Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)

ghidorah the three headed monster poster 1964 movie godzilla
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Act: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Ghidorah, big monster throwdown and debate

The human plot is pretty weak

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster

Studio:  Toho

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  December 20, 1964

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

ghidorah-the-three-headed-monster-fight

It’s the royal-rumble of battles!

Princess Selina Salno (Akiko Wakabayashi) is kidnapped from a plane by aliens but returns to Earth claiming to be from Mars. The target of assassins from within her kingdom Princess now gives visions of death. She predicts the return of Rodan and Godzilla but the death of Earth in the form of a beast called Ghidorah. When her predictions come true, the Shobijin (Emi and Yumi Ito) summon Mothra to confront Godzilla and Rodan because only together can they defeat Ghidorah.

Directed by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, has many names and is the fifth entry in the Godzilla franchise (as part of the Shōwa period).  The original Japanese name was San Daikaijū: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen (which translates to Three Giant Monsters:  Earth’s Greatest Battle). It was also released as Monster of Monsters, Ghidora and in the U.S. as Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster. The movie is Ghidorah’s first appearance and also is the first time that Godzilla acts as a hero.  It followed Mothra vs. Godzilla (also released in 1964).

Godzilla is an institution, and you pretty much know what you are getting into when you start a Godzilla movie.  There is generally an overly complicated story that leads to a big throwdown at the end…and Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster is pattern.

ghidorah-the-three-headed-monster-rodan

Rodan…coming at you!

I love Godzilla, but there is way too much going on in this story. There is the Princess and Mars storyline which seems a really unnecessary way to get Ghidorah into the story. In addition to the coolly designed Ghidorah there is Godzilla and Rodan and Mothra. All seem underused since it takes them a while to even reach the screen. The whole human plot of the story is weak but it is traditionally the weak part of the story in a Godzilla movie. Kids just want to see monsters fight monsters.

ghidorah-the-three-headed-monster-fight-2

And one more time, because more fighting is more fun!

I have to say my favorite part of this movie is when Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan sit around and debate helping the humans by stopping Ghidorah. This actually happens in the movie. The three creatures meet up, start to fight but Mothra convinces them to talk. The whole debate is translated by Mothra’s little friends the Shobijin (who also get sing the so-awesome Mothra song a few times). It is ridiculous, but it is moments like that which make me love Godzilla.

Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster isn’t the best Godzilla movie, and I can’t really recommend it for the casual fan. Kids will love the movie for all the monsters but might get bored until the royal-rumble of monsters finally occurs. It isn’t a long film, and I almost enjoy watching the shorted dubbed version more for the full Godzilla Saturday afternoon effect.  Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster was followed by Invasion of the Astro-Monster in 1965.

Preceded By:

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Followed By:

Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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