[[quoteright:179:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ghidorah_the_three-headed_monster_1965_6032.jpg]]

--> "''Gentlemen, we need whatever help we are able to obtain. In this case, it makes no difference, where we finally get that help from.''"
--> ~ '''General Wado'''

--> "''Godzilla says he has no reason to save humans. They are always bullying me. Rodan agrees with him.''"
--> ~ The '''Shobijin''' translating Godzilla's FreudianExcuse makes so much sense now.

The fifth film in the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' franchise, ''"Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster"'' marked a few changes in the series. It was the first to deviate from the tried and true "giant irradiated mutants from a LostWorld trample Tokyo" plot of the previous four films by introducing elements of the Space Operas and UFO culture that was prevalent in the 50's and 60's. This experiment would be expanded upon in later films. Called ''San Daikaijū: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen'' in Japan.

More importantly, ''"Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster"'' marked a change in Godzilla as a character, one that was arguably necessary for the franchise to continue. After having played the villain for four movies straight, Godzilla switches sides in the third act of this film to fight an even worse monster than himself: the Planet Destroying King Ghidorah. This change in Godzilla's role would be slowly built upon in the following movies, and set the groundwork for the change in tone that would occur between the first and later halves of the Showa Godzilla series.

That's not to say it's all seriousness and high art, though. There is a fair deal of the silly and goofy atomic age monster movie weirdness one would expect from a good Godzilla movie. Magnetic meteors, assassination plots, princesses disguised as homeless prophets, tiny fairy women on talk shows, and Martians (or Venusians in the Japanese version) possessing human hosts all collide in this movie as three of Toho's biggest monsters join forces to fight a golden three-headed space dragon with "a voice like a bell."

Despite breaking the new the groundwork for the majority of the films that would follow, ''Ghidorah'' pretty much never saw theatrical distribution outside Asian and American territories for some reason. Turkey is a notable European exception.
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!!The film provides examples of
* ActionGirl: Mothra Larva, even if she isn’t very powerful.
* AloofAlly: Godzilla and Rodan hate each other’s guts right up until the climax of the movie.
* AntiHero: Type IV-V. Godzilla and Rodan are still very much creatures against humans where up until the last 10-15 minutes of the film they did whatever they wanted and even then it was either looking out for their fellow monster or just flat out EnemyMine.
* {{Archenemy}}: This is the film that introduced King Ghidorah, who would go on to face Godzilla eight more times across four continuities.
* AssholeVictim: Malmess and his men. His men die first when one of Ghidorah's energy beams killed his men with a rock-slide and injured him. Malmess dies by the second energy beam, sending a rock-slide that kills him.
* BadassNormal: Rodan is just a plain big pterosaur, but can go toe to toe with Godzilla, and pull awesome move after awesome move on the King of Terror himself.
** Then again, he’s a giant pterosaur capable of withstanding all known military weapons and direct hits from Godzilla and King Ghidorah’s respective breath weapons. The only thing that makes him significantly weaker than Godzilla is Rodan’s inability to breathe nuclear fire, but even then he compensates for that by being able to fly.
* BadassPacifist: Mothra Larva.
* BewareTheCuteOnes: Mothra Larva, not Godzilla or Rodan, is the first to charge into battle against King Ghidorah and plays a key role in the dragon’s defeat.
* BigBad: King Ghidorah.
* BlowYouAway: Both Rodan and King Ghidorah can cause hurricane winds by flapping their wings, which can topple buildings and knock other kaiju off of their feet.
* BodyGuardCrush: Vibes of it with Shindo to Selina.
* BreakoutVillain: King Ghidorah
* BusCrash: One of the two Mothra larvae from [[Film/MothraVsGodzilla the previous film]] died between films for no explained reason.
* CassandraTruth: Salno's predictions.
* CopAndScientist: Shindo and Dr. Tsukamoto in the second act.
* CombatTentacles: King Ghidorah's necks (and the heads attached to them) behave like this.
* CrisisCrossOver: The previous film linked Mothra and Godzilla but this one had Rodan coming in to join forces against a new enemy.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Though definitely monstrous in appearance, destructive, and incredibly self centered, Godzilla and Rodan are not truly evil. The lighter colored King Ghidorah, on the other hand…
* DestructiveSaviour: Godzilla and Rodan, oh so very much.
* DeathRay: Godzilla's radioactive breath, obviously. And King Ghidorah's gravity beams too.
* TheDeterminator: Malmess the Selginian assassin. He pulls himself out of his crushed Mercedes after a rockslide and, bruised and bloody, immediately resumes his mission as if nothing happened.
** Mothra as well. Compared to the other monsters she's tiny. Yet she throws herself at King Ghidorah again and again.
** TheUnfettered: Malmess again. To him, a giant, golden, lightning-spewing space dragon is a negligible inconvenience to his mission to kill a princess.
*** Then again, Malmess was threatened by his boss with death as punishment if he returned home without completing his mission, so he actually has a valid reason to keep going.
* DisneyVillainDeath: How Malmess meets his doom. By the BiggerBad.
* EldritchAbomination: King Ghidorah is probably the greatest of all kaiju Eldritch Abominations, and this is him at his very best. He, as mentioned above, devastates entire worlds just for the fun of it.
* EnemyCivilWar: Two of the film's key antagonists, Godzilla and Rodan, spend the bulk of their screen time fighting each other instead of focusing on their personal vendettas against mankind. They only stop when Mothra convinces them to pull off a HeelFaceTurn.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Godzilla only decides to fight King Ghidorah when the space dragon attacks the much weaker Mothra larva.
* EvilerThanThou: Godzilla and Rodan are both fairly huge threats, but both cease being villains once Ghidorah makes the scene because they simply cannot compete.
* EvilLaugh: Ghidorah has an iconic cackle which he uses constantly
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Selina's ignored warnings to the ship's crew. Averted in the U.S. version, where the characters' dialogue make it pretty clear Godzilla's gonna be back in the game soon.
* FreudianExcuse: This film gives Godzilla one; stating that he doesn't like humans because humans attack him. This may be justified as Godzilla tends to mind his own business since ''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain'' and humans usually responds by attacking him, pissing him off to no end. Rodan agrees with him as well.
* GroinAttack: Poor Godzilla was in the receiving end of two of these. One when Rodan drops him on an electrical tower, and the other when King Ghidorah shoots him with his gravity beam.
* GlobalWarming: The worldwide heatwave in the middle of January. Emphasized less in the U.S. cut.
* HeelFaceTurn: Godzilla and Rodan quit raging war on humanity (and each other) to face the threat of King Ghidorah. This is also the beginning of Godzilla's change towards a heroic defender of Earth.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Takashi Shimura makes his first appearance since ''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain'', as Dr. Tsukamoto.
* HumanAliens: The Venusian/Martian. Maybe… really, her whole deal is something of a MindScrew.
* ImplacableMan: King Ghidorah is nearly unstoppable as this stage.
** Malmess as well.
* JumpCut: Ghidorah is the victim of a very prominent one, during his otherwise fantastic materialization shot.
* LightIsNotGood: Ghidorah is a beautiful, golden, shiny dragon. Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra Larva are duller, darker-toned entities, with Godzilla being nearly black and Mothra resembling a [[UglyCute large, mobile piece of dung]].
* {{Lilliputians}}: The Shobijin, for obvious reasons. In fact, they are only one foot high.
* LittlePeopleAreSurreal: The Shobijin, again. They talk in unison, can teleport, and are priestesses of a gigantic-ass caterpillar.
* RecycledSoundtrack: While other major themes are widely known to be from Ifukube's earlier work, Ghidorah's theme is in fact a modified form of the lunar motif from ''Film/BattleInOuterSpace''.
* SealedEvilInACan: Ghidorah arrives within a meteorite. Subverted when Ghidorah breaks out without any help from outsiders. Averted when it becomes known that this is simply how Ghidorah travels between planets and conserves energy--there is no sealing up of any kind by anyone.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Gojira, Godzilla, Mosura, Mothra, Radon, Rodan, Ghidrah, Ghidorah...
* StaringDownCthulhu: Mothra, in her generally helpless larval stage, faces down King Ghidorah, the King of Terror who wrecks worlds for the fun of it. Alone (initially).
** DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: And later, the same larva sprays silk at him.
*** DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: And then defeats him and forces him to retreat with the same silk, albeit with the assistance of two much stronger monsters.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Naoko and Selina, depending on which personality the latter has, can go each way. Selina can do it in one body with her natural personality being quite feminine, even not so assertive, and her ancestral possession being a bit tomboyish and also suddenly very independent and assertive.
* UpToEleven: Malness turns the clinic's voltage up to 3,000 for insurance, even though any current above 500 would've proved fatal to the Princess.
* WorfBarrage: Godzilla's ray proves all but useless against Rodan. This is especially notable when taken into perspective, where in earlier films Godzilla's breath was used mostly as a last resort and often had devastating effects on opponents.
** Averted in Mothra's case, as her silk spray, once used from a proper vantage point, defeats the invincible Big Bad. Again.
** Godzilla, the strongest monster in the entire kaiju universe so far, marches up to, and prepares to fight, [[TitleDrop Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster]]. [[CurbStompBattle He gets brutally trounced by Ghidorah in a few seconds]].
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