Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (Review)
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
aka Gojira vs. Kingu Gidora
Directed and written by Kazuki Omori
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is the third of the Heisei series of films, and the first to include a classic Toho kaiju in a new form (other classic monsters such as Mothra and Rodan would soon arrive as well.) The big story with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is not the plot or the monsters or any of that jazz, but the controversy surrounding the release of the film. Back in 1991, the US was still having rough relations with Japan economically, following a period where Japan seemed to be buying up much of America at wholesale prices. Japan’s edge had started to slip at this point, and they would soon be in the middle of a decade-long recession, but fear of Japan soon controlling the world war rampant in the dimmest of bulbs, who coincidentally just happen to have radio and TV shows. They were upset over the sequence where the precursor to Godzilla, the Godzillasaurus, slaughters a bunch of US troops during World War 2. The fact that men from the future who were white also went back in time to ruin Japan economically in retaliation of Japan’s dominance was also touchy. Accusations of anti-Americanism flew wild, and Japan had to say “What the frak?” No one seemed upset over the thousands of dead Japanese people in the film, the fact a Japanese woman was one of the time travelers, a white guy was a good robot, or the fact that everyone in the future where Japan dominated hated the country and thought of them as corrupt and deserving death for their arrogance.
But talking heads are morons, so who gives a crap what they thought in 1991? All I am concerned about is if that had any decision in the delaying of release of the post-Biollante films in America. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah did not hit the US market until at least 1996, because I bought the VHS of it while I was in college. A few bootlegs circled at conventions, but outside of the grey market you could not get a glimpse of new Godzilla for five years. Of all of the Heisei era films, I think I enjoy this one the most, largely due to the human characters not being that annoying. It was very much better than its predecessor, Godzilla vs. Biollante, which was terrible (when Godzilla wasn’t fighting the army) and featured a stupid monster that I hate. Biollante’s poor showing at the box office basically forced Toho to tell the director he is bringing back a named monster, something that happened again when GMK: Tokyo SOS director Masaaki Tezuka was forced to put Ghidorah and Mothra in a film neither had any business being in. Toho could easily avoid this by not having lame monsters like Biollante or Megaguirus, but I guess that is just too difficult. Rumors swirl that this was originally going to star King Kong in a rematch against Godzilla, but negotiations went sour.
Enough rambling, let’s get to this production! We will have the cast breakdown, and then jump into the feature
The best special effects money can buy!
It is the year 2204. The Earth has been overrun by cyborg overlords from planet Quixoto IV…okay, maybe not. We just get an underwater submarine visiting the body of King Ghidorah, who is missing one of the three heads, and get this badly dubbed exchange as it is mentioned about how King Ghidorah fought Godzilla: “You mean King Ghidorah fought Godzilla?” “Yes, in the 20th century!”
So let’s get our butts to the 20th century! 1992, to be exact, where a UFO is flying over Japan and somehow gets front page headline space. It must be a slow news day. Writer Kenichiro Terasawa of the famous magazine Super Mystery Magazine aka Mu, has gotten rich writing about science fiction and now wants to be a serious author. Too bad for him he is pigeon holed.
Meanwhile, some crazy dude is rambling about dinosaurs at a museum about how dinosaurs are needed to save Japan. He talks of living dinosaurs on a pacific island that protected Japanese troops from US troops. He is dragged away and never seen again, but another guy explains to a third guy what happened back then, because the second guy was there. He will even show up in the later flashback, but the crazy dude doesn’t. In February 1944 a dinosaur killed a bunch of US troops, but probably because it was just protecting its territory. No one bothered to report anything or even talk about the dinosaur until now, despite the fact Godzilla has attacked twice and other monsters have appeared, and there is a UFO running around. But a DINOSAUR is unrealistic. Right.
The UFO is hanging around where Godzilla is sleeping in the ocean, the ESP institute figures this out, not the military. What is the military doing that they can’t keep track of two gigantic things like that? Terasawa speaks with a physics professor named Professor Mazaki about dinosaurs, they figure out the story of the dinosaur on Lagos Island during World War 2 was real, but the dinosaur isn’t there anymore.
Because the H-bomb was tested there in 1954.
And the dinosaur is now…
Meanwhile, the UFO is blowing up helicopters because the aliens are jerks. Terasawa goes to see Mr. Shindo to demand answers on dinosaurs, Mr. Shindo tries to leave until Terasawa mentions his theory that the dinosaur is now Godzilla, thus Shindo gives him photos of the dinosaur. While outside the UFO, three aliens beam down. They are humans named Wilson, Glenchiko, and Emmy Kano. They are from the future, and want to meet with the prime minister. They don’t mention why they shot up helicopters, and no one bothers to ask.
