Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (Review)

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

aka Gojira VS Supesugojira


Directed by Kensho Yamashita
Written by Kanji Kashiwa and Hiroshi Kashiwabara

Nothing is ever spelled right in a Godzilla film.

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla was the twenty-first Godzilla film and the second to last Heisei picture. It received mixed to bad criticisms upon its release in Japan and later the US, and now is almost universally scorned. There are some good points, and some nice nods to continuity of the Heisei series. SpaceGodzilla is an old concept from the 1970s (along with Godzilla vs. the Devil, which could have only been born in the 1970s) that got yanked out for modern day after TriStar failed in their quest to make an American Godzilla film. Upon release of the actual American Godzilla film a few years later, one wishes they instead yanked Godzilla vs. the Devil out of the dustbin instead!

The design for SpaceGodzilla stems from an old Nintendo game Super Godzilla, during the game Godzilla could become Super Godzilla, and the sprite design was almost identical for SpaceGodzilla. They, in fact, took the sprites, slightly altered them, and then called is SpaceGodzilla. SpaceGodzilla has never returned to the silver screen, but he returned for several episodes of Godzilla Island, where it was revealed there is a second SpaceGodzilla who is killed in that series. SpaceGodzilla also shows up in video games (fitting due to his design origin): First he appeared in Godzilla: Giant Monster March. He also showed up in Godzilla: Save the Earth, replacing Orga as the final opponent in hard mode. In his biggest role, SpaceGodzilla is the final boss in Godzilla: Unleashed, the game where Godzilla battles against Animal Control for the right to have his pit bulls run free in the streets.

MOGUERA shows up instead of Mechagodzilla because Mechagodzilla was too powerful in the previous film, and having Godzilla and his robot brother fight the space spawn would be too one-sided, even though it could be advertised as Godzilla^3! So they drag out Toho’s other robot creation (no, not Mechakong) MOGUERA! Back when he was Moguera, he was in 1957’s The Mysterians and showed up as an alien agent on a carnage run smashing through cities until he was killed when a bridge fell out from under him (the same fate as James T. Kirk!) A second Moguera then appeared later in the film only to also die by being crushed. Now MOGUERA is built by the UN from the wreckage of Mechagodzilla to fight Godzilla, and is an acronym for Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-Type. MOGUERA can split into two vehicles, Land Moguera and Star Falcon, because every monster in the Heisei universe has multiple forms, even freaking robots!

Babygodzilla has grown up some and is now Littlegodzilla, who is now Minya-sized and more annoying. I still hate him, but even worse, there was a possibility that he would have gotten his own TV shows spun off of this film. Thankfully, that never came to pass. So instead I will complain about the US DVD release. I can ignore the dubbing, the lack of credits, who cares. The problem is they chop off a good portion of the film in multiple scenes! It is supposed to be anamorphic widescreen, but it is obvious that parts are sourced from a fullscreen print that is chopped off at the top and bottom for widescreen! This is most apparent in the title shot, where most of the word “Gojira” is chopped off. Multiple scenes in the film have characters missing the tops of their heads. I am not going to watch my VHS copy of the film to see if it is filled with chopped off foreheads, I am just going to assume it doesn’t. So “BOOO!” to whoever authored the DVD, you did a terrible job and I hope you die by being crushed by DVDs.

Xillian raiders forced us to wear these horrible clothes! Help us!

One thing the movie never harps on is that is SpaceGodzilla was created from Godzilla cells, then he is Godzilla’s offspring (in a round-about way!) We have a cool subplot about fatherly responsibilities, daddy issues, what if you have a son who is genetically defective, all sorts of things that are completely ignored! The human plot could have benefited greatly from a little less of the psychic crap and a little more family turmoil. Maybe Miki has a friend whose father hates her because she is psychic, and thus she begins to act out and be bad. Then dad learns he must love his daughter and take care of her even if she is different, because otherwise she could become a horrible space monster obsessed with crystals! And then…Dad is crushed by a crystal, but her psychic/telekinetic powers save him! Then the whole thing airs on ABC Family.

