Review done by: Nightmare Child
Starring: Hiroshi Koizumi, Setsuko Wakayama, Minoru Chiaki, Takashi Shimura,
Directed by: Motoyoshi Oda
Story: In this second entry of the Godzilla series, another monster is
introduced to fight Godzilla. The new creature is called Anguirus and looks like a
big spiked turtle. The two creatures wage their war in Japan and level cities
along the way.
In 1954, a giant monster stomped onto the streets of Tokyo. Destroying
buildings and causing lots of mayhem. After meeting a terrible fate with the
oxygen destroyer, the beast known as Godzilla fell. But was Japan really
declared safe? And if so, for how long? In 1955, the Toho Company produced a
sequel to the hit monster movie 'Gojira'. That sequel was called 'Godzilla Raids
Again'. Originally released in Japan as "Godzilla's Counterattack," this is the
second entry in the long running series. It's the first Godzilla movie to feature a
battle between two monsters. In 1959, the film was released in the US under
the title "Gigantis the Fire Monster." That was due to rights issues. Luckily, the
folks over at Genius Products have given us fans the privilege of watching the
movie in its original full form. If you're looking for a review on the 1959 English
release of Godzilla Raids Again, then you're in the wrong place. The version of
the movie I'm reviewing for you is the original Japanese cut, which is about 4
minutes longer than the American theatrical release.
In Godzilla Raids Again we follow two pilots named Tsukioka and Kobayashi.
They are flying in planes to scout out schools of fish for a tuna cannery
company. Kobayashi's plane malfunctions and is forced to land near Iwato
Island. The island is an uninhabited strip of rocks formed by volcanic eruptions.
In an attempt to save Kobayashi, Tsukioka lands his plane and finds him safe
near the shore. The two pilots then face a horrible realization, as they witness a
fight between two giant monsters. Tsukioka immediately recognizes one of the
monsters in combat; It turns out to be Godzilla. Not the same monster that
was killed, but a whole new Godzilla which bares the same looks as the one that
destroyed Tokyo. The two monsters continue to fight and eventually fall into
the ocean. Tsukioka and Kobayashi head back and report to the authorities in
Osaka. There the two pilots were able to identify the other spiky creature as yet
another monster that lived during the dinosaur era.
The monster is named "Anguirus." While doing research on Anguirus, the
scientists learned that it's a monster that hates hostile creatures, which
explains the intense rivalry between Anguirus and Godzilla. This is one of those
Godzilla movies you may not have heard about. That's because it wasn't well
received. 'Raids Again' is a rushed sequel that failed to satisfy many
expectations upon its release (especially in the US). Although it is the third
most-attended Godzilla film to date, it was poorly received by fans and critics
alike. It was rushed to the theaters six months after the release of the first
film. The movie suffered heavy editing in the United States, and was given a
title change which took its focus off of Godzilla. With that said, it's pretty
obvious why I found the Japanese cut to be a lot better. Although Godzilla
Raids Again is not the most popular film in the franchise, I still enjoyed it for
what it was. I'm not very picky when it comes to movies in this genre.
I did however find it to be a little long, which is my biggest complaint. Other
than that, I found the movie to be pretty enjoyable. The American cut however
is unwatchable. Don't bother wasting your time with the chopped up American
version of the movie. Unless you want to see "Gigantis". For those of you who
don't know what I'm talking about, "Gigantis" is actually Godzilla's name in the
US cut of the movie. This was to give the audience the impression that they
were seeing a whole new monster. Scenes with Godzilla shooting fire was cut
out, and the voice effects were changed. You can see why I'm telling you to
stay away from that version. Stick to the original cut of the movie; you'll be
pleasantly surprised. Anyway, what makes this movie good is the fact it's the
first time we get to see Godzilla face another monster. As far as the action
goes, this movie has just about everything. Explosions, destruction and a
great battle between two foes.
The fight between Godzilla and Anguirus is remarkable and bloody near the
end. The fight scenes are my favorite, not so much the story and pace. I
personally believe that Godzilla Raids Again is almost as good as the first
movie. "Almost" is the keyword, because it's still lacking in those other areas.
Not to mention "Raids Again" doesn't carry the grim seriousness of the original.
Still, it's a good movie that's been under looked over the years. Genius
Products did a fantastic job with the re-release of Gojira. The company does
another fine job here with this DVD. They've remastered the picture and
sound, and added in a new featurette; plus a commentary track. In the
featurette "Art of Suit Acting," you get a brief history on the actors who wore
the costumes. That's as far as the features go, there really isn't much in here.
The DVD isn't jam packed with extras. Still, if you're looking to expand on your
collection of monster movies, then you have to pick this movie. It's definitely
worth the money.
Genres: Action, Drama,
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 82 minutes
Studio: Genius Products
Online since: February 20th, 2006