Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
|Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah|
Original Japanese Theatrical poster
|Directed by||Kazuki Omori|
|Produced by||Tomoyuki Tanaka
|Written by||Kazuki Omori|
Robert Scott Field
|Music by||Akira Ifukube[a]|
|Edited by||Michiko Ikeda|
|Running time||103 minutes|
|Box office||US $11,000,000|
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (ゴジラvsキングギドラ Gojira tai Kingu Gidora?), is a 1991 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho Co., Ltd.. Directed by Kazuki Omori, and featuring special effects by Koichi Kawakita, the film starred Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, and Akiji Kobayashi. The 18th installment in the Godzilla series, the film featured the return of Godzilla's greatest foe, the three-headed King Ghidorah. Tomoyuki Tanaka had originally desired to create new monster opponents for the series, but after the box office disappointment of 1989's Godzilla vs Biollante, opted to bring back classic foes instead. The film was a box office hit, with sequels released on a yearly basis until 1995. It won a Japanese Academy Award for special effects.
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (August 2014)|
Kenichiro Terasawa (Kosuke Toyohara), an author of books on psychic phenomena, believes he's discovered the true origin of Godzilla and plans to write a book about it after learning about a group of Japanese soldiers stationed on Lagos Island in the South Pacific during World War II who were unintentionally saved by a dinosaur known as Godzillasaurus which attacked and killed a group of American soldiers who had landed on the island in February 1944 as part of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign.[b] While all of the Japanese soldiers on the nearby Islands fought and died to the last man, the Japanese soldiers on Lagos survived the war and eventually returned to Japan. In 1954, the island was destroyed by a hydrogen bomb test and Terasawa believes that the radiation from the bomb eventually mutated the Godzillasaurus into the Godzilla which first appeared in 1984.
Yasuaki Shindo (Yoshio Tsuchiya), who commanded the Japanese soldiers on Lagos, is now a wealthy businessman who confirms the dinosaur's existence. Meanwhile, a UFO lands on Mount Fuji. When the army investigates, they are greeted by Wilson (Chuck Wilson), Grenchko (Richard Berger), Emmy Kano (Anna Nakagawa) and android M-11 (Robert Scott Field). The visitors - called the Futurians - explain that they're humans from the year 2204, a time long after Japan had been completely destroyed by Godzilla. They explain that they can travel back in time to 1944 and remove the Godzillasaurus from Lagos, thereby preventing the creation of Godzilla. As proof of their story, Emmy presents to the Japanese government a copy of Terasawa's book which hasn't even been written yet.
Terasawa, psychic Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka), and Professor Mazaki (Katsuhiko Sasaki) board a time shuttle and travel back to 1944. As American forces land on the island and engage the Japanese forces commanded by Shindo, the Godzillasaurus attacks the American soldiers. However, subsequent bombardment from American naval vessels leaves it gravely wounded. After thanking the dinosaur, Shindo and his men withdraw from the island and M-11 then teleports the dinosaur to an island in the Bering Sea. The group then return to 1992, but not before the Futurians release three, small artificial creatures called Dorats on Lagos which are fused into King Ghidorah after the subsequent nuclear test in 1954. In the present, the Futurians use King Ghidorah to subjugate Japan and issue an ultimatum, but Japan refuses to surrender.
Feeling sympathy for the Japanese, Emmy reveals the truth behind the Futurians' mission: in the future, Japan became an economic superpower that surpassed the United States, Russia and China. The Futurians stole the time machine and plan to use King Ghidorah to alter the future by devastating present day Japan and prevent Japan's future economic dominance over the world. After Emmy is returned to her ship by M-11, she reprograms the android. With M-11 and Terasawa's aid, Emmy sabotages Ghidorah's control in the UFO. However, Emmy's companions reveal that their ship is bound to automatically return to the future in the event of sabotage, allowing them to return to a future where Japan has been destroyed either way.
Meanwhile, Shindo believes that Godzilla can be re-created using his secret nuclear submarine. While on its mission, however, the submarine is destroyed by Godzilla. Terasawa learns that a Russian nuclear submarine sank in the 1970s near the island that Godzillasaurus was teleported to, giving off enough radiation to cause the dinosaur to become the same Godzilla who attacked Tokyo in 1984.
Godzilla finally arrives in Japan and is greeted by King Ghidorah, who is sent by Wilson to destroy Godzilla. Godzilla and King Ghidorah fight at equal strength with each immune to the others attacks. Godzilla then tries to knock Ghidorah out of the sky. Ghidorah then falls and dive-kicks Godzilla over, then furiously attempts to trample him to death. Luckily, Godzilla evades this attack and tosses Ghidorah around violently. Before proceeding to kill Ghidorah, Godzilla strangles him to death only to have his connection towards the Futurians cut off by the Japanese. Godzilla then counters Ghidorah and unleashes his Atomic Pulse to dispatch Ghidorah. Godzilla eventually ends the battle by blasting the middle head of King Ghidorah. Before the final blow, Godzilla destroys the UFO which was teleported by M-11 before it could return to the future, killing Wilson and Grenchko. Japanase troops attack Godzilla in Sapporo to no avail. Godzilla then turns his attention on Tokyo, destroying the metropolis and killing Shindo in the process.
