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Monday, May 12, 2014

FIGHTS: Retrospective - #Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994)

No one in the states saw it.  At least not in theatres.  But Godzilla was mixing it up with monsters deep into the 90s.  Here's a great one, 'Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla', a title that features a precursor to the jaegers seen in 'Pacific Rim'.  While not anywhere close to Godzilla's other friend, Jet Jaguar, this jaeger can still hold its own against intergalactic beasts.

Godzilla cells brought into space by Biollante and Mothra are exposed to intense radiation from a black hole. The celestial fission creates a highly aggressive extraterrestrial beast closely resembling Godzilla. This "SpaceGodzilla" quickly makes its way to Earth.
Meanwhile, a group of soldiers and scientists are setting up at Birth Island to try Project T against Godzilla, who has taken up residence on the isle. The plan is to plant a device on Godzilla which will allow the Japan Self Defense Forces to control the mutant dinosaur telepathically. With help from psychic Miki Saegusa, the project is put into action, but it ultimately fails. Afterward, the Cosmos, Mothra's twin priestesses, appear to Miki and warn her of SpaceGodzilla's arrival. With Mothra gone to space, the world will have to rely on Godzilla to stop the invader. SpaceGodzilla gets closer and closer to Earth, destroying a NASA space station along the way, Moguera, a giant penguin-like robot built by the JSDF to replace the Mechagodzilla, is sent in to intercept SpaceGodzilla, but the alien uses a number of psychic attacks to cripple the robot, forcing it to retreat.
Attracted to Godzilla's radiation, SpaceGodzilla lands on Birth Island, where it finds Godzilla's son, Little Godzilla. SpaceGodzilla mercilessly attacks the small creature when he approaches it curiously, and Godzilla comes to his son's rescue. Godzilla puts up a good fight, but finds himself overwhelmed by SpaceGodzilla's power and is knocked out. With Godzilla temporarily subdued, SpaceGodzilla creates a small cage made of crystals and traps Little Godzilla inside of it. It then leaves for Japan, intending to destroy it. Godzilla, after failing to free his son from the cage, follows SpaceGodzilla.
Shortly thereafter, the Yakuza captures Miki and brings her back to their base in Fukuoka in an attempt to use Project T to gain control of Godzilla. Fortunately, a recovery team is successfully dispatched and Miki and the team escape before SpaceGodzilla arrives and destroys the building. SpaceGodzilla lands in central Fukuoka and forms a massive fortress of celestial crystals. Moguera arrives to once again fight SpaceGodzilla, but is still no match for it. Godzilla arrives in Kagoshima Bay and fights SpaceGodzilla, but SpaceGodzilla's cosmic powers easily allow it to gain the upper hand.
The JSDF discovers that SpaceGodzilla is using Fukuoka Tower as a power converter, using it to transform the Earth's core into an energy that SpaceGodzilla can absorb, slowly killing the planet. While Godzilla wrestles with SpaceGodzilla, Moguera splits into two different mechs: the Star Falcon, a flying battleship, and the Land Moguera, a tank. The mechs damage the crystal fortress while Godzilla pushes over Fukuoka Tower, cutting off SpaceGodzilla's energy supply. Moguera quickly reforms and blasts off SpaceGodzilla's crystal-like shoulder formations, weakening it. Enraged, SpaceGodzilla beats Moguera into submission and starts to throttle Godzilla, who further wounds SpaceGodzilla by gouging out his eyes.
With SpaceGodzilla brutally beaten and blinded, Moguera uses up the last of its power supply by ramming into the alien beast, but SpaceGodzilla impales Moguera with his tail and hurls it into the remains of the crystal fortress. Godzilla blasts SpaceGodzilla with his atomic ray, sending him crashing on top of Moguera. With a supercharged atomic blast, Godzilla eradicates SpaceGodzilla including Moguera's remains, and cosmic energy floats from the inferno and vanishes in the atmosphere.
Having won the fight, Godzilla makes his way back to Birth Island. Before he departs, Miki uses her psychic powers to remove the mind control device from Godzilla's neck in which he turns to her and nods. Little Godzilla is then free from the crystal prison and can blow bubbles of fire.

Godzilla has HUGE Sumo-like thighs in this one.  I don't remember him having thighs so big it made his upper body seem out of proportion.  But here we are.

Piloted by a three-man team (!!!), Moguera is a penguin-like mecha that is designed to replace Mecha Godzilla in defense against Godzilla.  When the threat of SpaceGodzilla is discovered, it is Moguera that is the first to try to intercept the beast.  It engages in a lopsided dogfight in space (!!!) with the monstrous threat.  The team is crucial in Godzilla being able to put SpaceGodzilla away for the finish.

So, Godzilla had a baby (by who??) who is assaulted and imprisoned in a crystal prison by SpaceGodzilla.  Godzilla tries to got to bat for his son, but is punked out by the galactic beast.  Buy only briefly subdued, Godzilla goes on the offensive again and tracks SpaceGodzilla.

Using the power of the crystals, SpaceGodzilla can levitate stuff with its mind, including itself and Godzilla.  It also uses its mind to fire pointy crystals at Godzilla, making them rain from the sky or shoot directly at Godzilla.  SpaceGodzilla can also project a crystal shield with its mind as well.

One of Godzilla's strengths is fighting on the inside of an adversary's defenses.  As documented before, Godzilla has great hand techniques, headbutts, and bites.  This time, Godzilla is able to use his bite to defend from SpaceGodzilla's own firey red electricity bolt.

SpaceGodzilla uses its tail as a weapon, impaling the jaeger Moguera and flinging it into a building.  Nice move.  With Moguera disabled, two of the pilots bail, but the captain stays with the ship, gets it back online, and kamikaze's SpaceGodzilla, knocking it on its back and immobilizing the monster to give Godzilla just enough time to roast the space menace with an epic finish via Godzilla's Electric Fire!

This one is crazy, but it's fun to see the influence this movie must have had on 'Pacific Rim'.  Check it out when you can.  It's fun.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press.  
Down the RoadDown the Road: On the Last Day, and Down the Road: The Fall of Austin.  Pick them up in paperback or Kindle today.

BOWIE V. IBARRA earned his BFA in Acting and MA in Theatre History from Texas State University.  Network with Bowie at his official website, today.


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