|The Return of Godzilla|
|Directed by||Koji Hashimoto|
|Produced by||Tomoyuki Tanaka|
|Screenplay by||Shuichi Nagahara|
|Story by||Tomoyuki Tanaka|
|Music by||Reijiro Koroku|
|Edited by||Yoshitami Kuroiwa|
|Box office||¥2.89 billion|
The Return of Godzilla (ゴジラ, Gojira) is a 1984 Japanese kaiju film directed by Koji Hashimoto, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. The film features the fictional monster character Godzilla. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 16th film in the Godzilla franchise, and is the first film to be produced in the Heisei era. In Japan, the film was followed by Godzilla vs. Biollante in 1989.
The Return of Godzilla stars Ken Tanaka, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Yosuke Natsuki, and Keiju Kobayashi, with Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla. The film serves as both a sequel to the original 1954 film and a rebootof the franchise that ignores the events of every Shōwa era film aside from the original Godzilla, placing itself in line with the darker tone and themes of the original film and returning Godzilla to his destructive, antagonistic roots. The film was released theatrically in Japan on December 15, 1984. The following year, in the United States, New World Pictures released Godzilla 1985 , a heavily re-edited American adaptation of the film which includes additional footage, and features Raymond Burr reprising his role from the 1956 film Godzilla, King of the Monsters! .
The Japanese fishing vessel Yahata-Maru is caught in strong currents off the shores of Daikoku Island. As the boat drifts into shore, the island begins to erupt, and a giant monster lifts itself out of the volcano. A few days later, reporter Goro Maki is sailing in the area and finds the vessel intact but deserted. As he explores the vessel, he finds all the crew dead except for Hiroshi Okumura, who has been badly wounded. Suddenly a giant Shockirus sea louseattacks him but he is saved by Okumura.
In Tokyo, Okumura realizes by looking at pictures that the monster he saw was a new Godzilla. Maki writes an article about the account, but the news of Godzilla's return is kept secret and his article is withheld. Maki visits Professor Hayashida, whose parents were lost in the 1954 Godzilla attack. Hayashida describes Godzilla as a living, invincible nuclear weapon able to cause mass destruction. At Hayashida's laboratory, Maki meets Okumura's sister, Naoko, and informs her that her brother is alive and at the police hospital.
A Soviet submarine is destroyed in the Pacific. The Soviets believe the attack was perpetrated by the Americans, and a diplomatic crisis ensues, which threatens to escalate into nuclear war. The Japanese intervene and reveal that Godzilla was behind the attacks. The Japanese cabinet meets to discuss Japan's defense. A new weapon is revealed, the Super X, a specially-armored flying fortress that will defend the capital. The Japanese military is put on alert.
Godzilla attacks the Ihama nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture. While feeding off the reactor, he is distracted by a flock of birds and leaves the facility. Hayashida believes that Godzilla was distracted instinctively by a homing signal from the birds. Hayashida, together with geologist Minami, propose to the Japanese Cabinet, that Godzilla could be lured back to Mount Mihara on Ōshima Island by a similar signal, and a volcanic eruption could be started, capturing Godzilla.
Prime Minister Mitamura meets with Soviet and American envoys and declares that nuclear weapons will not be used on Godzilla, even if he were to attack the Japanese mainland. Meanwhile, the Soviets have their own plans to counter the threat posed by Godzilla, and a Soviet control ship disguised as a freighter in Tokyo Harbor prepares to launch a nuclear missile from one of their orbiting satellites should Godzilla attack.
Godzilla is sighted at dawn in Tokyo Bay heading towards Tokyo, causing mass evacuations. The JASDF attacks Godzilla but fails to stop his advance on the city. Godzilla soon emerges and makes short work of the JSDF stationed there. The battle causes damage to the Soviet ship and starts a missile launch countdown. The captain dies as he attempts to stop the missile from launching. Godzilla proceeds towards Shinjuku, wreaking havoc along the way. Godzilla is confronted by four laser-armed trucks and the Super X. Because Godzilla's heart is similar to a nuclear reactor, the cadmium shells that are fired into its mouth by the Super X seal and slow down its heart, knocking Godzilla unconscious.
The countdown ends and the Soviet missile is launched, but it is destroyed by an American counter-missile. Hayashida and Okumura are extracted from Tokyo via helicopter and taken to Mt. Mihara to set up the homing device before the two missiles collide above Tokyo. The destruction of the nuclear missile produces an electrical storm and an EMP, which revives Godzilla once more and temporarily disables the Super X.
