Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis The Fire Monster) (1955) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis The Fire Monster) (1955).rtf
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Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis The Fire Monster) (1955) Gojira no gyakushû
In this second entry of the Godzilla series, another monster is introduced to fight Godzilla. The new creature is called Anguirus and looks like a big spiked turtle. The two creatures wage their war in Japan and level cities along the way.
Hiroshi Koizumi ... Shoichi Tsukioka
Setsuko Wakayama ... Hidemi Yamaji
Minoru Chiaki ... Kôji Kobayashi
Takashi Shimura ... Kyohei Yamane-hakase
Masao Shimizu ... Zoologist Dr. Tadokoro
Seijiro Onda ... Captain Terasawa of Osaka Defense Corps
Sonosuke Sawamura ... Hokkaido Branch Manager Shingo Shibeki
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Tajima, Member of Osaka Defense Corps
Mayuri Mokusho ... Radio Operator Yasuko Inouye
Minosuke Yamada ... Chief of Civil Defense
Yukio Kasama ... Koehi Wamaji, President of the Fishery
Senkichi Omura ... Small Escaped Convict
Ren Yamamoto ... Commander of Landing Craft
Shin Otomo ... Convict Leader
Takeo Oikawa ... Osaka Municipal Police Commissioner
This film is a decent follow up to the original film. It pretty much shows that you don't have to be a scientist or a major military figure to be a hero. The only thing negative criticism I have about it is that it tends to slow down when it gets to the scenes that feature only the human characters. However, the film really picks up steam when the fight between the two monsters begins.
Also, there is an interesting fact about this film. When it was first proposed that this film would be released in the United States, the title was for the American version was to be called "The Volcano Monsters" and it was to be written by noted schlock master Ib Melchior, the man behind such B classics as "Reptilicus" and "The Angry Red Planet", and his partner Edwin Watson. The proposed production would have used some of the footage from "Godzilla's Counterattack." The premise for the story was to involve the discovery of a tyrannosaurus (Godzilla) and an ankylosaurus (Angillas) in a cave on a remote island. The two monsters are then brought to San Francisco (the Japanese buildings would have been explained as being San Francisco's Chinatown) and then escape and start to fight all over the city. The ankylosaurus is killed during the battle and the tyrannosaurus is then left to rampage all over the city until it escapes to the Artic Circle where in the climatic battle it is covered in ice and preserved forever.
An interesting note, Melchior used several of the intended plot devices for "The Volcano Monsters" in Reptilicus, including the ending which showed the claw of another monster, which was poking out of the cave where the two monsters were found.
Perhaps the real reason why "Godzilla Raids Again" is not as popular as the first film of the series is because most people are more familiar with the butchered and dubbed English version titled "Gigantis the Fire Monster". However, when you look at that disaster of a film and compare it to Toho's original Japanese version, with no dubbing, no narration, no music or sound effect changes, you have one of the best 1950s monster movies. "Godzilla Raids Again", or "Godzilla's Counterattack" as its original title literally translates, is a flawed film. But like the first Godzilla, it's an allegorical classic. It symbolizes a different kind of horror that wasn't expressed in the first film.
The original 1954 classic "Godzilla" symbolized the horrors of nuclear war and the way that it can ultimately change the lives of people forever. "Godzilla Raids Again" focuses on a different perspective. It symbolizes the struggles of people still trying to adapt to life after a war and recover and try to resume their normal lives again. Godzilla and his very first opponent, Anguirus, are like weapons of war. They strike, cause enormous damage, leave ruins, and the people have to rebuild and try to get back on line again, until the weapons of war come back to attack them again. And the people still live in fear of the atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons, for they have brought back more horrors from the past and continue to bring them upon the world. While "Godzilla Raids Again" is nowhere near as powerful and allegorical as the first film, it is still one of my favorite Godzilla films. But once again, only in its uncut and undubbed print.
The English language version of the film is just another example of why you should never tamper with somebody else's film. It is an example among other Godzilla films and also Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West", in which the American distributors cut the film down until it wasn't as compelling. When "Godzilla Raids Again" was distributed, they tore the film apart and changed it all. The most horrendous dubbing of any Godzilla film was put in, there was a lot of narration that ruined the original feeling of the film's atmosphere. But what was worst of all, they changed the monsters themselves. Godzilla's name was changed to Gigantis, his dark, chilling roar was changed to Anguirus' roar most of the time. A lot of the great sound effects of the monsters as they fought in Osaka were replaced, as was Masaru Sato's original music score. It was replaced with stock B-music and for what reason, I do not know why. A lot of other sound effects were changed as well. In the original print, Godzilla's death ray creates a loud, destructive kind of sound. But in the dubbed version, for reasons unknown, it was replaced with a wispy sound effect, like a leak in a hose.
Ignoring the existence of "Gigantis the Fire Monster", the special effects used in "Godzilla Raids Again" are very fine for the age. Unfortunately, they weren't as good as the Japanese Academy Award-winning effects presented in the first Godzilla film. At times, Godzilla's head and neck seemed too slender and the hand-operated puppet used in the close ups is just plain not good-looking. However, the suits used for Godzilla and Anguirus in their epic, realistic battle in Osaka looked fantastic! And what I loved most about this battle, is that it was a traditional, physical fight. The monsters bite, claw, and slam each other like real animals. Unlike in the future, when the monsters would mostly just bump into each other and fight with "beam wars". Godzilla's death ray is more like a last resort kind of weapon, something he uses when he's got a sense of victory, and spends the rest of his time biting and clawing at Anguirus, who performs the same actions. And unlike in the English version, the monsters don't continuously roar at each other, they mostly growl and snarl when fighting and roar once they have a brief stand-off every now and again.
But still, "Godzilla Raids Again", while it's an amazing monster film, has its flaws. Mostly, it's the fact that the monsters of the film do not have a whole lot to do with the story. In fact, Anguirus screen time ends after the first third of the movie is over. Maybe, he could have been used a bit longer for a more effective first appearance into the series. Godzilla himself, while the main plot point of the story, doesn't get as much screen time and scenes as he should get. The storyline just strays from him after the battle for too long and he doesn't really get anything else until the ending of the film.
But that doesn't mean a whole lot. Yes, "Godzilla Raids Again" is not the most action-packed Godzilla film there is. But it is, in its original version, one of the best monster movies there is. It presents a great symbolic message and should be examined by everybody for this reason. It is a dark compelling film, not as great as the first Godzilla film, but definitely one of the best.
The first Godzilla sequel, "Godzilla Raids Again", is a surprisingly solid and entertaining entry in the series. Once again, it must be noted how surprisingly solid the writing is. I can't say "Godzilla Raids Again" is a masterpiece of science fiction writing, but it's a well-developed script which at least bothers to explain itself, giving background to the events and having an interesting plot enhances the action scenes, really.
The film is also well-made, with the action sequences standing out as really well-edited and well put-together action scenes. As ridiculous as some of the special effects are at this point, including Godzilla himself, it's a pleasant surprise that some of the effects work quite nicely overall as well. Black and white is obviously kinder to the worst sort of cheap effects than color is.
The actors never descend into kitsch, making the non-action scenes relatively believable and entertaining, and while this film may have some consistent flaws it is a solid follow-up to "Gojira" and enjoyable once again in a completely different way to 85% of the movies that would follow, which deliberately and knowingly became more and more ridiculous.
* Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya wanted the fight scenes filmed in slow motion, but a camera technician accidentally undercranked the camera instead of overcranking it, resulting in the action appearing faster than reality. Tsuburaya liked the effect, and decided to use it in the film.
* There have been two different stories as to why Godzilla's name was changed to "Gigantis" in the American version: - Warner Brothers could not get permission to use Godzilla from Joseph E. Levine and had to change the name to "Gigantis". - In an interview, Paul Schreibman, the producer of the American version, said that he changed Godzilla's name to "Gigantis" to give the audience the impression that they were seeing a new monster. He has since regretted that decision.
* This is the first film in which Godzilla fights another monster.
* George Takei's first film project.
* Instead of using Masaru Satô's original score, Warner substituted themes from Kronos (1957) and The Deerslayer (1957).
* Many times during the American dubbed version, Godzilla uses Anguirus' trademark roar more often than he uses his own.
* Was going to be remade in the US as "The Volcano Monsters". It followed a similar plot line where a Tyrannosaurus and an Ankylosaurus are found battling and are captured then brought to San Francisco where they awake and do battle. Unfortunately the rights could not be obtained and the movie was never made.
* This suit used in this movie was very similar to the first one in Godzilla, King of the Monsters. This suit was used for Godzilla's second appearance, Godzilla Raids Again. It was slimmed down to fit Haruo Nakajima better, and to make the acting process a little more comfortable. It would also allow him to make more violent moves while shooting battle scenes. The irises were much bigger than the original suit, which was a smaller, and had the "beady" look. The dorsal fins were kept about the same size, and shape as the original. There were still four toes on each foot, and the little ears were still behind his eyes. This overall appearance still gave Godzilla a look of terror, and a menace to mankind.
* Gojira (1954) became such a huge hit that Toho produced this sequel and got it into theaters, despite the numerous special effects scenes required, in less than six months after the original film was released.
* George Takei, better known as Lt. Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series, was one of the many voice actors employed for this film. The only other Kaiju film he performed voice work for was in the movie, "Rodan."