Godzilla's Revenge (1969) poster

Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)


(Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Oru Kaiju Daishingeki)

Japan. 1969.


Director – Ishiro Honda, Screenplay – Shinichi Sekizawa, Producer – Tomoyuki Tanaka, Photography – Mottotaka Tomioka, Music – Kunio Miyauchi, Special Effects Director – Eiji Tsuburaya, Sets – Takee Kita. Production Company – Toho.


Tomonori Yazaki (Ichiro), Eisei Amamoto (Minami), Sachio Sakai (Senbayashi), Kazuo Suzuki (Okuda), Kenji Sahara (Ichiro’s Father)


Young Ichiro feels lonely because both his parents are always at work and he is bullied at school. He has a dream where he is on Monster Island. There he is befriended by Godzilla’s son Minya. He helps Minya stand up to another bigger monster Gaborah. As a result of doing this, Ichiro is able to learn how to stand up for himself when two bank robbers on the run abduct him.

Godzilla’s Revenge was the tenth Godzilla film. It marks a major low point in the series. The original Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954) had been crafted as a force of anger and ferocity, embodying everything that the Japanese felt about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Gradually, by the time of the fifth film in the series Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Godzilla’s ferocity has been whittled down until he became Japan’s defender and the films became increasingly more comic-bookish.

With Son of Godzilla (1968), an otherwise likable film, and the introduction of his son Minya, Godzilla’s seriousness took an even further nosedive and began its decline into child-oriented, juvenile pratfalls. This reached a nadir with Godzilla’s Revenge which, even though Jun Fukuda’s entries in the 1970s were far more technically inept and much worse films, was an all-time low for the series in terms of childish puerility, particularly in contrast to everything the series had once held.

Ebirah, Godzilla, Kamacurus, Minya, Ganara, Manda and Kumonga in Godzilla's Revenge (1969)
Monster line-up – (l to r) (top row) Ebirah, Godzilla, Kamacurus, Minya; (foreground) Ganara, Manda and Kumonga

Godzilla’s Revenge is mostly centred around Minya instead of Godzilla, a focus that considerably belies the ferocity the title seems to suggest. Minya is only there to take pratfalls and give life lessons to the kid. There is much silly nonsense with Minya only able to blow smoke rings instead of radioactive fire and with the kid having to drop a rock on his tail to make him unleash fire properly. The film’s lowest point is having Minya talk with a dubbed voice.

There is also a cartoonishly silly score and sound effects. Special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya was ill throughout shooting and died a few months after the film’s release – as a result, the effects scenes were filled out using scenes taken from Godzilla vs the Sea Monster (1966) and Son of Godzilla.

The other Godzilla films are:– Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Godzilla vs the Sea Monster/Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1968), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzilla vs the Smog Monster/Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs Gigan/Godzilla on Monster Island (1972), Godzilla vs Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster/Godzilla vs the Bionic Monster/Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976), Godzilla 1985 (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992), Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995), Godzilla 2000 (1999), Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence (2016) and Godzilla Minus One (2023), plus the anime Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017) and Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018) and Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018). Both Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla (1998) and Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla (2014) are big-budget, English-language remakes, while the latter launched three sequels with Godzilla, King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024).

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