An enraged Godzilla bears down on the Super X just as it manages to get airborne again. The Super X's weapons prove ineffective against the kaiju, resulting in even more destruction in the city as Godzilla chases it through several skyscrapers. Godzilla finally destroys the Super X by dropping a skyscraper on top of it and continues its rampage, until Hayashida uses the homing device to distract it. Godzilla leaves Tokyo and swims across Tokyo Bay, following the homing device to Mount Mihara. There, Godzilla follows the device and falls into the mouth of the volcano. Okumura activates detonators at the volcano, creating a controlled eruption that traps Godzilla inside.
|"We went back to the theme of nuclear weapons, since that was the theme of the original film. Japan has now learned three times what a nuclear disaster is, but at that time Japan had already had two. The problem was Japanese society was gradually forgetting about these disasters. They were forgetting how painful it had been. Everyone in Japan knew how scary nuclear weapons were when the original movie was made, but it wasn't like that by the 1980s. So in those meetings, we decided to remind all those people out there who had forgotten."|
|— Teruyoshi Nakano|
After the box office failure of Terror of Mechagodzilla , Toho attempted to reinvigorate the franchise several times during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The first attempt was the announcement of a color remake of the original 1954 film entitled The Rebirth of Godzilla in 1977, but the project was shelved. A year later, it was announced that Toho would develop a film jointly with UPA studios entitled Godzilla vs. the Devil, though this, along with UPA producer Henry G. Saperstein's proposed Godzilla vs. Gargantua, also never materialized.
Godzilla series creator Tomoyuki Tanaka took charge of reviving the franchise in 1979, Godzilla's 25th anniversary, intending to return the series to its dark, anti-nuclear roots in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident.Hoping to win back adult audiences alienated by the fantastical approach to Godzilla films taken during the 1970s, Tanaka was further encouraged in his vision by the contemporary success of adult-oriented horror and science fiction movies like King Kong , Invasion of the Body Snatchers , Alien and The Thing . A draft story entitled The Resurrection of Godzilla was submitted by Akira Murao in 1980, and had Godzilla pitted against a shape-shifting monster called Bakan in the backdrop of an illegal nuclear waste disposal site, though the project was cancelled due to budgetary concerns. In 1983, American director Steve Miner proposed directing a Godzilla film at his own expense. Toho approved of the project, and Miner hired Fred Dekker to write the screenplay and paleosculptor Steve Czerkas to redesign the monster. The project was however hampered by Miner's insistence on using prohibitively costly stop-motion animation and shooting the film in 3D, and was thus rejected by major American movie studios. Under pressure from a 10,000-member group of Japanese Godzilla fans calling themselves the "Godzilla Resurrection Committee", Tanaka decided to helm a Japanese film for "strictly domestic consumption" to be released jointly alongside Miner's movie.
In an effort to disavow Godzilla's increasingly heroic and anthropomorphic depiction in previous films, Tanaka insisted on making a direct sequel to the original 1954 movie. He hired screenwriter Shuichi Nagahara, who wrote a screenplay combining elements of the previously cancelled The Resurrection of Godzilla and Miner's still unproduced film, including an intensification of hostilities during the Cold War and a flying fortress which fires missiles into Godzilla's mouth.Koji Hashimoto was hired as director after Ishirō Honda declined the offer, as he was assisting Akira Kurosawa with Kagemusha and Ran , and felt that the franchise should have been discontinued after the death of Eiji Tsuburaya.
Composer Akira Ifukube was offered to score the film but respectfully declined. At the time, it was rumored that Ifukube refused to participate in the film due to the changes made to Godzilla, stating, "I do not write music for 80-meter monsters". However, this quote was later clarified, by Ifukube's biographer Erik Homenick and Japanese Giants editor Ed Godziszewski, as a joke spread by fans which was later misinterpreted as fact. Ifukube declined to score the film due to his priorities, at the time, teaching composition at the Tokyo College of Music.
