12.06.2008

War of the Gargantuas : 3 of 5

I probably wouldn't have been interested in this particular film, because the monsters are basically humanoid and I would rather see true kaiju, but since this was a double-feature included on Classic Media's Rodan DVD, I had the chance to enjoy this unique and cool movie. The story starts off with a dramatic battle with a giant octopus at sea, which quickly goes from bad to worse when a huge "Frankenstein" appears! After consulting with the scientists who created Frankenstein in the lab, there's some confusion about the origins of this creature, since the Frankenstein they made was gentle (and now lives in the mountains, rather than the sea). Eventually they discover that a second monster has grown from cells of the first, meaning there are two "brother" Frankensteins on the loose - Sanda, the original "good" monster, and Gailah, the violent one living in the sea. The miniature effects are pretty cool, even though most of the action takes place in the mountains and forest. The detail of each individual tree is amazing! Gailah is extremely destructive, and there are some surprising scenes where he totally just picks up humans and eats them! He also likes to throw tanks into houses and other buildings, and his appearance at Haneda airport is particularly well done. Although the monsters aren't very interesting to me, it's good to see some nice character development. I think Kumi Mizuno is wonderful, so it was nice to see her as the scientist with a motherly heart. Unfortunately, there's no commentary track for this movie (although it gets several mentions in the accompanying special effects documentary), which would have given me a greater appreciation for the film. Watching any kaiju movie is always fun, though, so I just look at it as a long bonus feature to go along with Rodan!

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