If you want to start somewhere with these movies, start here. Godzilla vs. King Ghidora released in 1991 following in Godzilla vs. Biolante wake, this one delivers everything I need in a Godzilla movie. It resurrects one of my favorite villains and it delivers all the Godzilla plot troupes from the classic series in a brilliant new way. The 18th installment in the Godzilla series the film starred Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, and Akiji Kobayashi and featured the return of Akira Ifukube on music a much missed presence. Like I have said before I really like the heisi series and this one is just about my favorite in the series.
The film opens in the distant future with aliens surveying the dead body of the King Ghidorah on the ocean floor. In the present, Kenichiro Terasawa, a science fiction writer, pursues an interesting story surrounding a veteran of the Second World War who claims that a dinosaur saved Japanese troops on Lagos Island he thinks the dinosaur became Godzilla Soon some aliens reveal themselves to be humans from the year 2204. They claim to have returned from the future in order to stop Godzilla from destroying Japan. This plays into the underlying theme of the movie which I’ll get to soon. They also confirm Godzilla’s origin and they plan to return to Lagos during the Second World War to keep the dinosaur from ever mutating into Godzilla.The group returns to the past with Terasawa, Miki Saegusa marking an awesome return for her character, and paleontologist Professor Mazaki. The dinosaur (a Godzillasaurus), having suffered severely from his encounter with American troops, is teleported to the Bering Sea. With Godzilla presumed to never be created one of the future people secretly leave these way cute flying dragon things on the island and they all depart. Upon returning they see that In Godzilla’s place a new beast King Ghidorah has been created and is destroying all of Japan. The rest of the movie the characters try and create Godzilla again and turn him into a hero to defeat the giant threats and expel the unwanted aliens.
The special effects are the best yet in the series. They are fantastic even earning Japanese academy awards. In earlier films Godzilla always looked kind of odd in close up but this time he looks terrifying. The miniatures alongside the two giant monsters are the best example I think I have ever seen in a monster film. Godzillasaurus in the past is realized fantastically; he actually looks like Godzilla as a dinosaur! King Ghidorah is definitely an improvement over his Showa counterpart, however the monster as a whole still lacks in some areas. During the flying scenes, the wings are a little too stiff. On the other hand, his gravity beams are a sharp improvement and burn the cities with ease. The necks lack the floppiness that plagued the original suit. The music is excellent! Every piece is just as immersive as the last and fits the scene perfectly.
I really like this one because it gives us a definitive origin story on Godzilla while playing around with a time travel aspect. The scientists efforts to restore Godzilla to the timeline are interesting and its endlessly funny to me that after they have done so and King Ghidorah is killed the point at which most Godzilla flicks would end) they realize they need to resurrect KG again to defeat the even bigger problem of Godzilla. This one played around with making the big G a good guy again and I am glad they ultimately leave him ambiguous. I think he works much better either as the villain or ambiguous. The theme is controversial for its anti-western roots painting the villains as a white country that has subjugated Japan and further making the American soldiers in the past come off pretty bad in the fight. I don’t know how feel about all that but I do love this movie a lot.
Best Moment of Destruction: There is one guy who thinks he has a special connection with Godzilla. There is a fantastic scene where he stands perfectly still having a moment with Godzilla, before being completely blown away by his atomic breath. I laugh every time.