Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

godzilla vs megalon poster 1973 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun monsters, Jet Jaguar

Typical Godzilla

Movie Info

Movie Name: Godzilla vs. Megalon

Studio: Toho

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): March 17, 1973

MPAA Rating: G

godzilla vs megalon shake hands jet jaguar

I”m glad Jet Jaguar is teaching Godzilla how to go on a job interview

The world of Seatopia has declared war upon the surface world.  It has unleashed the god Megalon upon humanity.  The world’s only hope could be a new robot named Jet Jaguar, but the Seatopians realize that they must capture a robot named Jet Jaguar and his creator Goro Ibuki (Katsuhiko Sasaki) first.  With Jet Jaguar and Megalon, the world will fall to the Seatopians, but if Goro Ibuki, his young nephew Rokuro (Hiroyuki Kawase), and their friend Hiroshi Jinkawa (Yutaka Hayashi) can free Jet Jaguar with the unlikely ally of Godzilla, the world stands a chance…but the Seatopians might have another monster lurking in the wings.

Directed by Jun Fukuda, Godzilla vs. Megalon (ゴジラ対メガロ or Gojira tai Megaro) is a science-fiction fantasy Japanese kaiju action film.  Following Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972, the film is the thirteenth film in the Godzilla franchise.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film as part of the Godzilla:  The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 boxset (Criterion #1000).

godzilla vs megalon jet jaguar robot

Jet Jaguar makes Megalon say “uncle”

Growing up, Godzilla was a staple…the more monsters the better!  Not only does Godzilla vs. Megalon have the return of one of the best monsters (Gigan), but it also has the fun robot of Jet Jaguar (and the reason why is a little odd).

Godzilla vs. Gigan wasn’t going to be a Godzilla movie.  The movie was originally going to star Jet Jaguar, but the producers felt that they needed Godzilla to get the story to be profitable.  As a result, most of the movie is a Jet Jaguar story with Godzilla showing up briefly at the beginning and the end.  It is typical Godzilla in its storytelling and plot however, and it seems to fit in well with the rest of the Godzilla films.

Godzilla is all about the monsters and not about the people, but the people often hold the core of the story.  You have the typical scientist character in Katsuhiko Sasaki, but it is Hiroyuki Kawase who feels like the classic Godzilla character as the young short-shorts sidekick who “bonds” with the robot Jet Jaguar.  I particularly like the American actor Robert Dunham who plays Emperor Antonio of the Seatopians…he is very un-kingly and looks like he could have been in Zardoz…or a bowling alley.

godzilla vs megalon gigan

Ah Gigan…how I love you and your impractical design

Jet Jaguar is a lot of fun.  He looks a lot like the popular Ultraman and seems to have most of the same abilities and powers.  He’s got a goofy grin on his face and moves like a human instead of a robot.  The movie also features the return of the great Gigan (though it doesn’t quite make sense why he is there).

Godzilla vs. Megalon is everything you want in a Godzilla, but it is a Godzilla movie at heart.  If you like Godzilla, this one should be near the top of your list, but if you don’t like Godzilla, it isn’t going to turn you into a fan.  If you watch it, you might be singing the Jet Jaguar song with them.  Godzilla vs. Megalon is followed by Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in 1974.

Preceded By:

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Followed By:

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

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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