on May 21, 2006
This double-sided DVD packs together two very different movies in that it combines one Godzilla movie that is widely considered to be one of the best ever, with one that is widely considered to be one of the weakest entries in the series. Both of these films feature Godzilla in what I like to call the "reluctant hero" role. Godzilla doesn't care about humanity and would love to stomp flat all of our cities, but the emrgence of some unforeseen threat thrusts him into the role of the planet's guardian. My four star rating is an average: 5 for Destoroyah, 3 for SpaceGodzilla.
Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, from 1994, is the supposedly weak one. Godzilla faces off with a clone of himself, SpaceGodzilla, who supposedly arose when G-cells in space encountered a crystalline life-form and mutated - or something along those lines. Supposedly those cells came about from when Biollante was destroyed, although it has been pointed out that Biollante couldn't have existed in the same timeline as King Ghidora, given the time-travelling that took place in Godzilla vs. King Ghidora. The visual effects in this one are pretty good, except for the battle between SpaceGodzilla and Moguera in the asteroid belt, which looks utterly craptacualr. Moguera is a giant robot designed to fight Godzilla, but is deployed against SpaceGodzilla. Rumor has it that the Mechagodzilla from 1993's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II was supposed to be the human anti-Godzilla agent (rebuilt after getting fried in that movie), but Mechagodzilla and Godzilla would prove to be far too overpowering for SpaceGodzilla, thus making the final battle less suspenseful. Therefore, Moguera was introduced. I guess rebuilding MechaGodzilla would have put the defense force over budget. In the end, Godzilla and Moguera team up to kill SpaceGodzilla, and Moguera gets totalled in the process, leaving Godzilla to escape and rejoin his son. The human drama feels particularly obtrusive in this one: SpaceGodzilla attacks Godzilla and his son and imprisons Godzilla's son, so you know Godzilla has a serious bone to pick with his counterpart, but we have to wait for the human story to play out before we can get to the "money shot": guys in rubber suits duking it out and leveling buildings in the process. The final three-way battle is pretty good, it's just a long time coming and hard to wait for. There are those who have made the argument that SpaceGodzilla is actually as more powerful monster than Destroyer, but this film is not nearly as good as its sequel.
1995's Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Destroyer) is quite different. I believe it's worth it to buy the DVD just for this one. Considered by many to be the best Godzilla film, it also is rumored to be the last one Toho ever intended to make, until the negative reaction from loyal fans over the 1998 American Godzilla prompted them to bring back the Japanese Godzilla. In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, some sort of disaster has rendered Godzilla's island home a smoldering wasteland. Godzilla's nuclear energy is running dangerously out of control, causing him to appear in the glowing "meltdown form", arguably his most powerful incarnation. In this film, Godzilla's runaway nuclear power has made him a threat to the planet, building upon the original metaphor of Godzilla as the atomic bomb. Meanwhile, his son has vanished, but later appears as a nearly full-grown Godzilla, whom the characters call "Little One" but most of us refer to as "Godzilla Junior". Meanwhile, a new threat has emerged in a swarm of mutant micro-organisms that quickly mutate and grow, eventually combining to form a giant monster: Destroyer. The defense force reasons that if Godzilla can be lured into Tokyo, then perhaps Destroyer can dispatch him and end the threat Godzilla poses to the world. This sets up a climactic and emotionally charged series of fights. This film has a dark and somber mood, and though most Godzilla films are great for kids, some scenes in this one, particularly during Godzilla Junior's battle with Destroyer, may be too graphic for children. There's a lot less human drama in this one, and those scenes are tightly directed and flow nicely. A lot of drama is played out by the monsters, and that is done surprisingly well. When Godzilla cries over his fallen son, you really feel the emotional imapct. This film is quite well-paced and has plenty of action. Godzilla appears early and often, laying waste wherever he goes. Destroyer appears in several forms, all of them monstrous and the final one quite demonic, giving it a menacing presence and really adding to the dark atmosphere of the film. Even though Godzilla is "bad" in this one, when he uses his super-charged red "spiral fire ray" to splatter Destroyer, you see the awe in the eyes of the humans as they show their respect for this unstoppable force of nature, as one character utters "Not even the Destroyer is a match for Godzilla's power." I'm sure I'm not spoiling the ending by telling you that Godzilla dies. As his radioactivity finally reaches a critical point, the king of the monsters melts down. The meltdown scene is very graphic and very emotional, and, I think, would have been a perfect ending to the series had there never been another film after this one. However, after Godzilla is gone, suddenly a giant silohuette can be seen through the smoke: Godzilla Junior, charged by the energy emitted from his father's death, has grown into a full-sized Godzilla, and as the film ends, he bellows in that distinctive roar.
The legacy will never end...
on April 3, 2001
The release contains 2 films on one disc - on Side A 1994's "Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla", and on Side B 1995's "Godzilla vs. Destroyer" (using the title "Godzilla vs. Destoryah" since "Destroyer" can't be copyrighted). Both sides were pretty even when it came to video quality. I'll start with the positive which is, unlike Sony's previous attempt with "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth", that the disc presents the films in their original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio, and features anamorphic enhancement. Sadly however, both films, especially "Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla", contain a heavy amount of grain and print damage, and a fair bit of artifacting too. There was also a lot of discolouration and brightness issues too. You've gained one thing, but lost another.
One very basic setup, Toho's international English dubbing in Dolby 2.0. Like Sony's previous release, it generally sounds pretty good, with no distortion or other issues. It would have been nice to see a new 5.1 remix or the original Japanese soundtrack, but alas.
Absolutely nothing, unfortunately.
For everything Sony did right with "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth" they did wrong with this, and vice versa. This release has the bonus of being in anamorphic widescreen, but looses extra features and the vivid image quality the previous release had. It's a simple barebones disc for those that want the film on DVD, but perfectionists will really need to look elsewhere.
on February 5, 2000
The release of Godzilla vs Space Godzilla and Godzilla vs Destroyer marks the first High Quality American release of these two films. The previous VHS versions of these films were poor quality SLP and badly cropped, destroying the original composition. The DVD is both widescreen and enhanced for 16/9 high definition Televisions. The surround sound is well done, though lacks the punch of the original Import laserdiscs . The picture is excellent, with only a little artifacting occasionaly noticable. The only demerit would be the poor dubbing job for both films , that makes them seem cheaper than they are. Tri-Star should have re-done the dubbing, or better yet, Provide the original Japanese language tracks for people who would prefer subtitles. The films are the last 2 of the HEISEI series, and are both greatly enjoyable. SPACEGODZILLA is a lighter movie, filled with great action sequences and a clever, if sometimes confusing plot. Visualy the film is a treat. The effects are more stylized than realistic, something common to Japanese films, and sometimes off putting to American viewers. The weakest effects are a space battle between The MOGERA robot and Space Godzilla, but it's so well edited and colorful that it can be forgiven. The final battle is great. The film can best be described as a 1970s Godzilla film that was GOOD! (unlike the real 1970s films that were pretty bad. Some people have disliked this film, but most seem to have understood that this was a FUN film, and went along for a great ride! Godzilla vs Destroyer is the last Godzilla film of this series, and is a dark, apocoliptic film, capturing much of the mood of the original GODZILLA movie. The effects supervisor, Kochi Kawakita, actually had less money and time than any Godzilla film since 1989s BIOLLANTE, (less than 3 months! )which make the effects even more impressive. Godzilla's attack of Hong Kong and his death are the visual highlights. The plot is well done, with nice echos, both thematically and visually. The movie proves a fitting end to Godzilla, and a must have for any Kaiju fan. After screwing up the previous DVD release of GODZILLA vs GHIDORAH and GODZILLA vs MOTHRA (both were mono and cropped! ) Tri star should be congratulated for not making the same error. I hope to see MECHA GODZILLA on DVD Soon!
on September 27, 2005
If you're a Godzilla Fan, then these movies are for you. The first movie introduces a cosmic powered Godzilla from the furthest reaches of space, who uses baby Godzilla (a cute little bugger)as bait, to lure daddy into one titanic tussle. At the same time G-force uses the remains of Mecha-Godzilla, to create a new weapon to destroy Godzilla, and end up using it to try and destroy both monsters. Things get pretty interesting.
The Second movie, reintroduces the weapon that was used to destroy Godzilla in the very first movie from 1956, only it's evolved. Meanwhile, daddy Godzilla is literally going through a nuclear meltdown and is not only terrorizing all of Japan, yet again, but is battling this new and improved monster, dubbed Destroyah. Junior gets into the mix and the battle gets insane, and the ending is one not to be missed.
What's great about these two movies are the touching elements that make you get emotionally involved with these larger then life monsters.
I love Godzilla and thoroughly enjoyed these movies, and hope you will as well.
on November 14, 2004
Godzilla vs. Destroyah
Truly this leaves a proudful filling inside you if you love Godzilla as much as me. The big G finally dies(not by Destroyahs hand though)Destroyah prooves to be pure evil with his cruelity in this film. I won't give it away but there are some sad scenes in here. Once you see Godzilla get into it with Destroyah you will witness a king in all his fury. Truly a great film.
Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla
The plot for this was not great but Spacegodzilla was amazing, and the fights were pretty good. Good movie IMO most people don't like it for some reason.
on April 27, 2000
This was the first chance we've had to see either of these films legally in the UK, so it was was a great bargin to see both presented so nicely on a double disk, and that bonus overshadows even minor quibbles like the dubbing (and second audio track with Japanese and subtitles would have pushed me up to 5 stars...). SPACE GODZILLA is a tad repetetive, and dispite others saying it was supposed to be a fun film, it went a little too far for me; fun = the dafter elements of GODZILLA vs KING GHIDORAH, not the mawkish waddling of Little Godzilla. It's great to finally own this film but it's not the reason I assume anyone would want this disc....it's DESTROYAH they're after. An amazing film from start to finish. Impossible not to cry, either...! If you're a G fan, buy this now, don't let the dubbing put you off, it's not great but I've heard much worse. At least the voices fit the mouth movements and resemble the actor's characters. It's what they say that's a bit odd... A trailer or two would have been nice as would complete credits, but no doubt japan will release them soon. For now, you can't go wrong with these lovely prints.
on February 18, 2004
Sony/TriStar does a better job on this double-feature disc of two of the 1990s Godzilla films than they did on the awful disc of "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth." This time the films are in widescreen and stereo. Unfortunately, they are still dubbed (and very poorly, too), and the end credits are still chopped off, but I can at least recommend buying this disc for its improved visual and audio quality.
(In a side note, Sony/TriStar has just made available three of the recent Godzilla films in widescreen editions with 5.1 sound and a choice of English dub or Japanese with subtitles: "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus," "Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack," and "Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla." They may also release the two film on the this DVD in individual, deluxe packages, so you may want to wait a bit before deciding to pick up this disc.)
However, I can only recommend one film on this disc, the terrific "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah," which brings a conclusion to the 1990s `Heisei' series of Godzilla films in an apocalyptic story that links back to the original 1954 "Godzilla." Godzilla's radioactive heart has started to melt down, a condition that threatens to destroy the entire planet. The military scrambles to find a way to prevent the end of the world, while psychic Miki tries to track down Godzilla's son, now a tough teen who looks like a half-sized Godzilla. And on top of all this, a new creature has suddenly appeared, born out of the weapon that killed the original Godzilla back in 1954: the mutating crustacean/dragon beastie Detoroyah. The action is plentiful, as are the effects, and the film just thunders along. It's everything you want in a Godzilla film. Godzilla Jr. facing the crab-leg version of Destoroyah is one of the great monster fights, the finale at the airport is brilliant, and the ending is heartbreaking. It's a great way to end the second Godzilla series. If this film stood on its own, I'd give it five stars, easily.
In fact, it's best that you don't think of this disc as a double-feature at all, but a single disc containing "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah," with "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla" as a bonus feature. Because "SpaceGodzilla" is AWFUL. Made right before "Detoroyah" by a new director who came out of Japanese teen films, "SpaceGodzilla" is boring and utterly silly. Godzilla Jr. looks like Barney the dinosaur, SpaceGodzilla is a ridiculously lumbering thing, and the military's new super-robot, MOGUERA (based on a robot from the 1957 film "The Mysterians"), looks like some kid's transformer toy, only not as well constructed and with Woody Woodpecker's head. The plot is sloppy -- something about SpaceGodzilla imprisoning Godzilla Jr. while a conspiracy almost wrecks the anti-Godzilla team called G-force -- and the performers look bored. The big action sequences seem to go on forever while nothing happens. The finale is just Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla standing far away and roaring at each other, while the military fiddles endlessly with their useless machines. The special effects are awful and lazy as well. Not even Godzilla fans will be able to tolerate this film for long. On it's own, "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla" is worth only one star, easily. So I'll have to average my rating out and give this package three stars.
I recommend this disc for "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah," which is great even in dubbed format. Watch the other film, sure, but think of it as a bonus not factored into the price. You'll feel better that way, and $16.99 is a pretty fair price for a good, widescreen, stereo Godzilla film. (But keep your fingers crossed for even better editions in the future.)
on January 25, 2015
Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla: This is one for Godzilla fans only. A sequel to a couple 1990's Godzilla films, you don't need to see the previous ones to get what's going on here. It's got enough kaiju action to both amaze and bore, at the same time. The final battle between Godzilla, Spacegodzilla, and the human-created MOGERA goes on and on... Which is both good and bad. Good because it's awesome, bad because I find my mind drifting every few seconds while watching the battle continue. The plot is ridiculous and silly, but you've got to give it to the actors for treating the material totally seriously. It's Godzilla brain-drainer at its best.
Godzilla vs. Destroyah: Godzilla's internal nuclear reactor (aka his heart) is having a meltdown, and if he blows the whole world will go with him. As if that wasn't a big enough problem, a threat born of the oxygen destroyer (the weapon that killed Godzilla in the original 1954 movie) is unleashed upon Japan, a threat that starts out microscopic and quickly evolves to larger and more destructive forms. Also, the purpose of Godzilla Jr. is revealed. As several idiot reviewers put it, he is "reboorned" as Godzilla when "godzilla dies sooo sad." Yeah, the ending is completely spoiled, but about a hundred losers did it before me so it's okay I guess not really whatever.
The copy I bought sadly didn't have the original Japanese audio, so I'm left to talk about the English dub, which, as always, is inferior and really bad. I hope you like your words pronounced funny for no good reason, like "dee-saster" (disaster), "arm-my-geddon" (armageddon), and "o-mee-ga" (omega). The effects are great, and I didn't catch any strings like in the previous installment (Godzilla versus Spacegodzilla), reinforcing that technical effects will always be better than cheap CGI. The Destroyah puppets (before it's one guy in a big suit) are large and detailed, as evidenced by a great scene where one creature is terrorizing a reporter trapped in a car. Is this another movie where logic and character development have to take a backseat to rubber suits, miniatures, and amusing but campy sci-fi plots? Yes. And that's why I love Godzilla. Sit back, turn off your brain, and enjoy.
on March 21, 2016
While for what they are the Godzilla movies are still very entertaining and the only big complaint I have with this is the lack of a Japanese audio track as we're stuck with the somewhat dubious English dub audio track. The video quality is good though obviously not great as there's some graininess but nothing too terrible. For the price it's definitely worth adding to the other Godzilla dvd's in anyone's collection just again unfortunately not one with the original Japanese audio to go with it.
on May 22, 2015
Embarrassingly fun. At 60 yrs aged, I should be over Japanese Kaiju but no, I still love watching these cliche monster movies. Especially The Great One..."GODZILLA". Space Godzilla doesn't thrill me (not like any of them do) but its crystal bit is confusing to me. Whats the purpose? Godzilla vs Destoroyah is a bit more intense than expected, I usually just enjoy watching the resilient Tokyo (popping back up after being perpetually destroyed by the Big Guy) being knocked down to rubble after Big "G" mixes it up with other like sized foes. (in one episode a military commander-I think- says why does the beast always attack Japan? a little anecdote we all have wondered). But Destroyah took a bit of getting used to. He was pretty serious and not as "fun". So Godzilla had a bonafide equal to tangle with. But entertaining as all the rest even still. If you're a Godzilla fan gotta add this to your collection.