Skip to content

War of the Gargantuas (1966)

It’s Kaiju night as Kristina and I each focus on one of those Japanese imports we loved so much growing up.

Ask me who my favorite over grown monster is by way of Japan and I will always point to the Big G himself. Godzilla or Gojira if you prefer. Now ask me what is my favorite Kaiju movie and depending on what day of the week it is I just might direct you to this monster bash from the famed team of director Ishiro Honda and F/X master Eiji Tsuburaya working under the Toho banner.

War_of_the_Gargantuas

In the English dubbed version this clash of monsters deletes the idea that the original Japanese version was more or less a sequel to the previously released Frankenstein Conquers the World starring Nick Adams. From the outset this Kaiju effort offers an adventure tale of epic proportions all on it’s own.

In a fantastic prologue a fishing trawler at sea is fighting a harsh storm when a giant Octopus stretches it’s tentacles across the ship and latches onto our wheelman. Just as it’s about to take the ship to the murky depths it releases it’s hold and takes on a much larger obstacle in the guise of what will become known as Green Gargantua. The big green guy destroys both the Octopus and the ship. Not satisfied there he quickly plucks the drowning sailors from the ocean and makes a meal of them. Like any good tale of terror, one sailor will live to tell the tale.

war-of-the-gargantuas-1

As was the custom at the time, an American actor was brought in for international flavor so we get Russ Tamblyn as a gargantua specialist brought in to hear the story. In a flashback sequence, Russ and Kumi Mizuno at one time had a small childlike creature aptly titled Brown Gargantua. Somehow he escaped and hasn’t been seen since though reports of huge footsteps have been spoken of in a snow capped mountainous region.

War_of_the_Gargantuas

Now that G.G has tasted human flesh he’s hungry for more and getting braver. He begins venturing on land causing panic and the patented fleeing of people with the large predator just over the skyline of buildings in the background. Eventually he’ll venture in to a populated area and crash a nightclub scene where singer Kipp Hamilton is belting out the song, “The Words Get Stuck In My Throat.” (been humming that tune for years).

kipp hamilton

Time for the military to move in behind the face of stalwart Jun Tazaki as the General in charge of taking out G.G. The military does a top notch job utilizing cannons, helicopters and rays of punishing electricity that burns the skin of our green guy leaving him battered and bloody. While the scene is rather punishing and cruel the F/X are expertly done with the rays cutting down all the trees that the G.G. is attempting to hide behind. He finds no solace in the rivers either that have been rigged with electricity. Things are all about to change when a second creature, the Brown Gargantua comes to his rescue.

war of gargantuas

In a tale of good vs. evil we will soon find the new guy in Brown is a peaceful creature and respects the human race while the Green fellow would much rather feast on those walking the streets and hiking trails of Japan.  The military naturally wants both creatures destroyed while Russ and Kumi are fighting to have the Brown guy spared.

A battle of epic proportions is about to unfold with Tokyo as a backdrop to the proceedings.

russ and kumi

The one thing that sets this film apart for me compared to many of the other Toho Kaiju flicks are the costumes used by the actors in the gargantua suits. They are less stiff and don’t look to be of the rubber variety. They allow the actors their own muscle tone and make for great agility when the final battle comes. Sure the faces are a bit of a paper mache project but they are iconic enough that if I ever run into a gargantua I would expect them to look just like these guys.

war_of_the_gargantuas_poster

The film is in color and if you are a student of the many Toho monster epics you’ll smile at the soundtrack, the military models and the guys will all point to Miss Mizuno’s attractive features and say, “she’s the same actress that lured Nick Adams into trouble in Godzilla vs. Monster Zero.” She also serves as that beauty and the beast inspiration when it comes to her and the Brown Gargantua which is an obvious cliché of the giant monster epics dating back to Kong.

Now it’s time to see which Toho classic Kristina decided to shine the light on over at the Speakeasy so click here to stomp your way across Tokyo Bay.

War of the Gargantuas has been featured as part of the Why Horror? Why Not? celebration.

10 Comments »

  1. Cool choice, saw this a looong time ago. As you point out, the parts of these costumes that are so obviously fake, it doesn’t even matter because they work so well and make the impression they’re supposed to. Very fun movies, we are always spooked by giants so this genre will last forever.

  2. Another great and memory-packed post! I do need to grab this film on DVD one day. It’s been ages since I saw it last and your review was a nice reminder.

  3. Another childhood classic that I watched relentlessly on Saturday afternoons. I love how the gargantua devours her, then spits out her dress! And that Kipp Hamilton song…I actually have that on my laptop, ready to play whenever I’m in the mood.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

%d bloggers like this: