Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

For the discussion of Toho produced and distributed films or shows released before 1980.
User avatar
The Octopus
G-Grasper
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:06 am
Location: Pacific Ocean

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by The Octopus »

I don't know. The adults showed up pretty damn quick after the birth of that baby. Unless the Rodans grow into adults in the span of a week.
Image

User avatar
Spuro
Keizer
Posts: 8003
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: AB, Canada

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Spuro »

Shhh! The Octopus wrote:I don't know. The adults showed up pretty damn quick after the birth of that baby. Unless the Rodans grow into adults in the span of a week.
Well, it IS a 50's monster movie. They're not always known for being biologically accurate. :P
eabaker wrote: You can't parse duende.
Mosura ya Mosura
Dongan kasakuyan indo muu
Rusuto uiraandoa, hanba hanbamuyan, randa banunradan
Tounjukanraa
Kasaku yaanmu

User avatar
godjacob
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1584
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:16 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by godjacob »

Kaiju-King42 wrote:
Shhh! The Octopus wrote:I don't know. The adults showed up pretty damn quick after the birth of that baby. Unless the Rodans grow into adults in the span of a week.
Well, it IS a 50's monster movie. They're not always known for being biologically accurate. :P
What are you trying to imply that giant monster movies may not put their upmost attention and care to real world accuracy? Don't be absurd :lol:
Image

User avatar
Living Corpse
Sazer
Posts: 12648
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:49 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Living Corpse »

GTTHM is a bad day for Godzilla when you think about it. Doesn't get to eat his whales, Rodan tricks him into getting out of the ocean so he loses his movement, ambush and hiding advantage, Rodan drops him dick & balls first into a power line tower, King Ghidorah shoots him on the ass so he's running like Mario with his ass on fire, King Ghidorah immediately knocks him on him on his back embarrassing him when he was the biggest baddest monster up till that point.

And to top it off he didn't have enough budget to use his Atomic Breath on the dragon so he's forced to use rocks. :lol:
Image

User avatar
Gigantis
Keizer
Posts: 8248
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:52 pm
Location: Nebula of the Orion

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Gigantis »

Living Corpse wrote:GTTHM is a bad day for Godzilla when you think about it. Doesn't get to eat his whales, Rodan tricks him into getting out of the ocean so he loses his movement, ambush and hiding advantage, Rodan drops him dick & balls first into a power line tower, King Ghidorah shoots him on the ass so he's running like Mario with his ass on fire, King Ghidorah immediately knocks him on him on his back embarrassing him when he was the biggest baddest monster up till that point.

And to top it off he didn't have enough budget to use his Atomic Breath on the dragon so he's forced to use rocks. :lol:
Thinking about it, the early 60's was a rather bad time for Godzilla's balls..he was always shot there. :lol:
Image

A guy who randomly stumbled upon this place one day, invested much too much time into it, and now appears to be stuck here for all eternity..and strangely enough, i do not regret it!

User avatar
UltramanGoji
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16286
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by UltramanGoji »

Does anyone else find this film to be the better of the two 1964 films? I think it has the better protagonists, story, and monster personality of the two. MVG has a good cast and fantastic villains but falters in pacing throughout and in story when it comes to the third act.
Image

User avatar
eabaker
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 12827
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by eabaker »

UltramanGoji wrote:Does anyone else find this film to be the better of the two 1964 films? I think it has the better protagonists, story, and monster personality of the two. MVG has a good cast and fantastic villains but falters in pacing throughout and in story when it comes to the third act.
I see where you're coming from. Both movies have their respective strengths, and I think overall I'd call MvG the better movie. But TttHM gives its cast more specific motivations; and MvG's finale doesn't really have an organic way for its leads to remain plot-relevant, whereas GttHM keeps them naturally right involved through the climax - if anything, the monster action in the later movie is perhaps too subordinate to the human plot.
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

