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Godzilla Versus Gigan: Less Talking! More Fighting! More Monsters! (Released)

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 (Edited)

Synopsis: When a cartoonist gets a job designing monsters for a new Godzilla theme park, he realises his employers aren’t what they seem - and soon, he finds himself joining forces with Godzilla and Anguirus to save the Earth from the terrifying Gigan and King Ghidorah…

This is the second of my Godzilla movie edits for my now six-year-old son. As with my previous edit, I’ve aimed to give more time to the monsters by cutting the filler, as well as tighten the plot and remove things that don’t fly in kids’ movies any more - a difficult feat this time around, with so many characters smoking throughout the movie. The seventies were a different time.

The theatrical cut of Godzilla Versus Gigan is presented as a darker movie than Godzilla Versus Megalon, which was an interesting decision, because the raw footage they have is clearly just as offbeat. The big thing I wish I could change is the music. They really love the Godzilla theme in this one, and it’s the most harrowing dirge they could make it. Which is a shame, because the footage it’s paired with is a lot of goofy fun - soccer kicking boulders, Godzilla dancing around, Anguirus hanging from Ghidorah’s tail by his teeth, all sorts of silliness. Unfortunately, even the Criterion Collection only has the audio in stereo, and to my knowledge there’s no 5.1 source available at all, so I couldn’t remove the music and replace it with something more fitting unless I remove the audio completely and manually replace every single sound effect.

Like its predecessor, I’ve cut the movie down to a lean hour of campy seventies family-friendly fun, keeping intact the excitement and danger of the humans’ story while toning down the parts that haven’t aged well.

Overall changes:

  • Cut 20 minutes from the overall runtime.
  • Colour corrected the scenes of the monsters fighting to restore vibrancy and fix brightness.
  • Minimised the humans’ screentime to give more time to the monsters fighting, while keeping the plot and entertaining human scenes intact.
  • Removed swearing, blood, and smoking.
  • Trimmed lengthy filler shots.
  • Revamped the soundtrack to be a little more upbeat.

Changelog:

