In mid-to-late 1972, Japanese movie studio “Toho” conceived an idea to develop of a non-Godzilla movie as a breath of fresh air. The company created a contest for kids to create their own robot for a chance to see their original creation on the silver screen. Every kid drew their own unique robot. Toho viewed every single one. An anonymous student won the contest, his design is heavily inspired by “Ultraman,” the student’s robot was named, “Red Arone.” Toho renamed Red Arone as “Jet Jaguar.”
No information has been confirmed if the kid earned yen or profits related to Jet Jaguar. It’s a shame that Toho never wrote a paycheck to him. If I were the kid’s father, I would’ve persuaded Toho to give him money in order to secure his financial future.
After several screen tests, Toho realized Jet Jaguar couldn’t carry his own stand-alone movie due to a variety of reasons based on marketing, word-of-mouth or something like that. Desperate to earn yen, Toho decided to bring Godzilla back on the silver screen in the hopes of bringing movie goers’ butts to their seats. It took three weeks to finish the film. Not kidding, THREE WEEKS of completing everything. After intense workdays, Toho officially distributed “Godzilla Vs. Megalon.”
Godzilla Vs. Megalon was released in 1973. Three Years Later, the film finally came out in America. It received negative reviews from critics. Although a critical flop, it was a box office success in Japan & America. Overtime, Godzilla Vs. Megalon became a cult classic for fans of the series, due to its mind-numbing cheesy atmosphere. “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” did an episode of the movie with the main leads making fun of how incredibly idiotic it looked. James Rolfe/Angry Video Game Nerd did a review of this picture as part of his “Godzillathon” series from his website “Cinemassacre.”
Jet Jaguar appeared in video games such as “Godzilla: Save The Earth,” “Godzilla: Unleashed” & that epic cluster fudge, “Godzilla PS4.” Jet is featured in merchandise as an action figure, t-shirts & costumes. Will somebody get the kid a paycheck for winning Toho’s contest!
I recall watching each Godzilla film in the Millennium Series leading up to “Godzilla: Final Wars, but I’ve decided to put it on hold, because I want to share my real thoughts on Godzilla Vs. Megalon. By the way, this movie is set in the “Shōwa Series,” which means it’s not connected to the “Heisei Series,” the Millennium Series” & the “MonsterVerse” produced by American movie studio, “Warner Bros. (WB for short) The only reason I’m rewatching some of the Godzilla films, is because the highly anticipated “Godzilla: King Of The Monsters” is scheduled to come out on May 31st.
Today’s review contains huge SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen this movie, read at your own risk.
Strong & Weak Qualities
Strong: Practical Effects were heavily used to build Tokyo’s environmental locations as miniature models, pyrotechnics blowing up props & costumes specially made for stuntmen to portray Godzilla, Jet Jaguar, Megalon & Gigan.
The Fight Scene with Godzilla & Jet Jaguar teaming up to combat Megalon & Gigan is basically the best part of the whole movie.
Cinematography didn’t suffer from technical flaws.
I’m gonna brutally honest with y’all. Megalon is my personal favorite Kaiju. He deserves Bonus Points for his onscreen presence. Totally underrated villain, I want to see a spin-off or see him duke it out with American Godzilla (not 1998) in the MonsterVerse.
The film opens in the year 1971. That’s the exact same year my parents were born.
Despite Jet Jaguar’s cheesy moments, he actually comes in handy. I would assume he has a microchip of Bruce Lee’s fighting techniques.
Let’s be honest, the best part of the whole gosh darn movie is when Godzilla dropkicks Megalon. Twice! I have no choice but to give this scene an Extra Point!
Weak: Action Sequences with the human cast is horrendously bad. Nobody learned Bruce Lee’s “Jeet Kun Do” other than Jet Jaguar?
Special Effects did not aged pretty well. I’ll have to give this one a pass, because Computer Animation never existed back then.
Human characters weren’t interesting. I don’t even remember their names. I find them boring with a capital B. Never cared about every single individual.
According to Angry Video Game Nerd, stock footage from previous films are inserted into the actual film. They’re not used for flashbacks, each one is used in the film’s present timeline. Who’s idea was this to insert stock footage Oscar Proud? You know the bumbling dad from “The Proud Family?”
The Tone is very hokey. I mean EVERYTHING is cringeworthy. Except the strong parts I liked.
When the film clocks into the 18 minute mark, there’s an editing error with the kid stopped by a car when the driver opens the door, slamming the kid’s face. One frame later, the kid’s face never had a bruise. The Three Stooges handled pain than that boy! That’s some poor editing fellas. Seriously? Is the boy from Krypton?! Why didn’t the producers hire a little stuntman?!
A car chase scene has got to be one of the most idiotic car chase scenes in cinematic history. The cars were literally going down a staircase. “Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation” managed to perfectly execute Ethan Hunt using a car by using the stairs.
American voice actors hired to translate Japanese dialogue is way over-the-top. I couldn’t take the English Dub version seriously. Again, The Tone is way too hokey for a monster movie. Unless it’s purposely made as a parody.
A blink & you’ll miss moment with a radar with strings attached. NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” music video had more realistic puppets than this piece of dino poop!
When The Military are attacking Megalon using everything they’ve got, the soldiers in their tanks are action figures. Am I watching an Ed Wood movie?
Whenever Jet Jaguar flies, you can really tell it’s an action figure not an actual stuntman. If you have a keen eye, wires are attached to him. Megalon also has wires attached to him during his flight scenes.
I hate to break it to ya. Godzilla only appears in the opening scene scene & climatic battle. Dang it Toho! Gonna have to Double Down Points, due to Godzilla’s lack of screen time.
A Freeze-Frame is displayed right before the movie ends without the use of credits. I guess Toho was too stingy to give all their employees paychecks. Comcast in a nutshell.
The Final Verdict: D-
In my opinion, Godzilla Vs. Megalon is a mind-numbing, cringeworthy, hokey, idiotic & ridiculous chapter in the Godzilla franchise. I used to like this movie as a kid, but now that I’m older, I fully realized what went wrong. If you feel like turning your brain off just to make fun of it like Mystery Science Theater 3000, go ahead and provide your own witty commentary. In the words of Carmen Cortez from “Spy Kids, “You’re full of shiitake mushrooms!”
I hope Megalon (my personal favorite Kaiju) makes his comeback in the MonsterVerse. I want to see a spin-off movie or see him duke it out with The King Of The Monsters himself. Please Warner Bros. & Toho, bring him back!