Godzilla Vs. Destroyah –1995, Takao Okawara – Japan
When Toho revived the Godzilla in 1984, they brought us a new era with shinier, more plastic looking monsters, who relied largely on laser based combat, as well as numerous psychics, soldiers, and also the single worst time travel movie of all time, Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah. Now, after seven films in eleven years, Toho wraps up the Heisei series with Godzilla Vs. Destroyah, and really, I’m kind of glad it’s over.
THE PLOT~ After Godzilla turns up in Hong Kong with some sort of crazy, fiery lizard rash, G-Force’s top minds conclude that Godzilla’s monster guts are reaching superheated levels, due to some sort of radioactive meltdown in his dragon belly. Apparently, Godzilla’s rumbly tum-tum will soon reach an unsustainable temperature, which will trigger an explosion large enough to annihilate the entire planet, which is clearly not a win/win scenario for him, or for us humans. Immediately, Japan busts out some Freeze ray technology they’ve been working on, and it’s actually more effective than you might think.
Meanwhile, some wayward Japanese scientist is sniffin’ around the old Oxygen Destroyer technology, which was the device they used to kill the original Godzilla in ’54, before it’s formula was lost with the death of it’s creator. As is the case 100% of the time that scientists try to do anything, this experimentation inadvertently resurrects and mutates a prehistoric monster, and the next thing you know, weird, bug like creatures are scurrying all over Tokyo killing the hell out of everyone. Science.
These monsters are basically just Toho ripping off the creatures from Aliens, right down to their extendable mini-mouth tongues, and we even get some soliders equiped with Ripley-esque flamethrowers running around trying to combat these creepy crawlies, so clearly, it’s uninspired, cut and dry plagiarism yet again from the Heisei series, which has become alarmingly routine lately. Honestly, it doesn’t help this movie’s case- Godzilla should be above shamelessly xeroxing other intellectual properties in this way, so for shame, Toho. Cut it the fuck out.
Anyhow, all these beasties merge together to create one giant, kaiju sized bug monster, which, apparently, is Destroyah, a creature which was absolutely named by Sylvester Stallone, without question. Confronted with this horrible crab/bug/dino looking abomination, Japan thinks; “Hey, this thing is a product of the original Oxygen Destroyer, right? Maybe it can solve our other giant monster related problem, if you know what I mean.” So, that brilliant idea is what we decide to go with, and in order to stage this confrontation, Godzilla Jr, now himself quite giant, is used as bait, since Miki (yep, she’s in this one too) has a special psychic connection to him and can kinda guide which way she wants him to go.
Miki totally dotes on Godzilla Jr as though he were a damned Labrador or something, but with some coaxing she is convinced to help direct GJ into the city, where he will most likely be slaughtered by a nightmarish insect monster before her very eyes. Godzilla Jr Shows up, probably thinking “Where are my human friends? I love humans!” and then he is immediately beaten to within an inch of his life by Destroyah, until Poppa G drops in, and shit goes to 11.
In the end, Godzilla defeats Destroyah, but not without going critical and literally melting like a giant, radioactive candle; however, the Earth is somehow spared from total destruction due to G-Force’s freeze lasers, or something. I’m not actually sure how these guys manage save the Earth, but they do somehow. I think maybe the idea is that the radiation that would have killed us got sponged up by Junior, which in turn transformed him into a full fledged Godzilla, but honestly, this bit is a little unclear for me.
Other things happen in the movie, there are multiple characters and subplots, but mostly these are just an attempt to further connect this film with the original ’54 Gojira, in hopes that our new movie will somehow seem more credible as a result of that connection, but honestly, who gives a shit? No one, that’s who. This movie is a little thin, like Jared from Subway, but it is fairly climactic, so I’ll give it that. Godzilla certainly looks formidable in his weird meltdown condition, and Godzilla VS Destroyah does feel tense and dramatic at times, but the movie remains burdened by problems typical to all Heisei era films; they just aren’t as fun, or as high quality as their Showa predecessors. In the end, Godzilla Vs Destroyah comes out somewhere in the middle of the list, if we were to rate the Heisei era films from best to worst, but on average, just about any Showa movie is head and shoulders above the films belonging to this second era. Onward; to the next book of the Godzilla trilogy; the Millennium Series.