Tag Archives: Kaiju

Story Pile: Godzilla Vs Megalon

Godzilla is a venerable franchise of modern cinema, that serves in its own way as part of the spine of all cinema of the 20th century. An intense, thoughtful, iconic movie with exciting special effects and a grim, painful perspective that seems informed by its relationship to  a very real place and time in history about a cultural pain. I mean that’s what informs what I know about Godzilla, which is to say, I have studied the same 1954 movie everyone else has and read the same cultural critiques from non-Japanese authors.

Since then, Godzilla, as a character, is just an icon. Godzilla signifies Godzilla. Godzilla is used in so many different ways to signify so many different things that Godzilla is less of a character with its own distinct personality and values and more a sort of genre signifier of its own. ‘Godzilla shows up’ is a way an entire genre of media works now. Godzilla was special effects movie star in the 60s, a spectacle fighter in the 70s, a kid’s cartoon icon in the 80s, a gritty reboot in the 90s and a metatextual signifier throughout the 21st century. There is a wealth and a depth to every single one of the Godzilla movies that can be put into a greater and broader context of its appearances and what it means to be a Godzilla movie.

Anyway, nuts to all that, let’s talk about Godzilla vs Megalon.

A screencap from the movie 'Godzilla vs Megalon' showing the robot Jet Jaguar waving at something offscreen.

Godzilla Vs Megalon is a 1973 film, made out of scrap parts over what you would probably consider ‘the rush season’ of a retail work period. Three weeks of filming, with upwards of months of pre-planning, script-writing, character designing and buying props from the local toy store. The whole movie was designed to be a star vehicle for Jet Jaguar, the robot in the movie, who was not named Jet Jaguar when the child that made it designed it. When they realised they didn’t have the star power they wanted in this little robot, they decided to, in a way that reused stock footage, bring in two completely unrelated ringers from a previous movie, Gigan and Godzilla, and then, they fight.

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