Two important things happened in 1995; my graduating from high school and the final Godzilla movie in the Heisei series. This movie received worldwide publicity due to the massive announcement that Toho Studios made, Godzilla was going to die in this film. The reason for ending the series was to help pave the way for an American series of films produced by TriStar (thank god we only had to deal with one of those things). So let’s say goodbye to an era and get right into today’s movie, Godzilla Vs Destroyah.
The plot: During a flight to check on Godzilla and Little Godzilla, Miki discovers that Birth Island has been completely destroyed and both monsters missing. Later that night, Godzilla appears in Hong Kong, but there are glowing, lava-like patches on his skin and steam is billowing from his body. Kenichi Yamane, grandson of Dr. Yamane (from the original movie) informs the JSDF that something has happened to Godzilla’s body and he is now going into meltdown. When Godzilla’s body temperature reaches 1200 degrees Celsius, Kenichi theorizes that Godzilla will explode with a force 1000 times more powerful than all nuclear weapons combined. The only way the JSDF can think of to stop Godzilla before this happens is to use the weapon that killed the original Godzilla, the Oxygen Destroyer. To this end, they ask Dr. Kensaku Ijuin, who has already created a similar formula called Micro-Oxygen, to try and recreate the formula. In an effort to try and cool Godzilla’s body temperature, the JSDF uses the Super X III, armed with powerful freezing weapons, to try and freeze Godzilla. This slows temperature increase, but Kenichi now believes that Godzilla will suffer a bodily meltdown, burning a hole to the center of the Earth, and thereby destroying the planet. However, a second problem has emerged at the site where the Oxygen Destroyer was first used. Precambrian lifeforms have been discovered to still be alive and have mutated into large, crab-like creatures that begin to attack the city. When the JSDF tries to stop the creatures, the creatures merge into one giant creature, which is able to fire the Oxygen Destroyer as a powerful blast from it’s mouth. When Little Godzilla appears, now mutated into a smaller version of Godzilla, Miki and fellow psychic Meru Ozawa manage to convince the newly dubbed Godzilla Junior to attack the creature, in the hopes that Godzilla will follow. Godzilla Junior seems to kill the creature but when Godzilla arrives, the creature, called Destroyer, appears in an even larger form and kills Godzilla Junior before setting it’s eyes on Godzilla. The two monsters begin to battle and Destroyer is eventually defeated through a combination of Godzilla’s super powered ray and the JSDF’s freeze weapons. Godzilla’s temperature reaches critical and though the JSDF use their freeze weapons to keep Godzilla from melting through to the Earth’s core, they are unable to prevent his body from melting and releasing a radioactive fallout that renders Tokyo uninhabitable. Suddenly, all of the radiation begins to disappear and the mist dissipates to reveal Godzilla Junior, fully revived and transformed by the radiation into a fully grown Godzilla.
This is my second favorite of the Heisei movies and, for those keeping score, #5 in my top five favorite Godzilla movies. The story and plot were fantastic and a great way to link the original movie with the, at the time, final movie. I loved all the references that they had to the original Godzilla, including having Momoko Kochi reprise her role of Emiko Yamane. The tribute during the end credits of various clips of Godzilla from the first movie and all of the Heisei series movies was also pretty neat. The Godzilla suit in this movie looked incredible, with both the glowing burn patterns and the steam giving a sense of the impending catastrophe. I also liked Godzilla Junior and the flying form for Destroyer but Destroyer’s final form looked way too bulky. The special effects were great, especially the final scene. That scene of Godzilla’s flesh melting off of the bone, not to mention the bones melting, was one of the best scenes in the entire Godzilla series. This is definitely a can’t miss movie in the series.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5