10 years after 1975's The Terror Of MechaGodzilla, the biggest movie star of them all, Godzilla, returned to the big screen. Released as Godzilla in Japan in December 1984, and titled The Return Of Godzilla and Godzilla 1985 in English language markets, Godzilla 1985 was a direct sequel to the original 1954 classic Godzilla, King Of The Monsters. The New World Pictures version even brought back Raymond Burr to once again add scenes to the Japanese version to make the movie more accessable to American audiences.
In this movie, Godzilla returns to attack Tokyo and feed off the energy from Japan's nuclear power plants. He smashes through a much more developed Tokyo, causing total destruction, and battling with the Super X aircraft. Eventually, Godzilla is lured to the mouth of Mt. Mihara volcano, where set explosives cause the edge of the volcano to collapse on itself, bringing the giant lizard into the volcano, where he is trapped forever. Or is he?
The sixteenth Godzilla movie overall, Godzilla 1985 began a new series of Godzilla movies, 7 in all from 1985 to 1995. The series brought back favorites like Mothra, King Ghidorah, and MechaGodzilla, and introduced new monsters Biollante, Space Godzilla and Destroyah. I remember seeing advertisements for the new movie back in 1985, but never gave it much thought. I felt that the magic of the Godzilla movies had ended for me with The Terror Of MechaGodzilla, and don't remember when I first saw this film. What I never realized until just a few years ago, was that the series continued after 1985, and was rebooted again in 1999. For the last month or so, I've been watching all the Godzilla movies, seeing some of these 80's-2000's movies for the first time. I've been posting reviews on the G/S/B MB, and will start reviewing the second series of Godzilla movies here, building up to the release of the new Godzilla movie in May.
Unfortunately, I feel like there really wasn't a whole lot to say about Godzilla 1985. I actually watched it twice because I didn't remember much of it. The scenes of Godzilla smashing through the skyscrapers of modern Tokyo were quite impressive, with many of the buildings towering over the giant lizard, but I don't think I've ever seen a more rubbery Godzilla. There was very little buildup to Godzilla's first scene on the big screen in a decade. While there were many nice nods to the original Godzilla movie, the added American bits with Raymond Burr and the US military didn't work for me. All the Dr. Pepper product placement didn't help, either. Apparently, according to wikipedia, Raymond Burr prevented the movie from becoming a tongue-in-cheek comedy, because he believed in the nuclear weapon analogy.
Better movies would come further down the line, but, for me, Godzilla's Return was a bit of a flop, but, as a fan of the genre, still enjoyable and worthwhile.
...was especially effective because the scenes (presumably) take place at night. Or was the movie black and white? I've always thought a strength of the original Godzilla movie was the fact that it was in black and white. Godzilla is so much more impressive that way.
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