Godzilla Raids Again 1955 movie review

Written by Ken Hulsey


GRA_Int'l_poster

Summary or Synopsis:

After the success of Gojira Toho studios would make a second feature film starring their new world famous monster entitled Godzilla Raids Again. This time the mighty Godzilla would be pitted against another titanic creature Anguirus whose origin is never explained in the film.  This as most fans know would be the first of several Godzilla battle films.

Two spotter pilots for a Japanese fish canning plant crash land on a deserted island where both Godzilla and Anguirus are already engaged in mortal combat. During the fight the two titans plunge into the sea and disappear leaving the two onlookers amazed at what they had both witnessed. Would anybody believe their amazing tale?

The Japanese scientific community could take no chances. The two pilots were questioned thoroughly and asked to identify the monsters from a pile of sketches of known prehistoric creatures. The scientist’s worst fears would become reality. One of the creatures was indeed another Godzilla and the other an equally beast Anguirus.  Tokyo was destroyed by just one of these monsters. How could Japan defend itself against two?

A ocean wide search was began to locate the two monsters. At first it was believed that the two creatures had swam past Japan. A celebration would begin. People would relish the fact that Japan had been spared another tragedy. Their celebration would be short lived.

Anguirus would soon appear off the coast of Osaka. Once ashore the monster would blaze a path of destruction through the city. If Anguirus was here could be long before Godzilla would follow?

The King of Monsters would take little time in tracking down it’s foe. Despite all attempts by the Japanese military to keep the two monsters apart they would soon again be locked in deadly combat.

Godzilla and Anguirus would level Osaka.

Godzilla would become the victor of this titanic battle by ripping Anguirus’s throat open with a bit to the neck. Anguirus would lay dying while Godzilla would return to the sea.

Another search would begin to locate Godzilla. Our two hero pilots would be enlisted to aid in the search effort and one of them would locate him near the polar ice of the North Pacific.

A plan was put into action to burry the monster under the ice using missiles fired from Air Force planes.

Success!

The bombardment would indeed cause an avalanche that would incase Godzilla under tons of ice.

Japan would once again be safe from Godzilla…….but for how long?

The film would be released in America in 1959 as ‘Gigantis the Fire Monster”. The distributor of the film was not able to secure the rights to use the name Godzilla so Gigantis would take it’s place.

This would not be the first attempt to bring the film to US shores. In 1957 Harry Rybnick and Edward Barison of AB-PT Pictures had struck a deal with Toho to use footage from the film to make one of their own. The movie was to be called “The Volcano Monsters”. The story revolved around the bodies of both Godzilla and Anguirus being discovered in a lava flow in Japan. An American company would buy the two monsters and ship them to San Francisco. Of course the two monsters would end up being alive and break loose to wreck havoc in Chinatown.

In the end Godzilla kills Anguirus and is lured to the North Pacific where he is frozen. Could have been interesting. Only one problem. The studio folded the same year and the film never got made. Toho was so desperate to get the film into the US market that they agreed to this project. Another odd side note to the story. Toho sent both a Godzilla and an Anguirus costume to the studio so that new scenes could be filmed in Hollywood. Those costumes were never returned to Toho and never heard of again. To this day those two costumes are somewhere here in America waiting to be found.

The film itself is a testimony on how not to edit a motion picture. Warner Bros. did the worst job imaginable on this film. The dubbing is the worst of any Godzilla film. The voice actors get the names of the monsters confused many times. The same monster is called Gigantis in one scene and Anguirusaurus in the next. The sound department even mixed up the monsters roars. Godzilla is seen through most the film with Anguirus’s roar coming out of his mouth.

The film itself is in fairly pour condition but still very watchable. There are a couple of scenes that get so dark that it is hard to make things out. Despite the films condition this is still a film that has rarely been seen, mostly forgotten, so this is probably as good it will ever be. Toho itself doesn’t own a screenable print.

Gore:

Very little. There is some blood when Godzilla bites Anguirus’s neck.

Good Points:

The film itself (American cut) is a mess. Yet it is still entertaining to watch. The monster fighting although shot at the wrong speed, faster instead of slowed down to produce the effect of mass size, is more like two animals fighting in real life. The film still has value due to it’s rarity and the fact that it is direct sequel to Gojira. Fans should see it at least once for these facts alone. I myself do love the film for it’s camp value.

Bad Points:

The film itself (Gigantis) should be shown to all film students as a “what not to do to a foreign film” lecture. Everything is done wrong. The dialogue doesn’t match. The monsters sounds are switched. The monsters are called by the wrong names. The original score was replaced. On and on the list goes. It just makes me wonder why so little care went into this?

Written by Ken Hulsey

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