GHIDORAH:
THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER

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Movies Eddie McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C. McMullen Jr.
Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster
THIS IS MONSTROUS!
TIP JAR
GODZILLA
MOVIE REVIEW
GODZILLA
REVIEW PAGE
GHIDORAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER aka SAN DAIKAIJÛ: CHIKYU SAIDAI NO KESSEN - 1964
USA Release: Sept. 13, 1965 (Dubbed in English )
Toho
Rated: NR

I have a confession to make. A confession so startling that you may never respect me as a reviewer again!*

I love GODZILLA movies. I look forward to watching GODZILLA movies the way trekkies look forward to Star Strek. Even if I have heard that it will suck, I watch it anyway. Like a nerd loves Star Wars or a geek loves RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, I love Big Horror movies.

I'm koo-koo for Kaiju.

Not that fond of the Peanuts though. You don't know who they are? Well lemme tell you about their second appearance in a Godzilla movie.

Yet again, Ishiro Honda takes the reigns to make another Kaiju monster movie. Screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa (THE GREAT MONSTER BARAN, BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, THE TELEGRAPHED MAN, MOTHRA, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, ATRAGON, MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO, GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, SON OF GODZILLA, ATRAGON II, ALL MONSTERS ATTACK, GODZILLA VS. GIGAN, GODZILLA VS. MEGALON, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA), who steered GODZILLA away from taking itself seriously with MOTHRA, rides the writer shotgun, creating a wild and goofy tale ten years after the first appearance of GOJIRA!

GHIDORAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER starts with a city and in that city are a number of earnest people fiddling about with machines. As it turns out, they belong to a UFO club and were expecting a communication from a flying saucer. That is to say, a saucer that flies. But they soon realize that they have failed to communicate with said saucer because the saucer people get skittish when they detect the brain waves of a human being who doesn't believe in them. If you don't believe in them - or even if you have some doubts, they refuse to make themselves known.

The reporter that the men all blame, Naoko Shindo (Yuriko Hoshi: MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS) is the one trying to cover their story and their amazing claim that they speak to flying saucers. Faced with such a ridiculous excuse as her "doubting brain waves" unnerved the saucer people (wherever the hell they are) , she tries as tactfully as possible to investigate even this ridiculous supposition. But the "truthers" are convinced and they know they are unquestionably right because "Unusual things happen in the world." So there!

Unusual things happening in the world proves that UFOs are real and fly away whenever confronted by negative human brainwaves. Of course we know better today. Unusual things that happen in the world , whatever they may be, are really caused by Man-Made global warming. Any idiot can tell you that and they often do.

Well sure unusual things can and do happen in the world. But whether its Godzilla attacking Tokyo or my cat playing her banjo in the morning, I'm going to want more than your say-so that such unusual things are being caused by a flying saucer that can be held at bay with "Critical Reasoning". It seems the only thing that can't be held at bay by critical reasoning are mindless idiots with conspiracy theories. And a powerful farce they are.

And its true that unusual things are happening!

Princess Mas Selina Salno (Akiko Wakabayashi: KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, DOGORA THE SPACE MONSTER), from the country of Sergina (tiny little country. Rhode Island could beat the crap out of it in a war. THAT'S how small it is!), where the people wear funny looking costumes, is flying in to Japan to escape a possible assassination. Oh, and there are lots of shooting stars in the sky. It's unusually hot for a wintry January (1963 and 1964, Japan went through an unusual and protracted heatwave), a big magnetic meteor crashed in the mountains, and a prophet appeared in the city.

Naoka makes her living off the mindless idiots of the world because she's putting together a series of television episodes for an upcoming show called, Mystery In The 20th Century. The prophet says that a meteor will hit Mt. Aso. It hits Mt. Hido but what the hell, close enough.

Another unusual thing that happens is that, on a family show, a couple of precocious young boys are brought on stage and asked to make a wish. They want to see Mothra! (Mothra is the second most popular monster of the Godzilla series). Well the little house apes aren't gonna get their potentially dangerous wish, but they will get to see the teeny inhabitants of Infant Island: The Fairy Twins (Emi and Yûmi Ito aka the then singing duo, The Peanuts). They are beautiful even if they are only six inches tall, but the song they sing is for the birds.

And speaking of birds, this film also marks the first fracas between GODZILLA and RODAN! During their awful song, a Mothra varmint, this one as a caterpillar (bearing in mind that Mothra isn't the name of one individual, but of a species of gargantuan moth), makes a brief appearance.

Meanwhile, Naoko's brother, a federal detective, no sooner gets the news that he has to protect the arriving Princess than he hears that he's off that job because her plane exploded. Things get even weirder when he realizes that the new prophet is the spitting image of the princess - except this prophet says she's really from Venus. This troubles Detective Shindo (Yosuke Natsuki: THE H-MAN, DOGORA THE SPACE MONSTER, GODZILLA 1985), because Venus is out of his jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the magnetic meteor in the mountains is growing and no one knows this better than Naoko's potential boyfriend, Professor Miura (Hiroshi Koizumi: GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN, ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE, ATRAGON, MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, DOGORA THE SPACE MONSTER, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA, THE RETURN OF GODZILLA, GODZILLA 1985, GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.) who is hanging out at the mountain studying the meteor.

Godzilla makes an appearance and causes trouble just to keep things interesting, then we go back to more setup.

It soon becomes apparent that the "Prophet" is indeed Princess Selina, but with a screw loose. How did she survive the explosion is what Detective Shindo's boss, Chief Detective Okita (Akihiko Hirata: GOJIRA, RODAN THE FLYING MONSTER, THE MYSTERIANS, THE H-MAN, MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, GORATH, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, GODZILLA VS. SOME ASSHOLE, ATRAGON, GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER, ULTRAMAN, SON OF GODZILLA, ATRAGON II, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA, MECHAGODZILLA VS. GODZILLA) wants to know. Shindo has no idea and when he asks people, no one takes him seriously - except for the ever helpful UFO club. Their leader says that the exploding airplane caused a tear between two dimensions and the princess safely fell in the gap between the two dimensions arriving unharmed to where ever it was that she arrived at.

*
Making the bold assumption that you ever respected me as a reviewer.

^
TRIVIA

And Arcturus would be an even bigger plothole! And Betelguese? Oh don't get me started on Betelguese!

Just know that much denser stars than Betelguese are so far beyond plotholes that they've become black holes!

Man that UFO club has an answer for everything!

Can you imagine if every explosion caused a gap between dimensions? Why we'd have gaps in logic all over the place. Our very sun would be one massive plothole^!

Meanwhile, the assassins who thought they got rid of Princess Serina also think that she might be the new Prophet, and they are after her once and for all.

Rodan makes a brief appearance just to keep things interesting, then we go back to more setup.

Then Godzilla makes a brief appearance and strolls downtown, which isn't as innocuous as it sounds when yer Godzilla. At this moment, Rodan flies in and picks a fight with Godzilla, utterly surprising Big G who hasn't laid eyes on the varmint until now.

Meanwhile, some "real scientists" run a series of tests on the Venusian and determine that she is both a floor wax AND a dessert topping the Prophet and the Princess. A Princess Prophet if you will and even if you won't.

The assassins show up, but so does King Ghidorah the Three-Headed whatsit and everything goes to hell.

Will Godzilla defeat King Ghidorah (who, it must be said, has three heads)? CAN Godzilla defeat Ghidorah (not one, not two, but THREE HEADS!)? Does he even CARE to defeat Ghidorah (who has two more heads than GODZILLA)? What about Rodan? And can a runty caterpillar (runty by comparison to the other Kaiju - pretty hard-core compared to other caterpillars though) do anything to save the day? Will the princess get her mind back? Will the Fairy Twins sing us all to sleep?

If you love Kaiju movies you will love the insane GHIDORAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER. And if you don't, you won't understand what all my fuss is about.

But my fuss is this: by 1964 and ten years into the madly successful franchise, GODZILLA was turning from the terror of Tokyo to the savior of Japan. Mainly because other titans were showing up and Godzilla wasn't about to share his island stomping grounds.

As GODZILLA became a presumptive "nice guy" (in massively large brush strokes), newer and newer costumes gave Godzilla a beer gut. Because in 1960s and 70s Showa era of Japan, nothing said "Protector" to Japanese children like a Kaiju with a Dad bod.

Toho needed a new villain and the awesomely powerful KING GHIDORAH flew in with a vengeance! Just as the GODZILLA movies were becoming sedate, Director Ishiro Honda brought back Big Horror with a villain that could never be sympathetic and would never play nice.

GHIDORAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER

Three Shriek Girls

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Godzilla (1954) on IMDb
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