Out of the Kaiju films on Filmstruck, this is the best so far. We start out with a giant octopus attacking a fishing boat and crew. The first thing that caught my attention was how well the tentacles moved around. These weren’t claymation; in fact, they were big enough to wrap around the actor pretty convincingly. We then get a green gargantuan, or Frankenstein, as it’s periodically referred to, attack the octopus and drive it off. The gargantuan then turns its attention to the boat and its salty, human-sized snacks inside.

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The War of the Gargantuas

From there we find out that at some point, a group of scientists made an ape-sized Frankenstein some years back that apparently broke free and was thought to have been killed even though it hadn’t hurt anyone during whatever rampage it had. This part was kind of vague, but the basic idea is that the brown monster is good. So the scientists get accused of causing this big, green menace that now threatens various Japanese towns. It’s like Godzilla, but instead of having mysterious H-Bomb testing origins, this one came from a lab. So the scientists are trying to clear their names.

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The War of the Gargantuas

 As you’d imagine, the army comes along to kill the green meany with their tanks and lasers, but just when it looks like they will kill it, a brown one shows up to help the green one. After much research, and the original and much larger brown Frankenstein showing up, the scientists conclude that some form of monster material fell off the brown one and went out to the sea which then mutated with some sea creature to form the green monster. What they didn’t really explain was how the brown monster started out a man size ape but ended up the size of a building. Neither creature really had any kind of special power except that the brown creature was a bit more intelligent and did remember its creators.

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The War of the Gargantuas

Eventually, our brown, building-sized Frankenstein figures out that his green buddy is really out to eat people for snacks. So that starts a battle between the two monsters which is pretty spectacular. These two go at it like a couple of wrestlers in a glorious battle.

 Now, I’ve made numerous mentions in past reviews about how great a job the modeling department did, and this is definitely the best yet. If there is any question, just look at the airport scene. Green monster goes on a rampage amidst the planes and kicks around a few storage containers and smashes a building in before moving on. There are also forests and a few other well-done sets. It looks like this had a really good sized budget for effects and sets. I’m guessing that by now the commercial side of monster films took hold and allowed for that bigger budget.

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The War of the Gargantuas

To close this out, this particular entry in Filmstruck’s archive is not a Godzilla movie, but something different. It has been made by the same director and presumably a lot of the same staff, but with a fresh monster story. At no point do we get everyone’s favorite Kaiju. This is two brand new behemoths to shred the silver screen.

★★★½

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