War of the Gargantuas (1966) starring Russ Tamblyn, Kumi Mizuno
War of the Gargantuas – a humanoid sea beast attacks the shores of Tokyo. While his brother descends from the mountains to stop him!
Synopsis of War of the Gargantuas
In War of the Gargantuas, Gaira, a humanoid sea beast spawned from the discarded cells of Frankenstein’s monster, attacks the shores of Tokyo. No, seriously. While the Japanese military prepares to take action, Gaira’s Gargantua brother, Sanda, descends from the mountains to defend his kin. A battle between good and evil ensues, leaving brothers divided and a city in ruins.
Well, War of the Gargantuas is a different film from Ishirô Honda, The basic situation is that the brown gargantua, Sanda, grew from the irradiated cells of the Frankenstein monster. Seriously. Humans raised the creature (shown in flashback), and it was kind and gentle. But his growth went wild. Everyone thought him dead. Although in truth, he’s hiding in the mountains. In the meanwhile, a green gargantua, Sanda, appeared in the ocean. The film actually begins with a giant octopus attacking a sea vessel — but Sanda comes to the rescue! Yay! Until, after defeating the monster, he proceeds to destroy the vessel! And kills everyone on board.
The military mistake the two monsters for each other. Despite being helpfully color-coded. The military wants to blow the good gargantua to smithereens. And people ask American scientist Russ Tamblyn for his opinion about the creature repeatedly. While his lovely assistant Kumi Mizuno feels maternally towards the gentile creature — who in turn rescues her from his “brother”.
WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS: War of the Gargantuas, released in Japan in 1966 as “Frankenstein’s Monsters: Sanda versus Gaira” and a semi-sequel to Frankenstein Conquers The World. It introduces two giant, hairy humanoids called Gargantuas, which spawned from the discarded cells of Frankenstein’s Monster from the previous film and are described as brothers. The Green Gargantua is violent and savage, preying upon human beings; as he lives in sea water, he is given the name Gaira for “stranger.” The Brown Gargantua had been raised in captivity, and is docile and gentle; because he resides in the Japan Alps, he is called Sanda for “mountain”. The film follows the investigation and military engagements of these creatures until their climatic confrontation in Tokyo.
- This film was a loose sequel to Frankenstein vs. Baragon. However, all references to the previous film were cut from the American version of this film.
- Russ Tamblyn reportedly hated working on the film. He often disobeyed the film crew’s orders, causing much frustration. He considered the original script dreadful and rewrote or improvised on a lot of his dialogue, at times confounding his Japanese interpreter. The film’s American producer, Henry G. Saperstein, said that “Tamblyn was a prima donna pain in the ass.” Nevertheless, Tamblyn did warm up to the film decades later and now claims that he likes it.
Cast of characters
- Russ Tamblyn (The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, The Haunting) … Dr. Paul Stewart (as Rasu Tanburin)
- Kumi Mizuno (Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People) … Akemi Togawa
- Kenji Sahara (Rodan) … Dr. Yuzo Majida
- Nobuo Nakamura … Dr. Kita
- Jun Tazaki (Ebirah Horror of the Deep) … General
- Hisaya Itô (Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster) … Police Chief
- Yoshifumi Tajima … Police Officer
- Haruo Nakajima (Gojira) … Gaira
- Yû Sekita (Son of Godzilla) … Sanda