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
Kenichiro Terasawa (Kosuke Toyohara) – All Godzilla films need a reporter and a scientist, so Kenichiro Terasawa is our reporter. He predicts where Godzilla comes from, IN THE FUTURE, but for now he is just a guy who hasn’t done anything cool yet.
Emmy Kano (Anna Nakagawa) – From the future! She came back in time to destroy her native Japan because Emmy has self-hate issues or something. Regardless, she soon realizes that Japan is ichiban and switches teams to be all 100% pro-Japan. She is also a pseudo-love interest for Kenichiro Terasawa, which is sort of gross because she is his descendent. I guess in the future the inbreds rule the roost.
Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) – Recurring character Miki Saegusa returns for the first time, thus she is a recurring character. Recurring, you see. She is psychic and has big ears. They are related. Also, she will be a recurring character, have I mentioned that?
Professor Mazaki (Katsuhiko Sasaki) – Hey, a physics expert! Our resident scientist helps Terasawa discover the secret of Godzilla’s origin and explain the time travel junk to the military.
M-11 (Robert Scott Field) – A white guy who isn’t evil or related to a director just happens to be a robot! But that allows for cyborg action like the world has never seen. Okay, not quite. M-11 is pretty cool for a second-rate Data so I give him two robotic thumbs up!
Godzilla (Kenpachiro Satsuma) – Godzilla grows in size thanks to modern radiation from 80 meters to 100 meters. Now he can kick even more butt! If Godzilla ever wanders past your house, don’t use any radiation on him, because he’ll keep growing bigger and bigger and have to buy new wardrobes each time, making Godzilla madder and madder.
King Ghidorah (Hurricane Ryu) – King Ghidorah is the agent of the evil Futurians used to try to destroy Japan so they won’t rule the world of the future. Three heads are better than one, unless you have low ceilings.
Mecha-King Ghidorah (Hurricane Ryu) – Mecha-King Ghidorah is the modified version of King Ghidorah that transports from the future to fight Godzilla. Piloted by Emmy and M-11.
Godzillasaurus (Wataru Fukuda) – Godzillasaurus was just chillin’ on his island when these Japanese guys showed up and trenched in. Godzillasaurus suspiciously ignored them until heroic Americans came to kill the Japanese, and Godzillasaurus decided he should get involved in the conflict. His attempts at peacemaker resulted in his body being riddled with bullets, so Godzillasaurus lashed back and struck out in anger. Godzillasaurus hid his rage deep inside until it consumed him and he became rage personified. So learn some stress management, kiddies!
Dorats (puppets) – AHGH!! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE! Sorry. These ugly as sin things turn into King Ghidorah. If the Futurians wanted to destroy Japan maybe they should have dropped several dozen back in time so there would be many King Ghidorahs. But that would require having some brains!