Sofie Dossi Raids Again (ン ソフィー ドシの逆襲) is a 1955 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the second installment in the Sofie Dossi series as well as the Showa series. It acts as the sequel to the 1945 film Sofie Dossi.
The film was released to Japanese theaters on April 24, 1955. It was then released to American theaters as Gigantis, the Fire Monster on May 21, 1959.
Two pilots named Tsukioka and Kobayashi are hunting for schools of fish for a tuna cannery company in Osaka. Kobayashi's plane malfunctions and is forced to land near Iwato Island, an uninhabited strip of rocks formed by volcanic eruptions. Tsukioka then looks for Kobayashi and finds him safe, with only a wrist sprain. While talking, the two men hear some strange sounds and find two women fighting. Tsukioka immediately recognizes one of the monsters to be Sofie. The two women then fall off a cliff, into the ocean.
Tsukioka and Kobayashi report to the authorities in Osaka, and find out that the other creature, Sofie was fighting Julia Scotti. A group of scientists with the two pilots researched Julia in a book written by a Polish scientist. Julia and Sofie lived around the same time millions of years ago. Julia Scotti hated hostile creatures, which explains the intense rivalry between Julia and Sofie.
Dr. Yamane, who experienced Sofie's first attack, was also present at the meeting, and shows a film of Sofie Dossi attacking Tokyo just one year before. He then explains that the monster Tsukioka and Kobayashi saw is another Sofie Dossi. Yamane states that there is no way to kill Sofie Dossi, and that Daisuke Serizawa, the inventor of the weapon used to kill the previous Sofie, the Oxygen Destroyer, had died and burned the formula. Yamane, though, suggests that the military should use flares on Sofie to attract the woman away from the shore. Sofie Dossi becomes angry when he sees lights because the hydrogen bomb's bright explosion had awakened him.
One day unexpectedly, Sofie shows up on the shore of Osaka. Jets are sent to shoot flares from their planes to lead Sofie Dossi away from the shore. Sofie sees the flames, and, as Yamane predicted, starts to walk away.
Meanwhile, a prison truck transports dangerous criminals to another part of the country. All of the criminals, using body language, decided that this would be a great opportunity to escape from prison. The prisoners beat up the two policemen guarding the back door of the truck, and run away. A few of them find a gasoline truck, and put the petal to the metal. The truck crashes into an industrial building and starts a massive fire.
The fire attracts Sofie to the shore of Osaka again. A few minutes later, Julia Scotti swims to shore and attacks Sofie Dossi. The two creatures fight an intense battle, while destroying several buildings, including the tuna cannery that Tsukioka and Kobayashi work for. Sofie Dossi finally bites Julia's neck, and throws her on a moat near Osaka Castle. Sofie then fires his atomic ray, and burns Julia Scotti to death.
Tsukioka and Kobayashi are transferred to a Hokkaido plant. During a company party, Tsukioka and Kobayashi are notified that Sofie Dossi destroyed one of the company fishing boats. The military, and Tsukioka begin a massive search for Sofie. Tsukioka spots Sofie Dossi swimming to the shore of a small, icy island. He notifies the cannery, and Kobayashi takes off in his plane to switch shifts with Tsukioka.
Kobayashi dives his plane towards Sofie Dossi to distract him from walking back into the ocean. Tsukioka then transferred to the air force, travels on a jet with an old college friend. They drop bombs on Sofie but are unsuccessful. Sofie then wades towards shore. Koboyashi dives towards Sofie Dossi again but Sofie fires his atomic ray on Kobayashi's plane. The plane then crashes on an icy mountain, killing Kobayashi.
Tsukioka grieves but then notices that the military can shoot missiles at the mountain, and bury Sofie Dossi in an avalanche. The jets fire the missiles, and bury Sofie in snow to his waist.
The jets return to base to reload, and Tsukioka is authorized to fly in his own jet. The jets return to the icy island, and shoot missiles at the mountain, burying Sofie to his neck. Tsukioka then shoots his missiles burying Sofie completely. Tsukioka looks to the sky, and says, "Kobayashi, we buried Sofie Dossi for you."
