Monday, June 25, 2018

Tohope And Change - Frankenstein Conquers The World!

I'm often struck by the convoluted ways that many of Toho's iconic kaiju flicks came into being. Many start out as something else, featuring some other monsters before they morph into the final form which we all now remember with such relish. Such is clearly the case with Frankenstein Conquers the World. This movie started out as the template for the exceedingly successful King Kong Vs. Godzilla. By the time it was eventually made Godzilla was gone and a new monster named Baragon was introduced. This is also the first of three movies co-produced with American Henry Saperstein who had previously purchased UPA. Two of the three starred Nick Adams, a strange but weirdly successful American addition to the kaiju tradiion.

The movie  gives us glimpses of Germany at the end of WWII and a secret project which is interrupted by the bomb at Hiroshima and which mutates into the immortal Frankenstein, a creature which in this movie grows to enormous size. Frankenstein is never actually a threat himself, a relatively peaceful creature who only wants to find some connection in the world which produced him but never sought to integrate him. He is treated with kindness by one woman and in her name fights against a murderous monster from the depths of the Earth. I really enjoy this movie because of the oddity of the human figure battling in kaiju style. Frankenstein is really able to move with no small nimbleness and skill and it works well. This movie will spawn a sequel, of sorts, but more on that later.

More to come.

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