  • Extensively colour corrected the monster fights throughout. They’ve visually very dark and muted, occasionally to the point where you can barely see what’s happening; I made them brighter and more colourfully vibrant.
  • Cut the opening credits. Yeah, I know, but the whole sequence is just static shots of control panels, which is boring to a five-year-old.
  • Simplified the conversation between the editor and the protagonist.
  • Simplified the conversation between the protagonist and his girlfriend, including removing him calling her a bitch.
  • Cut the establishing shots of the Japanese-language signs at the construction site.
  • Simplified the explanation of the Godzilla theme park, including cutting mention of intending to destroy Monster Island - it’s just too villainous for so early in the movie, and would be confusing to a small kid that the main hero of the movie would then be happy to work for them.
  • Cut a very long pause of dead air as the cartoonist’s girlfriend opens the door and enters the room, using a zoom-and-pan effect to mask the jump cut.
  • Truncated the conversation at the drawing desk and removed her calling him a pig.
  • Truncated the sequence of the cartoonist getting off the bus.
  • Cut most of the scene of the cartoonist wandering aimlessly around the room with the security camera, but left the gag where he bumps over the world globe.
  • Added comedy “bonk” sound effect when the cartoonist hits his head.
  • Simplified the conversation with the chairman.
  • Trimmed the shots of the cartoonist walking, truncated and simplified the conversations with and introduction to the “bandits”, and trimmed down the scene with the girl’s brother in the Godzilla Tower control room.
  • Added a comedic music sting when the “bandit” reveals his “gun” was actually a corn-on-the-cob, using music from the 1979 Doraemon cartoon series.
  • Cut the shot of the tape being retrieved from the storage locker. Its placement makes it too confusing, but there’s nowhere else to insert it.
  • Cut long shot of the characters sitting around listening to the godawful screeching tape noise.
  • Used the Japanese dub to remove Godzilla’s dialogue and reinstate his original Japanese speech balloons, adding English translations beneath. I didn’t use direct translations, but instead tried to convey the core idea using simple language for children to read.
  • Sped up the elevator climbing the tower, and removed the cartoonist entering the wrong door first.
  • Truncated the cartoonist looking around the room.
  • Simplified the main characters’ conversation when they decide to investigate the bad guys, while leaving intact as much as possible them comedically eating bananas.
  • Significantly shortened the montage of the main characters walking into buildings to do research.
  • Simplified the main characters explaining what they found out, removing discussions about being headquartered in Switzerland and weirdly xenophobic comments about the chairman’s nationality.
  • Trimmed down the driving sequence and walking up to the house, and removed the filler conversation in the car.
  • Truncated the conversation in the house, including minimising the discussion of death and dying to try and soften the delivery of the twist a little bit.
  • Trimmed the scene of the villains equipping the new tape.
  • Trimmed the military montage leading up to Anguirus.
  • Trimmed how long Anguirus is shot at before swimming away; there’s a lot of meaningless shots of dust clouds and a child could conceivably mistake the very long final shot for Anguirus being killed.
  • Cut the villains talking about no longer needing the scientist character.
  • Removed the scene where the villain gives the cartoonist cigarettes, and the discussion about the cigarettes containing a tracking device when the villains follow him and find the main characters’ apartment. Now it just looks like the villain was suspicious and followed him.
  • Added upbeat music when the main character’s girlfriend beats up the villains, to break the mood a bit. Music taken from the 90s Pokémon anime.
  • Removed the main characters talking about the brother’s lighter to the police.
  • Added extra Godzilla dialogue balloons when Godzilla and Anguirus leave Monster Island, explaining that they’re hearing the tape noise again and are going to go and destroy it, in as simple language as possible.
  • Cut the villains technobabble and waffling, leaving just the key mic drop sentence before they summon Gigan and King Ghidorah.
  • Trimmed down the lead to Gigan and King Ghidorah appearing, and added a soundtrack: Gigan’s Theme, with a bar of King Ghidorah’s Terror mixed in when Ghidorah appears.
  • Trimmed down Godzilla and Anguirus swimming, and swapped the first establishing shot with the final shot, which works much better as an establishing shot.
  • Truncated the characters scrambling through the trees and climbing the stairs.
  • Replaced the unsuitably harrowing music when the girlfriend saves the brother with funny triumphant music.
  • Cut the conversation following the cartoonist’s capture.
  • Truncated the characters’ decision to rescue the others.
  • Simplified the villains talking about their home planet. Now it’s implied they’re the ones who polluted it themselves. Also removed sinister references to wearing the protagonists’ bodies as “uniforms.”
  • Truncated the lights being switched back on and the reveal of the cockroach shadows during the storm.
  • Reordered scenes to make the cockroach reveal scene one continuous scene.
  • Added establishing shot of military base.
  • Truncated the second stock footage montage of the military getting into position.
  • Slightly shortened one of Ghidorah’s cries that goes on for too long when he approaches Godzilla Tower.
  • Shortened some of Ghidorah’s city destruction that goes on a bit too long and gets a bit too samey.
  • Again, patched over the monster dialogue with the Japanese dub when Godzilla and Anguirus are swimming, and rewrote the dialogue balloons. Also truncated how long we watch them swimming.
  • Removed jump cut when Godzilla arrives at the power plant.
  • Tightened up the fight scene between the four monsters at the power plant, clarifying the changing power levels between the two sides, improving the pacing, and removing a lot of filler shots of nondescript smoke and flame.
  • Truncated the scene of inflating the balloon and tying the rope to escape Godzilla Tower.
  • Added a comedic balloon pop sound when the balloon pops to break the mood of the dreary music.
  • Changed the gunshot sound to a Star Wars stun blaster sound.
  • Removed reference to killing the main characters.
  • Truncated line about killing Godzilla, so now the villain just says to “get” him. It’s a “camera tracks in for the villain to say it” moment that works better without the extended ramble about killing Godzilla anyway.
  • Added “bonk” sound effect when Gigan gets hit by the boulder when Godzilla and Anguirus soccer-kick it at him.
  • Added a brief establishing shot of the military base to show where the main characters are when we cut to them speaking to the general.
  • Cut Godzilla’s shoulder being cut and spraying blood - Gigan crashing into him is repeated immediately without the blood anyway, plus, I already used this footage in my Godzilla Versus Megalon edit, where it was repurposed by the filmmakers. It actually repeats four times here, and I’ve cut it down to two, to show Ghidorah and Gigan driving Godzilla towards Godzilla Tower.
  • Shortened how long the lasers blast Godzilla for. It goes on too long and it’s dreary.
  • Tightened up the shots of Gigan blocking Anguirus from helping Godzilla, removing a weird tracking shot that messes with the scene geography.
  • Truncated how long it takes the humans to run over to the base of the tower.
  • Held on the “TNT” label slightly longer to give children the chance to read it.
  • Moved Godzilla falling into the ferris wheel to after the humans load the elevator, to imply Godzilla has been dodging lasers instead of just laying on the ground getting blasted the entire time.
  • Created a new shot of Godzilla being hit by a laser and falling down, by compositing two different shots together, to explain why he’s now standing in one shot and on the ground the next.
  • Removed a redundant second shot of Godzilla being blasted by more lasers when Anguirus is watching, so Anguirus is spurred to Godzilla’s aid faster.
  • Cut Anguirus spraying blood at the camera. It’s highly unexpected and throws me a bit even as an adult watching it.
  • Completely reworked the explosion that destroys Godzilla Tower. Using Premere Pro CC’s Optical Flow tool, I extended the shot of the elevator door opening in front of the villains, replaced the lackluster music* with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and mickey-moused it to the action, and dubbed in new explosion sounds sourced from appropriate-era 70s action movie stock, all climaxing on the explosions being set off by the villains and Godzilla Tower’s head exploding.
  • *I actually love the musical score for this scene and think it builds up to the climax really well. However: there’s no clear musical payoff for the build up, and there’s no way to get the music to match the on-screen action. So I kept as much of the build up as I could before segueing into the Tchaikovsky.
  • Trimmed the pointlessly long frame hold on the cockroach alien.
  • Reordered and trimmed the shots of the monsters post-explosion and Anguirus’ attempt to sneak past Ghidorah, to better establishing the geography of the scene and convey what’s happening.
  • Cut Gigan kicking Godzilla when he’s down. Yes, it’s kind of funny as an adult to see Gigan kick Godzilla in the head so un-magically, but it’s also a very repeatable action for a child to innocently copy and also kind of a downer with the depressing music that plays.
  • Trimmed the fight scene a bit once Godzilla wakes back up again, so Godzilla has the upper hand now instead of continuing to take such a beating.
  • Added more Godzilla dialogue balloons when he and Anguirus have a conversation that goes unusually untranslated in the theatrical cut.
  • Added the atomic breath blast sound when Godzilla fires his atomic breath blast.
  • Trimmed down how many times Godzilla and Anguirus slam into Ghidorah and stomp on his head once he’s down. Godzilla’s meant to be heroic in this movie, not a bully.
  • Added the track Godzilla’s Victory from the 2014 Legendary movie when Godzilla finally bests Ghidorah and sends him and Gigan fleeing. The fight doesn’t feel like it’s reaching a conclusion with the theatrical music cue, besides which, Godzilla’s Victory is one of the coolest and most awe-inspiring bits of music from the franchise.
  • Cut the main character’s brother saying the villains “did what they had to do” at the end. Um… no, they didn’t have to?
  • Used the opening of the finale from Wagner’s Parsifal to transition into the ending song, instead of a long stretch of silence as Godzilla and Anguirus meander up the hill.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

