Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Godzillapalooza #21: Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
Monster Profiles:

SPACEGODZILLA


-HEIGHT: 394 feet.
-MASS: 88,000 tons.
-SPECIAL POWERS: SpaceGodzilla has powers running out of his ears to the point of absurdity, but hey we're talking about a Godzilla movie so that's half the fun. Because SpaceGodzilla was created from the same cells as Godzilla, he also has Godzilla's super-regenerative power. Rather than thermonuclear breath, SpaceGodzilla can fire a "Carona Beam" from its mouth that it can also control in midair. It can generate a gravity tornado and unleash bolts of energy from its shoulder crystals. SpaceGodzilla can form crystals around it and implant cosmic power in structures in order to make itself stronger. It can encase its body in a force field that deflects all projectiles and emits an aura that causes electrical disturbances. Furthermore, SpaceGodzilla can encase itself in crystals and fly through space at Mach 3.
-BACKGROUND: The best way to look at SpaceGodzilla is as Godzilla's extra-terrestrial evil twin. The film provides two complex possibilities for SpaceGodzilla's creation. Both involve Godzilla's cells drifting into space and being sucked into a black hole. The cells then combined with intense energy from stars which altered the genetic material and enhanced evolutionary speed creating a new monster that was spit out of a white hole. Sounding a little ridiculous? Bear with me. The two theories for Godzilla's cells entering space are as follows. First, Mothra could have carried some cells into space by accident after her battle with Godzilla when she flew out to stop the meteor. Second, when Biollante dissolved into spores that were released into space, some got caught up in a black hole (of course Biollante's cell contained Godzilla's genetic material). This is my favorite explanation, especially considering SpaceGodzilla bears some resemblance to Biollante in its face, but it is logically inconsistent. According to the events of "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah", which altered Godzilla's existence in history, Biollante never existed, thus making this explanation impossible. This movie mentions two events prior to "King Ghidorah" that the history change would have made impossible. In short, time travel is complicated. So the best philosophy is to do what you always do when you watch a Godzilla movie... turn off your brain and enjoy yourself.
-BATTLE RECORD: 1-1

MOGUERA


-HEIGHT: 394 feet.
-MASS: 176,000 tons.
-SPECIAL POWERS: While not as impressive as MechaGodzilla II, Moguera still has a sizable amount of weapons at its disposal. It has plasma laser cannons in its eyes, a plasma laser cannon projector in its chest, and spiral grenade missiles fire from its drill-like hands for starters. It can move either by walking or using treads under its feet and its nose is an effective drill. It can fly at Mach 1 using rockets in feet and tail and travel through space at Mach 44. Moguera can also separate into two different vehicles: the flying Star Falcon (capable of flight at Mach 35) and the burrowing tank Land Moguera.
-BACKGROUND: Moguera first appeared outside of the Godzilla series in the 50's movie "The Mysterians." For the purpose of this series though, it is the second (and much less intimidating) creation by the UNGCC to follow MechaGodzilla II. Unlike the alien-invaders in the 50's, this 90's Moguera is intended to protect earth. The UNGCC name is actually an acronym: Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-type. Doesn't quite flow, but I'll accept it.
-BATTLE RECORD: 0-2-1

LITTLE GODZILLA


-HEIGHT: 98 feet.
-MASS: 8,800 tons.
-SPECIAL POWERS: Little Godzilla has gained the ability to breath short bursts of radioactive bubbles, similar to Minya's smoke rings. He can still communicate telepathically and his eyes still glow red when he's afraid.
-BACKGROUND: Extended exposure to radioactivity from his dad and in naturally occuring pockets on Birth Island (where he and Godzilla live) has turned the once Baby Godzillasaurus into a true little Godzilla. He has ballooned in size and is beginning to gain some of his father's powers. However, he is still helpless in battle and has a kind spirit and is very playful. Which brings me to another point: Little Godzilla is certainly cute (he looks more like a Pokemon than a Godzilla), but why in the world does Toho feel the need to make the Monster King's offspring always cute and cuddly?
-BATTLE RECORD: 0-1

OTHER MONSTERS APPEARING IN THIS FILM:

  • MOTHRA (see movie #4) *Mothra herself makes a brief flashback cameo, but the Cosmos in the form of Fairy Mothras communicate with Miki Saegusa throughout the film.
  • GODZILLA

Synopsis:
The film opens up with the UNGCC's creation of their new and much less awesome looking weapon, Moguera. At the same time, two scientists employ psychic Miki Saegusa (remember her from every Heisei film?) and two G-Force Lieutenants two work on a project to implant a psychic receiver in Godzilla's brain to control him... dumb idea. So anyway, the five head out to Birth Island where Godzilla and his son live. The two Lieutenants meet Commander Yuki on the Island who is waging his own personal war on Godzilla somewhat unsuccessfully. Long story short, the receiver is planted and it works, but then it gets screwed up. Meanwhile, Moguera combats SpaceGodzilla as he is hurling himself toward Earth, but is defeated. SpaceGodzilla lands on Birth Island, kidnaps Little Godzilla and temporarily defeats Godzilla. Then things get really confusing and Miki is taken prisoner by the Japanese mafia. Anyway, SpaceGodzilla heads to Fukuoka, destroying everything in his path, where he sets up his base of operations. If you haven't caught on yet, SpaceGodzilla acts more like a Super Hero villian or a video game bad guy than a Godzilla monster, which is something I have an issue with. So back to the plot, Moguera and Godzilla both show up to fight SpaceGodzilla. Together they defeat SpaceGodzilla and save the world.

I have very mixed emotions about this movie, most of them negative. It is definitely the worst film of the Heisei series, but it's not quite as bad as many say it is. Let me break it down. First, the plot is kind of lame and SpaceGodzilla is complicated and not nearly as cool as he could be. Also the movie focuses way too much on the people and their love stories for a Godzilla movie. It moves really slow and the score is nothing to write home about. Godzilla is restored to his savior of the Earth role, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your style. I personally am cool with it. There's also plenty of inexplicable moments, for example, why does Commander Yuki use a submachine gun to try and fire his special bullets into Godzilla's chest? Were sniper rifles in short supply? And why the hell is the Japanese mafia in this movie? There's also a completely uneccesary shower scene in which we see Commander Yuki's ass. WHY?! Ugh.

On the positive side, the special effects are awesome. Koichi Kawakita returns after MechaGodzilla and does as good a job as ever with all the explosions and laser beams you can handle. On that note, the monster battles (while not the best ever) are very satisfying. Scenes of city destruction are also great. Godzilla looks as good as ever stomping through Fukuoka on his way to meet SpaceGodzilla in battle. I like that they found a way to include and update Moguera, but it's just nowhere as cool as MechaGodzilla so it's a little disappointing. I also am a fan of Megumi Odaka, who plays Miki Saegusa in every film of the Heisei series. Ok Godzilla movie, don't worry about missing it unless you're just a huge G-fan. All I can say is thank God Toho got their act together for the next movie, as it is one of the best entries of the series.

Best Part:
Ok so to get the obvious out of the way, the final Monster battle and the city destruction before it is the best part of the movie. Having said that, there are a lot of unintentionally funny parts that I would like to mention here. First of all, there's a part when giant crystals destroy part of the international space station. What's hilarious is when NASA officials explain that the only conclusion they can come to for this attack is that it was caused by a giant monster. Because I'm sure that would be a NASA scientists' gut feeling on anything. The other part is when the Mafia boss is playing one of those crane games at an arcade and he can't win anything. Meanwhile his assistant or whatever is being a whiny bitch. It's pretty funny. Unfortunately there's no clip on youtube, so you'll just have to check out the movie.

My Ranking: #20


Up next, Godzilla is dying and the Heisei series and Godzilla as we know him comes to an end. But a new era is ushered in, and Godzilla also fights a really sweet enemy... it's "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah"

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