User avatar
HedorahIsBestGirl
JXSDF Technician
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

eabaker wrote:
UltramanGoji wrote:Does anyone else find this film to be the better of the two 1964 films? I think it has the better protagonists, story, and monster personality of the two. MVG has a good cast and fantastic villains but falters in pacing throughout and in story when it comes to the third act.
I see where you're coming from. Both movies have their respective strengths, and I think overall I'd call MvG the better movie. But TttHM gives its cast more specific motivations; and MvG's finale doesn't really have an organic way for its leads to remain plot-relevant, whereas GttHM keeps them naturally right involved through the climax - if anything, the monster action in the later movie is perhaps too subordinate to the human plot.
I definitely think that Mothra vs. Godzilla is the better of the two movies. I like MVG's story a hell of a lot better than Ghidorah's. In fact, my biggest problem with Ghidorah is the set-up of the story; the whole thing hinges on the prophetic warnings of a princess from a fictional country who is possessed by a Venusian spirit. If she really wants to save Earth, why doesn't she immediately warn the Japanese government that the meteor that just crashed contains a planet-destroying god-monster, instead of giving vague warnings about Godzilla and Rodan's attacks and only mentioning Ghidorah right before he emerges from the meteor? Furthermore, why did the Venusian spirit choose to possess a royal who was targeted for assassination instead of literally anyone else in Japan? Seems like a convenient excuse to give this movie some human vs. human action which ends up not being that interesting and ends very anti-climactically with the assassins being killed off in two separate rockslides. I also find the final confrontation between Shindo and Malmess to be an unneeded distraction from the climactic battle. I second what eabaker said about the monster action feeling subordinate to the human plot in the climax.

I personally enjoy the human cast of MVG a lot more than Ghidorah's; Torahata and Kumiyama are much more interesting villains than the generic Malmess. Yuriko Hoshi plays basically the same character as the previous film, but I felt she had slightly more personality in MVG. I do like Shindo slightly better than Sakai, though.

I second UltramanGoji's opinion that the kaiju display a lot more personality in Ghidorah, but this is purely a tonal thing; MVG is a more serious good vs. evil story, while Ghidorah take itself less seriously and humanizes its monsters, for better or for worse. Moments like Godzilla and Rodan mocking one another are certainly amusing, but such moments would have felt out of place in MVG.

Where I mainly disagree with UltramanGoji is on the subject of pacing. I think MVG has some of the best pacing in the series while Ghidorah, at least in the realm of the "Golden Age", has some of the worst. The kaiju start turning up too late into the film, and then all of the action happens too abruptly. Godzilla and Rodan have just started fighting, and all of a sudden they have to take a backseat as Ghidorah emerges as the true big bad. The pacing isn't bad enough to really hurt the film, but I do find it a bit jarring.

All of this is not to say Ghidorah isn't a great movie that doesn't deserve its position as a beloved classic; it is and it does, but I'm definitely in the majority of fans who considers Mothra vs. Godzilla the stronger film.
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
We know what it's worth to save the Earth!

User avatar
Jetty_Jags
G-Force Personnel
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:27 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Jetty_Jags »

I agree with hedorah. I enjoy mvg more. I need to rewatch Astro monster but I’m pretty sure I enjoy that more than gttm as well.
He Jock it Made of Steel

User avatar
HedorahIsBestGirl
JXSDF Technician
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

Jetty_Jags wrote:I need to rewatch Astro monster but I’m pretty sure I enjoy that more than gttm as well.
Me too. That's a film where I'm perfectly fine with the kaiju action playing second fiddle to the human and alien drama, because the characters are great and the story is very interesting.
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
We know what it's worth to save the Earth!

