Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is a 1974 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Jun Fukuda and featuring special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the film stars Gorō Mutsumi, Hiroshi Koizumi and Kenji Sahara.
The 14th film of the Godzilla series, it had a slightly bigger budget with higher production values then the previous few films. Aside from the titular mechanical version of Godzilla called Mechagodzilla, it also introduced a character called King Caesar based on the legend of the Shisa.
The film received a very limited theatrical release in the United States in the Spring of 1977 by Cinema Shares as Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster. Universal Studios filed a lawsuit threat, claiming that the title was too similar to their TV productions, The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off The Bionic Woman. After roughly a week into its release, the film was reissued with the altered title of Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster.
In Okinawa an ancient statue is unearthed with a prophecy inscribed on it: When a black mountain appears in the sky and the sun rises in the West, a monster will arise to destroy the world. The statue of the mythical monster King Caesar, protector of Okinawa, is vital should the prophecy come true.
Before long, the signs appear: a giant black mountain shaped cloud is seen and a mirage creates the illusion of a Western sunrise. Godzilla (or so it seems) emerges from Mount Fuji and begins a destructive rampage. Former ally Anguirus confronts “Godzilla”, only to be violently defeated when Godzilla breaks Anguirus’ jaw.
Another Godzilla shows up to battle the rampaging Godzilla and reveals it to be an impostor. It is Mechagodzilla, a robot created by ape aliens of the Third Planet from the Black Hole to destroy the real Godzilla and conquer Earth.
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” … the fact is that the ‘mythic’ elements are never coherent or impressive enough to match the array of alien technology, and the script seems to forget about fulfilling its own prophesies as it hurries towards the regulation free-style wrestling climax.” British Film Institute Monthly Film Bulletin, June 1977
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