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Film / Gorath

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Gorath (Yosei Gorasu, or Calamity Star Gorath) is a 1962 science-fiction disaster film from Toho Studios produced by many of the same minds behind Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra, like director Ishir⁠ō Honda, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, and special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya. The film's script was written by Jojiro Okami, a former Japanese Air Force pilot who also gave the original ideas to The Mysterians, Battle in Outer Space, and Dogora.

In 1982, astronauts have made a startling discovery: an enormous rogue planet called Gorath is hurtling through the Solar System directly towards Earth, threatening to engulf our world with its gigantic gravitational field. With two separate space expeditions to study Gorath having fallen victim to the rogue planet's immensity, the world's nations band together to avert global catastrophe. Since destroying Gorath is certainly out of the question, the United Nations requests a team of the world's leading scientists to conduct a truly preposterous endeavour - install enormous rocket thrusters at the South Pole to push Earth safely out of Gorath's way. With precious time running low for humanity, the fate of the world rests upon the seemingly impossible task of moving Earth away from Gorath before it is too late.

Gorath provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The film was released in 1962, and takes place in the far off year of 1980.
  • Artistic License – Space: The Earth cannot function properly if it's moved off its axis. Subsequently it's physically impossible to move the Earth in the first place.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Using rocket thrusters to push the Earth out of Gorath's way. It's such an awesome concept, but is also highly improbable to pull off in real life.
  • Disaster Movie: A truly unique example as the disaster itself is a moving planet (or, more likely, a black dwarf star).
  • Gravity Sucks: The first rocket to analyze Gorath learns the hard way that, despite being slightly smaller than Earth, it is so dense that it has a gravity well that is 6,000 times stronger. The rocket's crew suffers a Total Party Kill.
  • Kaiju: The giant walrus monster Maguma.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Maguma the giant walrus was added on the behest of the executives specifically because they believed the movie would draw in more audiences if they included a giant monster.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: When Gorath approaches the Earth near the climax, it destroys the moon and warps the tides so severely that Tokyo and several other cities are flooded.
  • Shown Their Work: the amount of force needed to move the Earth, the number of thrusters it would take to provide that force, and the distance the Earth would need to be from Gorath to avoid complete devastation were all calculated by real astrophysicists in Tokyo, and the equations shown in the film are copied directly from that work.