HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
Incredible Paris Incident
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Fox and His Friends
Bitter Harvest
   
 
Newest Articles
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
   
 
  Daigoro vs. Goliath Constipated KaijuBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Toshihiro Iijima
Stars: Akiji Kobayashi, Shoji Kobayashi, Hiroshi Inuzuka
Genre: Comedy, Weirdo, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Years ago the Japanese military killed a giant monster rampaging across Tokyo but out of guilt chose to spare the life of her infant, Daigoro. Hapless zookeeper Saito is the man assigned to safeguard the accident-prone orange monster on its island habitat. But as Daigoro grows up his gargantuan appetite costs Japan a fortune in food. Proposed plans for a “Daigoro Tax” outrage the citizens of Japan who demand that this costly, oversized orphan be put to death. However, the nation’s children, marshalled by young Taro and his friends, campaign to save Daigoro’s life. Various clumsy grown-ups join the cause, including Taro’s uncle, an inept inventor whose mad machines almost never work properly, and bumptious oaf Kuma whose tactless attempts at rallying the crowd end in a violent brawl. Then suddenly another giant monster dubbed Goliath rises from the ocean depths, bent on laying waste to Japan. The kids and the grown-ups must find some way to help dippy Daigoro get his act together so he can save Japan.

Daigoro vs. Goliath, or to use its unabridged Japanese title: Great Desperate Battle: Daigoro vs. Goliath, holds the dubious distinction of being the only vintage Toho studios monster movie never released theatrically in the United States or Europe. Detractors claim anyone who watches a five minute clip will see the reason why. Filmed in pretty pastel colours, laden with sing-along musical numbers with lyrics that appear on-screen, strained slapstick, crazy contraptions and abundant juvenile whimsy, this is the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) of Japanese monster movies, albeit not up to their standard. The film was co-produced by Toho and Tsuburaya Productions, marking the tenth anniversary of the studio founded by legendary effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya, co-creator of Godzilla and the man behind Japan’s favourite silver-masked superhero, Ultraman.

Anyone who felt tax laws and tariffs were odd subject matter for an ostensible children's film like Star Wars - Episode One: The Phantom Menace (1999) may find themselves wondering whether avowed Japanese film fan George Lucas had a passing familiarity with this eccentric effort. For it does seem as if the filmmakers were positing Daigoro as some sort of allegorical stand-in for the imperilled Japanese economy as the plot finds the human heroes urging people to tighten their belts and make sacrifices for the greater good. At one point Kuma admonishes his wife for buying an expensive dress (“Remember, you are a carpenter’s wife!"). The austerity theme certainly hits home in these troubled times. Typical of Toho kaiju eiga of the time the film also includes a heavy-handed anti-pollution message reminiscent of Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971) and The Last Days of Planet Earth (1974) as the government debate whether to use nuclear weapons against Goliath and risk despoiling the environment.

The episodic story segues from one silly scheme after another with non-linear storytelling more akin to Jean-Luc Godard than Walt Disney and punctuated by surreal fantasies as when the anonymous inventor imagines he has magic shoes or Kuma hallucinates the bikini model on a giant billboard comes alive to offer him some sake. Toshihiro Ijima, a television stalwart who only recently returned to cinema, pulls off some eye-catching and inventive visuals even though the action rarely makes any sense. Teruyoshi Nakano handles the special effects which, while not as detailed as those featured in vintage Tsuburaya product, serve the jokey, juvenile antics well enough.

Daigoro is an odd-looking, pot-bellied orange hippopotamous like monster. British viewers of a certain age may notice a slight resemblance to the similarly surreal puppet character George from children’s TV show Rainbow. His opponent Goliath is equally uninspired: a Godzilla stand-in with a rhino horn that shoots death rays. According to rumour the film was originally intended as a Godzilla movie which would put it in line with the increasingly childish, though lovable series entries like Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973). At one point three hapless heroes ride on Goliath’s back, prefiguring a celebrated scene in the studio’s much later Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000). It is a leaden and deeply silly film, though not without its charms and frankly irresistible to die-hard fans of vintage Japanese fantasy films, no matter how childish. How many other monster movies end with one of the titular creatures taking a dump in a giant outdoor lavatory?

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1229 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: