Project G: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)

More Memorable Title: The one with MECHA-KING GHIDORAH!!!

Yeah!  It’s Godzilla-time!

So, last time we left of Godzilla with Godzilla vs. Biollante, an ambitious film that ended up falling short of its financial goals.  Longtime series producer Tomoyuki Tanaka wanted to follow it up with something safer, using more material that had proven successful in the Heisei era, leading to the more familiar King Ghidorah returning.  Unfortunately, his failing health limited his involvement, leaving this film and most of Godzilla’s future works in the hands of Shogo Tomiyama, who had co-produced Biollante with him.  Tomiyama continued bringing the film back to its Showa-era roots, establishing a more fantastic atmosphere and simple story with this film, taking it away from the gritty trailblazing of the past two Heisei era works.  Director and writer Kazuki Oumori, thinking that the real reason Godzilla vs. Biollante fell short in the box office was because of being outshone by Back to the Future, added a time travel story to it as well, thinking that’s what people were going for.

So that’s how we ended up with this film.  Now you know.  

As you might guess from the above, it is a bit of a hodge-podge.  Feels like it has a lot of puzzle pieces going in that it has a hard time matching up with each other.  Has a lot of cast members (although not as much as Biollante), a lot of moving parts, and moves at a pretty quick pace.  The Heisei era had really started to find its own identity with the last film, and this movie sees it turn a corner into something more rooted in the Showa era, although it still carries a lot of Heisei establishments along with it.  

It also serves as a retcon of sorts in the Heisei era.  It retells Godzilla’s origin in a way that’s firmly different than that of the original 1954 G and his Showa successor.  From what I understand, there was still some question of continuity by the time this film originally came out, whether the Heisei era lined up with the Showa or not, and this firmly establishes it as something of its own.  Although it also messes a bunch up.  Whatever.  Also, Heisei Godzilla was already canonically bigger than either of the other ones, but apparently Toho wanted him even grander than that.  So they do that here.  Makes him more terrifying for the monster fights to come.

So, how does it all come together?  Well, read on to find out.  

The year is 2204.  We’re underwater.  A submarine is investigating some sort of giant monster corpse.  People are saying mysterious things about it that we won’t realize what they mean until later.  And then the camera moves so we can see just what kind of corpse they’re investigating.  And it turns out, it’s GHIDORAH!

And then all of a sudden the year is 1992 again.  Do you remember that year?  I sure don’t.  Anyways, the world’s all afluffle because a UFO appeared and is flying around.  A bunch of news outlets are covering it.  So there’s this guy who used to write really successful sci-fi novels and now writes for some magazine or other.  And there’s this girl who obviously wants up ons and she goes up to him and goes “Dude!  Aliens! You’ve totally got to write about this!”  And he’s like “Pfffft!  What do you think I am?  A rich and famous sci-fi author?”  And she’s like “Yes.  It turns out that’s exactly what you are.” But he’s still like “No.  I don’t care about the fact that we’ve got proof that so much of what we thought about the universe is wrong and there’s new and exciting forms of life out there.  I’d rather write about what that one crazy loony was raving about in the middle of nowhere, about how he saw dinosaurs in WWII and Godzilla is really one of them and saved his life or something.”  Let’s call the guy Fred.  Because I don’t remember his real name and no descriptor is coming to me, but he totally looks like a Fred.

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