Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
|“||Godzilla dies (ゴジラ死す)||„|
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (ゴジラＶＳデストロイア?, lit. Godzilla vs. Destroyer) is a Gojira buiesu Desutoroia1995 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the twenty-second installment in the Godzilla series, as well as the seventh in the Heisei series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 9, 1995.
The film takes place in 1996, after the death of SpaceGodzilla. Birth Island is found destroyed with Godzilla nowhere in sight. His adopted son, Little Godzilla, is presumed dead. Meanwhile, all is well in Hong Kong, but Godzilla, covered in glowing lava-like rashes proceeds to attack Kai Tak Airport and destroy multiple airliners, before wiping out the seafront area of Hong Kong with repeated blasts of his Atomic Spiral Ray. G-Force representatives hire college student Kenichi Yamane, adopted grandson of Dr. Yamane who witnessed the original Godzilla in 1954, to come work at the center in an attempt to unravel the mystery of Godzilla's condition.
Yamane suspects that due to his out of control radioactivity, Godzilla will soon explode, taking the rest of the world with him. G-Force immediately deploys a flying combat vehicle outfitted with anti-nuclear cold weapons to forestall the event; the Super X III. Meanwhile, in the area where the original Godzilla died, strange life forms begin to rise, and a host of deadly creatures called Destoroyah begin wreaking havoc. Soil samples reveal that the existence of Destoroyah is directly connected to the Oxygen Destroyer used against Godzilla in 1954, which mutated Precambrian era life forms. After several deadly skirmishes with the Japanese Self Defense Force, the Destoroyah evolve beyond the JSDF's containment abilities. The UNGCC tasks psychic Miki Saegusa with using her diminishing powers to lure Godzilla's son to the area in an attempt to combat Destoroyah in Tokyo. As Miki searches for Little Godzilla, it at first seems as if he died in the the explosion which destroyed Birth Island. However, he surfaces off the coast of Kyushu, having grown further into Godzilla Junior, scaring tourists away as he continues his journey north towards the Bering Strait. Godzilla, who is tracking his offspring, follows Junior and will soon arrive in as well, but complications arise. Due to his encounter with the Super X III, Godzilla has now bypassed an explosion and will ultimately melt down once 1200 degrees Celsius has been reached; an event that will burn straight into the core of the planet and destroy all of Earth.
The first time the monsters fight, Junior is grievously wounded but manages to destroy his opponent. However, as Godzilla and Junior meet in Narita, Destoroyah returns in his final form: a monstrous gargoyle-like creature. Swooping down upon the surprised monsters, Destoroyah knocks down Godzilla and snatches the little Godzilla away; dropping the small creature onto the Ariake Coliseum below and blasting him with micro-oxygen, killing him. Enraged, Godzilla attacks Destoroyah and a back and forth battle ensues that destroys much of Tokyo. Born from the weapon that first defeated Godzilla, Destoroyah shows an obvious advantage from the start, but Godzilla's runaway radioactivity has pushed the monster's power to unimaginable levels and he soon destroys his son's killer. Unwilling to die easily, Destoroyah's body decomposes into many smaller Destoroyah which attempt to swarm Godzilla from all sides, but the attack ends in futility when Godzilla uses his Nuclear pulse to incinerate the miniature Destroroyahs.
Alone at last, Godzilla attempts to breathe life into his fallen son, but to no avail, and even as he grieves, Godzilla's heart continues to fail, causing even more pain within the monster. Suddenly, Destoroyah returns in his final form for one last attack. The battle is short but fierce; enraged by the loss of his offspring and maddened by the pain within him, Godzilla drives Destoroyah back to the brink of death as Tokyo is bathed in fire. As the battle reaches fever pitch, the ghastly creature attempts to flee, but just as Destoroyah lifts off, the Super X3 attacks and disables the creature's wings, causing Destoroyah to plummet back to Earth where he explodes and is consumed in a fiery inferno at Godzilla's feet.
His son gone and his foe defeated, Godzilla stands alone and dying, but the human race cannot afford to give Godzilla a quiet funeral. As the monster begins to melt, the JSDF bombards the dying beast with a plethora of ice weapons, successfully neutralizing the immense heat that is given off and preventing Godzilla's remains from melting into the center of the Earth and igniting the planet.