Speaking of crystals…crystals? Who thought crystals was a good idea? Every time I watch this I think of those New Age wackos who use crystals to get energy and all that other freaky stuff. That’s a little loopy even for a Godzilla film. What is next, WitchGodzilla (excuse me…WiccanGodzilla?) In conclusion, crystals are dumb.

Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) – Psychic girl Miki Saegusa becomes Telekinetic girl Miki Saegusa due to her new telekinetic abilities. She’s still psychic, and also has magic earrings that keep her in contact with The Cosmos, who warn her of the danger of SpaceGodzilla (something Miki doesn’t bother to let anyone else know about, but they learn soon enough!)
Lt. Koji Shinjo (Jun Hashizume) – Member of G-Force who goes to track down Godzilla for the Project T, then ends up co-piloting MOGUERA. Has sort of a thing with Miki.
Lt. Kiyoshi Sato (Zenkichi Yoneyama) – Shinjo’s friend and care-free dancer, Sato is the yang to Shinjo’s yin and parties it up while the two search for Godzilla. Also becomes one of the MOGUERA operators after their Godzilla/Project T mission.
Major Akira Yuki (Akira Emoto) – Best friend of Goro Gondo from Godzilla vs. Biollante, ever since his friend’s death he has obsessed with hunting Godzilla down. Eventually learns to give up his quest after Godzilla saves the world by killing SpaceGodzilla. And he also finds love. Isn’t that sweet? It is, you chump!
Professor Chinatsu Gondo (Towako Yoshikawa) – The sister to Goro Gondo is a respected scientist and works for the G-Force Science council. She helps design Project T, helps determine the origin of SpaceGodzilla, and convinces Akira Yuki to give up his obsessed ways and learn to love.
Professor Susumu Okubo (Yosuke Saito) – This guy is all about controlling Godzilla and then secretly selling that technology to the Yakuza! Has crazy eyes, crazy chin, and crazy goggles. Yes, he is crazy. Like all mad scientists, he dies. To bad one of those lecturing scientists from Godzilla vs. Biollante weren’t around to bore this guy to death with their speeches.
Minister Takayuki Segawa (Kenji Sahara) – Even politicians get into the Godzilla-fighting fun! Recurring from the past two films, Minister Takayuki Segawa makes his final appearance in the Heisei series. Kenji Sahara has been in scores of kaiju movies and tv shows, including such fare as Ultra Q, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla’s Revenge, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.
Commander Takaki Aso (Akira Nakao) – This gruff commander of military forces will head all action against Godzilla for the last three Heisei films. He looks the part perfectly. Akira Nakao returns as Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi in Godzilla X Mechagodzilla and Tokyo SOS.
The Cosmos (Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa) – Those tiny Japanese girls are back, as tiny as ever! Now they are in red Kool-aid-tinted Astral Projection form! They warn Miki of the danger of SpaceGodzilla. They thank Miki when it is all over. That’s about all they do, but at least it is the same girls playing the part.
Godzilla (Kenpachiro Satsuma) – Godzilla was just minding his business one day when this space freak comes to Earth, throws his kid in a crystal cage, blasts Godzilla up, and then goes all “I’m conquering the Earth!” We know Godzilla ain’t gonna stand for that crap, so soon he is kicking butt and blasting names and chewing bubblegum. I messed up the quote but you get the idea.
SpaceGodzilla (Ryo Hariya) – SpaceGodzilla comes from space, hence the name. He is also totally into crystals. He believes in Crystal Lite because they believe in him! SpaceGodzilla can’t go ten minutes without explaining all sorts of crystal nonsense to you, and also mentioning how he wants to conquer the galaxy. I guess the crystals told him to do it.
MOGUERA (Wataru Fukuda) – Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-Type is now MOGUERA and was built by G-Force from the ruins of Mechagodzilla. The original Mogueras were tools of alien invaders in The Mysterians. Can split into Land Moguera and Star Falcon.
Littlegodzilla (???) – Jerk. Gets stuffed in a crystal cage for being a jerk.
Fairy Mothra (Puppet) – Miki is off tripping balls so she sees tiny Mothras flying around. Miki is insane.

M&M escalates the War on Skittles. Taste this rainbow, bitch!

