My Top 10 Godzilla Movies – (6 thru 10)

godzilla eye 2004

Top 10 Godzilla Movies – 6 thru 10

I was going to put all my picks in one post, but I’m such a Godzilla geek, I couldn’t stop writing and make these reviews shorter. So if you haven’t checked out 1-5 of my fave Godzilla movies, the link is at the bottom of the page. These are in chronological order by year they were released – not by which ones I like best.

6 thru 10 – the later years

6) Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Godzilla’s radioactive cells are found in a riverbed. These cells are infused with a plant by a scientist looking to create a weapon against Godzilla. The plant is an animal/plant hybrid made of Godzilla’s own DNA and grows to monstrous proportions in a nearby Lake. When Godzilla shows up they battle. This film also introduces, Miki, a young lady with psychic abilities. She is able to feel the thoughts of Godzilla. She will be a recurring character in several of the Heisei era films. Godzilla and Biollante break into a battle in the center of the city which causes much destruction. Biollante continues to mutate as it absorbs more of Godzilla’s DNA and grows much larger than Big-G, making it a formidable enemy. Toho finally got back to its roots in having the battle scenes in city landscapes rather than off in some countryside area. The buildings and skyscrapers provide the scale proportions that tell us we are watching giant monsters. Without the cityscape, were just watching wrestlers in monster costumes. This is highly regarded by Godzilla fans as one of the best modern G-films.

7) Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

This is another favorite amongst Godzilla fans, introducing a newly reconstructed Mechagodzilla to defend Japan from Big-G, and a newly revamped, Rodan. Also introduced is a baby Godzillasaurus who will grow in consecutive films until it reaches adulthood. The film starts with a battle between Godzilla and Rodan on a small Pacific island. They both seem obsessive about a large egg recently unearthed by scientists. As they battle, the scientists remove the egg from the island. Back at a scientific headquarters the egg hatches to reveal a baby Godzilllasaurus. It’s not long before Baby-G feels threatened and calls out telepathically to both, Godzilla and Rodan. G-Force (the Godzilla fighting military unit) will use Baby to lure Godzilla out of hiding and attack him with the new weapons of Mechagodzilla. However, Rodan shows up first and Mecha-G must fight off the heat-ray shooting Pterosaur, before concentrating its energies on big daddy. There’s a heavy duty brawl on the edge of the city, which includes Big-G stomping a baseball stadium, Rodan being buried by the ruble of a giant skyscraper and Godzilla throwing Mecha-G into a cluster of office buildings. Mecha-G is armed with some ingenious new weapons and it seems they have taken down Godzilla, until he is helped by an unlikely partner.

8) Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)

This is the 2nd film in the Godzilla Millennium series and a sequel to Godzilla 2000. ‘G-Grasper’ (a new team of scientists and pilots assembled to fight Godzilla) is developing a weapon that opens a black hole in space for a short span of time. They plan on using it against Godzilla, forcing him through, to rid the earth of his menacing attacks. When they test the weapon in the remote countryside, unbeknownst to the scientist, a small creature similar to a dragonfly flies through to land on earth. It starts out small and reproduces, invading the sewer systems and attacking humans discretely like a classic horror movie. The swarm, in a need for more and more energy is attracted to Godzilla for his high concentration of power. They swarm around him and drain his radioactive energy in a fantastic scene on a pacific island. Having absorbed much power, the swarm flies off to feed the mother dragonfly, a giant winged beast. It awakes. It flies, it attacks Japan, and it fights Godzilla in a monster Kaiju rumble. Fun stuff! I love the creature design of Megaguirus. The ‘science’ in this film is actually plausible and Godzilla’s heat-ray is a blazing white-hot special-effect.

9) Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Monsters All Out Attack (2001)

Seriously, this is one bad-ass Godzilla in this film! This film (aka: GMK) takes the Japanese mythological approach to the monsters, addressing them as Demon, Dragon, and Butterfly (Godzilla, Ghidorah, and Mothra respectively). Godzilla has no eyeballs with this design; only whites, which make it look demonic for sure. Its body is more like the original with the unique multi-spiked fins of the early films. Here, Ghidorah, the dragon is more a force of good (it was hard for me to wrap my head around that) and protector for Japan. Along with Mothra and Baragon, they try to save Japan from the demon. There’s actually a very good sub-plot about a young filmmaker, Yuri. She makes pseudo-documentaries about ghosts, myths, and legends, which is equivalent to a filmed version of ‘strange but true’ tabloids such as “News of the World.” When she gets a hunch about a real story developing–the earth tremors and deaths caused by the waking of Baragon deep in the earth–her boss rejects her investigating plans and tells her to stick to the assignment. She ignores him and hunts down the trail that leads to the monster’s big battle with Godzilla. You really want to see Godzilla in this film taken down. The film shows innocent people getting injured and dying, better than all other Godzilla films. There are great camera angles, not usually shown in Kaiju films, to depict this. A terrified mother in her home as Godzilla’s foot comes crashing thru and an injured young woman in the hospital screaming as the place is destroyed by the beast’s tail are just a couple of examples. You have to commend director/co-writer, Shūsuke Kaneko, for that. I like the realism in this aspect of the film. The film is also loaded with fairy dust, golden rays, and spiritual connotations, but if you can accept these fantasy aspects, the film is a real treat. The fairy twins usually associated with Mothra films are not part of this tale but the film does have an homage appearance of the twins as normal citizens (regular size).

10) Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)

A new Mechagodzilla was (in the previous film, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla), constructed upon a unique frame – the skeletal bones of the original Godzilla (Gojira – 1954), which had been lying dead upon the seafloor for over 50 years. This 3rd generation Mechagodzilla is a formidable weapon. It has a Hyper-maser in the center of its chest, a rocket launcher on its back and it shoots lightning bolt lasers from its mouth. Mothra comes to defend Japan as the princess fairies try to warn the military not to use the new Mechagodzilla. They don’t trust those bones and the spirit of the dead in the bones stops Mechagodzilla from killing Godzilla early in the movie. Mothra is a beautiful creature in this film, the best looking incarnation I’ve ever seen of this Kaiju. Its design is magnificent. Its wings flow with a natural grace and its flying, (fast or slow) is believable with realistic movement. Godzilla gets the best of Mothra, smashing her through buildings (impressive scenes) and damaging her wing with his fire-breath (a fast, blue stream that also looks fantastic). But, on a small Pacific Island an egg hatches revealing two Mothra Larvae which come to the aide of the dying Mothra and Japan. There is a much bigger military attack by Japan’s Defense systems in this film than there has been in many years, featuring Naval War ships, tanks, Maser cannons, and more. The scale city and building models are more detailed than they had been in many years, too, as the shots taken from street level are numerous. The 3-way battle devastates Tokyo, toppling the Tokyo Tower and eventually destroying the Capitol Building – previously destroyed in Gojira. In the end Godzilla is alive, but truly defeated, wrapped in a cocoon and sunk to the ocean floor with Mechagodzilla. This would have been a good send off for the Toho Godzilla franchise. Unfortunately, Toho did one more film, “Final Wars” which wasn’t nearly as good. This film is one of the only films with a detailed special effects featurette. It is an impressive behind-the-scenes look at what makes Toho special-fx. No narration, it just documents the set-up and execution of the big sequences of the film. They immediately show the final mastered clip after the docu-clip, with the slo-motion adjustments, editing and sound. All the secrets of their filmmaking are laid bare in these clips.

———————————

Honorable Mentions

Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994)

Awesome special effects of the crystal ‘lightning’ and electric arcs exploding across the screen make this one a great action-packed entry.

godzilla v space godzilla pic 1

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966)

This film is small in scope compared to other Godzilla films but the giant shrimp/lobster design of the Sea Monster is awesome and the Godzilla/Sea-Monster battle if fun. One of the highlights of the film is Godzilla’s jump off the cliff into the water as the massive bomb counts down to destroying the entire island. As a kid, this scene made me nervous. This is one of the first films to have Godzilla portrayed as the good guy or hero of the film.

godzilla-vs-the-sea-monster-1966

Godzilla vs. The Thing (1964)

Godzilla fights Mothra in a Kaiju showdown. However after sitting though Mothra (1961) you wonder why we have to watch the complete Mothra origin story again, in this film.

mothra vs godzilla

—————————————————-

My Top 10 Godzilla films – 1 thru 5 – the later years
plus introduction

—————————————————-

Okay, I got a huge photo Gallery here because I’m sure some of you haven’t seen some of these newer movies. I think when you see the modern special FX, you may be interested in checking out some of these fantastic newer Godzilla flicks.

First Gallery:
Godzilla Vs Biollante, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs Megaguirus

 Second photo Gallery:
GMK: All Out Monsters Attack. Godzilla: Tokyo SOS

 

Godzilla thru the years – The many ‘looks’ of Godzilla

Godzilla-2001

Godzilla thru the years – The many ‘looks’ of Godzilla

aka: my big-ass Godzilla post!

A little known fact is that by the end of shooting any Godzilla film, the suit is quite damaged and has to be rebuilt. This is partly the reason that in every film, Godzilla looks a little different when using the same design. At other times the suit designer and film team purposely change the look of Godzilla.

Shōwa series (1954–1975)

godzilla-1954

The original Godzilla (Gojira 1954) was a slow moving giant reptile. The suit weighed over 200 pounds which made it difficult to maneuver. In the second film Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis the Fire Monster 1956), the suit was streamlined for greater fluidity but was made with the same design.

godzilla raids again pic 2

Godzilla Raids Again

The first big change came in 1962 with the design for King Kong vs. Godzilla.

king kong vs godzilla 1962

King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

Godzilla had a flatter head, a more snake-like face. He also had very wide legs with an overlap in the knee area. The design was only used for this one film but is one of the faves of Godzilla fans. It was also the design copied for the Aurora Godzilla model kit.

