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There's a DVD-R of this film from BijouFlix, a full screen version which looks like it was copied from a TV broadcast. When played, I realized that a few minutes of footage must be missing (this is the American version released in '65) because a couple of scenes are mentioned at the Million Monkey Theater site (GHIDRAH Review at MillionMonkeyTheater) which are NOT on my copy. Aaaiii - someone must pay! But, later for that.
The review at Million Monkey Theater is a blow-by-blow overview: this lengthy review covers every minute of action which takes place during the 'about-85-minute' film and you will learn every plot turn in the film. But, be warned: it's written by a guy named Mike Martinez who is NOT a fan of the film; he writes quite condescendingly about it and thinks of himself as a very funny writer; for example, right at the start, in his list of credits, he throws in "Godzilla, Rodan, Bugs Bunny, Michael Jordan, and the rest of the gang" - ha-ha, you funny, Mike! You very funny! His attitude (and review comments) underscores how this film divides the fans of Kaiju cinema. Some fans are still entertained by the juvenile 'dumbing-down' of Japanese monsters with this pivotal film because it's fun; others really hate how Godzilla and other monsters were turned into jokes. I also used to mix this one up with the follow-up, Invasion of Astro-Monster (65) a.k.a. Monster Zero.
And, this IS a pivotal film - in several ways. Godzilla takes his 5th bow here. It's the first teaming up of Godzilla & Rodan (after they rumble, that is), functioning as a sequel to Mothra vs. Godzilla (64) and Rodan (56). And, as mentioned, it signaled the last time that Godzilla was portrayed as a villain (he's a villain in the 1st half here, then switches to Earth's savior). At least, Godzilla wasn't a villain for a long time after this film. This was also the first monster mash: besides the Big G and Rodan, there's the new Mothra (still a young larva here) and the 1st appearance of the 3-headed Ghidorah a.k.a. Ghidrah. It was also the latest (and last for the actresses) appearance of the tiny twin fairies (from Mothra vs. Godzilla), who would return in Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966). Mothra is the truly heroic one here, tackling the menacing Ghidorah by itself after trying to 'talk' sense to Godzilla & Rodan; these moments probably elicited emotional responses from children back then, the new target audience at this point.
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