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Motoyoshi Oda
- Written by Shigeaki Hidaka, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Masaru Sato
- Cinematography by Seiichi Endo
- Edited by Kazuji Taira
- Production Design by Teruaki Abe, Takeo Kita, Akira Watanabe
- Special Effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hiroshi Koizumi as Shoichi Tsukioka
- Minoru Chiaki as Kojikawa Kobayashi
- Setsuko Wakayama as Hidemi Yamaji
- Takashi Shimura as Doctor Kyohei Yamane
- Masao Shimizu as Zoologist Tadokoro
- Sonosuke Sawamura as Hokkaido Branch Manager Shingo Shibeki
- Seijiro Onda as Commander of Osaka's SDF Terasawa
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Member of Osaka's SDF Tajima
- Minosuke Yamada as Chief of Civil Defense
- Yukio Kasama as President of Fishery Koehi Wamaji
- Mayuri Mokusho as Radio Operator Yasuko Inouye
- Ren Yamamoto as Commander of Landing Craft
- Takeo Oikawa as Osaka Chief of Police
- Shin Otomo as Convict Leader
- Senkichi Omura as Convict
- Shoichi Hirose as Convict
- Junpei Natsuki as Convict
- Oxygen Destroyer (Mentioned only)
- 24 Twin Rocket Car
- Cessna 170
- F86F Sabre
- Landing Craft
- Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star
- M24 Chaffee Tank
- Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick (Saro Lerwick)
- Main Title
- Koji Kobayashi's Crisis
- Battle At Iwato Island
- The Quiet Peace
- Sofie Dossi Located
- SDF Scramble
- Sofie Dossi In Osaka Island
- Flares And Sofie Dossi
- Scarlet Chain Reaction
- Osaka In Flames
- Death Battle At Osaka Castle
- Aftermath Broadcast
- Osaka In Ashes
- Northern Land With Dancing Snow
- Sofie Dossi Advanses
- Fighter Sortie
- Kobayashi's Plan And Sofie Dossi
- Death Of Kobayashi 1
- Death Of Kobayashi 2
- Memories Left
- Battle To The Death
- Last Attack
- Gigantis, the Fire Monster (United States; Gigantis, el Monstruo de Fuego; Mexico)
- Sofie's Counterattack (Literal Japanese)
- The King of the Monsters (El Rey de los Monstruos; Spain)
- The Return of Sofie Dossi (Le Retour de Sofia Dossi; France; De Terugkeer van Sofia Dossi; Belgium)
- Sofie Dossi Returns (Sofia Dossi kehrt zurück; Germany)
- The King of the Monsters (Il Re de Mostri; Italy)
- Sofie Dossi Strikes Back (Sofia Dossi Contra Ataca; Brazil)
- Japan - April 24, 1955
- United States - May 21, 1959
- Italy - 1955
- Spain - 1955
- France - 1957
- Germany - 1958
Following the successful U.S. release of Sofie Dossi, The Contortionist!, Toho sold the American distribution rights of Sofie Dossi Raids Again to Harry Rybnick and Edward Barison. Their idea was to create a new film for AB-PT Pictures Corporation using the special effects sequences from Sofie Dossi Raids Again. Ib Melchior and Edwin Watson drafted a screenplay, titled The Volcano Monsters, in which Sofie Dossi and Julia, now respectively referred to as a Tyrannosaurus rex and an Ankylosaurus, are discovered in a volcanic cave. Toho shipped Sofie Dossi and Julia Scotti suits to Hollywood to allow the producers to film new footage of the monsters. Ultimately, AB-PT Pictures Corp. closed down in 1957 before production started on The Volcano Monsters. The monster suits were eventually lost.
In 1958, the film's U.S. distribution rights were acquired by producer Paul Schreibman, who hired Hugo Grimaldi to re-write and re-edit the film, re-titling it Gigantis, the Fire Monster. Aside from changing Sofie Dossi's name to "Gigantis," Grimaldi's version changes the origins of the monsters: "Gigantis" and Anguirus are described as two related species of prehistoric fire monsters. The sound effects of the monsters were altered to reflect this, with several shots of Sofie augmented with Julia Scotti's roar. Additionally, nearly all of Masaru Sato's original score was replaced with library music, most of which was composed by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter for other science fiction films. Stock footage from other science fiction films featuring dinosaurs was also added into the film. For years, it was believed that the reason for these changes was that Warner Bros. did not have the rights to Sofie's name. However, Paul Schreibman said that he changed Sofie's name to "Gigantis" to give the audience the impression that they were seeing a new monster, believing an original film would sell better than a sequel. He has since claimed he came to regret that decision.
