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Godzilla-thon: GODZILLA 1985 (1984/1985)

After retiring for ten years, Godzilla is brought back and goes back to the original roots as a terrifying force of nature. Godzilla 1985 will start a whole new era of Godzilla films called the Heisei Era or as fans would call it the BEAM WARS Era as every movie from 1984 to 1995 has monsters shooting lasers at each other through out most of the fights. Godzilla 1985 is a direct sequel to Gojira/Godzilla: King Of The Monsters ignoring all the other movies in between.

After the initial failure from Terror Of MechaGodzilla, TOHO attempted to reinvigorate the franchise several times with ideas like Godzilla vs The Devil and announcing to release the 1954 movie in color. Godzilla vs The Devil was scrapped and the release for the color version was shelved. Producer, Tomoyuki Tanaka, took it upon himself to revive the franchise in 1979 intending to bring Godzilla back to its dark roots of anti-nuclear message in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident. Tanaka was also encouraged in his vision through adult-oriented horror and science fiction films such as Alien, King Kong, The Thing, and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

Taking inspiration from Dino De Laurentiis's 40 ft. King Kong animatronic, TOHO spent $475,000 on a 16 ft Godzilla animatronic for use in close up shots of the monster's head. The animatronic had hydraulically-powered mechanical endoskeleton that was covered in urethane skin. A life size foot was also built for close up city destruction scenes.

To regain the lost profits, TOHO distributed the film overseas. New World Pictures acquired the rights and brought Raymond Burr back to reclaim his role to commemorate Godzilla: King Of The Monster's 30th anniversary. All of Raymond Burr's scenes were filmed in one day and the American filming was done in three days.


Tensions of nuclear war rise after America is blamed for a Russian sub went missing. After a missing fisherman was recovered, he reports that Godzilla is back and bigger than ever. Japan must now find a way to get rid of Godzilla before things get worse.

Godzilla is back and meaner than ever. When the American version was released, there were MAJOR cuts and re-edits in the movie. I'm not going to go through every single thing that was different, but there were scenes that were altered which caused controversy because of the ongoing Cold War. For instance, there was a scene where an orbital launch of a nuclear bomb was activated by accident and a Soviet officer made an attempt to cancel it. This was altered in the American version showing the Soviet officer activating the launch instead.

Raymond Burr as Mr. Martin in Godzilla 1985

Even though Raymond Burr reclaims his role as Steve Martin (Now known as Mr. Martin to not confuse the character with the actor, Steve Martin), he does not leave as much of an impression as he did in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Mainly, he is just there to tell everyone that there is no stopping Godzilla and to give a monologue at the end of the movie comparing Godzilla to any other natural disaster. You could argue the same for Godzilla: King Of The Monsters that he was just explaining stuff, but it is how he plays the part. In Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, Steve Martin was a reporter and he was trying to gather information for the newspaper that he was working for. In Godzilla 1985, he is just there without any purpose.

TOHO really took the chance to step up their special effects to replicate the movies they were inspired by and they went all out with it. Godzilla's look has been updated and he doesn't look like his previous incarnations. This movie was not as scary, but it was more sci-fi. You have hover crafts and tanks shooting lasers and you have Godzilla firing his atomic breath that looks like a laser. It's a laser shooter bargain sale in this movie.

Final Verdict:

Godzilla 1985 attempted to go back to Godzilla's original roots, but the sci-fi aspect made more of an impact than the horror part of Godzilla. Yet that didn't stop me from enjoying the movie. I definitely recommend giving this movie a watch.

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