The special effects were again directed by Teruyoshi Nakano, who had directed the special effects of several previous Godzilla films. The decision was made by Tanaka to increase the apparent height of Godzilla from 50 metres (160 ft) to 80 metres (260 ft) so that Godzilla would not be dwarfed by the contemporary skyline of Tokyo. This meant that the miniatures had to be built to a 1⁄40th scale, and this contributed to an increase in the budget of the film to $6.25 million. Tanaka and Nakano supervised suit-maker Noboyuki Yasumaru in constructing a new Godzilla design, incorporating ears and four toes, features not seen since Godzilla Raids Again . Nakano insisted on infusing elements into the design that suggested sadness, such as downward-slanting eyes and sloping shoulders.
Suit construction took two months, and consisted of separately casting body-part molds with urethane on a pre-built, life-size statue of the final design. Yasumaru personally took charge of all phases of suit-building, unlike in previous productions wherein the different stages of suit-production were handled by different craftsmen. 110 kg (240 lb) suit wasn't built to his measurements, Satsuma had difficulty performing, being able to last only ten minutes within it, and losing 12 pounds during filming. Hoping to avoid having Godzilla move in an overly human fashion, Nakano instructed Satsuma to base his actions on Noh, a traditional Japanese dance.The final suit was constructed to accommodate stuntman Hiroshi Yamawaki, but he declined suddenly, and was replaced by veteran suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma, who had portrayed Hedorah and Gigan in the Showa Era. Because the
Taking inspiration from the publicity surrounding the 40-foot tall King Kong model from Dino De Laurentiis's 1976 film of the same name, Toho spent a reported $475,000 on a 16-foot high robotic Godzilla (dubbed "Cybot") for use in close-up shots of the creature's head. The Cybot consisted of a hydraulically-powered mechanical endoskeleton covered in urethane skin containing 3,000 computer operated parts which permitted it to tilt its head, and move its lips and arms.Unlike previous Godzilla suits, whose lower jaws consisted of wire-operated flaps, the Cybot's jaws were hinged like those of an actual animal, and slid back as they opened. A life-size, crane operated foot was also built for close-up shots of city destruction scenes. Part of the film was shot on location on Izu Ōshima, where the climax of the story takes place.
The Return of Godzilla was released on December 15, 1984 in Japan where it was distributed by Toho. ¥2.89 billion.The film's budget was $6.25 million. It was a reasonable success in Japan, with attendance figures at approximately 3,200,000 admissions, and the box office gross being
Despite its American re-edit receiving negative reviews, the original Japanese cut of the film has been much more well-received, with critics and fans praising the film’s score, practical effects, and its darker tone. In 1985, the film won the Japan Academy Award for Special Effects.
In May 2016, Kraken Releasing revealed plans to release the original Japanese version of The Return of Godzilla and its international English dub on DVD and Blu-ray in North America on September 13, 2016. However, it was also revealed that the Americanized version of the film, Godzilla 1985 would not be featured in the release due to ongoing copyright issues concerning music cues that New World Pictures borrowed from Def-Con 4 for use in Godzilla 1985.
Shortly after the film's completion, Toho's foreign sales division, Toho International Co., Ltd, had the film dubbed into English by an unidentified firm in Hong Kong. No cuts were made, though credits and other titles were accordingly rendered in English. The international English dub features the voice of news anchor and radio announcer John Culkin in the role of Goro Maki, and actor Barry Haigh as Prime Minister Mitamura.The English version fully dubs all dialogue into English, including that of the Soviet and American characters. The international English dub was released on VHS in the U.K. by Carlton Home Entertainment on July 24, 1998.
In 2016, the international English dub was included on the U.S. DVD and Blu-Ray releases from Kraken, though the audio mix was not the original monaural track that was originally heard on Toho's English language prints.The English dialogue was originally mixed with an alternate music and effects track that contained different music edits and sound effects from the Japanese theatrical version, most notably a distinct "cry" produced by Godzilla during the film's ending. The U.S. home video version instead uses the conventional music and effects track used for the regular Japanese version mixed in DTS 5.1 surround sound instead of mono.