User avatar
Living Corpse
Sazer
Posts: 12648
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:49 pm

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Living Corpse »

tyrantgoji wrote:
Thinking about it, the early 60's was a rather bad time for Godzilla's balls..he was always shot there. :lol:
70's was a little better. With the exception of Hedorah literally pooping on him.
Image

User avatar
Spuro
Keizer
Posts: 8003
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: AB, Canada

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Spuro »

When it comes to the "Classic 60's Trilogy" that is MvG, GTTHM, and MZ, I tend to rate GTTHM as the weakest link. I certainly wouldn't call it a bad movie, but it's pretty rough around the edges in regards to both the story and the budget.

Of course, being sandwiched between what I consider to be the two greatest 60's Godzilla films doesn't really help matters. A lot of movies would look worse off in that position.
eabaker wrote: You can't parse duende.
Mosura ya Mosura
Dongan kasakuyan indo muu
Rusuto uiraandoa, hanba hanbamuyan, randa banunradan
Tounjukanraa
Kasaku yaanmu

User avatar
JAGzilla
Keizer
Posts: 8614
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by JAGzilla »

It's kind of futile, trying to choose between the three movies of the 'trilogy'. They're all pretty well equal, each fantastic in its own way and with few real weaknesses. It's like trying to choose between pizza, cheeseburgers, and fried chicken. You could, sure... but why?
"Stop wars and no more accidents. I guess that's all I can ask." -Akio

User avatar
HedorahIsBestGirl
JXSDF Technician
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

JAGzilla wrote:It's kind of futile, trying to choose between the three movies of the 'trilogy'. They're all pretty well equal, each fantastic in its own way and with few real weaknesses. It's like trying to choose between pizza, cheeseburgers, and fried chicken. You could, sure... but why?
Let me take that analogy a step further.

Mothra vs. Godzilla is fried chicken. It's simple, it's straightforward, but it's incomparably delicious. The surface is tasty and so is the meat in the middle, all the way through to the core. I could eat it four times a week and not get sick of it.

Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster is pizza. There are a lot of tasty toppings to work with and it's pretty damn delicious, but it's a bit too cheesy in the middle, and sometimes I'm sick of it by the end. I can only eat it every so often.

Monster Zero is a cheeseburger. It may look like it has too much bread, and the first bite is often underwhelming, but there's a ton of meat and other goodies in the middle that make it the most well-rounded of the three. That said, I can still only indulge every once in a while.

So yeah, bottom line is that all three movies are delicious, but I prefer the taste of fried chicken, followed by cheeseburgers, followed by pizza.
Last edited by HedorahIsBestGirl on Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
We know what it's worth to save the Earth!

User avatar
Spuro
Keizer
Posts: 8003
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: AB, Canada

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Spuro »

I feel these analogies really depend on your ideal food, because given the choice I'll usually take a (well made) cheeseburger. :lol:
eabaker wrote: You can't parse duende.
Mosura ya Mosura
Dongan kasakuyan indo muu
Rusuto uiraandoa, hanba hanbamuyan, randa banunradan
Tounjukanraa
Kasaku yaanmu

User avatar
HedorahIsBestGirl
JXSDF Technician
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

Kaiju-King42 wrote:I feel these analogies really depend on your ideal food, because given the choice I'll usually take a (well made) cheeseburger. :lol:
Of course they do; this is all a matter of opinion. All three movies are great, I just prefer the taste of some spicy, deep-fried Mothra vs. Godzilla.
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
We know what it's worth to save the Earth!

User avatar
eabaker
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 12827
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by eabaker »

I want to come back to the issue of pacing. While it's certainly true that, if you're watching with your eyes on the clock, GttHM takes a long time to introduce its monsters, as opposed to MvsG, which brings Mothra's egg into the picture right from the top.

However, GttHM is a movie that is continually moving towards its major conflicts. By contrast, MvsG has a couple of stop-starts; when the central trio fails to get the Shobijin back from Torahata and Kumayama, that fade out upon Mothra's departure really highlights the episodic nature of this part of the story. Later, Torahata and Kumayama - the central antagonists of those early chapters - are killed off pretty early on, and the central trio's storyline runs out of steam at the conclusion of the second act, making for a third act that feels a little flat relative to the more compelling and cleanly unified human/kaiju narrative that has preceded it.