We open as SpaceGodzilla swoops through the stars and crystal meteors crash on an island. The very island that Godzilla and his son Littlegodzilla are chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool, and all shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school, when a couple of meteors who were up to no good, startin’ making trouble in their neighborhood…

The humans at G-Force or UN-G or whatever the heck it is called in this movie have a new plan: Project T. Project T means they will take control of Godzilla via psychic means. Miki Saegusa is drafted because her students can’t hack it and we needed to write her into the movie somehow. I am sure Project T is not called that because in Japan Thong panties are called T-backs, but as T doesn’t stand for anything psychic (except Telekinetic which also makes no sense…maybe Telepathy? Telephone? Telemundo?) I will just pretend it does! On the island that Littlegodzilla is on, two G-Force troops named Lt. Shinjo and Lt. Sato arrive to find there is someone already there, an obsessed loner named Akira Yuki who wants to kill Godzilla out of revenge. Littlegodzilla has a thing for him. Up yours, Littlegodzilla. You still suck and I want Minya! You even try to rip off the classic Son of Godzilla shots of giant Kid Godzilla head peering down at the human friends.

Akira Yuki has a blood coagulant bullet he will snipe Godzilla with. He will repeat that he has the bullet several times, so we know it will be used to defeat the real villain (even though I think they end up not using it.) If you introduce a super weapon, you need to use it! This is the rules of Chekhov’s gun: “One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.” The G-Force guys plant tear gas mines while in outer space Mothra is crapping out tiny Fairy Mothras. These are tiny Mothra avatars, one of which shows up on Earth later. Where all the others are going is never explained.

Check it out, I saw Predator!

A space station is attacked, and NASA is convinced it was a monster, they show footage of astronauts flying and crystals piercing the station. The blue screen work is hilarious, and how anyone could conclude it was a monster when all you see it two crystals ram through the station I will never know. I guess they call everything “monsters” in the 1990s. The dotcom bubble burst? Monsters. Monica Lewinski? Monsters. Newt Gingrich and the Republican revolution? Definitely monsters. The Cosmos (and Fairy Mothra) visit Miki to warn her of SpaceGodzilla, who has come to kill Godzilla so the Earth can be conquered. Stupid aliens always trying to conquer Earth. It’s because we are so cool. Miki doesn’t tell anyone about the warning she got, so the Cosmos just wasted their time with her! Miki, how could you let the planet down like that?

Project T is to go ahead, Miki and the Project heads Professor Okubo and Professor Gondo visit the island. Miki is wearing a horrible tangerine pantsuit. It is the worst fashion piece in a Godzilla movie ever, that includes all the entries from the 1970s! The action threatens to begin as G-Force NORAD spots SpaceGodzilla, so they will send MOGUERA. MOGUERA is what they built the wreckage of Mechagodzilla into after he got destroyed and roasted to a burnt toastie. MOGUERA “Thunderbirds are Go”es his way into space in a flurry of model movement.

Yuki explains his bullet again! Because we are dumb and didn’t hear it the first time. Professor Gondo helped him design it even though she didn’t know what she was doing at the time. There is back story hinted here and explained later. Littlegodzilla sets off tear gas mines because he is dumb.

Lord, I hate Littlegodzilla.

GODZILLA!!! Finally Big G arrives, hopefully to beat his son to death. The team implants him with the Project T thingamajig that will allow them to control his mind, but first Godzilla sets off more of the mines that Yuki set. They try to send message to Godzilla, but I guess they send it collect because nothing seems to work.

In space, no one can hear you scream, or fight giant monsters in the asteroid belt. The battle in the asteroid belt between MOGUERA and SpaceGodzilla is pretty neat, but as cool as this fight is, this would be one scene that would be 100x better were it done for big budget CGI! MOGUERA blasts SpaceGodzilla a bit, but when Space G fights back, MOGUERA is no match. MOGUERA ends up spinning out of control and SpaceGodzilla continues course to Earth.

On the island, the Project T machine starts to error and Miki gets zapped. Now she talks about the spacemonster, after everyone already knows about it. Way to go, Miki. Tomorrow she will warn us of Pearl Harbor. The crystal structures on the island are now signaling into space with electricity (green electricity!)

SpaceGodzilla lands…and Littlegodzilla goes out to see him. SpaceGodzilla zaps him (kill him! Kill Littlegodzilla! I will pay you big money!)

