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Gojira

Godzilla
The Return of Godzilla / Godzilla 1985 / Godzilla - Die Rückkehr des Monsters

Japan 1984
produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Koji Hashimoto
starring Ken Tanaka, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Yosuke Natsuki, Shin Takuma, Keiju Kobayashi, Tetsuya Takeda, Eitaro Ozawa, Taketoshi Naito, Mizuho Suzuki, Junkichi Orimoto, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kei Sato, Takenori Emoto, Sho Hashimoto, Nobuo Kaneko, Kunio Murai, Yoshifumi Tajima, Shigeo Kato, Koji Ishizaka, Raymond Burr (US-version only)
written by Shuichi Nagahara, special effects by Teruyoshi Najkano, music by Reijiro Koroku

Godzilla

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Reporter Maki (Ken Tanaka), cruising the pacific, discovers a boat that got lost in a freak storm a few days back, & aboard the ship he finds all the crew dead, safe for one man, Okumura (Shin Takuma), who hides in a cupboard, scared witless. Then thoughMaki is attacked by some sort of giant leech, & it is only thanks to Okumura that he survives.

Back in Japan though, doctor Hayashida (Yosuke Natsuki) qestions Okumura about the goings-on the ship & discovers the problem is even bigger than a few giant leeches, much bigger: actually Godzilla kind of big ...

& sure enough, Godzilla heads for Japan again, leaves a path of destruction behind him & feeds himself mainly from atomic powerplants.

With the help of Okumura, Maki & Okumura's sister Naoko (Yasuko Sawaguchi) soon makes a vital discovery though, that Godzilla has the same instincts as homing birds, so if you can find out the signal from which frequency he's following & reproduce that signal, you can lure him anywhere ... even into a volcano ... at least that's the doctor's weapon against Godzilla. The Russians & the Americans meanwhile would each prefer an atomic strike against the monster when he levels Tokyo, but the Japanese prime minister (Keiju Kobayashi)dissuades them from doing so, as the Japanese have a superweapon of their own up their collective sleeve: the Super X, sort of a cross between a tank & a fighter jet, that shoots all sorts of fancy ammonition, including cobalt grenades that can stop Godzilla cold.

Of course, Godzilla is allowed to do quite some damage before the Super X is launched, & wouldn't you know it, the cobalt grenades seem to really do the trick, 6 Godzilla collapses in the center of Tokyo ...

But then it is found out that the Russians have accidently launched one of their uclear warheads on Tokyo in a Godzilla-related accident, & it's only 30 minutes to impact. Thank god the Americans can launch one of their missiles just in time to intercept the warhead 70 miles over Tokyo ... but the released radioactive mmaterial reactivates Godzilla, & he immediately takes on the Super X, now out of cobalt grenades, in a rematch, & manages to bury it under the rubble of a skyscraper ...

By now though, the doctor has managed to find out Godzilla's frequency & lures him off into the volcano, just as planned.

 

After 9 years of absence (since Inoshiro Honda's trashy Mekagojira no gyakushu/The Terror of Mechagodzilla), Godzilla has returned to the big screen, & - if you believe the promotions - he's bigger & badder than ever.

First things first: This film is not the triumphant return to the cinema the 30-year-old monster (arguably) would have deserved & that die-hard-fans make it to be, neither is it a piece of worhtless trash that several critics (who foten don't like monstermovies in the first place) make it to be. 1984's Godzilla is simply a competently crafted movie about a giant dinosaur thrashing Tokyo, & should you find some childish joy in destruction, this might be your cup of tea. Sure there were better Godzilla films over the years, & funner ones, but theere were also those that were a lot worse.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD