Terror of Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラの逆襲?, lit. Mechagodzilla's Counterattack) is a Mekagojira no Gyakushū1975 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the fifteenth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 15, 1975.
Continuing after the end of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Interpol agents, led by Inspector Kusaka, search for the wreck of Mechagodzilla at the bottom of the Okinawan Sea in the submarine, Akatsuki, to gather information on its builders, the aliens of the Third Planet from the Black Hole. But, the Akatsuki is suddenly attacked by a giant aquatic dinosaur called Titanosaurus, and the crew is apparently lost.
In response to the incident, Interpol begins to investigate. With the help of marine biologist Akira Ichinose, they trace the incident and Titanosaurus to a reclusive, mad scientist named Shinzô Mafune, who was forced to leave the institute, and now wants to destroy them as well as all of mankind. When visiting his old house in the seaside forest of Manazuru, they meet Mafune's lone daughter Katsura, who tells them that not only is her father dead, but she also burned all of his notes on the giant dinosaur, at her father's request. But unbeknownst to them, Mafune himself is alive and well, visited by his scientist friend Tsuda, who turns out to be an aide to the new black hole alien leader Mugal, who is leading the project to quickly rebuild Mechagodzilla. Mugal offers their services to Mafune, so that his Titanosaurus and their Mechagodzilla 2 will be the ultimate weapons. The ultimate goal of this new wave of black hole aliens is to wipe out mankind and rebuild cities around the world as a high-tech dystopia.
But things are complicated for both factions when Ichinose falls in love with Katsura, and unwittingly giving her Interpol's secret information against Titanosaurus, the new Mechagodzilla, and the aliens. We also find that Katsura is actually a cyborg, and Mugal may have use for her.
In the course of the film, Interpol discovers Titanosaurus' weakness: Supersonic waves. But when they construct a Supersonic Wave Oscillator, Katsura sabotages the machine, prompting Interpol to hastily repair it before Mafune and the aliens unleash Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus on Tokyo. The duo proceed to destroy large swathes of the city using their numerous abilities.
And when the situation gets desperate, Godzilla comes to the rescue. After a long battle, Katsura commits suicide, and ends the Simian's control over Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus. While Interpol distracts Titanosaurus with the Supersonic Wave Oscillator, Godzilla is able to destroy Mechagodzilla. After shooting down the Simian escape craft that are trying to get away from the planet, Godzilla then has a final battle with Titanosaurus after he was weakened by the Supersonic Wave Oscillator. Godzilla blasts Titanosaurus with atomic ray twice and Titanosaurus then falls back into into the water, with his fate being unknown.
As his human allies celebrate their victory, Godzilla returns to the sea and lets out a final roar.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ishiro Honda
- Written by Yukiko Takayama
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Henry G. Saperstein
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Sokei Tomioka, Yukio Manoda
- Edited by Yoshitami Kuroiwa
- Production design by Yoshifumi Honda
- Assistant directing by Kensho Yamashita
- Special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Katsuhiko Sasaki as Biologist Akira Ichinose
- Tomoko Ai as Katsura Mafune
- Akihiko Hirata as Dr. Shinzo Mafune
- Katsumasa Uchida as Interpol Agent Jiro Murakoshi
- Goro Mutsumi as Black Hole Alien Leader Mugal
- Toru Ibuki as Black Hole Alien Tsuda
- Tadao Nakamaru as Interpol Chief Tagawa
- Shin Roppongi as Yuuichi Wakayama
- Tomoe Mari as Yuri Yamamoto
- Kenji Sahara as Army Commander Segawa
- Kotaro Tomita as Professor Ota
- Ikio Sawamura as Mafune's Silent Butler
- Masaaki Daimon as Submarine Captain Kusakari
- Toshio Kirishima as Black Hole Planet 3 Alien
- Haruo Suzuki as Black Hole Planet 3 Alien
- Kazuo Suzuki as Black Hole Planet 3 Alien
- Mechagodzilla's Counterattack (Literal Japanese title)
- The Terror of Godzilla (United States)
- Monsters from an Unknown Planet (England)
- Monsters of the Lost Continent (Les mostres du continent perdu; France)
- The Devil’s Spawn (Die Brut des Teufels; Germany)
- Destroy Kong! The Earth is in Danger! (Distruggete Kong! La Terra è in pericolo!; Italy)
- Fighting in Starfield (Fezada mücadele; Turkey)
- Japan - March 15, 1975
- United States - March 1977
- South Korea - March 18, 1975
- Portugal - April 19, 1975
- Germany - August 22, 1975
- England - 1976
- France - August 25, 1976
Terror of Mechagodzilla was distributed theatrically in the United States by Bob Conn Enterprises in 1977, under the title The Terror of Godzilla. Like what had been for the American releases of most recent Godzilla films, Bob Conn Enterprises simply used Toho's international English dub for the film rather than dub it themselves. To ensure a G rating, several minutes of content were cut from the film. This is most noticeable during the film's climax, as much of the shootout between INTERPOL and the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens is cut due to its graphic content. The scene where Dr. Mafune is shot and the scene where Katsura shoots herself are both removed, and as a result Mechagodzilla seems to deactivate for no reason, while in the original version Katsura sacrificed herself to deactivate Mechagodzilla.