After the film's lackluster performance in the Japanese box office and the ultimate shelving of Steve Miner's Godzilla 3D project, Toho decided to distribute the film overseas in order to regain lost profits. New World Pictures acquired The Return of Godzilla for distribution in North America, and changed the title to Godzilla 1985, bringing back Raymond Burr in order to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Godzilla: King of the Monsters! . Originally, New World reportedly planned to re-write the dialogue in order to turn the film into a tongue-in-cheek comedy starring Leslie Nielsen (à la What's Up, Tiger Lily? ), but this plan was reportedly scrapped because Raymond Burr expressed displeasure at the idea, taking the idea of Godzilla as a nuclear metaphor seriously. The only dialogue left over from that script was "That's quite an urban renewal program they've got going on over there," said by Major McDonahue. All of Burr's scenes were filmed in one day to suit his schedule. He was paid US$50,000. The reverse shots, of the actors he was speaking to, were filmed the next day, and the American filming was completed in three days. One of the most controversial changes done on the film was having Soviet Colonel Kashirin deliberately launch the nuclear missile rather than die in attempting to prevent its launch. Director R. J. Kizer later attributed this to New World's management's conservative leanings.
The newly edited film also contained numerous product placements for Dr Pepper, which had twice used Godzilla in its commercials. Dr Pepper's marketing director at one point insisted that Raymond Burr drink Dr Pepper during a scene, and the suggestion was put to the actor by Kizer. Burr reportedly responded by "[fixing] me with one of those withering glares and just said nothing."
Roger Ebert and Vincent Canby gave the film negative reviews.
Godzilla is a fictional monster, or kaiju, originating from a series of Japanese films. The character first appeared in the 1954 film Godzilla and became a worldwide pop culture icon, appearing in various media, including 32 films produced by Toho, four Hollywood films and numerous video games, novels, comic books and television shows. Godzilla has been dubbed the "King of the Monsters", a phrase first used in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), the Americanized version of the original film.
Destroy All Monsters is a 1968 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda and written by Honda and Takeshi Kimura. The film, which was produced and distributed by Toho Studios, is the ninth film in the Godzilla franchise, and features eleven monster characters, including Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Minilla. The film stars Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi and Yoshio Tsuchiya, with special effects directed by Sadamasa Arikawa, which were provided under the supervision by Eiji Tsuburaya.
Godzilla vs. Megalon is a 1973 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda, written by Fukuda and Shinichi Sekizawa, and produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 13th film in the Godzilla franchise, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Megalon, and Gigan, along with the mecha character Jet Jaguar. The film stars Katsuhiko Sasaki, Hiroyuki Kawase, Yutaka Hayashi, and Robert Dunham, alongside Shinji Takagi as Godzilla, Hideto Date as Megalon, Kenpachiro Satsuma as Gigan, and Tsugutoshi Komada as Jet Jaguar.
Godzilla vs. Biollante is a 1989 Japanese kaiju film written and directed by Kazuki Ōmori, with special effects by Koichi Kawakita. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 17th film in the Godzilla franchise and the second film in the franchise's Heisei period. The film stars Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Masanobu Takashima, Megumi Odaka, Toru Minegishi, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Yoshiko Kuga, Ryunosuke Kaneda and Kōji Takahashi.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is a 1991 Japanese kaiju film written and directed by Kazuki Ōmori and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. The film, produced and distributed by Toho Studios, is the 18th film in the Godzilla franchise, and is the third film in the franchise's Heisei period. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla and King Ghidorah, and stars Kōsuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Yoshio Tsuchiya, and Robert Scott Field.
Godzilla is a 1954 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the first film in the Godzilla franchise and the Shōwa era. The film stars Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka as Godzilla. In the film, Japan's authorities deal with the sudden appearance of a giant monster, whose attacks trigger fears of nuclear holocaust during post-war Japan.
Godzilla vs. Gigan, released in Japan as Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan, is a 1972 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda, written by Takeshi Kimura and Shinichi Sekizawa, and produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. Distributed by Toho and produced under their effects-based subsidiary Toho-Eizo, it is the 12th film in the Godzilla franchise, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Gigan, Anguirus, and King Ghidorah. The film stars Hiroshi Ishikawa, Yuriko Hishimi, Tomoko Umeda, and Minoru Takashima, alongside Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Kenpachiro Satsuma as Gigan, Koetsu Omiya as Anguirus, and Kanta Ina as King Ghidorah. It is the last film in which Godzilla was portrayed by Nakajima after playing the character since the original 1954 film; he subsequently retired from suit acting.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah is a 1971 Japanese experimentalkaijuhorror film directed by Yoshimitsu Banno, written by Banno and Takeshi Kimura, and produced and distributed by Toho Studios. It is the 11th film in the Godzilla franchise, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla and Hedorah. The film stars Akira Yamauchi, Toshie Kimura, and Hiroyuki Kawase, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, and features Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla and Kenpachiro Satsuma as Hedorah. Satsuma would go on to portray Godzilla in later Godzilla films.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster is a 1964 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the fifth film in the Godzilla franchise, and was the second Godzilla film produced that year, after Mothra vs. Godzilla. The film stars Yosuke Natsuki, Hiroshi Koizumi, Akiko Wakabayashi, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Masanori Shinohara as Rodan, and Shoichi Hirose as King Ghidorah. In the film, a Venus alien, possessing the body of a princess, warns humanity of the arrival of King Ghidorah, with Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra being their last hope for survival.
