War of the Gargantuas (1966)

WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS takes place five years following the events in FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, where the Frankenstein creature Sanda is located by the Japanese scientists that raised him in order to bring him back to Tokyo to face off against his violent doppelganger Gaira. Each of the characters and events in this cheaply made sequel are empty and one-dimensional, serving only as another excuse to pit two more larger than life monsters on the big screen. Sanda bears little resemblance to his previous self, and both of the Gargantuas look like matted carpet strewn over shabbily applied make-up designs. What GARGANTUAS lacks in depth and heart, it more than makes up for in its monster melees, with more screen time given to the brawling beasts than in most other entries of the Showa era. Unfortunately, the battles (much like the direction and effects) are entirely uninspired, which makes WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS one of the low points in both Ishiro Honda and special effects coordinator Eiji Tsuburaya's fantasy film careers.

Rating: 5/10.
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  1. Wow, Carl, I'm speechless. This one's a major fan favorite. I thought some of the effects and the monster costumes were quite good; Far more successful than any of Tsuburaya's attempts at creating an ape costume, imo. Some of the shots got reused in later movies, too.

    I prefer this one to the earlier movie, but wish Nick Adams was still around to reprise his role. Tamblyn wasn't as good and didn't even want to be in the movie.

  2. I dont know if I was just in the wrong mood or what, but I thought the effects were veeery mild compared to Tsuburaya's earlier works. The miniatures in the final battle did look much better than the greenscreening early on though. This one might just require a second viewing, I gotta go with Frankenstein Conquers the World of the two IMO

  3. I like them both about the same. Seen GARGANTUAS a few more times than its predecessor so that's why it nudges it out just slightly. Like CONQUERS THE WORLD, there's a lot of alternate footage shot for both versions. I haven't opened the new DVD yet to see if all the features from the Japanese disc were ported over or not. Devo did a cover version of that song, 'The Words Get Stuck In My Throat'.

    The gargantua costumes are some of my favorites of Toho's output and look better than some of their other monsters. The facial features and makeup gives more detail in terms of emotion and since the monsters are more humanoid, it allows for greater freedom of movement, imo.

    Did you see ATRAGON yet, Carl? I am curious to see what you think of it. It's more sci fi than monster movie.

  4. I actually greatly preferred the costuming in CONQUERS as well, granted it was not a full body costume like in WAR. I dont know if maybe the characters and plot of CONQUERS just drew me in and made me more interested in the fights after or what, its strange which Kaiju films I get sucked in to and which are misses for me. Youll remember I enjoyed the hell out of Gigan as well lol..

    No ATRAGON fun for me yet, I havent even gotten a shipping confirmation from Hollywood so I am sittin in anticipation every time I go to the mailbox!

  5. Not to get on your bad side again, Venom5, but I had pretty much the same reaction to 'Gargantuas.' I love most of the Honda stuff, including 'Frankenstein vs. Baragon' (my preferred title).

    I couldn't put my finger quite on why it didn't do anything for me. It was just too dry and listless for me. I know how weird it is to say that about a movie featuring two giant, furry monsters fighting, but it's true. I think that if they hadn't changed the design of the one monster so much, it might have helped.

    I've been on the fence about seeing 'Atragon' myself. I'll check it out now.

  6. One must take these movies for what they are,mindless fun! This is my favorite non godzilla flick from toho.