The roller coaster ride for Godzilla in the 90s continues. After two fun films in the series, we’re given 1994s Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. While not quite the mess that Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was, it certainly does not rank as one of the best.
The movie opens with some Godzilla cells that were taken into space by either Biollante or Mothra, then were exposed to the radiation of a black hole. The result is an outer space monster closely resembling Godzilla. Since apparently the creativity department had the week off, it’s named….wait for it…yes, Space Godzilla. One of the most unoriginal monster names to date. Meanwhile, a new project has been launched with the plan to control Godzilla telepathically in hopes of keeping Tokyo intact for longer than one year at a time. The project fails just in time for the Cosmos (Mothra’s little friends) to appear and warn of Space Godzilla’s arrival. After Space Godzilla lands on Earth and attacks Little Godzilla (looking straight out of a Saturday morning TV show of the 70s), Godzilla steps up and the two twin sons from different nuclear mothers engage in their first battle.
I could go on with the plot but it is far too convoluted. Space Godzilla essentially wants to destroy Godzilla and the entire planet, using Fukuoka Tower as a power converter, sucking the energy from Earth, which would ultimately destroy it. We also have M.O.G.U.E.R.A. (Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-type), which looks vaguely similar to Moguera from The Mysterians (although there appears to be no relation except in name). There are some good battle sequences between the two Godzillas, which save the movie from being a complete flop. However, some of the special effects come off looking rather cheap, such as when Space Godzilla is flying. Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) is back, now using psychic powers. It is nice to see Miki bring an ongoing continuity to these 90s flicks, even if her actual job title seems to change a little from year to year.
I have three issues with Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. First and foremost, the music seems so out of place. Takayuki Hattori and Isao Shigetoh created a soundtrack that was so generic and plain, it’s almost hard to know you’re in a Godzilla movie. Second, the plot is all over the place. It lacks solid direction, which surely puts the blame on writer Hiroshi Kashiwabara. Finally, the presence of Little Godzilla. As the movie ends after Godzilla has defeated Space Godzilla, we go back to the island where we see Little Godzilla is okay and can know breathe fire bubbles. He just looks a little too cheap. I’ve never liked the original Minya but I must admit I prefer him over this new Little Godzilla.
The movie was a moderate box office success in Japan. It guaranteed a sequel to follow in 1995. It would finally see release in the US in 1999 as part of a double feature DVD with Godzilla vs. Destroyah, still available at reasonable prices. Godzilla fans are mostly critical of this film and I would tend to agree. Not the worst of Godzilla but it is certainly towards the bottom of all the Godzilla movies I’ve seen so far.
Next up, we’ll end this current series of Godzilla films with Godzilla vs. Destroyah, which I am hopeful takes us back up to the top again on this TOHO coaster.