Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla : 4 of 5
I've been looking forward to watching Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla for a couple reasons. First, I really enjoyed the sequel (which I watched quite some time ago since I bought the Classic Media release), and second, because after watching this I've finished all of the original Showa era Godzilla films! This 1974 film is full of different areas of Japan, opening in Okinawa, with scenes in Hokkaido and even Mt. Fuji. Mechagodzilla first appears wrapped in a Godzilla skin, so everyone is fooled for a little while (except for me, since I kept wondering why all the sound effects were wrong). When Anguirus (who also seems like Godzilla's little pet by now) comes along and starts fighting him, the truth is slowly revealed as his skin is torn to reveal Space Titanium underneath! Finally, the real Godzilla faces Mechagodzilla, and the secret is out - Mechagodzilla has been built by aliens (who turn into apes when they're killed!) so they can take over Earth, of course. Mechagodzilla's introduction is kind of funny, with lots of quick cuts to show all of his different weapons and his big "MG" logo, but the battle in the middle of the film is excellent! During all of this action, the various characters (such as a scientist and a pretty girl archeologist who wears a cute cap) try to return an ancient statue to Okinawa in order to awaken King Caesar, another cool hairy kaiju who joins in the final battle. Unfortunately, the big finale doesn't begin until the last 12 minutes of the movie, but it's a great fight (including some gross blood spurting for Godzilla!) that ends with poor Mechagodzilla's head being ripped off. Although there are some weird aspects to the film (like long sections with no musical score), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was still lots of fun to watch, and it had all the elements that make Godzilla movies strangely comforting to me.