Godzilla-thon: GODZILLA VS BIOLLANTE (1989)
After the success of Godzilla1985 Tanaka announced a sequel, but he was skeptical on the possibilities because the movie had been of little financial benefit to TOHO and the failure of King Kong Lives proved to him that the audience was just not ready for another Godzilla film yet. All of that changed for Tanaka after the success of Little Shop Of Horrors. He decided to hold a public story contest to search for a possible script. Tanaka insisted that the story should have the classic monster vs. monster theme. The story chosen was written by a dentist based on his daughter's hypothetical passing away.
Another monster called Deutalios was suppose to appear in this movie and it would have been eaten by Godzilla after they fought each other. TOHO did not like the idea of showing Godzilla consuming anything so Deutalios was scrapped, but the rest of the story was left in-tact.
After losing his daughter in a terrorist bombing, Dr. Genshiro uses the newly discovered Godzilla cells and combines them with cells of a rose and his daughter, Erika, growing into a giant rose that will combat Godzilla in a fight.
The idea of preserving someone's soul sounds confusing and it actually is. How do you preserve someone's soul? Well, insert their cells inside a plant I guess. The movie's take on the issues of biotechnology is quite interesting, but I think it could have been done without the whole spirituality aspect. The script for the movie was made by a dentist that lost a family member and seeing it on screen must have been an emotional experience for him. So the way I look at it can be seen in a different light to someone else. In a way, you could say that this was the father's way of saying good bye to his daughter. Perhaps his daughter was a Godzilla fan and wanted to remember her in a special way. Whatever reason it may be, the movie's backstory is kind of sad and was probably an emotional roller coaster for the guy.
The film's plot is only okay. It brought a new monster that was never seen before from previous films and I like that this is a direct sequel to Godzilla 1985 to start the series in an interconnecting story, but it didn't keep me hooked for very long. The movie could only go so far with the terrorist sub-plot that they out lived their use after Godzilla was set free. There is no point in bringing them back again afterwards. There is a new minor character, a female psychic named Miki Saegusa. She becomes a regular through out the rest of the series, but most of the time most of the time she is just confirming that Godzilla is appearing or still alive and in this film to confirm that Erika's soul is inside Biollante. She would have a much larger role in a later movie, but I will cover that when we get there.
Instead of a suit, Biollante was a giant puppet. It looks really neat and ferocious looking. She has the ability to spray acid and her vines act like whips. Godzilla has a new ability in this one where he sends out an EMP like blast from his body. The special effects were okay, but there were scenes cut out from the film that would have looked really cool. For instance, there was a deleted scene where after Biollante lost the first fight, Biollante's spores spread across the hillside and flowers bloomed all around Godzilla before he left. One of the ideas that they originally had was to make the finale animated. It was very well made and very surreal, but it was taken out because it didn't fit with the rest of the film.
Godzilla vs. Biollante has a cool looking monster, but the story is only okay. It's one of the better and underrated Godzilla movies of this era. I say give it a watch.