A reporter investigates the disappearance of a ship. He finds the ship and discovers that all the hands have been killed by a giant sea louse except for one. The lone survivor then tells the reporter that the ship was attacked by Godzilla (Gojira). Fearing a panic, the Japanese government then takes the survivor into custody to keep him from revealing that Godzilla has returned. However, a Soviet nuclear submarine is destroyed and the situation puts them and the United States on the brink of nuclear war, until the Japanese decide to come clean and admit that it was Godzilla. Soon the Japan and the rest of the world are on red alert as they wait for Godzilla to begin his rampage anew.Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
This film was based partly on a 1980 story treatment by Tomoyuki Tanaka and Akira Murao called "The Resurrection of Godzilla" ("Gojira no Fukkatsu"). Conceived as a direct sequel to Godzilla (1954), a new Godzilla, identical to the one from 1954, was reawakened by illegal nuclear waste dumping by a freighter in the Pacific Ocean. The protagonists include Shinpei Muraki (the young director of the Information Science Center), Professor Inamura, his daughter Akikuko Inamura (Muraki's love interest), and American scientist Dr. Radner. The story was also the introduction of what is considered Toho's greatest "lost" monster, Bagan, which Godzilla fought in the story. Bagan, a guardian spirit, has four forms in this film: the Dragon Spirit Beast (Doragon Reijû), the Ape Spirit Beast (Enjin Reijû), the Water Spirit Beast (Sui Reijû), and ultimately, a totem-like amalgam of the three forms. Godzilla savagely fights and kills the monster after the middle of the film. Another adversary for the radioactive terror is a JSDF armored super-vehicle, the Super-Beetle (which was ultimately reworked into the Super-X). The film's climax has the protagonists attempting to destroy Godzilla on Beonase Atoll, with a trap containing Dr. Inamura's nuclear invention, Reiconium. When the device malfunctions, Dr. Radner makes a Serizawa-like sacrifice and reactivates the weapon, engulfing Godzilla in lethal radioactive blue flames, apparently killing the monster, and taking Radner's life in the process. The story ends with Godzilla's lifeless body washing ashore a beach on the West Coast of the United States, with a nuclear power plant nearby; a narration stated, "As long as nuclear energy exists, Godzilla will live," as Godzilla's eyes open and the monster stirs to life with a mighty roar. Although the script was never produced, many of its elements nonetheless remained in the film, including the Shokkiras (the radioactive sea louse), and Godzilla attacking a nuclear power plant (and absorbing energy from the core reactor). See more »
Godzilla changes sizes many times over the course of the movie. See more »
The original Japanese version, like the 1954 original, did not contain Raymond Burr. Also, in the Japanese version, the Russian submarine officer tries to stop the nuclear weapon that was accidentally launched. This was changed for the US version so that the Russian officer actually launched the weapon. See more »
Picking up 30 odd years later and ignoring all the films that were made in between, Godzilla returns to trample Tokyo. The Tokyo natives think up all sorts of goofy plans to get rid of Godzilla, one which involves a highly advanced flying tank called Super-X, the other involving the use of birds to activate an often unused portion of Godzilla's brain that resembles a bird's to lead him out of Tokyo and into a volcano, where he remains until the sequel, "Godzilla VS Biollante".
The "1985" American version includes scenes of us damned Americans trying to figure out what do and features Raymond Burr reprising his Steve Martin character from the American version of the first film. However, his first name is never used on account of comedian Steve Martin's then hot popularity. This version also gives Russians a bad name because they made the Russian commander launch the missile before he died when in the original version he died heroically trying to stop the missile's launching but failed. The death of the tramp is also shown in the original version.
Maybe it's the lighting or lack there of, the smoke, or just the dated quality of my VHS tape, but this is a very dark and atmospheric monster on the rampage epic and one that I hold very close to my heart for reasons I can't quite explain. Special effects run the usual gamut from good to ridiculous, and the music is pretty good. Whether or not the original version will ever be released in America remains to be seen. I'd settle for just being able to see this one on DVD somewhere.
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