The victory is a costly one, however, for the radiation has made Tokyo an uninhabitable ghost town. Suddenly, radiation levels begin to drop, and from within the thinning smoke a roar can be heard. The younger Godzilla rises from the ashes a child no more. In death, Godzilla had passed on his excess radiation and life essence as a final gift to his son, reviving and mutating the next generation. A spitting image of his father, the new adult Godzilla flexes his claws and bellows a challenge to the world, preparing to take his father's place as the greatest force of nature ever born.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Takao Okawara
- Written by Kazuki Omori
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Yoshinori Sekiguchi, Masahiro Kishimoto
- Edited by Michiko Ikeda
- Special Effects by Koichi Kawakita
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa
- Takuro Tatsumi as Doctor Kensaku Ijuin
- Yoko Ishino as Yukari Yamane
- Yasufumi Hayashi as Kenichi Yamane
- Sayaka Osawa as Meru Ozawa
- Akira Nakao as Commander Takaki Aso
- Saburo Shinoda as Professor Mitsuru Kunitomo
- Masahiro Takashima as Major Sho Kuroki
- Momoko Kochi as Emiko Yamane
- Takehiro Murata as Yukari's Editor
- Ronald Hoerr as Professor Marvin
- Koichi Ueda as Aquarium Night Watchman
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Soundtrack).
- Godzilla vs. Destroyer (Literal Japanese Title)
- Godzilla vs. Destroyah (Alternate Spelling)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - December 9, 1995 [view poster]
- China [view poster]
- Thailand [view poster]
After Godzilla vs. Destoroyah was released in Japan, Toho commissioned Omni Productions, a Hong Kong company, to dub the film into English. In this international version of the movie, an English title card was superimposed over the Japanese title, as had been done with the previous 1990's Godzilla films and would be done for every film since.
TriStar Pictures (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment) released Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah to home video on January 19, 1999. This was the first time either film had been officially released in the United States. TriStar used the Toho international dubs, but cut the end credits and created new titles and opening credits for both films. In 2002, both films were released together on DVD in a double feature, but the films themselves were essentially identical to the earlier VHS releases. The complete Toho international version of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah has been broadcast on several premium movie channels since the early 2000's. In 2014, Sony released Godzilla vs. Destoroyah on Blu-ray in a double feature with Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. This release included the original Japanese audio track as well as the uncut end credits. It also featured the international title card.
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah had a budget of ¥1,000,000,000, or roughly $10,000,000. When the film was released in Japan on December 9, 1995, it received an attendance of 4,000,000 and earned ¥2,000,000,000, or $18,000,000.
Critical reaction to the film has been mostly positive. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a fresh score of 90%. Michael Hubert of Monster Zero praised the "spectacular monster battles," calling Godzilla vs. Destoroyah "a great movie" and "one to add to your collection," adding: "Even for non-Godzilla fans, this movie might help dispel some of the preconceptions you have about Godzilla's 'cheese factor'." Toho Kingdom said, "With an elegant style, a powerful plot, brilliant effects, and believable acting, this entry is definitely a notch above favorites from all three timelines, and its impact on the series is challenged by only a handful of competitors. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is without a doubt a paradigm all its own." Japan Hero called the film "a work of art" and "a must see for anyone who loves Godzilla" that features "something for everyone." Stomp Tokyo gave the film a 4/5 and calls it "a big sparkly show with lots of stuff happening on screen." Mike Bogue of American Kaiju felt the film suffered from "several visual weaknesses" and "disappointing editing," but that "the positive aspects of the visuals outweigh the negatives" and praised the film for "treating Godzilla with the same awe, majesty, and terror as [the original 1954 Godzilla]."
Kazuo Miyauchi earned a Japanese Academy Prize nomination for Best Sound for his work on the film. Chizuko Osada was nominated for Best Editing.
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0 Stereo)
- Special Features: None
- Other Details: Packaged with Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. Also included in The Toho Godzilla Collection, Vol. 1.
