GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack 2001 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


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Movie Information 

  • Director: Shusuke Kaneko
  • Producer: Hideyuki Honma, Shogo Tomiyama
  • Japanese Release Date: December 15, 2001, by the Toho Motion Picture Company. Running Time 105 minutes.
  • US Release Date: January 27, 2004, by Sony Pictures directly to DVD. Running time 89 minutes.
  • Taglines: “Three ancient guardian beasts awaken to protect Japan against Godzilla.” “Will Be the Last Monster Standing!” “Battle on Fire” “Will Be the Last to Survive!”
  • Alternative Titles: GMK, Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out-Attack, Godzilla versus the Guardians

Plot:

Strange incidents occur when an American submarine has been destroyed by a mysterious force at sea off the shores of Guam. Only Admiral Tachibana was certain that behind the disaster was none other than the destructive King of the Monsters, Godzilla!

50 years after his attack on Tokyo in 1954, Godzilla has mysteriously returned to life to destroy Japan, and General Tachibana, whose parents died in the monster’s destructive wake, was prepared for his return to protect Japan from yet another tragic disaster, but is dismissed by the overly confident Japanese government, who underestimate Godzilla’s power.

But to further prove Tachibana’s claim, his daughter Yuri, who works for the TV news program “Digital Q,” investigates strange phenomena in three separate areas in Japan (two of which involve the deaths of immoral youths), and meets a mysterious old man named Isayama, who proclaims that aside from his infamous nuclear origins, Godzilla is an accumulation of vengeful souls (of both Japanese and non-Japanese) abandoned to die in the Pacific War, and thus,

Mere weapons cannot kill him. While Tachibana has now been vindicated by the government, Isayama awakens the Three Sacred Guardian Beasts of Yamato, which protected Japan in its ancient past, and were then put into hibernation in the aforementioned three areas of Japan. The three monsters, King Ghidorah (sky), Mothra (water) and Baragon (earth), fight the ravaging Godzilla, while Tachibana also prepares to go into battle against his old radioactive nemesis . . .

What I Think about This Movie

I am going to say because it was Shesuke Kaneko and he did the original Heisei Series of Gamera movies and those to me were truly spectacular even though the cameras changed the series that deftly was a bad thing because by Gamera 3 a truly look bad ass. I have the same expectations with this new movie however I didn’t feel was as good as the Gamera series, but they are just good enough to be the best special-effects in the entire Godzilla series.

Godzilla himself weighty slumbers through Tokyo or wherever he came out 1st on the scene I like the way he looked at the special effects made him look really huge. Baragon to me this is a negative while I don’t really totally dislike Baragon because of the movie Frankenstein versus Baragon it just seems to me that Baragon was too small and this movie and he wasn’t much of a threat to Godzilla. However he did try but met his demise by getting his ass burned up. Mothra’s improvement I’ve seen yet when you see Mothra you see a big fluffy butterfly this version was way more streamlined very nice-looking to me she is the best looking monster of a bunch of the entire series. King Ghidorah a good guy I think not he did not fare well in my opinion. King Ghidorah being a good guy is not the worst part about it to me is the way he looks.

He goes through these changes because he is young and eventually becomes a full-grown King Ghidorah however it does not look like any of the other King Ghidorah’s is too fat and punchy looking. His face is to take a look at and his laser way too short is wingspan of get him were pretty decent size. There was talk about Godzilla suit definitely an improvement I love the way he looks including his evil white pupils. How he died to me that was stupid you can kill of Godzilla like that, but he still manages to survive with his heart pumping.