In 1964, Mothra vs. Godzilla (Godzilla vs. the Thing) had Godzilla’s face with heavier eyebrow bones which were also a bit smoother than the rest of his skin texture. Toho kept this design for the film, Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964).

godzilla 1964

Mothra vs Godzilla

1966 saw a softer face for Godzilla as he became the good guy in films, not the enemy. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965) had him with bigger eyes and less angry features.

godzilla vs sea monster - 1966

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster

Similar suits carried through to Son of Godzilla. He also had longer human-like arms. Toho was aiming for more children to watch as they realized they had lost interest of the adult sci-fi audience. In these films, Godzilla looked closer to the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street than a dangerous radioactive mutant dinosaur. Destroy All Monsters (1968), Son Of Godzilla (1968), Godzilla’s Revenge (1969).

godzilla 1975 - terror of mechagodzilla

Godzilla vs Gigan

The 1970’s had a new look with Godzilla once again sporting a heavier brow, but his face looked almost like a puppy dog in these films. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975).

——–

Heisei series (1984–1995)

godzilla 1991 - 1999

Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla wasn’t seen again until Godzilla 1985. He returned as a negative force in this one and his face was meaner looking but still resembled the 1970’s Godzilla style.

godzilla 1985

Godzilla 1985

It was 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante that saw a completely new design that would take Godzilla through the 1990’s in some of the best films since the early days. Godzilla was bigger, with more fierce features, smaller eyes and a double row of teeth.

g89doubleteeth

godzilla_1989 - Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla vs Biollante

In Godzilla vs. Destroyah, Godzilla was going through a radioactive meltdown and glowed orange. His fire-breath was red/orange and changed during the course of the film for some fantastic Godzilla-breath special-fx.

godzilla vs destroyer

Godzilla vs Destroyah – Meltdown Godzilla

——–

Millennium series (1999–2004)

godzilla-2000 film

From 2000 – 2004, Godzilla saw several changes.

In Godzilla 2000 (1999), we had a completely revamped Godzilla design. Most notable were its blade-like spike fins. This design was used for a total of 4 films, including: Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003).

godzilla-tokyo-sos 2003

Godzilla Tokyo SOS

In between those films was a completely different film and storyline in Godzilla, Mothra And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001). This film took on a mythological approach equating the monsters to dragon, butterfly, and demon (Ghidorah, Mothra, and Godzilla). The Godzilla costume in this harkened back to earlier days with a more bulky look and old style fins. He had demonic eyes which showed only whites. This film is one of the favorites amongst Godzilla fans.

godzilla 2001

Giant Monsters: All Out Attack

With the announcement of another film, fans bombarded Toho Studios with what Godzilla should look like. One of the main sticking points for fans were his fins. Fans told the studios that the old style fins is what made Godzilla what he was. For the final Godzilla film the studio created one last costume which combined the look of the ‘1990’s’ films with the ‘Millennium’ films, making sure it had the old style fins. The Film, Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). was a modern day Destroy All Monsters. Godzilla even fights the American Godzilla (which they dubbed ‘Zilla).

godzilla 2004

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

Always Sunset on Third Street (2007) – featured a wonderful CGI Godzilla in a short sequence. The movie was a drama but Godzilla fans clamored to see the short monster sequence. It is at the very beginning of the film if you’re interested in catching it.

Godzilla_CGI

Always Sunset on Third Street

——–

Other Godzilla incarnations

The 1st ‘other’ Godzilla to be shown was Baby Godzilla – Minilla/Mingya – films: Son of Godzilla, Godzilla’s Revenge, Destroy all Monsters (ending stock footage only).

Baby godzilla 1968

Baby godzilla

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) we get a in-depth look at the actual Dinosaur that went thru radioactive mutation. He was dubbed Godzillasaurus.

godzillasaurus - godzilla vs king ghidorah

Godzillasaurus

In Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, we get a look at a new baby Godzilla that would grow up in sequential films. We also find Space Godzilla which was formed by Godzilla’s DNA combining with material from a comet.

baby g in space godzilla space godzilla 1994

In Godzilla vs. Destroyer we have Godzilla Jr. the Baby Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla has grown up quite a bit. At the end of the film the radioactive isotopes are passed from Godzilla to Godzilla Jr, who then becomes the adult Godzilla.

godzilla jr pic 2

Godzilla Jr.

In Final Wars (2004) we get the American Godzilla, here dubbed, ‘Zilla.

Final Wars - 2004

the American Godzilla in Final Wars (2004)

Mechagodzilla

mecha godzilla pic 2

Mechagodzilla was the robot version of Godzilla, thought to be the only formidable weapon against the monster. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, The Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

 

And Finally, Godzilla 2014

Godzilla-2014-Movie-Image