecy, and with it, King Shisa. If King Shisa can be awakened, then other monsters may soon follow, and so the Simians attempt to gain control of a precious statue that is instrumental to the legend to prevent the divine monster's awakening. Deciding to launch a two-pronged plan, the Simians capture an Earth scientist who is familiar with the technology they used to create Mechagodzilla, to speed up repairs, and send their own agents out to capture that damn statue. What follows are gunfights, interpol agents with some bad hair-dos, and archaeologists fighting in a race against time to awaken King Shisa and stop the Simians. Fortunately, Godzilla is still alive, but will he be able to rejoin the fray before it's too late?
Well, yeah, of course he will.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was released in 1974, as the 14th Godzilla movie and in honor of the King of the Monster's twentieth birthday. The film was directed by Jun Fukuda, with music by Masaru Sato and SFX work by Teruyoshi Nakano.
This film contains examples of the following:
- Alien Invasion: Once again. This was very common in the late Godzilla films.
- Attack Reflector: King Shisa can reflect Mechagodzilla's eye beams with his own eyes.
- Big Damn Heroes: Just as Mechagodzilla is about to finish off King Shisa, the true King of the Monsters appears.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Mechagodzilla's fight with Anguirus, and most of his fight with King Shisa, who only survived because of Godzilla's timely arrival.
- Evil Knockoff: Mechagodzilla himself.
- Eye Beams: Mechagodzilla. Fortunately, King Shisa can reflect them.
- Killer ape: The aliens look like green gorillas. This was done to capitalize on the popularity of Planet of the apes.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Mechagodzilla has dozens and dozens of missiles, lasers, and rockets at his disposal...and he uses all of it in his battle against Godzilla and King Shisa.
- Made of Titanium: Mechagodzilla is made from space-titanium, apparently.
- Meaningful Name: King Shisa. Refers to the shisa of mythology. Unfortunately, this is sometimes overlooked.
- Off with His Head: How Mechagodzilla is finally defeated.
- Plausible deniability: Two of the heroes, Keisuke and Saeko are on a cruise ship transporting the ancient statue needed to awaken King Ceasar so he could help fight the aliens and their robot. But then an alien agent steals the statue and, during the confrontation falls overboard seemingly taking the macguffin with him. But as they disembark Saeko is surprised to see a porter hand Keisuke the statue. As it turned out the statue the alien stole was a fake which Keisuke didn’t bother to tell Saeko about. When she confronts him over it he simply states that “what friends don’t know, enemies won’t know.”
- Prophesy twist: The film centers on a two-level prophecy that goes; "When a black mountain appears above the clouds a monster will appear to destroy the world. But when the red moon sets and the sun rises in the west two monsters will arrive to save the people." Most of those conditions on the face of it seem impossible but happen anyway; The black mountain in the sky turns out be just a thundercloud shaped like a mountain. The red moon, simply a blood moon (I/E a lunar eclipse) And the sun rising in the west was only a mirage.
- Robot me: Mechagodzilla.
- Spell My Name with an "S": King Shisa, commonly misnamed as King Ceasar, and in the case of the Star Maker video blurb, King Seeser, because of the international dub and some of Toho's own material.