An underground nuclear test near the Aleutians sends seismic activity around the world. The affects are even felt on Monster Island. Goro Ibuki, his kid brother Rokuro and Goro’s friend Hiroshi Jinkawa are spending the day at a lake when one of the tremors opens up a chasm at the bottom of the lake. The effect drains all the water out of the lake. When they return home they are ambushed by two men. Hiroshi goes after them but they get away. Back at the house Goro and Rokuro find some red sand. Hiroshi shows them what he thinks is a button he found on the floor. It is the same color as the sand. They submit the substances to various tests. It is discovered that it comes from deep underground and on Easter Island.
Goro is an inventor. He has created a robot he calls Jet Jaguar. When the robot is completed the two men return and steal the robot. The thieves turn out to be people from an underground civilization called Seatopia. They have been peaceful for centuries but the latest nuclear explosion was the last straw. They release a creature they call Megalon to attack Earth and destroy everyone. Megalon looks like some kind of giant insect creature that spits fire grenades. Seatopia wants Goro’s robot as a guide to direct Megalon to destroy everyone on Earth, starting with Tokyo.
Goro and Rokuro get kidnapped and Hiroshi is tied up. He manages to escape and find Goro and Rokuro before they are killed. Goro manages to get control of Jet Jaguar back. He sends him to Monster Island to get Godzilla. The Japanese Self Defense Forces try to keep Megalon at bay but it is proving fruitless.
Without a guide to control him Megalon goes on a random rampage. The Seatopians contact allies in the Space Hunter Nebula M. They send Gigan. The stage is being set to pit Gigan and Megalon against Godzilla and Jet Jaguar.
“Godzilla vs Megalon” was released in 1973 in Japan and 1976 in the US. It was directed by Jun Fukuda. It is the thirteenth film in the Godzilla franchise and in the Showa era.
Why they called this a Godzilla movie is a mystery to me. Outside of a cameo in the beginning of the movie and one quick scene further on, Godzilla doesn’t show up until the last seventeen minutes of the movie. Yeah he’s there to save the day but Jet Jaguar did a lot of fighting before Godzilla showed up to show off his right cross.
Godzilla does bleed in this movie, but only a quick spurt. Again, this is not my favorite Godzilla suit, but at this point the films are geared a little more toward children than adults. There were three suits I wasn’t crazy about. All of them were created for movies in the Showa Era. The first was the Musuko Goji made for the 1967 movie “Son of Godzilla”. Then the Soshingeki Goji made for the movies from 1968 to 1972 and the Megaro Goji made for the 1973 through 1975 films. All of them looked more human-like and not as nasty as I thought Godzilla should be. By then Godzilla was more child friendly and more of a hero than a monster. When the Heisei Era started in 1984 Godzilla was redesigned as a proper monster.
In 1972, Toho held a contest for elementary school children to design a robot who would appear in the next Godzilla film. The winner's creation was named "Red Alone," which superficially resembled both Ultraman and Mazinger Z. The character was renamed Jet Jaguar for its inclusion in the film.
Except for the Seatopian dancers there are no female characters in the movie.
Megalon’s attack on Tokyo is mostly stock footage from other Godzilla movies. Some from “Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster” or “Godzilla vs. Gigan”. The only new footages are the shots of Megalon.