Review: Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla.
After seeing someone on the Reason blog describe
it as “something Homer Simpson would think up,” it seemed to me that 1994’s Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla
was something I should see. So I reactivated my Netflix subscription (yes, just for this movie!), and soon the DVD was in my hands.
After watching the thing (all 108 minutes), I don’t think I can bring myself to write a proper review. Instead, I’m just going to describe each and every scene and let you draw your own conclusion as to whether it’s a good movie or the sort of movie you’d like to see for yourself.
So here we go.
1. Tri-Star Logo. The movie was apparently imported and released to video (on the same disc as Godzilla vs. Destroyah, by the way, which I do not intend to watch—and you’ll soon know why) by Tri-Star Pictures. Apparently Tri-Star, which is owned by Sony, releases lots of crap that would never, ever make it to a US theater on video. They even released Quest for the Mighty Sword
, which I had the “pleasure” of viewing a few years back.
2. Space. A big cluster of crystals flies toward us, then away from us, then across the screen. Soon, some objects (presumably these crystals) crash on an island on Earth. We see the silhouette of a clearly distraught, screeching Godzilla reacting to this. The title appears on the screen, but the top half of the word “Godzilla” (in Japanese) appears to be chopped off, leading me to wonder if this is the sort of “widescreen” DVD where they just stuck black bars across the top and bottom of the “full screen” picture.
3. As the credits go by, we get some footage of a big robot/drill thing being put together in what appears to be Dr. Evil’s secret headquarters.
4. Next, two characters who I’m going to call Male Scientist and Female Scientist try to persuade a character I’m going to call Telepath Lady to cooperate in “Project T,” through which they hope to telepathically control Godzilla. They’re going to shoot some sort of chip onto Godzilla’s neck, and this will allow a telepath wearing a special helmet thing to mentally control Godzilla.
5. Back in Space, we see a big space moth (Mothra?) and a bunch of little moths. Then we cut back to Telepath Lady who looks sort of wistful.
6. Next we’re on a ship (as in, a big boat) with two new guys, one of whom is dancing around in a Hawaiian shirt, listening to a boombox, saying, “I got nothin’ to worry about! Wooo!” They soon set out on a raft for an island, for reasons not yet explained to us. They run into another guy named Yuki and tell him that they’re from “G Force,” which I assume is the military unit in charge of going after Godzilla. The three of them soon see Baby Godzilla who is, of course, a man in a rubber suit, and who looks even more ridiculous and more cute than you might imagine. How ridiculous? How cute? I'm glad you asked:
7. Back in Tokyo (?), top members of the Japanese military (as well as the Scientists we met earlier) are meeting with officials from NASA, who show the Japanese a video message sent from an American space station. The astronauts on the video scream, and then some giant objects smash through the station walls and the screen goes blank. “We can only speculate,” says the NASA official, “that it was some sort of huge monster.”
8. Telepath Lady is outside on a park bench, where she is visited by two tiny orange fairy twins, who speak to her in unison, and inform her that a “terrible space monster” is indeed approaching Earth and intends to kill Godzilla. This is bad, they explain, because if Godzilla is killed, who will protect the Earth? (This might be some sort of message in support of nuclear weapons, but I certainly didn't watch this movie so I could talk or even think about that.)
9. Back on the island, Yugi is setting up tear gas mines in the hopes that Godzilla will come step on them. And he shows the G-Force men a bullet filled with “blood coagulate” that he intends to shoot into Godzilla’s “weak spot.” That weak spot is, apparently, on Godzilla’s chest, a place where, apparently, no one else has thought to shoot Godzilla in Japan’s 40 year struggle against him.
10. Next we see the space monster approaching Earth. It appears to be something that looks a lot like Godzilla, but shrouded in the crystals we saw earlier. The Japanese military leaders decide they’d better put “Project T” into effect right away, and dispatch the Scientists and Telepath Lady to the island.
11. The Scientists and Telepath Lady arrive on the island. Telepath Lady is pretty cold toward the G-Force guys and Yuki, since they want to kill Godzilla, and the fairies told her that’s bad.
12. Next we see that robot/drill thing they were building during the credits. It’s shaped roughly like Godzilla and has a drill for a nose. Turns out that it’s a spaceship, and they shoot it into space to go fight Space Godzilla.
