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Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Later today, we’ll be launching a new, month-long series — Know Your Monster — celebrating Japan’s fantastic movie monsters. Each day through March, we’ll present a clip introducing a new monster wreaking havoc and destruction, often upon Tokyo, but sometimes on a global scale. To kick off this series in style, today’s Trillion Dollar Movie revolves around the granddaddy of all Japanese movie monsters, Godzilla or Gojira. Our feature is Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, the 14th movie in the Godzilla franchise, released in Japan in 1974 and three years later in the United States. It’s one of the better Godzilla sequels, popular enough that it spun off its own sequel (The Terror of Mechagodzilla) and a couple of remakes.

Stateside, it was originally called Godzilla Vs. the Bionic Monster to capitalize on the popularity at that time of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.  But when the producers of those TV shows objected, the Bionic Monster was rechristened Mechagodzilla. He’s a titanium robot fascimile of the real Godzilla, under the power of mysterious space aliens intent on conquering the Earth. Just where do they originate? Their commander spills the beans, declaring he’s from “the Third Planet of the Black Hole.” They look humanoid, but kill them and they turn into monkeys, a ruse no doubt inspired by Planet of the Apes.

In a bit of a plot twist for the series, Godzilla isn’t a holy terror but rather the Earth’s savior, called upon to whip Mecha’s butt. Godzilla has a bizarre ally, a giant Pekinese dog named King Seesar. There’s also a fetching lady archaeologist who wears short skirts and go-go boots on the job. Now, that a fashion maven! While the dialogue is silly and the dubbing hilariously weird, the action is fast-paced and often spectacular, especially the final grudge-match between Godzilla and his nemesis from outer space. Enjoy, and do return again next Friday for another Trillion $ Movie.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This one is no longer available free online so we bring you a good clip collection of Mechagodzilla.)

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