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War of the Gargantuas
War of the Gargantuas
Nomenclature
Foreign title(s)
  • Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs. Gaira
  • Frankenstein: Duel of the GiantsDE
  • The War of the MonstersFR
  • KatangoIT
  • The War of the Gargantuasalternate US title
General Information
Directed by

Ishiro Honda

Produced by

Reuben Bercovitch
Henry Saperstein
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Kenichiro Tsunoda

Written by

Reuben Bercovitch
Takeshi Kimura
Ishiro Honda

Starring

Russ Tamblyn
Kumi Mizuno
Akemi Togawa

Composed by

Akira Ifukube

Production Information
Distributed by

Toho Company Ltd.JP
Maron FilmsUS

Release date

July 31, 1966JP
July 29, 1970US

Rating

Not Rated

Budget

$?,???,???

Box office

$3,000,000

Running time

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

Chronology
Previous

Frankenstein vs. Baragon

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 vs. 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.


Plot

One night, a fishing vessel in the waters off of Japan finds itself under attack by a Giant Octopus. The creature wraps its tentacles around the ship and begins to crush it until a giant green monster appears from underwater and attacks it. The giant overpowers the Giant Octopus and throws the creature into the water, prompting it to retreat. Gaira then destroys the ship himself and devours the helpless crew. The sole survivor from the attack is found, and during questioning, he claims that the ship was attacked by "Frankenstein." In Kyoto, Dr. Paul Stewart and his assistants, Drs. Akemi Togawa and Yuzo Majida, become concerned that the monster that attacked the ship might be none other than the baby Frankenstein spawn they raised at their laboratory five years ago before he escaped back to the mountains. Akemi asserts that their Frankenstein wasn't capable of committing such violence, and Dr. Stewart says that their Frankenstein would never attack nor eat people, he wouldn't live in the ocean, and he probably died after escaping, so the three scientists set out to find evidence.

Meanwhile, Frankenstein attacks another boat and villagers see him off the coast. At the same time, a mountain guide reports seeing Frankenstein in the Japanese Alps. Dr. Majida collects tissue samples at the fishing village while Dr. Stewart and Akemi investigate the mountains and find giant footprints in the snow. Then Frankenstein comes ashore at Haneda Airport and terrorizes the citizens there. The giant smashes the airport terminals, steps on planes, and devours a helpless woman. However, when the sun appears through the clouds, the green Frankenstein runs back into the ocean. Stewart, Akemi, and Majida go to Tokyo for a meeting with the J.S.D.F. to discuss how to kill the monster, and Dr. Majida reveals the green Frankenstein's weakness to light. While continuing his rampage, the green Frankenstein briefly appears in Tokyo but gets driven away by the bright lights being turned on.

The J.S.D.F. quickly develops a plan to stop the creature, a new space-age weapon dubbed the "Maser Cannon." When Frankenstein retreats to the forest one night, the J.S.D.F. ambushes the beast with their Maser Cannons and blasts him with countless volts of concentrated electricity. The green Frankenstein is almost killed but another one, bigger and brown-colored, appears and comes to his aid. The brown Frankenstein waves J.S.D.F. forces off and carries the green one off to his mountain home, and Akemi and Dr. Stewart conclude the brown Frankenstein is the one they know. After this, the military names the two Frankensteins to tell them apart: the green one "Gaira" and the brown one "Sanda." After collecting and analyzing tissue samples from both monsters, Dr. Stewart theorizes that Gaira must be an offshoot of Sanda, created when Sanda escaped from the lab and a piece of his tissue was carried to the ocean where it lived off the protein-rich plankton. However, while Sanda was lovingly raised by humans, Gaira grew up underwater in a hostile environment and became a vicious man-eater.

During a hiking trip, Stewart, Akemi, and several hikers encounter Gaira. As they're running away, Akemi falls off a ledge but Sanda comes and saves her in time, breaking his leg in the process. Dr. Stewart and Akemi try to convince the military that Sanda should be spared and only Gaira should be killed but the J.S.D.F. disregards their pleas, unwilling to risk letting either monster live. When Sanda finds Gaira again, Sanda makes a horrific discovery and sees chewed clothes laying beside the green monster, realizing that his "brother" had eaten people. Now knowing his brother is an enemy to humanity, Sanda attacks Gaira but Gaira escapes with Sanda in pursuit and heads towards Tokyo, no longer driven away by the lights as they alert him to the presence of food. The scientists continue advocating for Sanda's life and argue against the use of artillery fire against the Frankensteins or else their cells will spread and multiply, but the J.S.D.F. decides to stay with its plan to destroy both monsters.

During the evacuation of Tokyo, Akemi and Stewart try to save Sanda but run into Gaira instead. When Sanda arrives, he stops Gaira from eating Akemi and Stewart carries her to safety. Sanda pleads with his brother to leave and avoid fighting, but Gaira doesn't listen and attacks him. Despite Dr. Stewart failing to convince the army to give Sanda time to defeat Gaira, the J.S.D.F. helps Sanda in the fight. The two Frankensteins battle through Tokyo and eventually, their battle spills out into Tokyo Bay. While the Frankensteins battle out at sea, the army drops bombs around them. Then an underwater volcano erupts, causing both Sanda and Gaira to be consumed by the molten magma flows. The Frankenstein brothers disappear in the smoke of the eruption while still locked in combat. Dr. Majida sadly tells Akemi and Dr. Stewart that Sanda and Gaira's death can't be confirmed, but both monsters were likely killed. Sanda's sacrifice was not in vain, however, as he ensured that humanity would forever be safe from Gaira's reign of terror.

Staff

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

Cast

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   Dr. Yuzo Majida
  • Nobuo Nakamura   as   Dr. 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


Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Theatrical Releases

U.S. Release

POSTER-WAR-OF-THE-GARGANTUAS-+-MONSTER-ZERO

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. The dialogue was dubbed to English but all mentions of "Frankenstein" were removed, and Sanda and Gaira were simply referred to as "Brown Gargantua" and "Green Gargantua," respectively. Also, various tracks from maestro Ifukube, notably the track labeled "Operation L March," were 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[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

Trivia

  • 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 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."
  • 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 Pitt (who has incidentally starred in several other of Tarantino's films such as Inglorious Basterds and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood) 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.
  • 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.

References


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

Poll

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