Marketing-Film DVD (2002)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0 Mono), German (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround)
- Special Features: Complete English end credits, Japanese trailers for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2 and Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, U.S. trailer for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
- Notes: Includes German subtitles. Out of print.
Toho DVD (2002)
- Region: 2
- Audio: Japanese
Madman DVD (2006)
- Region: 4
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono)
- Special Features: Four teasers, one trailer, and two TV spots for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah; trailers for Invasion of Astro-Monster, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.; photo galleries including concept art and models
Toho Blu-ray (2010)
- Region: A/1
- Audio: Japanese
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround)
- Special Features: Three trailers for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah and two trailers for Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.
- Notes: Includes French subtitles. Packaged with Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.
- Godzilla vs. Destoroyah was originally intended to be the last Japanese Godzilla film until 2005. However, Toho saw an opportunity to produce a new film in the wake of the widespread negative reaction to TriStar Pictures' 1998 American GODZILLA film, and brought the series out of retirement early with Godzilla 2000: Millennium in 1999.
- The producer and creator of Godzilla Tomoyuki Tanaka sadly died about 2 years after the film was finished.
- Momoko Kochi, who had played the lead female role of Emiko Yamane in the original 1954 film, returned in this film to reprise the character. But it was her final film role, and she died three years later due to intestinal cancer.
- Akira Ifukube, who composed music for countless Godzilla films since the original film, returned as the music composer in this film. It was his final film score, although his numerous pieces continue to be used in Toho's films to the present day. He died almost 11 years after the film was finished due to multiple organ failure.
- Both the opening scene and finale of this film take place at or near an airport; Kai Tak Airport in the opening, and Haneda Airport during the final battle.
- Due to the extreme amount of energy and radiation Godzilla controls due to his impending meltdown, this is the only film in the Heisei era in which Godzilla does not use his standard Atomic Breath, instead being limited to using the far-more-powerful Spiral Ray.
- This film is the only film in the entire Heisei era in which Godzilla doesn't fight his opponent more than once. All of the previous films in the Heisei era feature Godzilla engaging in at least one rematch with his opponents.
- An alternate ending for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah was filmed and scrapped. Destoroyah attempted to escape once Godzilla gained the upper hand, but the JSDF shot him down. Godzilla, despite suffering from his meltdown, continued to battle the monster. Godzilla quickly overpowered Destoroyah, grabbing him by his horn and pummeling him repeatedly. As Godzilla's life melts away, the JSDF rain their ULT weapons upon him, as well as Destoroyah. Unable to stand against the immense heat of Godzilla's meltdown and the freezing coldness of the ULT lasers, Destoroyah falls and evaporates. The scene was replaced because it was thought to be inappropriate, since Godzilla's foreseen death was to be the climax of the movie. So the scene was re-edited to have Destoroyah die after the JSDF intervenes, and allow Godzilla to have center stage as he melts down.
- The Godzilla suit used for this film was modified from the MogeGoji suit used the previous year for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. The modified suit was nicknamed the "DesuGoji."
- Toho used many different publicity stunts in an attempt to to fuel the rumors that the Godzilla series was indeed concluded with this film. For example, Toho had the "Big Pool," a stunt pool used in the filming of almost every one of Toho's special effects-based movies since the 1960's, paved over and converted into a parking lot. In addition, special effects wizard Koichi Kawakita, who had worked on all of Godzilla's films since 1989, announced that he would be retiring from Toho and going to work as a designer at Bandai.
- The theme for Godzilla's requiem in the film is actually a medley piece that Akira Ifukube created using various other pieces of music he had composed for Toho. The opening to the theme is a remake of a piece from the Yakuza film The Big Boss, which was also used in the opening to Godzilla vs. Gigan, and the music also fittingly features sections of Rodan's death theme from his debut film.
- The version of the poster for this film painted by Noriyoshi Ohrai is the only one in the Heisei series which depicts Godzilla in the background and his opponent in the foreground. The idea behind this is that although Destoroyah is an evil monster, Godzilla's meltdown could possibly destroy the planet, therefore he is as the poster suggests, the real threat.
- Shortly after the final film was finished, Toho actually held a funeral for Godzilla.
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