Godzilla Raids Again (ゴジラの逆襲?, Gojira no Gyakushu, lit. Godzilla's Counterattack) is a 1955 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the second installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on April 24, 1955, and to American theaters as Gigantis, the Fire Monster on May 21, 1959.
Two pilots named Tsukioka and Kobayashi are hunting for schools of fish for a tuna cannery company in Osaka. Kobayashi's plane malfunctions and is forced to land near Iwato Island, an uninhabited strip of rocks formed by volcanic eruptions. Tsukioka then looks for Kobayashi and finds him safe, with only a wrist sprain. While talking, the two men hear some strange sounds and find two monsters fighting. Tsukioka immediately recognizes one of the monsters to be Godzilla. The two monsters then fall off a cliff, into the ocean.
Tsukioka and Kobayashi report to the authorities in Osaka, and find out that the other creature, Godzilla was fighting Anguirus. A group of scientists with the two pilots researched Anguirus in a book written by a Polish scientist. Anguirus and Godzilla lived around the same time millions of years ago. Anguirus hated hostile creatures, which explains the intense rivalry between Anguirus and Godzilla.
Dr. Yamane, who experienced Godzilla's first attack, was also present at the meeting, and shows a film of Godzilla attacking Tokyo just one year before. He then explains that the monster Tsukioka and Kobayashi saw is another Godzilla. Yamane states that there is no way to kill Godzilla, and that Dr. Serizawa, the inventor of the weapon used to kill the previous Godzilla, the Oxygen Destroyer, had died and burned the formula. Yamane, though, suggests that the military should use flares on Godzilla to attract the monster away from the shore. Godzilla becomes angry when he sees lights because the hydrogen bomb's bright explosion had awakened him.
One day unexpectedly, Godzilla shows up on the shore of Osaka. Jets are sent to shoot flares from their planes to lead Godzilla away from the shore. Godzilla sees the flames, and, as Yamane predicted, starts to walk away.
Meanwhile, a prison truck transports dangerous criminals to another part of the country. All of the criminals, using body language, decided that this would be a great opportunity to escape from prison. The prisoners beat up the two policemen guarding the back door of the truck, and run away. A few of them find a gasoline truck, and put the petal to the metal. The truck crashes into an industrial building and starts a massive fire.
The fire attracts Godzilla to the shore of Osaka again. A few minutes later, Anguirus swims to shore and attacks Godzilla. The two creatures fight an intense battle, while destroying several buildings, including the tuna cannery that Tsukioka and Kobayashi work for. Godzilla finally bites Anguirus' neck, and throws him on a moat near Osaka Castle. Godzilla then fires his atomic ray, and burns Anguirus to death.
Tsukioka and Kobayashi are transferred to a Hokkaido plant. During a company party, Tsukioka and Kobayashi are notified that Godzilla destroyed one of the company fishing boats. The military, and Tsukioka begin a massive search for Godzilla. Tsukioka spots Godzilla swimming to the shore of a small, icy island. He notifies the cannery, and Kobayashi takes off in his plane to switch shifts with Tsukioka.
Kobayashi dives his plane towards Godzilla to distract him from walking back into the ocean. Tsukioka then transferred to the air force, travels on a jet with an old college friend. They drop bombs on Godzilla but are unsuccessful. Godzilla then wades towards shore. Koboyashi dives towards Godzilla again but Godzilla fires his atomic ray on Kobayashi's plane. The plane then crashes on an icy mountain, killing Kobayashi.
Tsukioka grieves but then notices that the military can shoot missiles at the mountain, and bury Godzilla in an avalanche. The jets fire the missiles, and bury Godzilla in snow to his waist.
The jets return to base to reload, and Tsukioka is authorized to fly in his own jet. The jets return to the icy island, and shoot missiles at the mountain, burying Godzilla to his neck. Tsukioka then shoots his missiles burying Godzilla completely. Tsukioka looks to the sky, and says, "Kobayashi, we buried Godzilla for you."
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
In 1959, Warner Bros. theatrically released a heavily edited version of the film, under the title Gigantis the Fire Monster. For a long time, this change in name was thought to be because Warner Bros. did not have the rights to "Godzilla." However, Paul Schreibman, the producer of the American version, said that he changed Godzilla's name to "Gigantis" to give the audience the impression that they were seeing a new monster. He has since regretted that decision.
On November 7th, 2006, Classic Media, after releasing both the Japanese and American version of Gojira in a 2-disc DVD two months previous, released both the Japanese version and American version of Godzilla Raids Again. Prior to this release, the film had been unavailable on North American home video since Video Treasures' VHS release in the early 90s. A notable difference between the original Gigantis and the U.S. version featured on this DVD, is the fact the Gigantis title card has been replaced with a newer Godzilla Raids Again one, by request of Toho.
The film sold approximately 8,340,000 tickets in Japan, making it the third most-attended Godzilla film in Japan. It grossed around 1,700,000 yen, or $1,670,080.
The film was generally poorly received by fans and critics, thinking of it as a rushed sequel. It is, however, praised for being the first Godzilla film to introduce the formula of Godzilla battling other monsters, which would become a staple of the franchise.
Classic Media (2012)
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