Briraka’s Blunt Breviews – The Return of Godzilla

The year is 1984 and now America and Russia keep waving their nuclear dicks at each other screaming, “nuh-uh, mine’s bigger!” with Japan in the middle of this highly Freudian phallic cold warfare. So, the good boys at Toho decided to revive their most famous franchise and reboot Godzilla back into his origins as a nuclear menace.

Three months after a volcanic eruption on Daikoku Island, a small fishing boat goes missing during a storm. The vessel was eventually found with only one survivor, while the rest of the crew had been killed by a giant sea louse. But the sole survivor of this incident described what he saw on the island as a giant monster that emitted a strange blue light. Fearing the societal ramifications of Godzilla’s possible existence thirty years after the first attack in 1954, the Japanese government imposes a media blackout on anything to do with Godzilla and the missing boat. That doesn’t last long however, as a Soviet nuclear submarine is destroyed off of the coast of Japan with the U.S.S.R. blaming the United States for blowing up their sub. Not wanting to let this escalate any further, the Japanese government releases all information regarding Godzilla to the public. The United States and the Soviet Union then plan on using nuclear weapons on Godzilla, and now it’s up to the Prime Minister to deter the two nations and move forward with a plan to return Godzilla back to the molten earth from whence it came…

This movie has all the hallmarks of a good reboot. It’s a refreshing return to form after yearly sequels in the 60’s and 70’s where Godzilla would square off against various foes W.W.E. style. The slower pace of the story, bleak colour pallet, and chilling soundtrack makes for a very tense and doom-laden sense of atmosphere. Thirty years of honing the craft of suitimation and a generous budget have greatly improved the special effects as well, although some have aged somewhat poorly, like the animatronic puppet used for close-up shots of Godzilla moving his head around. Yes, even thirty years after the original, they still felt the need to use puppets even though Godzilla’s heat ray is now realized through rotoscoping. And then there’s the life-sized foot they used for scenes of Godzilla stomping around with people running around it. It uh… doesn’t look very good and you can even notice the thick wires needed to support the prop. Could’ve use the budget for the foot on more miniature sets for Godzilla to destroy.

This of course being a sequel to the original Godzilla, New World Pictures, the American distributors, decided to film new scenes at the Pentagon and bring back Raymond Burr as Steve Martin from Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. Although, he’s only referred to as Mr. Martin in the movie because the comedian Steve Martin was popular at the time. This Americanized version, creatively named Godzilla 1985, is general considered an inferior verson of the film due to the Pentagon scenes not amounting to anything useful and the change to the Soviet Union vs. United States plot. In the original, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. agree not to fire nukes on Japanese soil, but due to Godzilla arriving in Tokyo harbor and smashing up a ship containing the Soviet’s nuclear space missile control device, their nuke goes into countdown, and a Russian man tries to stop the launch, but was unable to make it to the controls. In Godzilla 1985 however, they make it look like he launched the nuke on purpose, violating the agreement. Still though, there’s some positives. The new title screen is super stylish with flames moving across the screen as the opening credits roll to create the letters making up the film’s title. Raymond Burr’s monologue at the end adds to the film’s final scenes, as well as omitting the cheesy and unfitting pop song used in the credits with exerts from the film’s soundtrack instead.

If you wish to support the official release by Kraken Releasing, you can buy it here:

Unfortunately, there’s no DVDs or Blu-rays of the 1985 version. If you want it, you’ll either have to look for VHS copies or pirate it from

Posted by Briraka

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