The sole survivor of a Japanese fishing boat is hospitalized in extreme shock, and later tells a story that no one wants to believe. In the woods, campers and hikers disappear and leave only chewed-up clothes, and other people report sightings of hairy giants. An American scientist investigates, then a Japanese scientist recounts what happened years earlier in "Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon" (1965). He had found a mutated feral boy with a flat head, named it Frankenstein, and it grew 20 feet tall, rampaged, and was destroyed. Now there is another Frankenstein, only it is 100 feet tall with brown fur all over. There also is a second monster just like it, only with green skin and fur, and it eats people. Both had grown out of fragments of the first monster's body. Both Frankensteins are nearly indestructible, both team up against the armed forces, and more monsters can grow from them. Then these Frankensteins turn against each other and wage a battle to the bitter end, with the city of Tokyo as their battle arena.
Directed by: Ishirô Honda
. Starring: Russ Tamblyn
, Kumi Mizuno
, Kenji Sahara
, Nobuo Nakamura
, Jun Tazaki
, Hisaya Itô
, Yoshifumi Tajima
, Ren Yamamoto
, Kipp Hamilton
, Kôzô Nomura
, Nadao Kirino
, Shôichi Hirose
, Tadashi Okabe
. Music by: Akira Ifukube
From the masters of kaiju films comes the sequel to the thrilling movie "Frankenstein Conquers the World aka Frankenstein vs Baragon". For longest time, I never gave this classic Toho film any serious thought for some reason. However, having recently saw various reviews as well as learning that celebrities like Tim Burton grew up loving this flick, I decided to give this Japanese flick another try and boy was my mind changed for the better. Get ready to crumble because this is "War of the Garnagtuas" (known as "Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda vs Gaira" in Japan).
Plot: From the remains of the Frankenstein monster spawns a hairy brown gargantua named Sanda. Though raised by kind scientists in captivity, he escapes one day and a part of his flesh was snagged off a rock and made its way into the sea, spawning a green gargantua called Gaira. Gaira goes on a rampage through Japan killing countless civilians, but soon finds himself overwhelmed by man's great weapons. Before the military could finish off the beast, Sanda arrives to help his brother. However, it becomes apparent that while Sanda is kind and gentle, Gaira is savage and violent and so their opposing personalities clash as the two behemoth brothers have a vicious fight to the death for the fate of the world.
On the surface, "War of the Gargantuas" may seem like a typical monster movie, but that description would not do this film justice. There's a good deal of thought-provoking dialogue and some surprisingly well-done social commentary regarding the nature of humanity, reflected by both the humans and the gargantuas, which can be interpreted in a variety of levels. One example would be that while the military and Gaira represent the peoplecountry that is eager to go to war, the scientists and Sanda represent a peoplecountry that prefers a more peaceful solution to a problem. That's what's great about many of these kaiju flicks, they're not just simple, mindless entertainment but rather allegories for varying aspects of life.
The special effects are definitely impressive. Since the gargantuas are smaller than most kaiju, the miniatures and sets are made larger for a more accurate scale and they all look great, especially when they're destroyed. One noteworthy thing to point out is that this is the first appearance of the famous maser cannons, which later appear throughout the Godzilla series. Sanda and Gaira look fantastic, having a combination of fur and scales and being more slim than other kaiju, allowing the actor greater mobility. Given the humanoid nature of the creatures, you basically get to see the actors' faces, especially their eyes, and this allows them to better convey emotions.
As one might expect from the title, there's tons of action throughout the film. This is some really top notch kaiju action and this time the military isn't completely helpless as the gargantuas are actually harmed by their weapons. The battles between Sanda and Gaira are awesome as they are fast-paced and really vicious as they roll around, bite each other, toss one another into buildings, etc. Throw in some military in between and it becomes more than just fight, it's an all-out war.
With good kaiju, lots of impressive action scenes, interesting social commentary, nice acting, great special effects, and fitting music by Akira Ifukube, it's easy why "War of the Gargantuas" has had quite the impact on pop culture. Even if you're not a kaiju fan, this film will be worth your time, though you should fast forward through the song "The Word Get Stuck in My Throat" sung by this terrible American singer. Check it out for some good old-fashioned, building smashing fun.
Review by kevinxirau from the Internet Movie Database.