Monster Mondays: Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)

By Ben Dower

The United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Centre has built another giant robot, named Moguera, to defend Japan against Godzilla.  They have also devised a plan to place a psychic controller on Godzilla.  Meanwhile, Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) receives a vision from the Cosmos, via Fairy Mothra, that warn her a space monster is on the way to Earth.

Lieutenant Koji Shinjo (Jun Hashizume) and Lieutenant Kiyoshi Sato (Zenkichi Yoneyama) are dispatched to Baas Island, where Godzilla lives with Little Godzilla, and meet with Major Akira Yuki (Akira Emoto).  Major Yuki has a grudge against Godzilla for killing one of his friends during the events of Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) and is working on his own plan to use blood coagulant to kill Godzilla.  They are later joined on the island by Dr. Susumu Okubo (Yosuke Saito), Professor Chinatsu Gondo (Towako Yoshikawa), and Miki Saegusa.

SpaceGodzilla is detected heading for Earth and Moguera is dispatched to confront it in the asteroid belt.  Moguera and the monster clash, but Moguera is defeated and has to return to Earth.

The psychic controller is planted on Godzilla and Miki is able to control the monster for a while before the device shorts out.  Lieutenant Shinjo and Lieutenant Sato join Major Yuki in his plan to kill Godzilla, but they are interrupted by the arrival of SpaceGodzilla.  SpaceGodzilla traps Little Godzilla in a crystaline cage and defeats Godzilla before flying away.

Miki is kidnapped from Baas Island.  It turns out Dr. Okubo is part of the Yakuza and he wants to use her to control Godzilla, but she is soon rescued by Major Yuki, Lieutenant Shinjo, and Lieutenant Sato.

SpaceGodzilla lands beside Fukuoka Tower and causes giant crystals to grow out of the ground.  Meanwhile, Godzilla comes ashore in Kagoshima and begins heading to Fukuoka as well.  Major Yuki, Lieutenant Shinjo, and Lieutenant Sato are sent in Moguera to fight SpaceGodzilla.  Godzilla arrives in Fukuoka and joins with Moguera to battle SpaceGodzilla.  Moguera is destroyed in the battle, but with SpaceGodzilla weakened, Godzilla is able to overpower it and kill it.

Miki uses her telekinesis to remove the psychic controller from Godzilla.  Major Yuki has also found a new respect for Godzilla and lets go of his grudge against the monster.  On Baas Island, the crystaline cage that held Little Godzilla has disappeared, and the baby monster is learning to breath atomic fire like his dad.   

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla was released in Japanese theatres on December 10th, 1994.  Kensho Yamashita was given the directorial duties and Hiroshi Kashiwabara wrote the screenplay.  Akira Ifukube did not return to score this movie, so Takayuki Hattori wrote the soundtrack instead.

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is largely considered one of the weaker entries in the Heisei Godzilla series.  Though Major Yuki?s quest for revenge against Godzilla is one of the stronger subplots of the film, his plan to use a bullet filled with coagulant to do it feels rather ridiculous considering Godzilla just destroyed a multi-billion yen robot in the previous film.  There is also a really awkard romance that blooms between Lieutenant Shinjo and Miki Saegusa, despite the fact the two of them spend a lot of time arguing about Godzilla.

The theory proposed for SpaceGodzilla?s creation by Professor Gondo is that some Godzilla cells were carried into space, either by Mothra or Biollante, sucked into a black hole, pushed out from a white hole, merged with crystal organisms, and then exposed to energy from stars until it mutated into SpaceGodzilla.  It is really silly and feels somewhat adhoc, even for a Godzilla movie.  Still, SpaceGodzilla looks wonderfully imposing and his supernatural powers add a little diversity to the monster battles.  One thing that is really great about SpaceGodzilla are the little details that seem to indicate the Godzilla cells responsible for his creation come from Biollante, like the spikes at the side of his mouth and the golden spores rising into the air when he dies.

While SpaceGodzilla does look cool, Little Godzilla isn?t so fortunate.  Baby Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II(1993) has grown a bit, but instead of sticking with the naturalistic looking dinosaur style of the last film, this movie features a really cute stubby tailed monster.  It does not feel like the natural next stage of the creature from the previous movie.  Fortunately the more naturalistic look would return in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995) with Godzilla Junior, but Little Godzilla is a really strong diversion from what was established in the previous film.

Moguera is also a huge come down from Mechagodzilla in the last movie.  While Mechagodzilla?s design was smooth, and he walked with power and purpose, Moguera is angular and stiff.  Instead of inspiring a sense of awe like Mechagodzilla, you find yourself questioning how G-Force would ever expect Moguera to be able to go up against Godzilla.  Moguera also has the ability to separate into two smaller battle vehicles, Star Falcon and Land Moguera. Moguera is actually a returning monster based on a giant robot from the Toho alien invasion film The Mysterians (1957). 

Toho had Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla dubbed into English in Hong Kong and the film was released to VHS in North America in 1999 by Columbia TriStar Home Video.  This release was an English dubbed full screen version of the film that cut off the end credits, which featured video of Fairy Mothra flying in space.  The film was released on DVD in 2000 in widescreen with English dubbing as the only audio option.  Unfortunately, the DVD is a double-sided disc with Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), making it difficult to handle and easy to get dirty or damaged. 

In 2014, Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla was released to Blu-ray in a double-feature set with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II(1993) by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Both films get their own disc, and are presented in widescreen with the original Japanese audio and English dub as audio options.  The full end credits are also preserved this time, though translated into English.  The subtitles appear to be largely, though not totally, based off the dub.  The Blu-ray release seem to still be available.

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