13. Back on the Island, Telepath Lady smiles at Baby Godzilla. Yuki and Female Scientist have a brief conversation, and then see that Baby Godzilla is stepping on the tear gas mines. The Telepath perceives that Godzilla is coming and they ready the chip that they need to shoot onto his neck to control him telepathically. The Man in Suit (who looks surprisingly good for being just a guy in a suit) emerges from the sea, and they shoot him with the chip. The telepathic control works briefly, but then shorts out (or something) and doesn’t work anymore. So much for that idea (but thanks so much for trying it, filmmakers.)
14. Meanwhile, in space, in what appears to be an asteroid field, Robot Godzilla (as I am now going to call the robot/spaceship/Godzilla-shaped thing) has a fight with Space Godzilla, but to no avail.
15. Soon Space Godzilla lands on the island and has a battle with Regular Old Godzilla. Space Godzilla knocks Godzilla over and then, through the magic of special effects, grabs Baby Godzilla using some sort of tractor beam, and entraps Baby in some sort of crystalline prison. The next morning, everyone prepares to leave the island, except the Telepath who wants to stay. At the last minute, as they are boarding the helicopter to leave the island, one of the G-Force guys, apparently hot for her, decides for both himself and his partner that they will stay too.
16. Back in Tokyo, Scientist explains to the military and NASA people that the space monster has exactly the same “G cells” as Godzilla. “Therefore,” she explains, “We named it Space Godzilla.” The men assembled around the table stir a bit upon hearing this. She explains how this creature must have come into existence, and so you can really understand what’s going on in this movie, I’d better just share the whole thing:
There are only two occasions on which “G cells” were sent into outer space. One, a fragment of Biollante, and two, Godzilla’s flesh attached to Mothra. One of these cells must have been swallowed by a black hole and pushed out from a white hole. It grew very quickly in its own evolutionary system much faster than expected. It assimilated crystal organisms and was exposed to tremendous energy from the explosions of stars. And finally, the most horrific monster was born.
That’s the theory.
Those assembled around the table, including a fat, gap-toothed American smoking a cigar, begin to wonder aloud what they can do now.
17. One of the G Force guys and Yuki have a little talk about nothing much.
18. Back on the island, Telepath Lady is visited by a tiny moth who tells her: “Don’t worry. If you have the power to bring about the meeting of minds, you can beat the space monster!” “You’re right!” agrees the telepath. Before fluttering away, the moth adds, “This beautiful Earth is the property of every living being!” Then the G Force guy who is pursuing her approaches and they talk about the importance of love, how Godzilla has feelings too, and so forth. (Make-outs do not ensue.)
19. In the middle of the night, parties unknown show up on the island and kidnap Telepath Lady.
20. In the morning, Scientist Lady comes with a helicopter and picks up the G Force guys, who express surprisingly little embarrassment about losing Telepath Lady like that. Scientist Lady says something about Yugi, and one of the G Force guys says, “I can’t get along with that guy. All he talks about is Godzilla!” Scientist Lady then explains (and we see in a flashback) that Yugi’s brother was killed while fighting Godzilla.
21. We learn that Telepath Lady has been kidnapped by the Japanese mafia, whom you will remember from such films as Kill Bill
and Beverly Hills Ninja.
“Why are you doing this?” asks Telepath Lady of her captor. You might expect the gangster to reply, “You’re the telepath, why don’t you tell me?” Instead, he says, “Power. That’s what Godzilla’s about, isn’t he?”
Okay, I can’t keep doing this. We’re not very far past the halfway point in this thing’s running time, but I can assure you that not much more happens after this.
I watched the movie once and, even at super-fast speed, I have to admit that, bad movie buff though I am, I can’t take this one a second time. It’s just interminable.
Suffice it to say that Space Godzilla, who can fly, lands himself in the middle of a city and then Godzilla has to go fight him. Since Plain Old Godzilla can’t fly, he has to smash most of the city on his way to go fight Space Godzilla, and in doing so he makes September 11 look like a model of order and tranquility by comparison.
Space Godzilla dies. Yuki decides that Godzilla isn’t so bad after all (even though Godzilla killed his brother and just finished destroying most or all of their city). Baby Godzilla is set free. The end.
- posted by J. H. Huebert at 3:18 PM