Mothra vs. Godzilla is a 1964 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the fourth film in the Godzilla franchise. The film stars Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kenji Sahara, and Emi and Yumi Itō, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla. In the film, humans beseech the aide of the insect-god Mothra to stop Godzilla from destroying Japan.
Godzilla Raids Again is a 1955 Japanese kaiju film directed by Motoyoshi Oda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the second film in the Godzilla franchise. The film stars Hiroshi Koizumi, Setsuko Wakayama, Minoru Chiaki, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla and Katsumi Tezuka as Anguirus. In the film, Japan struggles to survive Godzilla's return, as well as its destructive battle against its ancient foe Anguirus.
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is a 1995 Japanese kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara, written by Kazuki Ōmori, and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 22nd installment in the Godzilla franchise, and is the seventh and final film in the franchise's Heisei period. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Godzilla Junior, and Destoroyah, and stars Takuro Tatsumi, Yōko Ishino, Yasufumi Hayashi, Sayaka Osawa, Megumi Odaka, Masahiro Takashima, Momoko Kochi, and Akira Nakao, alongside Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla, Hurricane Ryu as Godzilla Junior, and both Ryo Hariya and Eiichi Yanagida as Destoroyah.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, is a 1993 Japanese kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara, written by Wataru Mimura, and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 20th film in the Godzilla franchise, as well as the fifth film to be released during the franchise's Heisei era. The film features the fictional monster character Godzilla, along with Baby Godzilla and the mecha character Mechagodzilla. Despite its Japanese and English titles, the film is not a sequel to the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.
Gigan is a kaiju from Toho's Godzilla franchise who first appeared in Godzilla vs. Gigan. Gigan is a space monster resembling a species of reptile who was turned into a cyborg by the Nebulans. Gigan sports a huge buzzsaw in its frontal abdominal region and large metallic hooks for hands. Gigan is considered one of Godzilla's most brutal and violent opponents, and the first kaiju in the Toho sci-fi series to make him bleed. Complex listed the character as No. 2 on its "The 15 Most Badass Kaiju Monsters of All Time" list.
Hedorah, also known as the Smog Monster, is a kaiju monster who first appeared in Toho's 1971 film Godzilla vs. Hedorah. The monster was named for Hedoro (へどろ), the Japanese word for sludge, slime, vomit or chemical ooze.
Godzilla Junior is a kaiju which first appeared in Toho's 1993 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is a 1956 kaiju film directed by Terry O. Morse and Ishirō Honda. It is a heavily re-edited American localization, commonly referred to as an "Americanization", of the 1954 Japanese film Godzilla. The film was a Japanese-American co-production, with the original footage produced by Toho, and the new footage produced by Jewell Enterprises. The film stars Raymond Burr, Frank Iwanaga, along with Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka as Godzilla. In the film, an American reporter covers a giant reptilian monster's attack on Japan.
Godzilla 1985 is a 1985 kaiju film directed by R. J. Kizer and Koji Hashimoto. The film is a heavily re-edited American adaptation of the original Japanese film The Return of Godzilla, which was produced and distributed by Toho Studios in 1984. In addition to the film being re-cut, re-titled, and dubbed in English, Godzilla 1985 featured additional footage produced by New World Pictures, with Raymond Burr reprising his role as American journalist Steve Martin from the 1956 film Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, which itself was a heavily re-edited American adaptation of the 1954 Japanese film Godzilla.
Mothra is a 1961 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, and written by Shinichi Sekizawa, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the first film in the Mothra franchise. The film stars Frankie Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyōko Kagawa, Jerry Ito, and The Peanuts.
Destoroyah is a kaiju who first appeared in Toho's 1995 film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.
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