The next day they beam in to meet with the Prime Minister. They come with warnings that in the future there is no Japan because of nuclear pollution! Godzilla wrecks nuclear power plants that wreck Japan. One would think you would stop making nuclear power plants if there is a giant monster smashing crap up in your country. So…we must get rid of Godzilla!
Heh-heh, so fun! Wait, ow! Stop! No! STOP! NOOOOOOOOOooooooooo……….
Terasawa called to come in to the PM’s office and so is Professor Mazaki. The aliens from the future (I am going to continue to call them aliens from the future even though they are human in an attempt to make this less confusing. Trust me, it is less confusing, so let’s start over.) The aliens from the future have a book from the future written by Terasawa, who hasn’t written it yet! It proves his Godzilla theory was right. And it lists the winners of every sporting event for the next fifty years, so make sure Biff doesn’t get his mitts on it! The plan is to go back in time to get the dinosaur and remove it from the island. Terasawa, Professor Mazaki, and Miki the psychic are the three who are going to go back in time. We are also introduced to M-11 the android. By the way, you can’t be at the same place at the same time twice, which is why they can’t take Mr. Shindo…what? This doesn’t make any sense! One of them would vanish. Why?
Tonight I bite off your middle toes!
They are also taking three dorats with them to the past for reasons that are sinister and not explained at this time except that they will “cheer them up” if they are lost. Dorats are “cute” animals with wings and vampire fangs that make them not that cute, but whatever. They look stupid and have King Ghidorah wings, so we know what they are mutating to. I hate dorats and wish the puppeteers operating them get hand cancer. For the record, we are thirty minutes in with no sign of Godzilla. Exciting.
Far out, man!
We go Back in Time! Some US Navy dudes see the timeship fly over the island, and talk about alien ships. One tells Major Spielberg to tell his kid about what he saw. Whatever. This isn’t funny, Japan. Why are they arriving while the island is being bombed by the Americans instead of like 1947 when no one would be around? We see Mr. Shindo, who looks the same except for black hair…fifty years did little to mar his already ravaged face, I guess. The horrors of war and war crimes. M-11 checks things out and flies, glides, and super-speeds around like some sort of drug-induced figure skater hallucination.
The US attacks the island, and they are winning until a dinosaur stomps in. Freaking dinosaurs ruin everything! It is the Godzillasaurus. The US troops fire, and Godzillasaurus stomps them all up, smashes them with trees, and chases them to the beach. Then the Navy blasts the Godzillasaurus and blood flies everywhere! I have never seen so much blood in a Godzilla movie. The Godzillasaurus falls, “Take that you dinosaur” says Spielberg unemotionally. What a terrible actor. The Godzillasaurus wakes up and squashes the rest of the US troops beneath his feet, then lumbers off. The US gives up and doesn’t report the dinosaur, and the time travelers decide to transport to the day the Japanese garrison leaves the island (Why again? Why not that day first? Why not go a few days later? Why, why, WHYYYYYYYY?)
I am going to stop pointing out time travel problems, because if I don’t my blood pressure will go through the roof, causing my head to explode with such force it shatters the moon.
The garrison leaves, and the Futurians teleport the Godzillasaurus to the Bering Straight! They drop those stupid dorats out on the island and then take off to leave for 1992. Godzilla is gone (though everyone remembers him, which makes me go “Grrr!!!”, except I am not pointing out time travel problems anymore…) and King Ghidorah is now around. Who is he and why do people know his name despite the fact he didn’t attack anyone yet? He attacks Japan now, and the heroes figure out that the Future People are evil and made King Ghidorah. They now control him to attack Japan and punish them for the future. Emmy is upset over this double-cross and flees the ship via goofy floating jet pack, heading to Terasawa’s.
In the 23rd Century anyone can have things projected behind them on a green screen!
Emmy explains that the Future People are part of the Equal Environment Earth Union – whose purpose is to equalize power of all nations on Earth. Even Luxemburg! They stole a time machine because Japan becomes the richest country in the world, and buys up all of Africa and South America. Just imagine Congo filled with udon huts and Hello Kitty.
The only way to stop King Ghidorah is to remake Godzilla, since they didn’t just kill the Godzillasaurus like any normal time traveler would do. They try to find the Godzillasaurus, but need transportation. Shindo just happens to have a nuclear submarine with nuclear weapons he owns…for his business…the dinosaur park business. Yeah. That’s why Japan is hated in the future, by the way. Meanwhile, psychic girl Miki is picking up the psychic signals of Godzilla, which she shouldn’t be picking up because he shouldn’t exist (and she shouldn’t remember him at all….never mind!) They figure out a nuclear sub wrecked in the Bering Sea years ago, and radiated up the joint. Thus, Godzilla is still around.
Hey, let’s go all Terminator 2! M-11 chases Terasawa and Emmy in the car, crashing and exploding does nothing as he just comes out burned and chases again. He takes Emmy back to the ship, but the stupid Futurians allow her to be alone and reprogram M-11. Maybe Japan controls the world because the rest of the world is stupid?
The submarine sent to make Godzilla gets proof Godzilla is still around when Godzilla rips it in half! Now Ghidorah fights some planes, but the planes all lose, because they are losers. Godzilla makes landfall, and he is bigger than ever! Godzilla joins the 100 meter+ club thanks to modern nukes and the nuclear sub’s nukes. He is totally nuked up. The Futurians send King Ghidorah to fight him, and the battle begins! It is about time Godzilla fought something that wasn’t the brave soldiers of the Unities States Armed Forces, instead he fights a three-headed flying dragon. Let’s get it on, Godzilla-style!
Meanwhile, Serasawa and M-11 get on the Futurian ship and blow up the control computer, putting King Ghidorah out of control. M-11 has a V-style laser fight with the Futurian troops on the ship. During the fight on the bridge the Future guys say that the new Godzilla will destroy Japan anyway, so they already won. They just declare victory in the middle of defeat and leave? The ship will automatically go back in time to the future in a few minutes. M-11 fights twin androids who are defeated easily (must be the M-.000003 models, too bad we didn’t know they were androids until this three-second long fight.) Serasawa and Emmy also kick some future butt and the three head to escape on the Thunderbirds-style timeship.
V meets Godzilla. Remember: The Futurians are our friends!
We get back to the monster fight, where Godzilla is being choked by a Ghidorah head (complete with lots of foamy spit!) Hey, this is strangely disturbing… Godzilla uses his atomic breath to make electrical feedback zapping King Ghidorah off of him. This was Godzilla’s power of inventing random powers for whatever thing happens this movie.
Godzilla blows off a King Ghidorah head, which would be more dramatic if there wasn’t a missing head on the body in the future. M-11 teleports the alien ship right in front of Godzilla, who atomic breath blasts it to death. As much as an alien ship that is really a future ship can die. Godzilla blasts up King Ghidorah, who crashes into the sea, then Godzilla starts to tear up Japan, as he is now meaner and greener. While stomping up the town and being masered by defense force guns, Godzilla falls down due to a subway tunnel. I admit that I laughed, because, what? They have to make Godzilla tripping a small plot point now? Defense forces press him, but Godzilla just stands up and smashes the frak out of them.
The heroes figure out to go to the 23rd century and get King Ghidorah from there and use him to fight Godzilla. Because he did so well last time with three heads… So Emmy and M-11 take the Thunderbird-style timeship to the future and begin work.
In the 20th century, Godzilla sees Mr Shindo in his office, remembers him, then blasts him! Take that, Mr. Shindo!
Time for Round 2, as Mecha-King Ghidorah appears! He is controlled by Emmy and M-11’s computer brain. They blast big G around a bit, but soon he is back up and blasting Mecha-King Ghidorah around! MKG crashes after being shot in the same wing that King Ghidorah was shot in. It is Kaiju Irony. Or something. Mecha-King Ghidorah begins Godzilla Grab – shooting out four claws on wires that grab Godzilla’s limbs, and a giant middle claw that grabs Godzilla in the chest. They fly away carrying Godzilla with them, Godzilla getting madder and madder. Godzilla blasts the center of Mecha-King Ghidorah again and again, and finally breaks through the ray shields and Mecha-King Ghidorah and Godzilla crash into the ocean. But, Emmy and M-11’s brain escape on the Thunderbirds-style timeship, and Emmy says she is a descendent of Serasawa, making their whole hinted romance just that much more icky. This film has a lot of disgusting hints in it. In fact, it holds up not very well at all under inspection. And this is the one I like the best? What is wrong with me?
Emmy goes home to date her father, while in the ocean Godzilla wakes up! We end, while I will say that these plans to stop Godzilla never remember to put drugs into Godzilla. He won’t stay asleep if you don’t drug him! Why don’t they ever think of that? By the way, if you love movies where the monsters carry Godzilla out to sea as a way of stopping him, they trend will continue in the next film! What is this, a broken record? Oh, well. Until that time, let’s get out of here!
I’m Godzilla! I invent powers just to kick monster butt!
Rated 8/10 (This way for dinos!, I Spy Gojira!, In the future men in business suits will still be evil, Hologram fistbump, Cows vs. Gdozilla, Masers!, Men being thrown around from explosions is almost as cool as Man on Fire, Taser vs. Godzilla)