In Frankenstein vs Baragon starring Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno – a surprisingly good film, where a kindly pair of scientists raise … Frankenstein?
Frankenstein vs Baragon (1965) starring Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno
Review of Frankenstein vs Baragon
Frankly, Frankenstein vs Baragon is a much better film that you might expect. It begins during World War II, where Nazis confiscate something from a descendent of the original Dr. Frankenstein. They fly it to Japan, where it’s revealed to be the “immortal” heart of Frankenstein’s creation, which has never been destroyed. The Japanese hope to learn how to copy its incredible regeneration ability to help their soldiers survive in battle. Unfortunately, it’s literally the last days of the war — and the atomic bomb literally drops on the research center in Hiroshima!
The film then flashes forward to several years later, as doctors in Japan work to save the lives of people suffering from radiation sickness. Including a very sweet young girl they’ve been taking care of for years, Kazuko …. And all involved know that she’s terminally ill. And in this setting, they discover a feral wild child in the ruins of Hiroshima. A strange young man, with a curiously flat head. The kind-hearted Dr. Sueko Togami hears about him, and with the aid of Dr. James Bowen, they bring him to their institute. The two become surrogate parents to the young man. A fair amount of time is spent with the development of the characters, and it definitely pays off.
But then, there’s a problem. The young man — obviously generated from the Frankenstein heart — continues to grow. He soon becomes gigantic, and kept in a cage. He can’t understand why, and his surrogate parents continue to care for him. And then Baragon, Godzilla’s friend, attacks — for no obvious reason other than the script called for it. Ending in a battle between the two. And it ends with everyone thinking that Frankenstein is destroyed. But there’s a pseudo-sequel in War of the Gargantuas that shows that he’s escaped to the mountains.
Cast of characters
- Nick Adams (Die, Monster, Die) … Dr. James Bowen (as Nikku Adamusu)
- Kumi Mizuno (Ebirah, Horror of the Deep) … Dr. Sueko Togami.
- Tadao Takashima (Son of Godzilla) … Dr. Yuzo Kawaji. The scientist who wants to cut off one of Frankenstein’s limbs …. To test its regenerative abilities, of course. But later he’s satisfied with its severed hand!
- Yoshio Tsuchiya (Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People) … Mr. Kawai
- Kôji Furuhata … Frankenstein
- Jun Tazaki (Atragon) … Military Advisor
- Susumu Fujita … Osaka Police Chief
- Takashi Shimura (Gorjia, aka Godzilla) … Axis Scientist
- Keiko Sawai … Kazuko, the dying girl
- Peter Mann … Dr. Liesendorf
- Sumio Nakao … Young Frankenstein (as Kenichiro Kawaji)
- Paul Frees (The Time Machine) … Various (voice)
- Haruo Nakajima (Godzilla vs. Gigan) … Baragon / Self-Defense Force Personnel (uncredited)
- Also known as Frankenstein Conquers The World
- The film was a Japanese-U.S. co-production. The versions released in Japan and the United States were nearly identical, though the U.S. version was about three minutes shorter. The international version for release outside the United States and Japan was longer and replaced the earthquake ending with Frankenstein battling a giant octopus.
- In the English-language version of the film, Paul Frees voices several of the characters.
- In preparation for the film, director Honda watched the 1931 Universal Pictures film for inspiration on how to interpret the Monster. He wanted to express the tragedy and sorrow of the character.