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This film sets up many important things for the Toho universe: It introduces Baragon, who would later become a favorite of the genre. In additon, it makes political statements on nuclear testing. Oh, and on a side-note, it also *takes Frankenstein's monster, grows him to giant heights, pits him against Baragon, and puts a classic Gothic monster's face into the gallery of gigantic monsters to rummage Japan.* If you aren't impressed by the first two factors, at least appretiate the third one simply for its camp value.
AND WHAT CAMP VALUE IT IS! The fights in this are some of the best of the Toho universe. Frankenstein looks like an overgrown caveman, and Baragon is effectively established as a leading monster. And while most of the battles simply take place in a few mountains outside of-- you guessed it-- Tokyo, the fun still exists, and its as just as a good time as you'll find in any given Godzilla or Gamera flick.
Silly, cliched, stupid, pointless...and one heckuva good time! LOOK OUT FOR THE BEATING HEART OF FRANKENSTEIN! AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T EAT IT!
*** out of ****
Assisted once again by a US studio (Which has always been to their detriment) this tells the story of a young boy who is discovered and found to be growing at an incredible rate. Before they know it he's grown disastrously large and broken free of his constraints, just at the same time as a giant monster has appeared on a rampage as well.
You can immediately tell that it's a Toho film, from the sfx to the one bit of score they keep using or mildly remixing. Several of the usual faces are also present including Takashi Shimura who has a blink and you'll miss it role.
The storyline is actually more competently done than many of these Toho monster films but in its place the sfx are a tad worse. The creature effects and that of our Frankenstein are fine, but every once in a while you'll spot something so bad it should have got someones butt fired (I'm looking at you shifty Boar and awful Horse).
What drew the most ire from me were certain logistical issues. For example Frankenstein is of course the name of the Scientist who created the monster not the name of the monster itself. As the boy grows the clothes grow (Hulk style) and various other little things that bothered me more than they perhaps should.
It's more Toho monster cheese, if you like that stuff this will likely appeal otherwise you'll probably scratch your head in amazement just how ridiculous it all is.
Fairly well made stuff
Takashi Shimura is wasted
Frequent logistical flaws
Some really poor sfx
I have an original full screen terrible transfer copy of this film on VHS but I still enjoyed it. When I found out that this movie was coming to DVD I bought it as soon as I could. Boy was I surprised when I opened the DVD case. Inside were 2 DVD's. Disc 1 was the original uncut version of the film in Japanese with optional English subtitles and disc 2 was the English dubbed edited version. Both are 2:35 widescreen versions!!! If you want to buy this movie make sure it is the 2 disc release. You will be glad you did.
Later that night I put disc 1 in my DVD player and watched the movie for the first time in it's original version with subtitles on my big screen TV with popcorn by my side enjoying every minute of it.
This movie was made for kids and the young at heart. It is a fun movie and nothing more. I give this film a 7.0 rating.
Basically the story goes that part of the Frankenstein Monster is taken over seas during a war and spawns into a giant monster. Basically this monster does not do anything wrong, he is just out of place. But he is blamed for many different incidents that are not his doing but actually the doing of the burrowing dinosaur Baragon.
For the most part I like this movie because Baragon is my favorite monster/kaiju. Baragon is what makes this film, not Frankenstein. Baragon looks awesome, has great abilities,(breathing fire, burrowing, jumps far) and has a great roar. THe Frankenstein monster just looks like a guy who has big teeth, bad hair, and walks around in a caveman outfit.
Baragon gets to have his only starring role in a movie, and I know I am being biased but I think that it is one of the best villain roles for a Toho Monster ever. THis is mainly because he is so secretive by burrowing underground and is undetected. Baragon gets in a lot of solid action towards the final half an hour. The fact that Baragon is responsible for the destruction that Frankenstein is blamed for is very similar to some parts of the original Frankenstein book by Mary Shelley. Strangely enough Baragon is not referred to by his name in this film.
The final battle between Frankenstein and Baragon is pretty good. Having to wait until the end to witness it definitely is worth it.
SO for the most part, the Frankenstein Monster is not what makes this film. Baragon makes the film. Watch it for my favorite monster Baragon.
The plot is that in the closing days of World War II, the Nazis transferred Frankenstein's heart to Japan, where it was brought to Hiroshima and irradiated for good measure. The heart was eaten by a war-orphan who mutated into a Frankenstein who looked slightly imbecilic, but grows to enormous size.
Then there is another subplot with a more conventional Toho Kaiju called Baragon who is tearing up the countryside so the new giant Frankenstein will have something to fight. They then capped it off with a giant Octopus... yes, a giant octopus in the middle of the mountains! I think the director subscribed to the Spielberg theory that if you have the audience for that long, they'll go along with anything.
I saw this last night(rental from NETFLIX) in Japanese with sub-titles & a 93 minute running time.
The correct title is FRANKENSTEIN vs. BARAGON
Granted the story line is very hokey, BUT there again MOST films of this type are & make no sense what so ever.
I liked the background story, it was at least interesting, I have seen more incredible plot twists than shown here.
The American actor Nick Adams has a major role & not just cast for Box-Office reasons.