Trivia

  • Director Shûsuke Kaneko cast Hideyo Amamoto as the prophet Isayama because of his guest appearance in the final episode (#28) of the TV series Urutora Q (1965), which Kaneko wanted to do a sequel to since the ’80s.
  • The classic Toho monsters Anguirus and Varan were originally considered by writer/director Shûsuke Kaneko besides Baragon, but Toho asked Kaneko to replace the two with King Ghidorah and Mothra because Anguirus and Varan were not considered marketable (Ghidorah, Mothra and Baragon are among the most popular of the Toho monsters next to Godzilla). However, before this change, concept maquettes of Anguirus and Varan as they would’ve appeared in this film, were made by the film’s monster designer, Fuyuki Shinada.
  • Is the first film where King Ghidorah is a “hero” character.
  • In addition to having the monsters Anguirus and Varan (instead of King Ghidorah and Mothra), the original story for the film featured rather outlandish military hardware, including batallions of Maser Tanks and a new version of the super-submarine Atragon (from _Atragon (1963)_) this would’ve been cool to see.
  • Is the first film where King Ghidorah is actually smaller than Godzilla.
  • Originally scheduled for a March 2002 release, upon the request of director Shûsuke Kaneko, Toho pushed it ahead for the usual release date for Godzilla films (December of 2001) because March already belongs to their Doraemon anime films (According to Toho, they take a seasonal formula for their films: Spring is for Doraemon, Summer is for Pokemon, and Winter is for Godzilla, so they didn’t want any schedule conflict with their films).
  • During the scene where Godzilla first appears rising from Yaizu Harbor in Shizuoka, three people in a nearby office witness the incident (before Godzilla’s thundering roar shatters glass on the office windows). Next to one of the three people, the camera focuses on a black and white poster of an old ship, the Lucky Dragon, which was the real life Japanese fishing boat that was contaminated by radioactivity in mid-1954. That incident became a direct inspiration for the original Godzilla (1954).
  • The submersible “Satsuma” is named after actor Kenpachiro Satsuma, who stared as Gojira in seven films (from 1984 to 1995).
  • Despite fan rumors, director Shûsuke Kaneko did not make a cameo in this film (he is said to hate doing cameos).
  • Some of the miniature city sets from this film were used in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003). They were supplied for him by art director Toshio Miike.
  • This was the first film since Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) to portray Godzilla as truly evil. Director Shûsuke Kaneko preferred the original “evil” Godzilla for his film, and comes up with an unusual motivation (Godzilla, a monster brought to life by nuclear weapons, is a “specter of war”).
  • Only Godzilla film of the six-film “Millennium” series (1999-2004) in which stuntman Tsutomu Kitagawa does not play Godzilla. Instead Godzilla is played by another stuntman, Mizuho Yoshida (best known as the title creature from the Zeiram movies), mostly for his height (Godzilla was to be the tallest monster in the movie).
  • Disappointed that Varan, one of his favorite monsters, was scrapped from the project, monster designer Fuyuki Shinada compromised by putting Varan’s facial features on King Ghidorah’s three heads.
  • In the opening scene, Admiral Tachibana (Ryûdô Uzaki) lectures his troops on the incident from Godzilla (1954), and notes that “a monster similar to Godzilla ravaged New York at the end of the last century.” This was a reference (and jab) to Godzilla (1998), the oft-disparaged Hollywood remake. Audiences in Japan both laughed and cheered at this scene.
  • As a departure from the established Mothra mythos, the diminutive and singing Shobijin Twins (aka Cosmos Twins) seem to be absent. In fact, the twins Ai Maeda and Aki Maeda make a small cameo as two identically-dressed twins, seen during the scene where Mothra flies over Yokohama. Their roles are not related to Mothra in the movie, but that bit is a clear nod to the classic Shobijin.
  • Actor Hideyo Amamoto’s last film.
  • The casting of Yukijirô Hotaru in a cameo as the suicidal man who discovers Ghidorah is a nod to his character of the beleaguered Inspector Osaka in all three of director Shûsuke Kaneko’s Gamera films.
  • The scene with the suicidal businessman (Yukijirô Hotaru) was the first principal scene to be filmed.

Cameo

  • Mizuho Yoshida: The pink-shirted young man (wearing a black baseball cap) standing behind the twin teenage girls in Yokohama when Mothra flies over the area. Yoshida is also the stuntman playing Godzilla.
  • Akira Ohashi: The thin, short-haired man in the Yaizu Harbor office who witnesses Godzilla rising out of the harbor (See also ‘Rie ‘ta’). Ohashi is also the stuntman playing King Ghidorah.
  • Takehiro Murata: Jet fighter pilot. Murata has had roles in numerous Godzilla films, including the lead role in Godzilla 2000 (1999) (“Godzilla 2000″).

Closing Statements

This is a truly remarkable film that gets Godzilla against 3 other adversaries. However they all get spanked by the King of monsters and he truly becomes the most powerful monster alive. Great special effects in this film by the director Shesuke Kaneko did the Gamera trilogy films in the Heisei Series. One of the best ones in the Shinsei Series is GMK until we come up with Godzilla against Mechagodzilla seeing the cyborg for the 3rd time can get repetitive. But this movie is a great movie and is one of the better movies as I’ve mentioned before.

Written by Barney Buckley

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