Save The Earth


John Rocco Roberto


With the July 24th, 1971 release of Gojira tai Hedorah in Japan, Godzilla’s transformation into the savior of mankind was complete.  No longer the nuclear threat of the 50s and 60s, for the next five films in the series the King of the Monsters would be pitted against alien invaders using everything from Cyborg enhanced creatures to a giant Dung Beetle.  King Ghidorah would make its final appearance, and Godzilla’s one time foe now brother-in-arms Anglias, would mark his film return.  Not only would Godzilla fight to save mankind, but he would gain a number of new abilities, such as flight, and the ability to speak!  Thankfully these “innovations” did not last past the film they were originally introduced in.
The 1970s also saw other changes brought about to the Toho films.  Eiji Tsuburayahad passed away so the special effects were now supervised byTeruyoshi Nakano.  Diminishing box-office receipts forced the production office to cut corners on all their kaiju productions, as a result, the stable of actors and actresses that had featured for so long in the Godzilla films were replaced with new, less expensive actors.  In addition the entire special effect crew would be replaced, and “Godzilla vs. Gigan” would mark the very last time Haruo Nakajima, who had donned the Godzilla suit sine 1954, would play the role.  On the plus side however, Kenparicho Satsuma, who would play Godzilla in the 1990s, would make his first suitmation appearance along side Nakajima’s Godzilla in “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster.”
Finally the 1970s also saw Godzilla take a leap off of the big screen and onto the small one in Toho Television’s “Meteor-Man Zone” series, which is covered elsewhere on this web site (The Lost Godzilla Episodes).

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1972)
Japanese Title: Gojira tai Hedorah (1971)

Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Directed by Yoshimitsu Banno
Screenplay by Kaoru Mabuchi and Yoshimitsu Banno
Special Effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
Music by Riichiro Manabe

When Marine biologist Dr. Yano encounters a fisherman who brings him a strange salt water tadpole, he isintriguedby the find. Then while watching the television news, he sees a gigantic version of that same tadpole sink a ship.  Taking his young son Ken on a diving expedition in the area where the creature was found, the Doctor is attacked by a monster tadpole, as is young Ken on shore.   Suffering from the effects of the attack, the entire side of his face is severely burned, Yano explains to the press that the creature is a living mineral made from industrial waste.   Experimenting on dried out sections of the creature, it soon becomes apparent that each piece, or tadpole, has a life of its own. When combined, the creatures become a single, huge, and dangerous entity called Hedorah, the Smog Monster.
Combining together to form one creature, the Smog Monster begins to attack Japan’s industrial centers, for it needs industrial waste to survive.  Mutating into different forms, it first attacks an industrial district as a four lagged creature, inhaling pollution from smokestacks,before transforming into a flying disc-shaped form, spewing poisonous acid and dissolving both building and human alike.   Meanwhile, a group of teenagers concerned with industrial pollution, stage a Woodstock-like eco-festival on Mount Fuji, but the activities are interrupted when Hedorah attacks. The teens are saved however, by the timely arrival of Godzilla.  The battle between the monsters is a draw, and the military soon arrives with a weapon to use against Hedorah.  The weapon, two large electrical panels designed to “dry out” Hedorah, fail to work.  Godzilla however catches the Smog Monster (after flying to its location!), and uses his atomic breath to power the electrodes.  The power surge dries out Hedorah, Godzilla using his breath to finish the job.  Hedorah is finally destroyed, or is it?

Godzilla On Monster Island(1977)
Japanese Title: Chikyu Kogeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan(1972)
(Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla vs. Gigan)

Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa
Special Effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
Music by Akira Ifukube

After being rejected by several newspapers, Gengo, a comic-book artist, lands a job at the World Children’s Land, an amusement park and museum dedicated to all the world’s monsters.  In the center of the park is Godzilla Tower, a full scale-size reproduction of the King of the Monsters.  The tower also acts as company headquarters for World Children’s Land, and it is there that Gengo meets Kubota, the head of the organization.  Many things about Kubota seems strange to Gengo, especially the fact that Kubota and his assistance seem to resemble two dead persons from a local village.  Gengo also meets Machiko, whose brother worked at Godzilla Tower until he disappeared without a trace.
Machiko has stolen something from Kubota; a tape filled with unintelligible electronic noise.  Once played however, the sounds alert both Godzilla and Angilas that something is wrong.  The two monsters break out of Monster Island and head for the source of the sound.  Searching for her missing brother, Gengo and Machiko learn that Kubota is really an alien from Nebula M Spacehunter.  Kubota and his fellow aliens, intelligent cockroaches from a polluted planet, have come to conquer Earth.  The tape that Machiko had stolen was the control tape for the monsters King Ghidorah, and a new monster called Gigan. Unleashing the creatures on humanity, the military is unable to stop them.  Finally both Godzilla and Angilas arrive at Children’s Land to battle Ghidorah and Gigan.  But the aliens have set a trap for Godzilla.  For inside the mouth of Godzilla Tower is a laser powerful enough to kill the King of the Monsters.  Using the laser the aliens cut down Godzilla, but Gengo and Machiko blow up Godzilla Tower and break the aliens’ control over Gigan and Ghidorah. Without guidance, Godzilla and Angilas easily defeat the uncontrolled Ghidorah and Gigan, vanquishing them back into outer space.

Godzilla vs. Megalon(1976)
Japanese Title: Gojira tai Megaro (1973)

Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Screenplay by Jun Fukuda
Special Effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
Music by Riichiro Manabe


Young inventor Goro, his friend Hiroshi, and Goro’s little brother Rokuro are out enjoying a pleasant afternoon at the lake when an earthquake causes the bottom of the lake to split open, draining the water, and almost Rokuro, down into the earth. Returning home Goro discovers that agents from an underground civilization called Seatopia want to steal the humanoid robot he invented; Jet-Jaguar. Seatopia has been rocked by ecological disasters since mankind began nuclear testing, and now this mysterious lost civilization wants to take revenge on the surface world.
Stealing Jet-Jaguar the Seatopians send the metal man to the lake, where their leader has just unleashed their demon god Megalon.  Ordered to destroy mankind, and using Jet-Jaguar as a guide, Megalon wrecks Tokyo.  Goro however has created a backup remote control unit to regain control of his invention.  He then sends Jet-Jaguar to Monster Island in the hopes that Godzilla will defeat Megalon.  The Seatopians, realizing they have lost control of Jet-Jaguar, contact the insect aliens from Nebula M Spacehunter. The intelligent cockroaches send Gigan to help Megalon, and the two join forces in destroying the cities.  Luring the two creatures into the countryside, Jet-Jaguar programs himself to grow to giant size and attacks the monsters. He is quickly outmatched by both creatures.  Godzilla arrives and joins the battle.  Together, Godzilla and Jet-Jaguar defeat Gigan and Megalon, and the Seatopians reseal the entrances to the surface.


© 2003 John Rocco Roberto/Visagraph Films International.