The acting is OK for this type of film. One does not expect award winning performances, same for production values.
The special effects are good & final scene is the fight between ThE Monster (a mutant boy )& a giant reptile. we have seen these scenes many times. Nothing new or different..
My good thumbs up rating is mainly because I enjoyed it. & that is why we see movies, isn't it, to enjoy them.. So my fellow film buffs, be sure to see the Japanese Version & you will think like I do about this film.
Ratings *** (out of 4) 82 points out or 100) IMDb 7 (out of 10)
"Frankenstein" was an interesting giant Japanese movie monster and it's a shame that they didn't do a series of films with him (like with Godzilla and Gamera), or at least release them in America. Yes, it was a bit corny that he remained in the same clothes throughout his entire growth spurt, but there is nothing else on that level that you have to suspend belief on, other than the fact that he is said to be Caucasian, but looks more Japanese (especially full-grown).
Baragon just appeared like any other Japanese movie monster that no evil person/intelligent creature sent, but I didn't mind that. The film history with this monster is interesting. He fought Gamera, the giant turtle in "Gamera vs Baragon", and in that film, he actually breathed ice. He does not breath ice this film though-- only fire. One can only wonder how that would've impacted this film if he did. Baragon also made a very brief appearance in the Godzilla flick, "Destroy All Monsters". He didn't fight any monsters or use any special ability whatsoever in that film, though supposedly, he was helping the other monsters fight Ghidora. I believe he was the only monster connected to both Gamera AND Godzilla.
Why I think this film is better than the sequel, besides the Frankenstein deal I described above, is because it wasn't as enticing seeing 2 monsters who were so much alike fighting each other. I also came to like Nick Adams in this film, "Godzilla vs Monster Zero" and "Die Monster, Die" (not a Japanese giant monster film). He's cool and smooth and gets the chicks! It's too bad he died so young and couldn't star in more horror/sci-fi films.
Plot: During WW2, the Nazis deliver the still-beating heart of the Frankenstein monster to Japanese scientists in Hiroshima who plan to use it for medical purposes. However, the heart was presumed lost in the nuclear explosion that destroyed Hiroshima. Years later, scientists discover a strange wild boy running around and find out soon that the missing heart grew a new body resistant to radiation. With greater access to food in captivity, Frankentein grows rapidly and soon escapes. Then, mysterious, destructive incidents have occurred and everyone's quick to blame Frankenstein. That's not the case as it turns out that Baragon, a subterranean fire-breathing dinosaur, is the real culprit. Soon a battle between Frankenstein and Baragon commences and the fate of Japan hangs by a thread.
Overall, this is an interesting film. It's pretty scientifically accurate and the miniature sets are fairly impressive seeing as how the monsters are smaller that their larger kaiju brethren. The story is also good and the music by Akira Ifukube is a real treat to listen. Frankenstein does look a little goofy with his buck teeth and unsettling shriek.
The monster that steals the show, however, is Baragon. Arguably one of my favorite monsters, Baragon has a great design, cool roar, and a nice set of abilities. The movie starts out a little slow, but once Baragon shows up things get pretty exciting, especially when Franky and Baragon have their awesome lengthy fight. They pretty much beat the living crap out of each other, making this one of my favorite kaiju battles.
This is a fun edition to Toho's roster of creature features. Baragon became so popular thanks to this film that he actually now stars in a few Godzilla films and video games. If you're a fan of giant monsters, then check this action out. I recommend getting the 2-disc special edition for this one. Enjoy!
Don't put anything past these film artists though, I'm sure the sequel will dazzle the imagination again. This movie is not to be missed, I invite to you attend a feast on your senses, a play on your imagination, and a dance with your dreams that will have you hungry for so much more... Bravo Mr. Honda, bravo.
Very sincerely, Jidge
This movie is a Japanese attempt to blend in the Frankenstein creature with the Japanese monster movie-genre. It's like Frankenstein meets Gojira, only the creature in this movie is named Baragon, who looks like a giant armadillo, or of course better said a guy in a rubber suits that looks like a giant armadillo.
It's all quite silly of course but yet the movie works on a certain level of entertainment. You could basically say that this movie is just as good and fun to watch as basically any other Japanese monster movie from about the same time period.
You could tell that in the first halve of the movie they somewhat tried to remain faithful to the Frankenstein movie. They also tried to give the character a heart and let him struggle with the same emotions and difficulties the character has always struggled with in the Mary Shelley novel and all of the Frankenstein movies and tried to make the movie somewhat intelligent and scientific. It's not like it ever works out well enough or becomes believable but this is mostly because they did not go all the way with it. After all, it seemed more important for them to make a monster movie, so here we have a Frankenstein creature that suddenly starts to grow 4 times his normal size and battles Baragon, a prehistoric creature from the depths of the Earth, who has been awakened by oil drillers.
Therefore the lovers of these Japanese monster movies will be the ones to most likely enjoy this movie. It all builds up to its obvious ending, in which the Frankenstein creature battles the man in the rubber suit. The fight is literally laughable to watch but this is of course also part of the charm of movies such as this one.
It's all pretty silly but it was fun to watch!