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I saw a part of this while channel-surfing around a few months ago on Comet TV, and it's been bugging me ever since that I couldn't place it. Today, I snap and present the challenge to SFSE. Here is everything that I can remember:

  • The movie appeared to be entirely cast by Asian actors and presumably was originally made in an Asian language, as the English version I was watching was dubbed, and rather comically so.

  • One of the first scenes that I saw (partway through the film, I'm sure) took place on a small cruise boat. One character had some sort of small statue/relic in his possession (in a small red metal box) and someone who was evidently an evil henchman attempted to sneak in and steal it. The henchman was shot by the relic's keeper, but the area around the wound (the face) regenerated and appeared ape-like. I believe he successfully took the relic. I recall that the bad dub job was particularly noticeable in the fight scene.

  • In another scene (one which I believe happened after the first) - two characters (I think one male and one female) were trapped in an orange-ish room on the bad guy's ship? headquarters? underground retreat? Some property of the room (I believe it was heat) would increase over time, eventually killing the two trapped in the room. Two of the good guys (I think both male) disguised themselves as the bad guy's soldiers (basically aluminum foil astronaut suits) and rescued them. Meanwhile, the big baddie had rigged their getaway car with an explosive. The good guys (suspecting a trap), arriving at their car, attached a string to the car key and used this set-up to start the car from far away, leading to the big bad believing that the good guys had died. I believe that at point, the good guys consisted of six people - two rescuers, two rescuees, and two other people.

  • This final scene that I can recall is particularly foggy to me. It was some sort of interaction between a good guy, a bad guy, and older guy, and the older guy's daughter. The good guy expected the old guy to take his side in some matter, but the old guy refused, blaming the good guy for something that the bad guy did to his daughter. Again, very fuzzy details.

  • The movie was in color; the general visual quality was about standard for what you would see on this channel.

I should note that I would doubt that the first and second scenes were even from the same film if it had not been for the very consistently bad dubbed audio.

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Pretty sure you're describing Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974).

Details which fit:

  • In color
  • Asian (Japanese)
  • Dubbed (US releases were dubbed, and not all that well)

Regarding the statue/relic scene with the ape-like visage, this is from the plot section of the Wikipedia article:

Keisuke is joined by archaeologist Saeko Kaneshiro, who translates the prophecy and takes one of the artifacts, bearing the likeness of the legendary monster King Caesar, to study. Two men stalk them, one who speaks to them and claims to be a reporter interested in the story, the other of whom attempts to steal the statue from them but fails and flees.

and later

Keisuke and Saeko take the statue of King Caesar back to the temple by cruise ship, but are confronted by the thief once again. During the fight, the stranger's head is wounded and the skin on half of his face melts away to reveal an apelike visage.

You mention the bad guys having foil astronaut suits - take a look at the suits in this review video.

Other stuff you mentioned is covered in the the longer plot summary on wikizilla.org:

From your description:

The good guys (suspecting a trap), arriving at their car, attached a string to the car key and used this set-up to start the car from far away, leading to the big bad believing that the good guys had died.

From the summary:

The humans flee the aliens' base and prepare to get in Keisuke's car, but Nanbara anticipates a trap and uses a wire to turn the ignition from outside the vehicle, activating a car bomb set by the aliens. Kuronuma assumes the humans are killed once the car explodes, and prepares to launch Mechagodzilla.

From that same review video, you can see at about 4:40 one of the humans killing an alien, who then reveals his ape-like face.

You also mention "in another scene (one which I believe happened after the first) - two characters (I think one male and one female) were trapped in an orange-ish room on the bad guy's ship?" - I believe this is the scene you're talking about:

room filled with red smoke

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  • Wow, thank you so much! It's a little embarrassing how relieving this is :) I'm curious - how were you able to find it? – Brandon_J Oct 20 at 13:34
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    also I find it ironic that I completely missed the godzilla part. – Brandon_J Oct 20 at 14:39
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    Oh, I recognized it immediately from your description of the boat scene. We had this on VHS (recorded off of the local late-night monster movie show) when I was a kid. I've seen this movie at least a couple dozen times, maybe more :) – E.Z. Hart Oct 20 at 15:33

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