Big G then comes to beat up this new guy, because only Godzilla can beat up Littlegodzilla. SpaceGodzilla can block the atomic breath blasts with diamond force fields that appear, and then counters with SpaceGodzilla’s own red blasts. The crystal force fields don’t always come up, as can be proved as Godzilla scores a couple of hits. SpaceGodzilla is too lazy to prevent himself from having horrible damage. Now that is lazy!

I have come to imitate iconic Godzilla scenes!

The two fight over Littlegodzilla, Godzilla gets blasted up protecting his son and then falls. Littlegodzilla is then tractor beamed into one of the crystal structures and crystaled up, and SpaceGodzilla flies off. Um, SpaceGodzilla, you didn’t kill Godzilla! Now he’ll just come back and kill you. Because he is Godzilla and that is what he does. Kill you. He will. Maybe you shouldn’t be that lazy.

The humans leave, and Godzilla slinks into the sea to heal and hunt down SpaceGodzilla. Okay, not all the humans leave, as Miki, Shinjo, and Sato decide to stay as well. G-Force scientists lead by Professor Gondo figure out the space monster has same G-cells as Godzilla, so they name it SpaceGodzilla. Good thing that is already SpaceGodzilla’s name! We are told the G-cells that were in space are either from Biollante or were Godzilla cells on Mothra. The cell must have been swallowed by a black hole and pushed out by a white hole. It looks like someone was reading A Brief History of Time….while DRUNK ON RADIATOR-FERMENTED ORANGE JUICE! Then we are thold the G-cells absorbed crystal life forms and lots of energy, so they evolved quickly. She came up with this whole theory in the time it took to take helicopter ride back to Japan. Wow.

Misspellings on Golgi body, Lysosome, and the use of periods instead of commas cause this final exam to get a D-!

The plan to attack SpaceGodzilla is called Project M – and Yuki is asked to pilot MOGUERA. We also learn that Yuki’s best friend was Goro Gondo (from Godzilla vs. Biollante, who was Professor Gondo’s brother. On the island, Fairy Mothra comes to tell Miki to not worry and her powers can help save the earth. Then Fairy Mothra leaves. Miki seems to get weird visitors all the time, and she is never freaked out by it. Shinjo and Miki then have some sexual tension arguments about Godzilla and his feelings. That night, some evil guys grab Miki and run off.

Miki was stolen by…the Japanese mafia! I guess the dubbers think we won’t know the word Yakuza. Professor Okuba is the guy who orchestrated her being stolen, he is going to use her to control Godzilla to make the Yakuza lots of money. SpaceGodzilla then flies over things and blows stuff up and frees stuffed animals, while Godzilla swims around with his costume’s tail being broken. Japan was out of super-glue that day. G-Force breaks in where Miki is being held, and we get a mob shootout! One dude uses Miki as cover, but she levitates herself in the air and he gets shot in the leg. She is rescued and Professor Okuba is killed by SpaceGodzilla. That is the fate due all people who attempt to control giant monsters for profit.

Yuki returns just in time to pilot MOGUERA, Shinji and Sato will copilot. It is better than introducing more secondary characters, you see. SpaceGodzilla lands and starts setting up a crystal defense structure, and Godzilla also makes landfall and heads for it. The stupid humans attack Godzilla instead of letting them fight and attacking the victor. Yuki also switches the course of MOGUERA to chase after Godzilla. Shinjo is made enough he knocks out Yuki and takes over piloting, returning to where SpaceGodzilla waits. MOGUERA begins the attack.

The most realistic effects money can buy!

Weapons and tactics include:
Firing the Plasma laser gun
Flying around and blasting SpaceGodzilla, then landing
Spiral grenade missiles
Plasma laser cannon
Drill attack

Trippin’ ain’t easy

Following all of that, MOGUERA then gets blasted up by SpaceGodzilla and falls over. Yuki wakes up, and MOGUERA escapes destruction by flying away. Godzilla arrives right then, but SpaceGodzilla starts blasting him up too! SpaceGodzilla then levitates Godzilla into a skyscraper. This film is filled with levitation craziness!

