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War of the Gargantuas
War of the Gargantuas
General Information
Directed by

Ishiro Honda

Produced by

Reuben Bercovitch
Henry Saperstein
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Kenichiro Tsunoda

Written by

Reuben Bercovitch
Takeshi Kimura
Ishiro Honda

Composed by

Akira Ifukube

Production Information
Distributed by

Toho Company Ltd.JP
Maron FilmsUS


Not Rated



Box office


Running time

90 minutesJP
(1 hour, 30 minutes)
92 minutesUS
(1 hour, 32 minutes)

War of the Gargantuas (フランケンシュタインの怪獣 サンダ対ガイラ,   Furankenshutain no Kaijū: Sanda tai Gaira?, lit. Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda Against Gaira) is a 1966 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd. and a loose sequel to Frankenstein vs. Baragon. It was released to Japanese theaters on July 31, 1966.


One night, a fishing vessel in the waters off Japan found itself under attack by a Giant Octopus. The creature wrapped its tentacles around the ship and began to crush it until a giant green monster appeared from underwater and attacked it. The giant, Gaira, overpowered the Giant Octopus and threw the creature into the water, prompting it to retreat. Gaira then destroyed the ship himself and devoured the helpless crew. One sole survivor from the attack was found, and during questioning he claimed that the ship was attacked by "Frankenstein." Dr. Paul Stewart and his assistants Akemi Togawa and Yuzo Majida became concerned that the monster that attacked the ship might be none other than Sanda, the Frankenstein spawn they raised at their laboratory years ago before he escaped to the mountains. Akemi asserted that Sanda was not capable of committing such violence, and so the three scientists set out to find evidence.

Meanwhile, Gaira came ashore at Haneda Airport and terrorized the citizens there. Gaira smashed the airport terminals, stepped on planes, and devoured helpless people. However, when the sun appeared through the clouds, Gaira ran back into the ocean. The J.S.D.F. quickly developed a plan to stop the creature, a new space-age weapon dubbed the Maser Cannon. When Gaira appeared in the wilderness one night, the J.S.D.F. ambushed the beast with their Maser Cannons and blasted him with countless volts of concentrated electricity. Gaira was almost killed, but his brother Sanda appeared through the forest and came to his aid. Sanda waved the J.S.D.F. forces off and carried his brother off to his mountain home. After this, Dr. Stewart concluded that Gaira must be another Frankenstein spawn like Sanda, having regenerated from some of the giant Frankenstein monster's immortal cells. However, while Sanda was lovingly raised by humans, Gaira grew up underwater in a hostile environment and became a vicious man-eater.

While Gaira was recovering in the mountains, Sanda made a horrific discovery when he saw his brother attack and kill a group of hikers. Realizing his brother was an enemy to humanity, Sanda attacked Gaira, driving him out of the forest. When Gaira appeared in Tokyo, Sanda took it upon himself to stop him and went there as well. Akemi pleaded with Sanda, whom she had raised like a son, to not go to Tokyo and risk being killed by the J.S.D.F. or Gaira, but Sanda continued on. When Sanda found Gaira in Tokyo, he pleaded with his brother to simply leave and avoid fighting, but Gaira attacked him. The two Gargantuas battled across Tokyo and eventually their battle spilled out into Tokyo Bay. While the Gargantuas battled in the sea, an underwater volcano erupted, causing both Sanda and Gaira to be pulled into molten magma flows and disappear. Dr. Stewart sadly told Akemi that both monsters were likely killed and that the magma completely destroyed all of their cells so they could never regenerate. Sanda's sacrifice was not in vain however, as he ensured that humanity would forever be safe from Gaira's reign of terror.


