The War Of The Gargantuas (1966 Japan)

japanese-horror-fantasyLosing the Second World War must have turned the Japanese insane. Imagine what type of films they would have churned out if they had won. Plot: From the remains of a Frankenstein monster spawns a hairy brown gargantua named Sanda. Though raised by kind scientists in captivity, he escapes one day and a part of his flesh was snagged off a rock and made its way into the sea, spawning a green gargantua called Gaira. Gaira goes on a rampage through Japan killing countless civilians, but soon finds himself overwhelmed by man’s great weapons. Before the military could finish off the beast, Sanda arrives to help his brother.

However, it becomes apparent that while Sanda is kind and gentle, Gaira is savage and violent and so their opposing personalities clash as the two behemoth brothers have a vicious fight to the death for the fate of the world. On the surface, “War of the Gargantuas” may seem like a typical monster movie, but that description would not do this film justice. There’s a good deal of thought-provoking dialogue and some surprisingly well-done social commentary regarding the nature of humanity, reflected by both the humans and the gargantuas, which can be interpreted in a variety of levels. One example would be that while the military and Gaira represent the people/country that is eager to go to war, the scientists and Sanda represent a people/country that prefers a more peaceful solution to a problem.

monsters-scene-war-of-the-gargantuas-1966-bp88eyThat’s what’s great about many of these kaiju flicks, they’re not just simple, mindless entertainment but rather allegories for varying aspects of life. The special effects are definitely impressive. Since the gargantuas are smaller than most kaiju, the miniatures and sets are made larger for a more accurate scale and they all look great, especially when they’re destroyed. One noteworthy thing to point out is that this is the first appearance of the famous maser cannons, which later appear throughout the Godzilla series. Sanda and Gaira look fantastic, having a combination of fur and scales and being more slim than other kaiju, allowing the actor greater mobility. Given the humanoid nature of the creatures, you basically get to see the actors’ faces, especially their eyes, and this allows them to better convey emotions. As one might expect from the title, there’s tons of action throughout the film.

This is some really top notch kaiju action and this time the military isn’t completely helpless as the gargantuas are actually harmed by their weapons. The battles between Sanda and Gaira are awesome as they are fast-paced and really vicious as they roll around, bite each other, toss one another into buildings, etc. Throw in some military in between and it becomes more than just fight, it’s an all-out war. With good kaiju, lots of impressive action scenes, interesting social commentary, nice acting, great special effects, and fitting music by Akira Ifukube, it’s easy why “War of the Gargantuas” has had quite the impact on pop culture. Even if you’re not a kaiju fan, this film will be worth your time, though you should fast forward through the song “The Word Get Stuck in My Throat” sung by this terrible American singer. Check it out for some good old-fashioned, finger licking fun.

war9

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Comments

  1. This film sounds amazing just from the premise alone! Thanks for sharing, brilliant review as always. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

    Like

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