Synopsis: When the sunken kingdom of Seatopia attacks the surface, two scientists and a young boy must help Godzilla and the robot Jet Jaguar stop the monstrous Megalon and the evil Gigan from destroying the Earth!
My five year old son recently started playing a Godzilla fighting game and decided that he loves Godzilla. But he’d never seen a Godzilla movie, so I showed him the English dub of Godzilla Versus Megalon (1973), the most child-friendly one I could think of.
But when I rewatched it, I realised it’s not quite as child-friendly as I remembered! Additionally, the parts with the human characters drag on; there’s also a lot of filler conversations, and a lot of very long shots of not much happening. 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 violence and filler. It’s gone from a slog that my son patiently sits through to get to the giant monsters, to a fun romp he enjoys watching throughout.
- Cut 20 minutes from the overall runtime.
- Minimised the humans’ screentime to give more time to the monsters fighting, while keeping the plot and entertaining human scenes intact.
- Removed inappropriate human violence, blood, and smoking.
- Added Gigan’s theme throughout as a leitmotif.
- Trimmed lengthy filler shots.
- Gave myself a vocal cameo in the movie somewhere.
- Trimmed the lengthy shots surrounding the cracks in the sea opening.
- Cut down the conversation in the car to avoid mentioning nuclear genocide and mass death.
- Cut the lengthy shots of the car driving.
- Removed the subplot about investigating the button and the sand.
- Removed the car chase sequence that goes nowhere.
- Simplified the explanation that the sand came from Easter Island.
- Trimmed the villains’ car driving around.
- Shortened conversation about Jet Jaguar’s technology.
- Replaced gunshot sounds when people are hit by the smoke gun with Star Wars stun blaster sounds.
- Simplified the radio conversation about the villains’ plan.
- Trimmed the Seatopia cultist dancing and simplified their explanation for going to war with the surface.
- Trimmed and re-ordered the lengthy shots leading up to Megalon’s reveal, to make the mountain explode more rapidly.
- Combined some of the scenes of the main characters tied up in the truck and severely truncated them, including removing the filler conversation the villains have in the cab.
- Trimmed the scene of the villain reprogramming Jet Jaguar so he just presses buttons on the computer bank, since small children don’t immediately recognise what punch-cards are any more.
- Trimmed down the length of time the scientist character spends waking up, including cutting the villain’s unnecessary explanation about Jet Jaguar landing by the lake.
- Trimmed the conversation about why Seatopia wants to steal “the robit.”
- Cut the scientist slamming the villain’s head repeatedly against the floor and threatening to kill him. Now he just wins the fight and demands the information.
- Shortened the scientist’s run down to the car, and trimmed excess shots of the car driving before the chase scene.
- Cut the scene of the villain waking up in the lab.
- Cut the scene of the villains fighting over what to do with the shipping container, including cutting the visible pornography on the back of the van (1973 was another time for kids’ movies, man) and the guy being thrown out to his apparent death. Now it looks like their plan was just to dump the container off the side of the dam all along, which frankly makes as much sense as their plan in the theatrical version.
- Put the radio broadcast from the van scene over the montage as a voiceover.
- Moved some shots forward from later in the film of Megalon destroying a few random buildings, so that the radio broadcast’s mention of Megalon destroying several buildings now refers to something we actually see onscreen.
- Truncated the montage of the JSDF vehicles arriving.
- Tightened the pacing on the shipping container being dumped and Megalon’s arrival.
- Cut the truck drivers threatening the scientist with a gun.
- Cut the trope of the car not starting.
- Truncated the JSDF firing stuff at Megalon.
- Trimmed the general’s conversation with the scientist, including cutting the shots of them driving to the helicopter, and trimming the shots of the helicopter taking off.
- Trimmed the villains’ conversation to focus on summoning Gigan.
- Added Gigan’s theme when he is summoned.
- Trimmed the motorbike arriving at the toy store.
- Trimmed Jet Jaguar signing to Godzilla and the lengthy shots of Godzilla swimming to Japan.
- Truncated the sequence of the kid and the scientist sneaking up to the lab, including cutting the gratuitous shot of the villain’s eyes bleeding when hit by the toy plane.
- Truncated the fight scene and arrival of the other scientist, downplaying the bleeding eyes and removing the shots of the scientist parking and running up the stairs.
- Removed the villain getting squashed by a flying rock.
- Hastened Gigan’s arrival by trimming the flashing lights sequence. Added Gigan’s theme. Also swapped some shots around to make it clear that the scene cuts back to Megalon and it isn’t Gigan suddenly destroying buildings.
- Trimmed some of the endless generic exploding buildings when Megalon is destroying things.
- Removed yet another long filler shot of the main characters running down that big staircase outside the lab.
- Simplified explanation of Jet Jaguar becoming independent.
- Cut main characters’ conversation on the jeep ride towards the Megalon and Jet Jaguar fight, as well as shortening the jeep ride and their run up the hill.
- Simplified the conversation about Jet Jaguar’s size increase.
- Added Gigan’s theme as he arrives and attacks Jet Jaguar.
- Added Godzilla roaring upon arrival to the fight.
- Cut insert shot of Godzilla’s shoulder spraying blood everywhere when cut by Gigan.
- Severely truncated the sequence of Godzilla and Jet Jaguar being bombarded by fire and escaping.
- Cut filler scene of Seatopian leader saying meaningless dialogue.
- Trimmed Godzilla repeatedly smashing Megalon into the ground over and over.
- Trimmed the montage of rocks falling into the sea.
- Sped up the extremely lengthy shot of the dry seabed.
- Truncated and sped up the sequence of Jet Jaguar returning to normal size.
- Cut conversation about whether Jet Jaguar would save the world again, considering it was established immediately prior that he’s voluntarily working with the scientists again.
“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