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Russ Tamblyn   as   Dr. Paul Stewart
  • Kumi Mizuno   as   Akemi Togawa
  • Kenji Sahara   as   Yuzo Majida
  • Nobuo Nakamura   as   Kita
  • Jun Tazaki   as   General Masami Shinzo
  • Hisaya Ito   as   Police Chief
  • Yoshifumi Tajima   as   Police Officer
  • Kipp Hamilton   as   Club Singer
  • Kozo Nomura   as   General's Aide
  • Ren Yamamoto   as   Sailor
  • Nadao Kirino   as   Soldier
  • Shoichi Hirose   as   Soldier
  • Tadashi Okabe   as   Reporter
  • Koji Uno   as   Reporter
  • Seishiro Kuno   as   Fisherman
  • Ikio Sawamura   as   Fisherman
  • Somesho Matsumoto   as   Official
  • Kasei Kinoshita   as   Child Sanda voice


Weapons, Vehicles, and Races



Main article: War of the Gargantuas/Gallery.


Main article: War of the Gargantuas (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs. Gaira (Literal Translation)
  • Frankenstein: Duel of the Giants (Germany)
  • The War of the Monsters (France)
  • Katango (Italy)

Theatrical Releases

U.S. Release


American War of the Gargantuas and Monster Zero double bill poster

War of the Gargantuas was released in the United States by Maron Films in 1970 as part of a double-bill with Monster Zero. Dialogue was dubbed to English. All mention of "Frankenstein" was removed, and Sanda and Gaira were simply referred to as "Brown Gargantua" and "Green Gargantua," respectively. In addition, various tracks from maestro Ifukube, specifically the track labeled Operation L March was replaced with stock music from the 1957 American film The Incredible Petrified World as well as Toho's own Invasion of Astro Monster.

Video Releases

Classic media (2012)[1]

  • Released: July 1, 2012
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: Japanese
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Other Details: aspect ratio, 92 minutes run time, 2 disc, Japanese version, double feature with Rodan



  • During the film, several ambiguous references are made to the film Frankenstein vs. Baragon, but the only direct link between the films is the term "Frankenstein," which appears in the Japanese title and is used to refer to the Gargantuas ("Frankensteins") in the original Japanese dialogue. Due to dialogue referring to the monsters as "Frankensteins," Russ Tamblyn had to re-dub his dialogue for the American version of the film, which removed all references to Frankenstein.
    • Additionally, Kumi Mizuno's character in this film, Akemi Togawa, is very similar to her character Sueko Togami from Frankenstein vs. Baragon, leading some to believe she is, in fact, reprising the role.
  • War of the Gargantuas is referenced in the beginning of the 2002 Godzilla film Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla, and stock footage of Gaira from the film is shown. Supplementary materials for the sequel to Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. reveal that War of the Gargantuas is part of the continuity of the two films, along with several other non-Godzilla films from the Showa era.
  • This film marks the first appearance of the Maser Cannon in a Toho film. The Maser Cannons would go on to become famous recurring military weapons in Toho's Godzilla films over the next several decades.
  • The American producer of the film, Henry G. Saperstein, had reportedly planned to make a collaborative Japanese-American Godzilla film, possibly featuring a Gargantua battling Godzilla.
  • The original ending of the film was to not only have Sanda and Gaira swallowed up by the underwater volcano, but the lava was to have spread to Tokyo where it was to destroy the city as well as the remaining cells of the monsters; cited in an interview with director Honda in Guy Tucker's Age of the Gods: A History of the Japanese Fantasy Film.
  • Sanda and Gaira re-appeared in Go! Godman Episodes 16 Godman vs. Sanda and 17 Godman vs. Gaira as well as in Go! Greenman Episodes 31 Greenman vs. Sanda and 4 Greenman vs. Gaira. Gaira later made an appearance in the 2008 Go! Godman movie.
  • Quentin Tarantino based the fight between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill Vol. 2 on the final battle from War of the Gargantuas. He showed his copy of the film to both actresses and told them he wanted it to be "The War of the Blonde Gargantuas."
  • For the trailer of the upcoming TLC show Inedible to Incredible, music from the American version of War of the Gargantuas plays briefly in the background.
  • During the 2012 Oscars ceremony, there was a segment called "First Movie Moments" where famous actors describe the first movie they remember seeing. Actor Brad Pit stated that the first movie he ever saw was none other than War of the Gargantuas, and credited the film as the reason why he became an actor.


Film media
Godzilla films
King Kong films
Mothra films
Gamera films
Other films
Cancelled or scrapped films


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