Thursday, January 1, 2015

01/01/2015 -- Godzilla Vs. Megalon, the Comic

I'm late a day getting this little item up on the Blog, but like a lot of you I was out at a New Year's Party. Fortunately, my days of being a party monster are well behind me, alowing me to get up way too early with no problem or brain pain and start the new year with this bit of strangeness.

Now, I have to admit that I don't know a lot about this item, but I can make a few educated guesses on what it was.

First of all, I see the name Cinema Shares, which was a movie distribution company back in the 70s. They did release one of the lesser movies of a series: Godzilla Vs. Megalon. Okay, it is pretty awful, but this picture had more legs than most of the films created by Toho Studios in Japan. Shortly after this flick hit the few screens it got, the NBC TV network bought the rights to it to show on network television. When the film hit small screens, NBC gave it only an hour slot.

To fit an hour long slot, the network had to do some heavy cutting to make it fit along with the commercials... and John Belushi. You may ask what John Belushi had to do with it. Belushi was coming into his own with the attention of the public. Taking advantage of having a contract with the network, NBC asked Belushi to host the program. Not only was Belushi doing jokes about the movie, but he was doing it in a Godzilla suit.

I recall at that time I liked Belushi and was glad to see a new Godzilla movie. Cutting into that flick probably didn't hurt it either.

As for what I posted here, it's a mess with bad artwork and a few bits of odd details. Besides a barebones explanation of the film's story with nary a mention of its human participants, the writer gave incorrect names to the film's two supporting giant battling characters, Jet Jaguar and Gigan. Here they were called, respectively, Robotman and Borodan.

Regardless of its errors, this little bit of printed pain was probably something intended to be sold to theaters showing this film to be given out to customers in advance of its release.

I mentioned that this film had legs. Beyond the one showing on NBC, Godzilla Vs. Megalon was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Years later, that episode of the series was released with a few other episodes on DVD. Toho did a cease and desist, because the MST3K guys hadn't acquired the home video rights to the movie. That disc was pulled from any further releases of that set of discs, making it highly demanded by Misties who had missed it. Apparently, the folks at Toho were so difficult and unpleasant that the MST3K guys just let it be known that the film could be found online for free. That reacton was highly unusual but was still in keeping with the MST3K credit line that suggested fans keep circulating the tapes (or episodes).

So, hoping that you're heads are clear after a night of merrymaking for the New Year, here is the very short Godzilla Vs. Megalon comic. Click on the images to see the larger, legible versions.

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