Another stretch of busy days has gone by only to now leave me stuck indoors thanks to some of the most lame ass weather I can imagine. Seriously, Michigan either storm or don't. This constant piddle fest is annoying as fuck. Still; I have a big reward coming my way as my friends & I prepare to take on the latest adventure from our favorite emerald city stomper. With that in mind let's get on to the third and final installment in our Godzilla recap series. Get your popcorn ready and settle in for the big finale.
Godzilla vs Space Godzilla
Total disclaimer here: The common point of view is that this is a terrible movie but I honestly liked it. Some of the G-cells that were scattered into space from the battles with Biollante and Mothra merge with a being to create Space Godzilla who makes a beeline for Earth so he can absorb the planets energy. Meanwhile the government has employed the psychic girl Miki ( a recurring character since Biollante) to attempt mind control over Godzilla. Ohh, and I can't forget that the defense force also replaces the destroyed Mechagodzilla with a new robotic warrior named Moguera. This feels like it was meant to close out this second sequence of films with all the references to past outings and the increased threat level that Space Godzilla presents. Even using Miki as the main character after several movies with her just offering support feels like the final chapter of a bigger story. Lots of good action and an eventual understanding between atomic monster and psychic girl make for what I consider to be a superior adventure.
Godzilla vs Destoroya
If Space Godzilla was the final part of the second series, this was made to be the proper ending to the franchise as a whole. Godzilla is dying a slow and violent death. His atomic core is overheating and soon he'll explode in a catastrophic disaster. While this is going on, the weapon called the oxygen destroyer that was used to kill our favorite monster in the first movie has been rediscovered and it's melded with tiny microbe organisms. These critters evolve, growing larger in both size and number, eventually merging into one giant bastard. Godzilla's condition changes so that he might meltdown into the core of the earth, thous destroying the whole planet. Everyone decides that the only way to stop doomsday is to let Destoroya finish off our favorite monster in the hopes of preventing the meltdown. By this point, Baby has evolved basically into a teenage zilla and gets dragged into the fight, seemingly dying before his fathers eyes. A combination of Godzilla's rage and human ingenuity wipes out Destoroya before our big guy finally bites the big one. Before he died he was able to pass on enough energy to his son to fully revive and mature the young monster, giving us hope of one day seeing tokyo getting squashed again. Another entry that is more action than story, it's still a fine time. Give it a shot.
Toho put the big dude back into retirement after the last flick which allowed Hollywood it's chance to take a shot at Kaiju flicks. In pure American blockbuster fashion, we fucking blew it! Instead of giving us the more serious style of the original film or the joyous monster battles the franchise had earned a reputation for, we got a big hermaphroditic iguana battling Ferris Bueler while Leon the professional complains about American coffee. A horrid pile of shit that's made all the worse once a stockpile of zilla eggs hatch, releasing the laziest batch of Jurassic Park rejects you've ever seen. Keep far away from this stinker.
Godzilla Millennium (AKA Godzilla 2000)
After witnessing America absolutely bomb at its efforts, Toho decided it was time to bring the big green bastard back for a third series. Yet again we're following up from the very first movie and ignoring everything else that had been produced. For his return we're given a very straightforward and basic tale about an old UFO that steels the big mans genes to become Orga. That's about it. This is both the movie's greatest weakness and strength. Sure it's simple and predictable but it's also comforting like a blanket. Maybe give it a shot.....or don't. Doesn't really matter.
Godzilla vs Megaguirus
Not really sure if this one is supposed to be following the events of Millennium or not. It's another fairly light story about the government trying to make a black hole weapon to destroy Godzilla. In the process they mutate a bug into a giant flying menace. In truth this wouldn't be that bad an entry but the special effects and monster battles are really lazy for some reason and it robs the movie of a lot of fun. There are a few nice touches here and there but nothing that can save this one from being anything other than plan old dull.
Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Now this is more like it! Once again using only the first film for background we find a revived Godzilla that is possessed by the spirits of all the soldiers that died during World War II. Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Baragon (who got left out of the title) are ancient guardians summoned to protect Japan from this supernatural beast. There's a ton of story and good characters lifting this one up to some real heights. Sending it over the top are some truly excellent battles and miniature effects. Seeing some of the old ideas get changed up also makes for a good deal of fun. I mean, no one expected to ever see Ghidorah as a hero. Despite the weirdness of the whole dead soldier spirits thing this is the benchmark for Godzilla who is in fine form as a full-on villain once again. A true must see for anyone interested in these movies.
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
With Another series comes yet another Mechagodzilla, this time known as Kiryu. Yet again we are meant to ignore all other sequels for this story of a girl hellbent on revenge. She becomes a pilot of Kiryu which is actually built around the bones of the original Godzilla. Of course that's a terrible idea and before you know it, the soul of the long dead beast is reawakkend inside the robotic shell. There's some effort at being a character study but it never really pans out. In fact the whole movie sort of sputters to a close without really finishing anything up. Plus the fights are a bit on the boring side. A middle to lower teir flick for only the more hardcore fans.
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Following up on the previous amth-up we switch focus to one of Kiryu's mechanics who is warned by the Mothra twins that Godzilla keeps coming back to attack Japan because they used the bones of the older one to build their dumb robot. Instead of dealing with a flimsy revenge story we get something that's more about a slacker who finally gets his chance to shine. Combo that with some very nice monster fights and you get some fine entertainment. The biggest accomplishment here may be Mothra and her larve actually being kinda cool for once. Upper level flick that makes for a decent night of entertainment.
Godzilla: Final Wars
The 50th anniversary of Godzilla was fast approaching and the producers saw that as the perfect opportunity to give him one super-sized birthday party before sending him back into retirement. There's a huge cross sampling of nasty beasts from the franchise scattered throughout this adventure including big name favorites like Rodan down to low rent baddies like Kumonga the giant spider. Best of all, the American imposter from 98 shows up only to get his ass laid out in record time. Lots of folks complain that this one just doesn't feel like a proper Godzilla movie and to some extent that's true. Overall this is just a really over the top action movie that rips off bits from other flicks without an ounce of shame. Even so it's an awesome time with cool action and doofy overacting that provides a great deal of fun. Most importantly it shows Godzilla as a total bad ass who never takes more than a few minutes to waste his enemies. Lots of fun and a solid entry for anyone who wants to cradle their head and laugh at the onscreen madness.
More than likely I'll give this one a proper post of its own once I check it out. Most of the early press is good though my sister caught an early screening and claims its awful. We shall see, Kimmy, we shall see.
And there it is folks. Hopefully all three parts of this handy guide will help you pick out a few special entries to boost your monster movie lexicon.