TROS Novelisation: The Faraday Edit, TLJ: Stoic Edition, ROTS: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, Godzilla Vs Gigan, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Light Rises, Faraday Jr.'s Star Wars

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The Star Wars Purist said:

This sounds rather interesting.

Thanks! I’m re-exporting the file (I accidentally turned an audio layer off before exporting and didn’t realise until two music cues were missing when I watched it back), so I’ll upload it to my folder of available fanedits once that’s done.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

TROS Novelisation: The Faraday Edit, TLJ: Stoic Edition, ROTS: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, Godzilla Vs Gigan, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Light Rises, Faraday Jr.'s Star Wars

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CaptainFaraday said:

The Star Wars Purist said:

This sounds rather interesting.

Thanks! I’m re-exporting the file (I accidentally turned an audio layer off before exporting and didn’t realise until two music cues were missing when I watched it back), so I’ll upload it to my folder of available fanedits once that’s done.

Ok.

I’m not really that much of a movie purist.

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I’ve actually decided to trim a handful of scenes a little more, in response to my son’s criticism that “they talk for too long” at some points. So, I’ll finish V2 as soon as I can, and I’ll upload that.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

TROS Novelisation: The Faraday Edit, TLJ: Stoic Edition, ROTS: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, Godzilla Vs Gigan, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Light Rises, Faraday Jr.'s Star Wars

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 (Edited)

Loving that poster, CaptainFaraday. The ‘Less Talking! More Fighting! More Monsters!’ text and font just looks brilliant! 😃
 

“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?”

“Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?” - Oddball, of The Awkward Squad

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oojason said:

Loving that poster, CaptainFaraday. The ‘Less Talking! More Fighting! More Monsters!’ text and font just looks brilliant! 😃
 

Thanks! I don’t remember the name of the font off the top of my head, but I used it on my Godzilla Vs Megalon edit poster and thought it worked so well that I’m using it for all my future Godzilla edits.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

TROS Novelisation: The Faraday Edit, TLJ: Stoic Edition, ROTS: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, Godzilla Vs Gigan, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Light Rises, Faraday Jr.'s Star Wars