DAGORA THE SPACE MONSTER (1964) Reviews and overview

 

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Dagora, the Space Monster, originally released in Japan as Uchū Daikaijū Dogora (宇宙大怪獣ドゴラ, literally: “Giant Space Monster Dogora”), is a tokusatsu science fiction film produced and released by Toho Studios in 1964. It was directed by the “Golden Duo” of director Ishirō Honda and special-effects director Eiji Tsuburaya.

The film is unusual for Toho’s giant monster series in that the creature is non-anthropomorphic and not presented by an actor in a costume. As with its release of Attack of the Mushroom People, American International Television bought the rights to Toho’s international dub in 1965 for television syndication.

Since the film wouldn’t play in US movie houses, AIP-TV left Toho’s English dub intact and added a new Dagora, the Space Monster title card. Allegedly, the name of the monster was changed to “Dagora” so that audiences wouldn’t think the monster was a dog. Beyond the removal of the opening credits, the film was unedited.

This version played for many years on late-night TV and was released on home video by Video Yesteryear in 1983. The Media Blasters DVD uses the same dubbing featured in the AIP-TV version

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Plot:

As an amorphous alien lifeform annihilates a television satellite above Japan, a similar creature on Earth suddenly thwarted the efforts of a local branch of the International Diamond Robbery Ring.

Meanwhile, Inspector Kommei’s investigation of these strange events leads him to the crystallographer Doctor Munakata. In the process, the police came to learn of the mysterious events of the armoured car heist. A nearby coal truck had begun to lift off the ground by some unknown force and disappear into the atmosphere. The creature from outer space was deemed to be the culprit, an alien beast that drew its energy from carbon.

As Doctor Munakata arrives at Dagora’s next likely target, unidentified objects began to show on radar. A swarm of wasps attack Dagora in retaliation for the disturbance of their hives in the mines, and as they are attacked, solid crystal sections of the monster began to fall to the Earth below.

Over Dokaiwan Bay, as night falls, evacuation orders are put into effect as the jellyfish-like monster began to descend from the sky…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The gangster stuff is goofy, with lots of plot-stalling double and triple-crossing going on. But scientists and police have their hands full trying to make Dogora knock it off. They finally figure out how to do this and the effects, while not terribly convincing, are fun to watch if you’ve been drinking.” Mansplat