Frankenstein Conquers the World aka Frankenstein vs Baragon (1965) Toho takes a stab at the Frankenstein legend. At the end of WWII, the Germans send the immortal beating heart of the Frankenstein monster to Japan for study. In Hiroshima, unfortunately. Many years later, a feral teenage boy eats the heart, now contaminated by radiation. Some doctors take him in for examination, but he begins to grow to enormous size and breaks through the roof and escapes. Why his collared shirt grows along with him is never explained. Meanwhile, an adorable giant burrowing
lizard with a glowing horn and floppy ears named Baragon Is eating people on the other side of town. Baragon and the giant Frankenstein meet and battle to the death, dispelling media rumors that it was actually Frankenstein who was eating people. The Japanese VHS I have had an additional scene that was edited out of American release, where Frankie fights a giant land-octopus. Nick Adams played the American doctor, he was a Hollywood up and comer in the late 50s, but was near the end of the road by this time. He died of a drug overdose three years later at age 36.
War of the Gargantuas aka Furankenshutain no kaijû: Sanda tai Gaira (1968) This has been my favorite giant monster flick since I was five, but this is the first time I watched a subtitled version. The American version has all references to Frankenstein Conquers the World edited out, and there is no way to figure that his is indeed a sequel. A Giant green Frankenstein (Gargantua) pops out of the ocean and eats people, spitting out their bloody clothes. (the most gory scene I can think of from these usually kiddie-friendly monster mashes) Scientists claim it is not the same friendly Frankenstein that was grown from the severed hand of the title creature in the first film, who they raised as a “child” and somehow lost him. Turns out the man-eating gargantua came from cells of the friendly one. When they finally meet, they first become friends, but the friendly one, Sanda, has a change of tune when he sees the other, Gaira, eating people, then the war is on. The most iconic scene from the film is a Caucasian lounge singer being snatched by the beast after knocking the house dead with catchy original tune called “The Words Get Stuck in My Throat” which DEVO actually covered during live shows in the early 80s! Russ Tamblyn, who is an Oscar nominee and starred in West Side Story plays the white guy. In the “classic-that-didn’t-happen department” talk about pitting a gargantua against Godzilla never amounted to anything.
“The Words Get Stuck in my Throat”