Kaijū Menagerie

Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラ Mekagojira)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, 1974

– a metallic monster made in Godzilla’s image
– a space titanium finish
– eyes sometimes red, sometimes yellow, always soul-penetrating

– rocket fingers
– rainbow optical ray
– countless other awesome weapons (including knee missiles)
– flight
Exorcist-style head rotation
– disguising himself as Godzilla
– beating Anguirus to a pulp


I’ve avoided writing about Shōwa era Mechagodzilla since the beginning of Mondo Exploito. Not because I dislike him. Rather the opposite. I worship Mechagodzilla, and I was afraid I couldn’t do justice to my favourite Godzilla adversary. And I can’t. It’s impossible to explain how much of a mark Mechagodzilla has made such me without sitting everyone down to watch Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) while I clap and dribble with mindless glee. But I’ll try.

I’d already seen quite a few Godzilla flicks before watching Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, including the Heisei era Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993). The 90s Mechagodzilla had left me thoroughly impressed, but it wasn’t until watching his original appearance that I found myself obsessed. The Mechagodzilla of the 70s, built by ape-like aliens, is a vicious, blood thirsty maniac. He kicks off Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in disguise as Godzilla and proceeds to beat the absolute snot out of Anguirus, finishing him off by breaking his jaw. It’s a genuinely unsettling scene.

Despite the film being a solid piece of fun, Mechagodzilla’s presence lends a rather ominous tone to the proceedings creating a seemingly unstoppable monster, one that could believably destroy Godzilla. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is great, but its followup, Terror of Mechagodzilla, is absolute perfection. Terror of Mechagodzilla is an incredibly dark film (as far as Godzilla films go) and further cements Mechagodzilla as Godzilla’s most relentless and terrifying opponent as he screeches his way through the film. Even with his head torn off, he doesn’t let up.

He manages to achieve this aura of terror while firing rainbows out of his eyes… rainbows that make Godzilla fucking bleed

I’m not sure what it was about Mechagodzilla that hooked me specifically, but I love the idea of a robotic replica of Godzilla. What better way to fight Godzilla than to recreate him? It’s total madness and kind of hilarious, yet it also makes perfect sense. Amazing stuff.

He may be a robot, but Mechagodzilla manages to have far more personality than your average kaijū. You can’t help but feel as he’s beating Anguirus to death or blasting Godzilla away with missiles that he’s getting a sadistic tingling of pleasure in his circuits. Mechagodzilla would return in Heisei and Millennium efforts, working for humans rather than villainous aliens. While I enjoy these updated versions, none come close to reaching the chaotic heights of Mechagodzilla’s original Shōwa appearances.