Following The Return Of Godzilla in 1984 and Godzilla Vs. Biollante in 1989, Toho started to produce Godzilla movies annually again starting with 1991's Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah. The film was not released in the U.S. until 1998 when Columbia TriStar released the home video. The movie follows the chronology of the previous two entries and focuses on Godzilla's origin and the introduction of Ghidorah, the first of the classic monsters to return to the series.
This movie is a time travel story in which people from 2204 travel to 1992 and 1944 to try to prevent Godzilla from becoming the indestructable, atomic powered monster that has devasted Tokyo. A small group travels to Lagos Island near the end of World War II and teleport a dinosaur that lives there to the Bering Sea, so that it won't be transformed into Godzilla when the US preforms atomic tests near the island in 1954. Unknown to the people of 1992, the Futurians leave three small winged animals known as Dorats on the island, which are then transformed into the monster King Ghidorah with the tests of 1954, and procedes to attack Tokyo. The Futurians wish to prevent Japan from becoming the world's finacial powerhouse in the intervening years. However, unknown to the Futurians, in the Bering Sea, a Russian nuclear submarine had sunk, which caused the Godzillasaurus from Lagos Island to be transformed into Godzilla anyway. Godzilla and Ghidorah clash, with Ghidorah losing, having one of his heads blown off. One of the Futurians, of Japanese ancestry, wishes to right the wrongs of her compatriots and brings Ghidorah's corpse to the future, where it is made into the cyborg Mecha-King Ghidorah. It is then brought back to 1992, and is able to remove Godzilla from Tokyo, depositing him into the ocean.
I enjoyed that this movie delved into Godzilla origins prior to the events of Godzilla, King Of The Monsters. The scenes of the dinosaur that would become Godzilla aiding a Japanese garrison on Lagos Island against the US forces were well done, although the actors who played the American military were absolutely terrible. It was great to see Ghidorah back, but a bit of a switch for Ghidorah to be the hero and Godzilla the villain. The destruction was, as usual, great and Godzilla is quite mean, even killing the man that he saved in WWII.
I remember seeing this one late at night on cable TV, probably in the late 90's or early 2000's. I didn't give it much thought then due to the overt cuteness of the Dorats and the cyborg M-11, but I really enjoyed it with these recent watchings. I watched it in it's orignal Japanese version and the US version. This movie was a fine addition to the series.