That same year, UPA began to air the film on American television. Unlike what Bob Conn had done for the theatrical release, UPA used the film's international title, Terror of Mechagodzilla, and did not cut any footage aside from the shot of Katsura's breasts. UPA's version of the film also added a prologue consisting of a narrated recap of the Showa series of Godzilla films over stock footage of the two other Godzilla films owned by UPA, Invasion of Astro-Monster and All Monsters Attack, causing this version to actually run several minutes longer than the Japanese version.
In the following decades, both edits of the film received television and home video releases in the United States, although the Bob Conn edit of the film had its title changed to Terror of Mechagodzilla as well.
In Japan, the film sold 970,000 tickets. It remains the lowest grossing Godzilla film of all time in Japan, and is also one of only two Godzilla films to sell less than one million tickets. As a result, the series was put on hold until returning in 1984 with The Return of Godzilla.
Despite being considered a bomb at the Japanese box office, Terror of Mechagodzilla is often looked upon as a strong fan favorite. Fans praise this movie for its fun fight scenes, the return of series veterans like Ishiro Honda and Akira Ifukube, the darker tone compared to other Godzilla films from the 1970s, and interesting characters, like Dr. Mafune and Katsura.
Home media releases
- Released: May 6, 1998
- Region: All Regions
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Format: Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
- Other Details: 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 79 minutes run time, 1 disc, American version
- Released: 2002
- Region: Region 2
- Language: Japanese
Classic Media (2002)
- Released: September 17, 2002
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English
- Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
- Other Details: 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 79 minutes run time, 1 disc, American version
- Released: 2007
- Region: Region 4
Classic Media (2008)
- Region: Region 1
- Language: Japanese, English
- Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Widescreen, NTSC, Color, Subtitled
- Other Details: 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 83 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese version
- This is the final Godzilla film to not mention Godzilla himself in its Japanese or English titles.
- This was the last Godzilla film directed by Ishiro Honda.
- Terror of Mechagodzilla was the last Toho-produced Godzilla film to be released in a month other than December until Shin Godzilla in 2016.
- This was Akihiko Hirata's final appearance in a Godzilla film. Hirata was planned to return and portray Doctor Hayashida in The Return of Godzilla, but passed away before the start of filming.
- This was Tomoko Ai's film debut. She was previously a semi-regular in the TV series Ultraman Leo.
- This film, much unlike the films prior to it, had a much darker tone and returned to the original style of the series. It was much more serious, and fans often consider Titanosaurus to hark back to the more realistic kaiju of the early Showa era.
- This is the first Godzilla film to feature an original score by Akira Ifukube since 1968's Destroy All Monsters; although Ifukube's music had previously been used in 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan, it was all stock music from previous scores.
- The monster situation in this film is the opposite of the previous, where it was Godzilla and King Caesar against Mechagodzilla. Also, Mechagodzilla is not a melee-capable fighter like his first version. This is shown in how, when Godzilla does finally get in close to attack, Mechagodzilla is incapable of fighting him off. Perhaps since Titanosaurus was backing him up, the aliens designed Mechagodzilla as a long-ranged attacker to back up Titanosaurus' melee power.
- Mechagodzilla's "new weapons" in this film are his finger-launched missiles as before, only the hand spins several times very fast before firing them. What effect this has on the missiles' destructive ability is unknown. One character does however mention them being a weapon with a faster rate of fire.
- Dr. Mafune's anatomical drawings in his lab are from Ultra series kaiju, specifically Kemular, Zaragas and Telesdon.
- This film also had the first shot of nudity in a Godzilla film: Katsura's prosthetic breasts are exposed while alien surgeons operate on her lower heart area.
This is a list of references for Terror of Mechagodzilla. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: