Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wikipedia Has Nothing Of The Effects On Monster Island

One of my favorite parlor tricks that impresses no one is my ability to recite from memory the opening narration to the English version of GODZILLA VS. MEGALON. You know, this:
"In the first part of 1971, on a small island near the Aleutians, the second underground nuclear test took place. This is what happened![...]The effects of the explosion were widespread, even on faraway Monster Island in the South Pacific."
I typed that from memory, someone will surely want to check it for me.

One thing that always puzzled me about that opening was that it seemed to place the events of MEGALON in 1971. Fine and dandy, except for the small fact that the movie came out in 1973. Why set such a movie in the past?

Well, as I was doing some research for something else, I came across the answer. The reason is because that narration has basis in fact. There WAS an underground nuclear test on Amchitka, a "small island near the Aleutians," in 1971. Well, Amchitka is actually part of the Aleutians, the test was actually in November 1971, and it was the third such test there. Still, we can chalk those up to artistic license, simple mistakes, and/or garbled translation by the Hong Kong English dubbing crew.

Is this another one of those times where I missed a memo? Is this common knowledge in Godzilla circles and I missed it? What's most interesting is that the 1971 Cannikin test was (unless I am reading wrong) the last underground nuclear test conducted by the United States. So apparently, Goro and Jinkawa's warning worked, and the scientists listened. Somewhere in Seatopia, Emperor Antonio is smiling.


  1. I never knew about those particular atomic tests,Chris.Perhaps not surprising that Toho would incoroprate them into a script(the same way that the 1954 incident involving the fishing vessel Fukuryu Maru being exposed to the fallout from U.S. hydrogen bomb tests was referrenced in ''GOJIRA'',in the scene where a similar vessel is sunk by Godzilla himself...)

  2. It makes sense that they would, but I guess it seems less obvious by the time they got to the kiddie matinee era of Godzilla.