Ever since I saw King Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters earlier this year, I knew that I would have to check out the original Godzilla films (aside from the original, which I’ve already seen), and at the top of my list was Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, the film that introduced the three-headed flying space dragon to the Godzilla story. For whatever reason, I’m just drawn to this particular monster, even before I knew who he was, pictures of King Ghidorah stood out to me.
That’s just one reason I ran out and picked up the Criterion collection of Showa-era Godzilla films (expect a number of those films to be reviewed in the coming days and weeks). The very first film I saw down to watch was Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, and I was glued to the screen from start to finish. The film, like many Godzilla films I’m coming to find, features a number of monsters, including Rodan, Mothra (in larval form), and of course, King Ghidorah in his film debut. The story starts when a mysterious meteor shower comes to Earth, dropping a bizarre meteorite deep in the mountains, one that seemingly affects gravity, it later cracks open to reveal the titular monster.
At the same time, a foreign princess is presumed murdered in a bombing, only to show up in Japan claiming to be from Venus and making dire predictions about the fate of the world. I admittedly had trouble accepting the Venusian storyline part of this movie, but it does make for an interesting plot device.
Of course the most important thing for me in this movie was the monsters themselves and oh my goodness I got all I wanted and more. Before watching this film, the only monster I’d seen in the original Japanese films was Godzilla himself. This was my first time being Rodan, Mothra, and of course King Ghidorah in their original looks and I loved it all! Well, almost, I actually like Rodan’s appearance in Godzilla: King of the Monsters more than I did here, but that’s more of a nitpick than anything else. King Ghidorah blew my mind with how real he looked as he flew and moved.
I also really liked the Shobijin, the twin fairies that can summon Mothra with their (beautiful) singing. I really liked that they speak in unison and that they’re so tiny. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting them to be small, but since they are fairies, it does make sense. Their song for Mothra is beautiful.
The point I’m trying to make is that Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster is a really good Godzilla film. It has plenty of monsters, Godzilla gets quite a lot of screen time, and the final battle between Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah is really good given the nature of the special effects being used. I’m continually astounded by how real these creatures look given they’re all portrayed by men in suits! If you want to dive right into the Showa-era films, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster isn’t a bad place to start!
Let me know what you think about Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster in the comments below and have a great day!
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