Thursday, May 8, 2014

GODZILLA vs. SPACE GODZILLA (1994): 30 Days of Godzilla

DAY 22


In the otherwise classic Heisei series, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla is a rare, forgettable entry that smacks of cheapness. In it, Godzilla and Little Godzilla face an evil clone of Godzilla from space! Trust me, it sounds better than it is.

After Mothra left Earth for space at the end of Godzilla vs. Mothra, she inadvertently carried with her Godzilla cells (G-cells) which were sucked into a black hole. There, the G-cells mutated and were bombarded with cosmic energy to become SPACE GODZILLA, a really cool-looking Godzilla clone with giant crystal shoulder pads. Space Godzilla comes to Earth and kidnaps Godzilla's adopted son from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and causes general destruction across the Earth. To combat the threat, the JSDAF's G-Force unit deploys their newest mech: M.O.G.U.E.R.A (Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-type). They also enact Project T, a plan to harness Godzilla's power using telepathic mind control.

Whoa space-lord mother mother
M.O.G.U.E.R.A is a cool new mech. Built from the remains of Mechagodzilla, M.O.G.U.E.R.A is a somewhat humanoid robot that battles with drills, missile, a plasma laser cannon, advanced space-travel capabilities, and the ability to split into two different vehicles: a burrowing tank and an airship. Space Godzilla is also a formidable foe. Unfortunately, cool monsters and robots does not necessarily a good movie make. Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla is 30 minutes of gold wrapped in over an hour of turd.

M.O.G.U.E.R.A is not a new creation: it's a revamp of a
giant mole-like robot from 1957's The Mysterians
Whether intentionally or not, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla hearkens back to the lesser Godzilla films of the 1960s and 1970s. All the stuff I hated about those movies are back. Tropical island set? Check. Shitty and cheap urban miniatures? Check. Unconvincing flying models? Yup. Overly complicated human plots that also manage to be completely disengaging and uninteresting? Double check. Terrible use of green screens and rear projection? Check. Shameless use of stock footage. Sadly, that's a check. Finally, sickeningly cute characters to pander to children? Oh, you better believe that's a check.

Goji Babies, they make their dreams come true.
Goji Babies, they'll do the same for you
In Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, Baby Godzilla has grown up and been redesigned. Although he was younger and smaller in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, he actually looks more like a baby now. In the previous film, he was certainly cute but had some very realistic dinosaur features. Now, however, mutated by exposure to Godzilla and living on his own little island, Baby Godzilla has become Little Godzilla: a sickeningly adorable chibi Goji. Look, I like the design of Little Godzilla out of context, but it just doesn't line up with his appearance in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. Reportedly, director Kensho Yamashita didn't like the dinosaurian look of Baby Godzilla and had him redesigned as Little Godzilla for that reason despite the trend towards more realistic monster suits in the Heisei series. By then setting Little Godzilla on an island where he mugs around and attempts to blow atomic fire, he basically becomes the 1990s version of Minilla. And there's just no need for that. There's nothing the Godzilla films needed in the 90s less than a new Minilla. Little Godzilla doesn't even really serve a purpose in what is an already over-complicated and very forgettable movie.


Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla certainly turned out to be a disappointment. The Heisei series films thus far had been overwhelmingly strong, but I guess there's an exception to every rule. Thankfully, it is almost entirely forgettable in the wake of its knock-out 1995 sequel. Tomorrow, the Heisei series comes to an astounding conclusion with the final Godzilla film in the 1980s-1990s continuity. And most shocking of all, for the first time since 1954, Godzilla will die. Join us next time for 30 Days of Godzilla as we say goodbye to the King of the Monsters in GODZILLA VS. DESTROYAH!

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