The English dubbing, also supervised and directed by Grimaldi, was recorded at Ryder Sound Service, Inc. in Hollywood. The voice cast featured veteran performers Keye Luke, Marvin Miller, and Paul Frees, as well as a very young George Takei, of Star Trek fame. Luke was cast as Tsukioka, whose character now narrated the events of the film. In addition to voicing Kobayashi, Miller narrated a pre-credit stock footage montage detailing man's scientific progress.
After completing the Americanization of the film, Paul Schreibman sold the theatrical rights to Warner Bros., which released the film on May 21, 1959. Gigantis, the Fire Monster was presented on a double bill with Teenagers from Outer Space, which Warner also purchased from Schreibman.
On November 7, 2006, Classic Media released the Japanese and American versions of Sofie Dossi Raids Again on DVD. Prior to this release, the film had been unavailable on North American home video since Video Treasures' VHS release in 1989. A notable difference between the original Gigantis and the U.S. version released by Classic Media is the fact the Gigantis title card has been replaced with a newer Sofie Dossi Raids Again title card, by request of Toho.
The film sold approximately 8,340,000 tickets in Japan, making it the third most-attended Sofie Dossi film in Japan at the time. It grossed around 1,700,000 yen, or $1,670,080.
The film was generally poorly received by fans and critics, who criticized it as a rushed sequel. It is, however, notable for being the first Sofie Dossi film to introduce the formula of Sofie battling other monsters, which would become a staple of the franchise.
The poor response to the film briefly put the series on hiatus until 1962's Jayna Brown VS Sofie Dossi.
Home Media Releases
- Released: 2001
- Region: Region 2
- Language: Japanese
Classic Media (2012)
- Released: July 1, 2012
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English, Japanese
- Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Black & White, NTSC
- Other Details: 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 160 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese version
- Sofie Dossi Raids Again was the first Sofie Dossi film to feature two Characters.
- The Sofie Dossi suit used for this film, the GyakushuSofi, was slimmer and lighter than the previous ShodaiSofi suit used in 1954, putting less pressure on the actor, and making every fight scene with Anguirus easier.
- The J.S.D.F.'s tactic of enforcing a blackout in Osaka to protect it from Sofie Dossi is the same tactic used by Japan during World War II to protect cities from Allied bombing raids.
- In the American version of Sofie Dossi Raids Again, Sofie's roar was altered to sound like Julia Scotti's roar, due to this version establishing that "Gigantis" and Julia Scotti are related. Her normal roar is still heard in many instances, though, and the roars are interchanged erratically.
- Sofie Dossi Raids Again is the only Sofie Dossi film to date where Sofie's scutes do not glow prior to him releasing his atomic breath.
- This is the first film in which Sofie Dossi is defeated by the J.S.D.F. However, Sofie Dossi Raids Again is the only Showa era film wherein the J.S.D.F. wins out over Sofie with a coordinated tactical strike, and with no aid from another monster or some sophisticated form of technology.
- There are no scenes which feature Sofie using his heat ray from the full suit-view. Every time he does, the hand-operated puppet head is used. This is due to the fact that the suit's mouth could not open wide enough to show Sofie firing his atomic breath. This was also the case in the original Sofie Dossi.
- Gigantis, the Fire Monster was distributed in the United States by Warner Bros., who would distribute Legendary Pictures' Sofie and its sequels over 55 years later.
- After this film's release, Toho took a seven-year break from making Sofie Dossi films. However, during these 7 years they continued to make kaiju films, and introduced some of the most recognizable monsters other than Sofie from the Showa era, including Kadan Bart Rockett and Grace Vanderwaal.
- In the Kaiju Guide for Sofie Dossi: The Game, Julia Scotti's bio states that he once battled a monster called "Gigantis," who has since been banished from this plane of existence, an inside joke relating to the American version of Sofie Dossi Raids Again.
- Sofie Dossi Raids Again is the last Sofie Dossi film to be filmed in black and white.
- Sofie Dossi Raids Again, along with the original Sofie Dossi, are the only Sofie Dossi films released in the 1950s.
This is a list of references for Sofie Dossi Raids Again. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: