Film / Godzilla Raids Again
"The hydrogen bomb tests awakened Godzilla, and now, they have awakened an ankylosaurus."
~ Dr. Tadokoro
, during the emergency conference.
"Ah, banana oil! I was desperate and worried and anxious. I'm not brave at all."
~ Tsukioka in response to Hidemi in the English dub.
Also known as Gojira no Gyakushu
(Godzilla Strikes Back
) is the first sequel in the Godzilla
franchise and the second entry in the Showa era, Godzilla Raids Again
was made soon after the success of Gojira
. It's notable for introducing the monster Anguirus and the tradition of always having Godzilla fight another foe. The last black-and-white film, it kept with the grim tone of the previous film.
Despite poor reception by critics and fans, the film became the third most attended entry in Japan. The film was dubbed as Gigantis, the Fire Monster
, which did things like give Godzilla Anguirus' roar in order to convince audiences this wasn't a Godzilla sequel (no, really
), because Paul Schreibman, who distributed the film through Warner Brothers, believed that a stand alone film would be more successful. The dub was notable for having George Takei
, Marvin Miller, and Keye Luke among the cast, but it wasn't well received and Schreibman himself later lamented his decision. Depending on your point of view, it's either an embarrassment or comedy gold. Known in Japan as Gojira no Gyakushū
Searching for schools of fish for the Kaiyo Fishing Company, Koji Kobayashi's plane malfunctions and he has to make an emergency landing near Iwato Island. He is rescued by a coworker, Shoichi Tsukioka, and they are shocked to find Godzilla and a mysterious monster later named Anguirus battling on the island, who fall into the ocean. The pair later give evidence to a committee that includes Dr. Kyohei Yamane, who was present for Godzilla's original attack on Tokyo and advises them to lure Godzilla away with flares while the city in in blackout. Days later, Godzilla appears at Osaka's shore. Everything seems to go to plan as the city goes into blackout and flares lure him away. But a jailbreak gone awry causes a fire that lures Godzilla back to shore. Anguirus soon follows and the pair ignore the military fire as a brutal battle lays destruction across the city. With Anguirus dead and Godzilla victoriously leaving Osaka in ruins, our heroes jump at the chance to fight the King of the Monsters when he shows up near a small icy island. Can Godzilla be defeated, and would it take the sacrifice of one of our heroes for this to be done?
As noted above, originally distributed by Warner Bros.
on a double-bill with Teenagers from Outer Space
in the states. Guess what else
The film provides examples of
- Actionized Sequel: It's still a horror film, but this is where Godzilla first fights an opponent who's as dangerous as he is. More action scenes are spread throughout the course of the film's shorter runtime, most noticeably a convict breakout leading into a rather grindingly slow car chase, and instead of a two-man operation to deploy a chemical weapon underwater, the film climaxes with a furious assault on Godzilla by the air defense force.
- Apocalypse Wow: Unlike the previous film, there's no other human casualties aside six criminals and a few JSDF planes. But the Scenery Gorn in Osaka still had its effects upon its inhabitants.
- Bittersweet Ending: Godzilla is defeated, but at the cost of Tsukioka's best friend's life. The film ends on a rather somber note as Tsukioka pulls his F86 away, concluding with a slow zoom out of Kamiko Island. Gigantis, with the magic of stock footage, ends on a decidedly forced, lighter note.
- Buried Alive/Harmless Freezing: How Godzilla is defeated.
- Captain Obvious: The U.S. cut promotes Shoichi Tsukioka to a narrational role, who then proceeds to explain every little detail in the movie. EVERYTHING.
- Also, this line at the conference:
- Characterization Marches On: Since this Godzilla will become the one in the 60's and 70's, in this film, his character ranged from an animalistic creature who is destructive as hell to a superhero with anthropomorphic tendencies. Yes, this the same Godzilla of the 60's and mid '70's of later films. His Heisei counterpart remains the same creature he's always been.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Tsukioka falls prey to this in the third act while searching for Godzilla, much to the annoyance and anxiety of Hidemi.
- Gigantis expands upon this trait a little more and actually gives Tsukioka somewhat of a developmental arc.
- Continuity Snarl: The biggest one yet due to Paul Schriebman's meddling. Apparently, the original Godzilla was a "Gigantis" or "Angurus", and got asphyxiated by the Oxygen Destroyer. The weapon that killed the original Godzilla.
- Contrived Coincidence: Tsukioka has a knack for this: 9 minutes into the film, he and Kobayashi encounter Godzilla and Anguirus on Iwato Island; They encounter the police officers chasing after prisoners who had just escaped using a truck, and Tsukioka finds Godzilla while the whole air force is looking for him. While the last one was justified, the other 2 are an odd coincidence. Steve Ryfle on the Classic Media commentary lampshaded this.
- Dead Sidekick: Kobayashi in trying to keep Godzilla from going into the ocean at the climax.
- Demoted to Extra: Despite appearing in the Japanese poster, Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura) only appears in one scene to discuss how to deal with Godzilla after the previous event became a disaster. After that, he does not appear for the rest of the film.
- Death Wail: Anguirus has an additional, unique cry head during his death, after Godzilla bites his neck, but it's only heard in foreign versions and is missing from the Japanese version entirely, much like Godzilla's in The Return of Godzilla
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Kobayashi repeatedly insults Godzilla from the air during his short lived tenure as the monster's "keeper" on Kamiko Island.
- Disaster Dominoes: The convicts' truck crashes into an oil refinery and sets off a chain reaction.
- Dub Name Change: Guess who.
- DVD Commentary: The DVD release by Classic Media includes one by Steve Ryfle and a few others. It plays over and talks mainly about the american version, but it also talks about the japanese version as well and how the movie in general compares to the original.
- Early Installment Weirdness: While some of these are de facto traits carried over from the previous film, Godzilla still has his low pitched bellows, his fins don't light up when he breathes the heat-ray (shortsightedness on behalf of the SPFX crew), and he and his opponent are portrayed through puppetry much more frequently.
- Flashed-Badge Hijack: "Lucky this car came along."
- Follow the Leader: Subverted. Although this film marks the first time two monsters would fight each other in Japanese cinema, this doesn't mean the formula is anything similar to the film that really kicked off the "monster against monster" boom.
- Helicopter Flyswatter: Just watch the final battle sequence. The planes drop like flies.
- In the Japanese version, Godzilla even catches a jet and tosses it to the ground.
- Inconsistent Dub: See further below for the obvious examples, but Gigantis also misnames Kamiko Island, twice in the same reel. It's either "Kamito" Island or "Kiawata Island".
- Kill It with Ice: The military attempts to do this to Godzilla by burying him in an avalanche. Godzilla breaks free unscathed in the next movie.
- Lighter and Softer: Yes, Lighter and Softer. Compared to this one and the previous film, Godzilla Raids Again is actually more hopeful despite the actions of the monsters, and characters didn't get worried about the monsters 24/7. While still a Horror film, at least it's not borderline cynical, something the first film is.