We have come to warn you: Never fall asleep in a tanning bed!

Godzilla starts to smash up the crystal structures as MOGUERA returns (now with power to its weapons.) Godzilla has figured out the crystal structure gives SpaceGodzilla more power due to this cool crystal energy theory known as “totally made up stuff.” SpaceGodzilla crashes some crystals onto Big G, while the MOGUERA crew gets the idea to destroy the giant power tower in the city that SpaceGodzilla is using to draw in power from where ever crazy crystal crap the power comes from.

Feminine protection…of the future!

So MOGUERA splits into Land Mogeura and Star Falcon. Land Mogeura is a drill machine while Star Falcon is a fighter. We get a “Thunderbirds are Go” separation of the two parts, and Land Mogeura drills underground while Star Falcon fires weapons at the tower.

Hey, the graphic calls it the “SPACK GODZILLA ENERGY ZONE”

The Death Star prepares to attack Godzilla

Between the drill weakening the supports and Godzilla pushing the tower (with Star Falcon distracting SpaceGodzilla), the tower falls over. The two halves of MOGUERA blast up the now weakened SpaceGodzilla a bit, then they reform MOGUERA and both the robot and Godzilla blast at SpaceGodzilla. MOGUERA figures out to blast the big shoulder crystals of SpaceGodzilla, and manages to blast them both. SpaceGodzilla is like an Imperial Star Destroyer, take out the two shield generators and the beast is easily beaten. However, disaster strikes when SpaceGodzilla spears MOGUERA with its tail just after the crystals are smashed, and MOGUERA is tossed about and smashed, then blasted up for good measure.

Godzilla has flashbacks to his battle with Megalon

It is abandon ship time, Yuki sends Shinjo and Sato to escape, then tosses his special blood coagualte bullets into a rocket launcher and aims to shoot, but the battle between the two Godzillas continues, and he can’t hit SpaceGodzilla clearly. Instead, he pilots MOGUERA into a suicide crash into SpaceGodzilla and then slams into a building. That’s much better! Actually, it is, as somehow it causes SpaceGodzilla to start to die. We are told this, even though it doesn’t look like he is dying yet. Shinjo goes to rescue Yuki, and Yuki is freed from being trapped in the wreckage of MOGUERA thanks to the telekinesis power of Miki.

Any comment I write won’t be as funny as the one in your mind.

Godzilla then uses his super-red breath blasts to kill SpaceGodzilla dead. He also blows up MOGUERA for good measure. There is fire everywhere and sparkles go up to space like when Biollante died. Did MOGUERA have a soul? What is going on here? As for the humans, everyone is saved! Happy ending for all, except those thousands who died, but they are unnamed masses so forget them.

Sure, my tail is falling off. Yours would also if you had to fight your space self!

So if there are G-cells all over space then there will be more SpaceGodzillas, so this movie at least gave us the plot of a Godzilla TV series if someone ever needs to come up with a Godzilla-based Power Rangers show (Zone Trooper not counting!) Maybe that is where all the other Fairy Mothras floated off to. The Cosmos and Fairy Mothra say thanks to Miki and then fairy their way home even though they are just astral projections. Professor Gondo and Yuki end up going on a date, and Godzilla returns to the water, the costume’s tail is still broken. Miki and Shinjo have a pseudo-relationship thing (which soon vanishes by next movie) Back on the island, Littlegodzilla is free and breathing fire bubbles or sparks or some crap. In any event it is dumb. I hate that mofo. Terrible J-Pop brings us to a close, so we are out of here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good riddance, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla!

I am not crazy, why do people think I look crazy?

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla has at least one deleted scene, where Godzilla tries to free Littlegodzilla from captivity of the crystal structures on the Island. He fails, which is supposed to drive his revenge in seeking down SpaceGodzilla. Since we know Godzilla is going to go for revenge anyway, it isn’t really needed, and also gets us less Littlegodzilla screentime, which is always a plus for me. So good job, whoever edited this out!
Only one more Heisei era film after this one, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. March of Godzilla 4 continues!

Oh, man, what did I drink last night?

Rated 5/10 (Earrings, NOOOOOOO!!!!, Crystal missile, Parka power, Goodbye again!)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!