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Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster: Movie Review and Plot Details Revealed!

An alien race that plans to conquer Earth constructs a replica of Godzilla out of mechanical parts. Even the real Godzilla might not be able to stop this formidable robot.

The 14th Godzilla film, released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, is an improvement above its predecessors. It’s possible that’s not saying much, considering the high caliber of Godzilla movies like Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1974). (1971). GODZILLA VS. THE COSMIC MONSTER, however, makes an effort to return the series to a more mature tone by pitting a more vicious Godzilla against a massive robot replica of itself.

Due to the fact that the original title for this film in the United States was supposed to be GODZILLA VS. THE BIONIC MONSTER, there has been some misunderstanding. Universal Television threatened to sue the U.S. distributor because it believed the picture was trying to cash in on the popularity of its bionic hero TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, though it is unclear whether or not this really happened (the word “bionic” not being commonplace until that show). The distributor switched the word “BIONIC” to “COSMIC.” For the initial video release, the title was changed to GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA, but the COSMIC rubric remained on the television prints.


godzilla vs the cosmic monster

An Okinawan myth claims that the arrival of a monstrous threat coincides with the appearance of a black mountain above the clouds. But if the prophecy holds true, a crimson moon will set, two suns will rise (one an optical illusion rising from the west), and two monsters will battle evil and save the planet. An engineer and an archaeologist discover a statue of a lion-god hybrid called King Caesar in a cave on the outskirts of the city. It is predicted that he will be one of the monsters who defend humanity.

A moment later, a pitch-black mountain materializes overhead. Then, “Godzilla” emerges from a dormant volcano and goes on the offensive. There are those who, however, doubt that Godzilla is the monster that will ultimately cause Earth’s destruction.

The fact that Godzilla nearly killed Anguirus after attacking him only serves to highlight the significance of this thought. A second Godzilla unexpectedly appears, only to learn that the rampaging Godzilla is a fake. Eventually, it was revealed that this enormous robot was actually Mechagodzilla, a creation of ape-like aliens whose mission was to wipe off Godzilla. When Godzilla finally succumbs to his defeat, he hides out on Monster Island and takes repeated lightning strikes there.

In Okinawa, meanwhile, King Caesar is revived and fights Mechagodzilla. King Caesar appears to be winning at first, but he is ultimately defeated. In the end, the rampaging mech is destroyed by Godzilla’s return, this time electrically powered. Godzilla swims back to the ocean, while Caesar goes back to his cave to sleep.

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Staff role on the left, staff member’s name on the right.

  • Directed by Jun Fukuda
  • Written by Jun Fukuda, Masami Fukushima, Shinichi Sekizawa, Hiroyasu Yamamura
  • Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Music by Masaru Sato
  • Cinematography by Yuzuru Aizawa
  • Edited by Michiko Ikeda
  • Production design by Kazuo Tatsuya
  • Assistant directing by Tsunesaburo Nishikawa
  • Special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
  • Assistant Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita


The actor’s name is on the left, the character is played on the right.

  • Masaaki Daimon as Keisuke Shimizu
  • Kazuya Aoyama as Masahiko Shimizu
  • Reiko Tajima as Saeko Kanagusuku
  • Bellbella Lin (Hsiu-Ying Cheng) as Nami Kunigami, Azumi Princess
  • Hiromi Matsushita as Ikuko Miyajima
  • Akihiko Hirata as Professor Hideto Miyajima
  • Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Wagura
  • Goro Mutsumi as Black Hole Alien Leader Kuronuma
  • Shin Kishida as Interpol Agent Nanbara
  • Kenji Sahara as Queen Coral Captain
  • Daigo Kusano as Black Hole Alien Agent #R1 Yanagawa
  • Takayasu Torii as Interpol Agent Tamura
  • Yasuzo Ogawa as Construction Foreman
  • Akio Kusama as Construction Worker
  • Takuzo Kumagai as Construction Worker
  • Masao Imafuku as Tengan Kunigami, Azumi High Priest
  • Takamitsu Watanabe as Black Hole Alien
  • Takanobu Toya as Black Hole Alien
  • Yuichi Yanagisawa as Black Hole Alien
  • Shinya Kashima as Hotel Desk
  • Yoichiro Kitagawa as Reporter
  • Isao Zushi as Godzilla
  • Kazunari Mori as Mechagodzilla
  • Kin’ichi Kusumi as King Caesar, Anguirus

Theatrical releases

  • Japan – March 21, 1974
  • United States – 1977; 1978 (Re-release)
  • Portugal – August 19, 1974
  • Germany – December 20, 1974
  • Finland – August 1, 1975
  • Turkey – October 11, 1976
  • France – January 27, 1977
  • England – March 1977
  • Hungary – June 1, 1989
  • Spain October 24, 1998

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U.S. Release

Cinema Shares acquired the rights to distribute Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in North America from Toho in 1977, renaming the film Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster and releasing it under Downtown Distribution. Cinema Shares used the Toho-produced international English dub, much like they did with Godzilla vs. Megalon the year before.

Universal Studios threatened legal action against Cinema Shares in July 1977 on the grounds that the name was too close to their television series The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off The Bionic Woman. The movie was re-released by CinemaSharings with the new title Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster (simply written as Godzilla vs. Cosmic Monster on posters).

The Japanese version of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, like most Godzilla movies of the ’70s, had explicit scenes and profanity. While other studios have toned down the gore, Cinema Shares kept scenes like Godzilla spraying blood. It has been revised to include:

  • A new title card. In the Japanese and international versions, Godzilla’s name flashes several times while a mountain explodes in the background. As Masaru Sato’s music plays, the full title is revealed. In the Cosmic Monster version, the screen turns bright red (covering up the original title) and the film title and copyright information appear, along with the American poster artwork. In TV versions of the film, the artwork was cropped out of the title screen.
  • The opening credits were deleted.
  • Also deleted is a scene in which Nanbara, the INTERPOL agent, strangles one of the aliens. The final shoot-out between Nanbara and three of the aliens is similarly edited.
  • At the end of the Japanese version, King Caesar returns to his resting place and Godzilla to the sea. In a short epilogue, the Azumi princess Nami runs through her homeland celebrating with many of the characters. One of the King Caesar statues appears as the Japanese symbol for “end” appears. Cinema Shares cut this short epilogue, with the exception of the final shot of the statue. A red bar appears on the right side of the screen, with “THE END” overlaid on it.
  • In 1988, New World Video released the film along with Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla vs. Gigan. This print was Toho’s original, uncut international version, which restored all the cuts made by Cinema Shares. The film was shown on the Sci-Fi Channel throughout the 1990s under the title Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster, although this version was in fact Toho’s international version but with a new title card.
  • In 2004, TriStar Pictures released the international version on DVD. The original Japanese audio was included as an extra audio track.

Box office

About 1,330,000 people in Japan saw the film in theatres, making it the highest-grossing Godzilla film ever. This is an increase of 350,000 over the previous Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. Megalon.

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Fan interest in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla has remained consistent throughout the years thanks to the film’s jazzy score, vibrant visual effects, and exciting monster battles. Contrast that with the time period, when the Godzilla franchise was being driven by increasingly lower production qualities, and you have a film with deep themes and a rather sophisticated plot. It’s a fan favorite and often cited as the best of the Godzilla movies from the ’70s.

Trailer Here

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