Emmy travels to the future and returns with Mecha-King Ghidorah, a resurrected cyborg version of the original creature. Emmy relentlessly blasts Godzilla with Ghidorah's beams, but unfortunately proved useless. Godzilla then counters by relentlessly blasting the mecha with his own atomic ray, nearly decapitating Mecha King Ghidorah. However, Emmy counters again, this time managing to knock Godzilla down. Godzilla yet proved to be too resilient, that he knocked Mecha Ghidorah down easily. Emmy had no choice, but to carry Godzilla off and drops the monster along with Ghidorah into the ocean. Emmy then returns to the future in the time shuttle but not before informing Terasawa that she is in fact a descendant of his.
At the bottom of the sea, Godzilla recovers and roars over Mecha-King Ghidorah's remains.
- Kosuke Toyohara as Kenichiro Terasawa
- Anna Nakagawa as Emmy Kano
- Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa
- Katsuhiko Sasaki as Professor Mazaki
- Akiji Kobayashi as Ryuzo Dobashi
- Tokuma Nishioka as Takehito Fujio
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Yasuaki Shindo
- Kiwako Harada as Chiaki Moriyuma
- Kenji Sahara as Takayuki Segawa
- So Yamamura as the Prime Minister
- Chuck Wilson as Wilson
- Richard Berger as Grenchko
- Robert Scott Field as M-11, an android
- Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla, the King of the Monsters and the titular kaiju who is the only hope in defeating King Ghidorah.
- Hurricane Ryu as King Ghidorah, the main antagonist of the film and a giant, flying three-headed dragon who is defeated by Godzilla but later resurrected as a cyborg to stop Godzilla.
- Wataru Fukuda as Godzillasaurus, Godzilla's un-mutated form
This film is set after the events of The Return of Godzilla (1984) and Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989). Originally, the film was to be a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla with the title Godzilla vs. King Kong, but Turner Entertainment demanded too much money for the use of Kong. After this, Toho had the idea of making Godzilla vs. Mechani-Kong (from 1967's King Kong Escapes), but director Kazuki Omori feared that this would ultimately violate Turner's copyright as well. Toho eventually settled for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, pitting Godzilla against his archenemy from the original series.
After the film was released in Japan, Toho commissioned a Hong Kong company to dub the film into English. Instead of creating a unique title screen for the movie, as had been done with the previous international versions of Godzilla films, the international title for the film was simply superimposed over the Japanese title.
The complete international English version of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (except the opening Toho logos) was released on video in the United Kingdom by Manga Video on June 5, 1995. Manga similarly released the international version of Godzilla vs. Mothra on video less than a month later. In Italy, Yamato Video dubbed the international version of both movies into Italian, despite using complete international prints for both films.
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment released Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Mothra on home video on April 28, 1998. This was the first time either film had been officially released in the United States. TriStar used the Toho dubbed versions, but cut the end credits and created new titles and opening credits for both films.
According to Toho, the film sold approximately 2,700,000 tickets in Japan, and grossed around $11,000,000 (U.S).
Home media release
Sony - Blu-ray 
- Released: May 6, 2014
- Picture: MPEG-4 AVC (1.85:1) [1080p]
- Audio: Japanese and English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:20, Japanese DD 2.0, English subtitles)
- Teaser 1 (HD, 0:34, Japanese DD 2.0, English subtitles)
- Teaser 2 (HD, 0:35, Japanese DD 2.0, English subtitles)
- Teaser 3 (HD, 0:47, Japanese DD 2.0, English subtitles)
- Notes: Comes in Slipcover and is a double feature with Godzilla vs. Mothra.
Columbia/Tristar Home Entertainment
- Released: November 10, 1998[c]
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1) [NTSC]
- Sound: English (2.0)
- Supplements: Liner notes
- Case type: Keep Case
- Region 1 (DVD)
- Notes: Only in a double feature with Godzilla vs. Mothra].
The film was considered controversial at the time of its release mainly due to its fictional World War II depictions. The scene depicted American soldiers, after invading the island, being killed by Godzilla intentionally to help Japanese soldiers escape. The film's plot, involving Western villains from the future attempting to subjugate Japan, was also debated as anti-American. Director Kazuki Ōmori defended his artistic decision on camera, arguing that the film was not meant to be offensive in any way whatsoever. It was also noted that there was considerable negative publicity regarding economic tensions between the United States and Japan at the time the film was made.
In 1992, the film won the Japan Academy Award for Special Effects.
Notes and references
- This is the first Heisei Godzilla film to feature an original score by Akira Ifukube. Although 1989's Godzilla vs. Biollante featured three of Ifukube's themes, they were not composed for the film.
- The Lagos Island in the film is fictional and should not be confused with Lagos Island, which is a district of the city of Lagos, Nigeria.
- Double feature with Godzilla vs. Mothra.
- J.D. Lees & Marc Cerasini (1998-03-24). The Official Godzilla Compendium: A 40 Year Retrospective. Random House Books.
- "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) - CNN Report". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- "Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ - Awards - IMDb". Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah at the Internet Movie Database
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah at AllMovie
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah at Rotten Tomatoes