Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster (1964)(Toho)
King Ghidorah, sometimes spelled King Ghidrah, King Ghidra or King Ghidora and also
known as Monster Zero, is a fictional Japanese monster featured in several of Toho Studios’
Godzilla films and (in derivative forms) in their Rebirth of Mothra trilogy. Ghidorah is among
the most powerful giant monsters in daikaiju eiga with a reputation that has earned him the
title “The King of Terror”. He is the main antagonist of the series and is considered Godzilla’s
archenemy, and has been in more movies than any other opponent of Godzilla, appearing in
six films out of the series (seven, if one counts Kaizer Ghidorah, despite the vast difference in
size and general appearance between the two).
Created as an opponent for Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra in 1964’s Ghidorah, the
Three-Headed Monster, Ghidorah is a golden dragon-like space alien with two legs, three
heads on long necks, no arms, large fan-like wings, and two tails. It was said to be 100
meters tall with a 150-meter wingspan and to weigh 30,000 metric tons. King Ghidorah was
brought to life on the movie screen by a stunt actor inside an elaborate three-piece costume,
with a team of puppeteers to control the beast’s many appendages. Its alarming shrieks (a
different ringing pitch for each of its heads) are among the genre’s most recognizable sound
effects. Its design is due to special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya based on a minimal
description in the script: “It has three heads, two tails, and a voice like a bell.”
Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster (1964)
San daikaiju: Chikyu saidu no kessen / Ghidrah: The Three-Headed Monster (1964)
AKA: The Biggest Battle on Earth (1964), The Biggest Fight on Earth (1964), Earth’s Greatest Battle (1964), Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964), Ghidorah (1964), Gojira Mosura Kingugghidorah: chikyu saidai no kessen (1971), The Greatest Battle on Earth (1964), Monster of Monsters (1964), Three Giant Monsters: The Earth’s Greatest Decisive Battle (1964)
Directed By: Ishiro Honda
Yosuke Natsuki as Detective Shindo
Yuriko Hoshi as Naoka Shindo
Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura
Akiko Wakabayashi as Mas Selina Salno, Princess of Sergina
Emi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yumi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Akihiko Hirata as Chief Detective Okita
Hisaya Ito as Malmess, Chief Assasin
Minoru Takada as Chairman of the Board
Runtime: 92 Minutes Japanese Original, 73 Minutes Japanese 1971 Reissue, 85 Minutes USA Version
Color by Eastmancolor
DVD Release: June 5th 2007 (USA) Order Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster from Amazon $13.99
The information listed here comes directly from the original press release from Ghidrah: The Three Headed Monster (1964)
The balance of the universe has been upset by the entrance into earth’s atmosphere of a brilliant meteorite. The people are totally unprepared for the shock of seeing a three-headed monster with wings, flames spewing forth from its multiple mouths, emerge from the fireball from outer space. It is GHIDRAH! Its giant wings lift it into flight as it soars off to ravage the planet Earth.
Godzilla and Rodan are reactivated from hibernation because of this upset in the balance of the universe.
Royal Princess Salno of Selgina, a small country between the two worlds, appears before the unbelieving people as a beautiful Prohetess (EIKO WAKABAYASHI) and proclaims herself to be a Martian. Naoko (YURIKO HOSHI), an enterprising girl reporter , is the only person to befriend her until Detective Shindo (YOSUKE NATSUKI), the reporter’s brother, takes her into protective police custody to guard her against a group of thugs, headed by Malness (HISAYA ITO) who are determined to kill her.
Naoko takes the prophetess to Mt. Fuji where Ghidra does battle with Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra, the massive caterpiller who comes to their assistance.
NEW MONSTER PROVES THREE HEADS BETTER THAN ONE
It was bound to happen! Forget the axiom that two heads are better than one. The very latest in world destroyers is one head up on it as proven in “Ghidrah – The Three Headed Monster” the new Tohoscope / Eastmancolor thriller which opens at the..(Insert Theatre Name) ..Theare on..(Insert Opening Date).. Those veteran one headed monsters, Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra are on hand to learn this new lesson the hard way.
Purely an outer space product, Ghidrah comes equipped with four legs (?), a set of coliseum size wings and multiple mouths that spew out three times as much destruction at the crack as the earth born monsters can do singly in a month of Sundays. The obvious solution is for Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra to stop tearing at each other’s throats long enough to put their combined heads together to drive the foreigner out of their territory, which means our of this world.
Shinichi Sekizawa, an expert on the extra-curricular activities of delinquent monsters, conjured a screenplay which affords Godzilla and Rodan with scenes to exhibit their individual specialties, than adding Mothra to combine their talents for the inevitable showdown with Ghidrah on the slopes of Mt. Fuji. The built-in violence of each contestant automatically brings about a smash climax when irresistible forces meet an immovable object and the earth literally trembles from the impact.
“Ghidrah – The Three Headed Monster” was produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka for the Toho Company. A Walter Reade-Sterling presentation, it is being released through its Continental Distributing Division which hasto acknowledge that three heads are better than one.
Summit Meeting of Monsters Saves Earth
Master special effects creator, Eiji Tsuburaya, is again responsible for the action which calls for the realistic destruction of ships at sea, the city of Yokohama and villages unfortunate to be in the path of the havoc-bent monsters. Directed by Ishiro Honda, renowed for his contributions to this specialized field of science fiction motion picture making, “Ghidrah – The Three Headed Monster” was produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka for the Toho Company. It is being released by Continental, a division of Walter Reade-Sterling, Inc.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Directed by Ishirō Honda
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Shinichi Sekizawa
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography Hajime Koizumi
Distributed by Toho, Continental Distributing (USA)
Release date December 20, 1964
Running time 92 minutes