Gigantis the Fire Monster (Godzilla Raids Again)(Gojira's Counterattack)(The Volcano Monster) (1955)

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Movie Info

Tsukioka (Hiroshi Koizumi) and Kobayashi (Minoru Chiaki) fly scout planes for a small fishing fleet, based in Osaka. A mechanical problem forces Kobayashi to set his plane down on remote Iwato island, and as he and Tsukioka are trying to make repairs, they are drawn to the sound of a horrendous conflagration and discover two enormous dinosaurs battling each other amid the snowy wastes of the island. After successfully taking off, they report their findings to the government in Tokyo, and Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura) determines that one of the dinosaurs is the same species as Godzilla, and both creatures are just as dangerous as the first Godzilla. The two dinosaurs' battle and chase carries them across the ocean and to Osaka, where they destroy the city, and in the process, Anguirus is killed and incinerated by Godzilla, who escapes out to the sea. Tsukioka and Kobayashi are later flying a patrol when they spot Godzilla on a frozen island. Kobayashi's plane is hit by the monster's incendiary breath and he is killed, and as his plane crashes, a small amount of ice rains down on the creature. Tsukioka gets an idea from his friend's death and directs the military aircraft to fire their missiles -- which have proved ineffective when used directly against Godzilla -- at the icy slopes. Godzilla is soon overwhelmed and buried by the ever-rising cascade of ice, and the dinosaur is frozen solid and immobile in the center of the glacier-size sheet of ice. Motoyoshi Oda's Gojira No Gyakushu (aka Godzilla Raids Again, 1955), issued in Japan six months after the original Gojira and released in America redubbed as Gigantis the Fire Monster four years later, was about as different from its predecessor, Ishiro Honda's Gojira (1954), as could possibly be imagined. Where Honda's film, from a screenplay co-authored by Takeo Murata and the director (based on a story by Shigeru Kayama), found a good balance and linkage between the larger story of the monster's appearance and attacks and the human side of the story, Oda's movie never finds that balance. It offers far too disjointed a plot, involving a pair of pilots, the women they love, the sighting of a second Godzilla and the giant ankylosaurus Anguirus, and their city-destroying battle in Osaka, and even the escape of a group of prisoners. The presence of Takashi Shimura in the Japanese edition of the movie, very briefly reprising his role as Dr. Yamane, only serves to highlight the difference in quality between the two movies and the decided creative poverty of the second film. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Drama , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
On DVD:
Runtime:

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Critic Reviews for Gigantis the Fire Monster (Godzilla Raids Again)(Gojira's Counterattack)(The Volcano Monster)

All Critics (1)

A frequently hilarious hodgepodge of reworked dialogue and unnecessary, often absurd changes.

Full Review… | October 11, 2011
Suite101.com

Audience Reviews for Gigantis the Fire Monster (Godzilla Raids Again)(Gojira's Counterattack)(The Volcano Monster)

Not a very good film. Just a regurgitation of the original 1954 movie. Only instead of fighting mankind, Godzilla is also fighting a fire breathing monster that walks like a dog and has spikes all over his body.

Bryan Davis
Bryan Davis

Super Reviewer

½

The first Godzilla sequel, which came out a year after "Gojira", pits Godzilla against his first opponent Anguirus. Still filmed in the glorious black and white, this film featured the first Godzilla monster battle, an element that would become a long-standing tradition of the franchise. Special effects supervisor Eiji Tsuburaya brings the same level of quality from the previous film, with some truly astounding set pieces. There is enough dazzling military action and impressive monster fighting that it almost counters the movies less-than-stellar plot. The film's plot still carries some of the grim tone of the original, but the awkward humor moments from the characters can be a little off-setting at times. The two main characters, Tsukioka and Kobayashi, offer a pretty interesting viewpoint but their story at times feels too isolated from the monster action. It is not until about two-thirds of the way through that the human characters even interact with Godzilla. Plus the movie tries to tug at our heart strings by killing off one of the main characters but the manner in which he is killed felt too random to be dramatically effective. Despite some of the film's dramatic shortcomings, "Godzilla Raids Again" remains a flawed but overall fun flick. Oh and by the way, stay away from the American version. The dubbing is awful and they call Godzilla "Gigantis".

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

½

Godzilla doesn't technically "raid again", it's a different Godzilla this time. Never to fear, this Godzilla has the same MO and also brings along a pal/enemy. The film moves focus away from science by giving us the protagonists of two pilots. These guys are the Japanese Maverick and Goose. Best of buddies, flirting with the ladies and spotting monsters. After one makes an emergency landing on an island his buddy comes to the rescue where they discover Godzilla in a battle with an Ankylosaurus. They manage to return home where the film pays attention to the youth of Japan and the rebuilding of the country. A nice look at a different part of such destruction that Godzilla represents. The main emotional weight is brought by Kobayashi and his awkward shy flirting with a girl from a well-to-do family. It doesn't feel inappropriate despite a giant monster about, quite the achievement. The final showdown sees a much more action packed attack than before, with planes, avalanches, and gasoline drums all taking part. Loses some weight of the original, but at least it doesn't repeat the same messages verbatim.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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