On the whole, I think MvsG is the better movie (by a decent margin), but GttHM is tighter.
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

User avatar
HedorahIsBestGirl
JXSDF Technician
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

I would argue that both Mothra vs. Godzilla and Ghidorah have issues with pacing, and that these issues are a much bigger problem in the latter film. I agree with most of your points about MvG, but I don't think the third act is flat, I just don't think it makes the best use of its human protagonists.

As to Ghidorah, the film's first act is a bit messy. We have a lot of stuff thrown at us at once. There's a Princess who's marked for death with assassins hunting her to Japan, a Venusian spirit possessing said Princess and turning her into a prophet, a detective and his reporter sister trying to figure out if said prophet is really said Princess and, in a seemingly unrelated plot, a mysterious meteor being investigated in Kurobe Valley. Then the first act ends with Rodan popping out of the volcano. I don't really have an issue with any of these storylines, but over a third of the way into the film, it's still not clear what our central plot is.

The second act is where I think the film really struggles. The movie has just introduced us to the threat of Rodan and, before we've even had time to appreciate the danger he poses, Godzilla turns up, too, and they start fighting. The Princess/prophet story reaches a head as we find out that the real danger she's come to warn of is King Ghidorah, begging the question of why she hasn't brought him up before and hasn't explained that he's what's inside that meteor. The second act ends dramatically with Ghidorah's emergence from the meteor (a great scene by the way), and we're left with quite a bit to resolve in the third act.

The third act is probably the film's strongest, but it still feels unfocused. I don't like the way the plot with the assassins is resolved at all, so I'll address that first. The entire sequence of the shootout at the laboratory is pretty terrible. The set-up is idiotic; despite knowing that assassins are after the Princess, Naoko announces her location on national television, leading the killers right to her! The actual shootout is mediocre and inexplicably leaves no one injured, while the assassins retreat despite having greater numbers. Then the assassins all get unceremoniously dispatched in a rockslide triggered by a stray gravity beam... except for Malmess, who survives into the climax only to get killed by another rockslide caused by another stray gravity beam. I'd rather Malmess had been killed off earlier on (like Torahata and Kumayama in MvG) than survived as a distraction from the climax, only to be killed off in a lazy way.

On the flip side, the kaiju stuff is all brought together nicely in the third act. Ghidorah's attack clearly establishes him as a great threat, and the scene where Mothra persuades Godzilla and Rodan to join forces is good entertainment, if a bit silly. The final battle is pretty solid in terms of choreography, though I've always felt Ghidorah's retreat was a bit sudden.

The short version is this: I just feel that Ghidorah jumps around too much and doesn't truly find focus until it's third act. The film is perfectly enjoyable and, aside from the laboratory shootout, most of the individual scenes are well constructed, but the way they fit together is a bit chaotic and the result is that the film lacks the smooth flow of many better Godzilla films, including Mothra vs. Godzilla.
Last edited by HedorahIsBestGirl on Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
We know what it's worth to save the Earth!

User avatar
eabaker
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 12827
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by eabaker »

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:but I don't think the third act is flat, I just don't think it makes the best use of its human protagonists.
Hence my use of the word "flat" being bookended by modifiers: "a little" and "relative to."
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

User avatar
Kaltes-Herzeleid
JXSDF Technician
Posts: 918
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: The Great Tomb of Nazarick

Re: Talkback Thread #5: Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster(1964)

Post by Kaltes-Herzeleid »

One little detail I like is how, during the final battle, Godzilla reacts to Ghidorah's near constantly moving heads with uncertainty:


(From 0:19-0:21 and 1:22-1:27)

It adds a feeling of lively authenticity as to how someone would first react to fighting someone with multiple heads that are all stronger than you and can fire off gravity bolts at any time.
Resized Image

Post Reply