“Frankenstein’s heart Lieutenant.” “ Frankenstein?” “It’s still living?” “It can never die.”

Dr. Riesendorf (Peter Mann) is there when in 1945, during WWII, Nazi’s take the heart of Frankenstein’s monster and passes it on to the Japanese imperial Navy. The heart is taken to Hiroshima for experimentation. Then Hiroshima is hit with an atomic bomb.

Fifteen years later a young boy is seen living on the streets. He exists by eating whatever he can find, even small animals. Sueko Togami (Kumi Mizuno) has seen the boy in her neighborhood. Eventually he is caught and brought to Dr. James Bowen (Nick Adams) for care. James’ assistants are Sueko and Dr. Yuzo Kawaji (Tadao Takashima). They examine the boy and find he has a resistance to radiation. Sueko develops a rapport with the boy. She is the only one he really trusts.

The Navy Officer that brought the heart to Hiroshima, Kawai (Yoshio Tsuchiya), is now working at an oil refinery in Akita Prefecture. An earthquake devastates the factory and the Earth opens up. Yoshio gets a glimpse of a creature in the opening. Then it is gone.

Back in Hiroshima Bowen is confounded by the rapid pace of the boy’s growth. He has an insatiable need for protein. Unsure of the boy’s temperament and mental development the doctors chain him in a cage. Sueko continues to care for him. Kawai finds out about the boy. He visits Bowen and suggests that perhaps the boy found Frankenstein’s heart in the ruins of Hiroshima and ate it.

Bowen sends Kawai to Germany to talk to Riesendorf. Riesendorf confirms that the Frankenstein heart never dies. He suggests cutting of a limb of the boy. If he has eaten the heart, the limb will grow back. Sueko and Bowen refuse to go to that extent. Kawaji, on the other hand, decides to sneak into the boy’s cage and intends on cutting of one of his limbs. Reporters show up before he can. The flash of the photographer’s cameras upsets the boy. He panics, breaks out of his cage and runs off into the countryside, leaving behind a hand. The hand does not die.

“Frankenstein vs Baragon” AKA “Frankenstein Conquers the World” was released in 1965 in Japan and 1966 in the US. The film was a Japanese/American collaboration and was directed by Ishiro Honda. The movie was a lot darker than I expected it to be. The mood is more solemn than you would expect from a giant monster movie, and perhaps a little eerie.

The movie has gotten some bad reviews and some criticism but I kinda like it. Yes, the premise is a little strange, but I’ve seen a few Japanese movies and some co-produced Japanese/American movies that were a lot dumber. Plus it was an interesting story. A little different from the normal Kaiju story.

One thing I thought strange was that they never named the kid. I understand the focus of the film is on the Frankenstein aspect of the story, but the boy still deserves a name of his own.

There are basically three versions of the movie. The Japanese version, the American dubbed version, and the International version. However, there is also another Asian version that includes an alternate ending. This version has an added monster, a devil fish, or octopus, whichever you prefer to call it. Henry Saperstein had requested the alternate ending with the additional monster but then decided he didn’t like it. There have been other versions that had small things altered but nothing really special like an additional monster.

Japanese subtitled

Movie with Devilfish ending