From Frankenstein To The Gargantuas? The Debate Continues
Posted Feb-22-2017 7:34 PM
Background: Near the end of World War II, the Nazis seize the heart of the Frankenstein Monster and take it to Japan for safe keeping. Unfortunately, the heart is taken to the city of Hiroshima, which soon after is destroyed by the first use of the Atomic Bomb. Thought destroyed and lost forever, the irradiated heart grows amid the ruins until it becomes a "human" boy. To make a long story short, boy discovered, boy loses hand but grows another, boy escapes and continues to grow to gigantic proportions (20 Meters and 200 Tons according to TohoKingdom.com statistics).
Now I tend to favor the alternate ending of "Frankenstein Conquers The World" where after defeating Baragon, Frankenstein is immediately attacked by a Giant Octopus and eventually dragged into the ocean alive and still struggling with the Giant Octopus.
That being said, I also tend to favor the following theory:
1) Sanda, the Red Gargantua was the result of the severed hand of Frankenstein continuing to rejuvenate and grow.
2) Gaira, the Green Gargantua, was the result of Frankenstein (or his remains) rejuvenating and mutating in the ocean depths after the battle with the Giant Octopus.
Question: Was the Giant Octopus that Gaira battles at the beginning of "War Of The Gargantuas" the same one that Frankenstein battles at the end of "Frankenstein Conquers The World"?
What does everyone else think?
DEATH COMES ON GOLDEN WINGS!
ALL HAIL KING GHIDORAH!
Posted Feb-23-2017 12:03 AM
The connections between these two movies have always confused fans--Especially with the different cuts of Frankenstein Conquers the World floating around. My take on it is that Frankenstein Conquers the World relates to War of the Gargantuas in the same way Evil Dead relates to Evil Dead II.
There's a lot of retconning going on and it doesn't seem like War of the Gargantuas was made to adhere strictly to Frankenstein Conquers the World's cannon. So since the two films are "sequels" at heart, but only loosely connected, I don't think the Giant Octopus in the latter film was intended to be the same creature. I think Tsuburaya just loved the creature so much it was hard to resist not throwing it in again.
Posted Feb-23-2017 11:25 AM
^Nor have I, actually. It might be an interesting experiment, but I already find Frankenstein Conquers the World stronger than War of the Gargantuas. I don't know if a back-to-back viewing will do it any favors--Especially when you compare Adams to Tamblyn...
Posted Mar-20-2017 4:48 AM
Having recently re-watched these two pretty much back to back, nothing has really changed in my opinion of them. Both a quasi-sequel, quasi-remake, WOTG is still the better movie of the two. For me the only thing I'd give to FCTW is it's far superior male lead. Other than that, WOTG any day of the week.
Posted Mar-20-2017 6:02 AM
I like War of the Gargantuas and I can sort of see why it has stuck with people, but I can't give it the edge over Frankenstein. I agree with Honda that it just doesn't have a whole lot there outside of Tsuburaya's stuff. It's a great Tsuburaya movie, but not a very good Honda film. Whereas I think Frankenstein is a great effort from both.
Posted Mar-20-2017 8:23 PM
It took me a long time to see Frankenstein vs. Baragon, so I was always sort of predisposed to War of the Gargantuas, since I first saw that film when I was fairly young. Nowadays I kind of view the films equally, I think the Cain and Abel dynamic between Sanda and Gaira, as well as the fantastic portrayal of the two beasts, are the greatest strengths of WotG, while FvB has in my opinion a better human element and doesn't really feel like a retread of anything done beforehand.
Honestly, I think it's kind of a shame that while WotG is often regarded as a masterpiece, FvB gets dismissed as simply a bizarre off-the-wall campy monster film deserving of ridicule. Yes the premise sounds quite strange on paper, but Ishiro Honda crafts it into a very strong entry in Toho's canon of mid-1960's kaiju eiga.
Posted Mar-20-2017 8:29 PM
From a purely entertainment standpoint, it's WOTG for me. FCTW dragged in parts. And something else that few people seem to mention; it's scary as all hell. In fact, one of the few truly scary kaiju movies. Gaila doesn't ignore you if he sees you! He's hunting you.
Posted Mar-20-2017 8:33 PM
^ That's another strength of WotG: just how horrific and frightening Gaira is. He's like a colossal boogeyman, and something that is sure to stick with younger viewers. What's remarkable is how the film introduces such a horrifying creature, then even humanizes him to an extent through his interactions with Sanda. For a villainous monster whose primary purpose is to be scary and mean, he sure gets quite a bit of character exploration.
Posted Mar-20-2017 8:39 PM
^It stuck with this young viewer when I first saw it. You weren't safe anywhere! That's one of the things that resonated with me in Pacific Rim, when Mako is having her flashback as a little girl in the Drift, being chased by that kaiju, even in the alley, which may or may not have been in her subconscious. But a cool scene nonetheless. People complained about the characters in PR, and how bad they were! I loved the characters. And it had a shit-ton of cool monster fighting also.
Posted Mar-21-2017 9:36 AM
As I mentioned, much of what is being brought up that works for War of the Gargantuas is in fact centered around the special effects element. I absolutely agree it's on fire when the two extremely well characterized beasts are on screen, but as soon as the main characters come up it stops dead in its tracks.
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