The last Godzilla film I watched and reviewed for you guys was the 1972 entry, Godzilla on Monster Island. Boy, what a difference 23 years makes! Still keeping intact everything that was great about the 70’s monster films, Takao Okawara’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah brings a whole new level of terror to the Toho universe.
A nuclear reaction in Japan’s waters has caused a new and improved, radioactive Godzilla to emerge. As much of a catastrophe as this is, Godzilla is not the only thing the military and the people of Japan have to worry about. The nuclear incident has also unearthed an ancient creature from the pre-Cambrian period, which doesn’t require oxygen to live. With Godzilla being a ticking time bomb, an ever-evolving new creature, and the re-emergence of Godzilla Junior, the military has no choice but to unleash their secret cryogenic wielding aircraft, the Super X-III. It is Japan’s only chance to rid themselves of these monsters and save themselves one final time.
As you’d imagine, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is way better than any other G-man movie I’ve reviewed thus far, in every aspect. The acting is much better, the effects and creature designs are much improved, and the story is much more elaborate, without becoming too difficult to follow.
This is the first Godzilla film that I would actually consider a horror movie. The Destroyer monster looks creepy as all hell and just becomes more and more menacing as it changes. There is one particular sequence that really takes this science fiction flick into the horror realm more so than others. The military is first introduced to the new Destroyer creatures as they are reigning terror in some sort of warehouse/industrial building. There are no lights and the team has to hunt down an unknown number of these beasts and kill them all. The use of shadows and camera angles, along with the creatures’ brilliant design really give off the Alien or even a The Thing vibe, making this one hell of a scene.
The mutated version of Godzilla is astounding. I’ve been wondering when I would finally see a design for the creature that I’d actually be impressed with, and although I skipped quite a few movies to get there, I’ve finally found a version of Godzilla that I absolutely loved.
The writing for this film is great all around, not only bringing new forms of horror like I’ve mentioned, but also causing viewers to run the emotional gamut. Without spoiling anything, there are moments of fear, moments of sadness, and even moments of triumph, allowing viewers to feel things that the old 60’s and 70’s franchise entries weren’t capable of doing.
If you’ve been going on this Godzilla journey with me, you definitely don’t want to miss this one. Sony Pictures is officially releasing this film in a two-movie Toho Godzilla Collection pack, remastered in high-definition on blu-ray this Tuesday, May 6. Be sure to purchase the release, along with three other Godzilla double features sets, as well!
I give this Godzilla vs. Destoroyah 4 nuclear meltdowns out of 5.