War of the Gargantuas

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“Can a country survive when two Gargantuas battle to the death?”

See what happens when two gigantic, hairy, bad-tempered bros take sibling rivalry to new heights of goofy grandiosity in the nutty Japanese monster mash, War of the Gargantuas! This trashy 1966 giant-creature flick from our pals at Toho Studios (eventually released here in the States in a typically hysterical English dubbed version in 1970) was supposed to be a sequel to the equally trashy 1965 flick Frankenstein Conquers the World. However, in a last minute rush of “Oh, what the hell” fervor, the filmmakers decided to toss out any connections this film had to its predecessor and release it on its own highly dubious merits. War of the Gargantuas, directed by famed Godzilla helmer Ishiro Honda, tells the sensitive tale of a pair of towering twin humanoids, quasi ape-like creatures (each bearing a striking resemblance to Ted Danson) called “Gargantuas,” differentiated by their contrasting coloring – one is septic brown and the other is seaweed green. The evil green monster lives in the ocean and wants to destroy Japan, and his virtuous brown brother, who resides in the Japanese Alps spreading peace and love, spends the rest of the movie trying to stop him. After much stomping of tiny toy landscapes has occurred, the army shoots the green Gargantua down, and the brown Gargantuan takes pity on his sibling and nurses him back to health, in the hope that he will abandon his senseless war on humans. Unfortunately, once the green monster is healthy again, he sets out to wreak new havoc on Tokyo, forcing his usually wimpy sibling to finally stand up and fight. Featuring a confused performance by Russ Tamblyn (Twin Peaks, West Side Story) as a highly ineffective American scientist who doesn’t do much of anything, a lot of extremely funny Gargantua wrestling and a stupefying cocktail jazz performance of the non-hit song “The Words Get Stuck in My Throat” (sung by a sultry red-haired American chanteuse who ends up as a Garganuta’s unwilling toothpick) that was covered in the late ‘70s by Devo, this is one of the silliest and most highly entertaining of the ‘60s Toho creature features. (Dir. by Ishiro Honda, 1966, Japan, dubbed in English, 92 mins., Rated G) Digital