Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

godzilla vs mechagodzilla poster 1974 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Love Mechagodzilla

Typical Godzilla playout, slow in the middle

Movie Info

Movie Name: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

Studio: Toho

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s): March 24, 1974 (Japan)/March 1977 (US)

MPAA Rating: G

godzilla vs mechagodzilla aguirus criterion

Looks like Mechagodzilla is trying to give Aguirus a heartworm pill…

A vision of destruction has come to a priestess at a temple, and when a prophecy is discovered by archeologist Saeko Kaneshiro (Reiko Tajima), it appears the ancient prophecy could mean doom for Earth. A new Godzilla has appeared, but it isn’t what it seems. Mechagodzilla is created by ape-like aliens bent on taking over the planet. The world’s only hope could be for Kaneshiro, Masahiko Shimizu (Kayzuya Aoyama), Keisuke Shimizu (Masaaki Daimon), Ikuku Miyajima (Hiro Matsushita) Nanbara (Shin Kishida), and Professor Miyajima (Akihiko Hirata) to solve the riddle of the prophecy and summon King Caesar before it is too late!

Directed by Jun Fukuda, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (ゴジラ対メカゴジラ or Gojira Tai Mekagojira) is a Japanese kaiju film. Following Godzilla vs. Megalon in 1973, the film is the fourteenth film in the series. It was met with mixed reviews and included by the Criterion Collection as part of Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 boxset (Criterion #1000).

godzilla vs mechagodzilla alien apes

Oh no! Planet of the Apes rip-off aliens!!!

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was always one of the special Godzilla movies. Mechagodzilla was cool. He could fly, he shot lasers, and was essentially a precursor to a transformer since he transformed his body in ways to fight. It was exciting when either one of the Mechagodzilla movies came on…but Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla isn’t the best film in the Godzilla series.

The story has so many pieces and too many characters. You have the brothers, the professor, his daughter, the archeologist, the Interpol agents, the people at the temple, and the goofy Planet of the Apes aliens. This all boils for ages with a couple Mechagodzilla fights (vs. Aguirus, vs. Godzilla, and then vs. Godzilla and King Caesar). It feels pretty messy and sloppy.

The movie is all about the kaijus, and next to Gigan, Mechagodzilla is one of the best. The odd King Caesar kaiju just doesn’t have the cool factor of a giant Godzilla shaped robot, but I am always happy when Aguirus shows up because he’s also a favorite of mine (just because he sticks out from childhood more so than some of the others). Actor-wise, it is always nice to see Akihiko Hirata show up since he’s been with Godzilla since the beginning (even if he’s a different character).

godzilla vs mechagodzilla force field criterion

Damn you, Mechagodzilla and your forcefield!!!

Unfortunately, the sets of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla aren’t the best. I always prefer the miniature city set pieces and most of the fighting in this film takes place in the countryside. There also doesn’t seem to be a lot of effort put into the aliens who aren’t even convincing apes…I would have liked to see the Kilaaks from Destroy All Monsters who at least were more distinctive.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is a childhood classic for me so it gets more leeway than it probably should. The classic Godzilla (especially dubbed Godzilla) is a fun way to waste a day. The kaijus are always raging and the more kaijus the better…so at least Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla has that going for it. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was followed by Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975 which ended the “Showa-Era” of the Godzilla franchise.

Preceded By:

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Followed By:

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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