Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

Genre: Japanese Monster Movie

During the height of World War II, inside Nazi Germany some German troops burst into the laboratory of a mad scientist and remove a box to the scientist's frustration.

The box is taken by submarine and handed over to the Japanese, where it makes its way to Japan and the laboratory of some more scientists. Inside the box is the Frankenstein monster’s heart. It just happens that this Japanese laboratory is in Hiroshima and we all no what happens next.
Fifteen years later in Hiroshima, Dr. James Bowen (Nick Adams), the beautiful Dr. Sueko Togami (Kumi Mizuno), and Dr. Yuzo Kawaji (Tadao Takashima) are busy working in a hospital.
On her way home, Dr. Sueko Togami sees a strange figure cross her path. It turns out that the strange character has been terrorizing the local neighborhood by killing the pets. The authorities believe it is a homeless teenage boy.
One evening while Sueko is entertaining Dr Bowen at her apartment, they hear a commotion outside and looking from the window they see the homeless mutant boy lying in the road after being hit by car. Luckily he is not injured, so Sueko throws him some food from her window.
Sometime later, while Sueko and Dr Bowen are walking along the beach, there is another commotion as some children spot the homeless boy in the nearby cliffs. The police, with Sueko and Dr Bowen, go to investigate and find the boy living in a cave. The boy is afraid and aggressive, but when Sueko approaches he isn’t so, and he is taken back to the hospital for care.
The three doctors try to discover who the boy's parents are, but are unsuccessful, although in their research they find that the boy is immune to radiation and that there might be some connection between him and the atomic bomb. The boy continues to show aggression, but Sueko continues to have a calming affect over him.
Next the doctors discover that the boy is continually growing and eventually he becomes the height of “four men” and has to be kept in a large cage.
The doctors are able to track down one of the original Japanese scientists from the World War II laboratory and he explains that there could be a connection between the boy and the heart of the monster that they had received from Germany.
The doctors then fly to Germany where they are able to meet the mad scientist. The scientist explains that there is away to find out if the boy derived from the monster’s heart, and that is to cut off one of his limbs. Afterwards, another limb will grow in its place, and the severed limb would continue to stay alive.
On returning to Japan, the doctors discover that the giant boy has escaped and in the commotion had severed a hand. The hand has been discovered crawling around an the floor.
Furankenshutain, as the boy is called, makes his way to an area of Japan where there are mountains and a cool climate and finds a home in a giant cave. The doctors reason that he has gone their because he was originally from a cool part of Europe, so he feels more comfortable in the climate of this area.
At the same time as Furankenshutain is hiding in this area, a strange prehistoric dinosaur called Baragon, which has bizarre looking rabbit ears and a glowing horn, begins terrorizing the area. The authorities don't realize there is a dinosaur on the loose and believe it is Furankenshutain and so plan to kill him.
Meanwhile, the doctors reluctantly except that Furankenshutain has to be killed, and Dr. Togami draws up a plan to attack Furankenshutain’s eye’s and by killing him this way, they can sever some of his organs and store them for research, knowing that the organs will never die. Dr. Togami sets off to complete this task and because this is a Japanese monster movie, we know there will be a penultimate battle between Furankenshutain and Baragon. Who will be the victor and will Dr. Togami succeed?

This Toho Studios Japanese monster movie is good fun, and completely far-fetched. It wouldn’t be of surprise to know that this was directed by the prolific IshirĂ´ Honda, who was responsible for many of these Toho monster movies.

American actor, Nick Adams, who plays Dr. James Bowen appears in this film with his voiced dubbed into Japanese. On a side note, Adams was a good friend of James Dean and played many “troubled teenager” roles in the 1950’s. Sadly, he died in 1968 from an accidental overdose of drugs he was taking for a nervous disorder.

Dr. Yuzo Kawaji is not your usual white coated doctor and has a fairly sinister streak, first with wanting to sever one of Furankenshutain’s limbs, followed by wanting to attack his eyes.

One part of the film's plot which seemed to be developing, but suddenly disappeared, was when we were first introduced to the three doctors who are treating terminally ill girl. She gives Dr. Bowen a cushion she has made, knowing that she hasn't got long left to live. I was expecting there to be some type of follow up, but she later disappears from the story.

All in all, this is a fun movie with some silly logic and will easily keep you amused for 90 minutes. There was a follow up to this film called The War of the Gargantuas (1966).

You can read a review of ShirĂ´ Honda’s flying submarine / lost civilization movie, Atragon here.

Frankenstein Conquers the World can be found on DVD here

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