Film / Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
"My job is done now... Godzilla." (dub)
"My mission is now complete." (original line)
~ Miki Saegusa, after Godzilla dies.
The final film of the Godzilla
Heisei series and the last times for everything: Kazuki Omori as a writer of the Heisei films, Akira Ifukube as composer (thus, several themes in reminisce of the original Godzilla
), Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla, Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa, Momoko Kochi as Emiko Yamane, and Tomoyuki Tanaka as producer for 40 years.Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
(Gojira tai Desutoroia
in Japan) involves Godzilla suffering from a nuclear meltdown
with 2 scenarios: A. He will blow up, resulting a nuclear explosion that will destroy the world. Or B. He will meltdown at 1200 degrees to the point he will destroy the world from the inside. New problems arise when fish in aquariums are being reduced to skeletons caused by creatures awakened by the Oxygen Destroyer, the weapon used to kill the first Godzilla in the original Godzilla
. Now the world rests on Godzilla and his newly grown son to take on this new threat, before the nuclear dinosaur dies.
The film was made to briefly retire the franchise so that America could create their own film. But due to the negative reaction of the first American Godzilla film
, Toho made Godzilla 2000
, exactly one year after the American remake.
The film provides the examples of:
- Alien Blood:
- Destoroyah has lime green or yellow blood. He spits or bleeds huge amounts of it in the later phases of the final battle.
- Due to the side effect of Godzilla's Burning mutation, his blood ranges from red to orange to white.
- Ascended to Carnivorism: Junior seems to shifted from eating plants, to eating whales. Justified, in that it's established that Godzillasaurus is carnivorous by nature. It's likely that he learned to hunt for food while living with his adoptive father.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- Destoroyah can emulate the Oxygen Destroyer causing the target to be reduced to bones. Sounds cool right? The problem? He has to have them in a body of water and break up into a swarm of microbes for it to work. And even when he dropped Godzilla into the ocean he still couldn't use it because Godzilla's immanent meltdown was boiling the water and made it and him too hot to use this power. The only one to fall victim to this in the whole movie was an aquarium full of fish.
- Subverted with the chest laser it was supposed to use, that uses the power of the Oxygen Destroyer. This attack however was cut from the film.
- Back from the Dead: Junior. "Godzilla never does destroy Japan" indeed.
- Bequeathed Power: Godzilla's power flows into his son after his death.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Attack humans? Get shot at by Junior.
- Big Damn Heroes: Just as Godzilla is about to attack another nuclear plant, the Super-X III launches in defense of the plant. It not only survives the battle, it actually wins, a rare thing in a kaiju movie
- Bittersweet Ending:
- Godzilla has died but the radiation that was expelled from his body mutated Junior into a full-grown Godzilla.
- Had Junior not been there to absorb the radiation, Godzilla's meltdown would have meant the end of Tokyo, if not much of the northwestern and southwestern parts of Japan. It's intimated that Godzilla's inherent radiation could have threatened the entire planet during meltdown, though it was never confirmed if this was actually true. At the very least, Tokyo would have been rendered uninhabitable for centuries to come.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation:
- Toho's international English credits misspell Kenpachiro Satsuma's name as KenHAchiro in this and every one of their international versions.
- There's a lot of cryptic, "Huh? What?" dialogue regarding Destoroyah and his powers in the international dub. The writing is certainly a far cry from say, Biollante's dub.
- Most of the dubbed dialogue script either over simplifies things or just plain made stuff up. For example, near the end of the movie when Colonel Kuroki is about to send the Super X-III out to stop Godzilla's meltdown, to drive home the gravity of the odds hinging on the film's climax, he morosely remarks, "Our budget for next year is zero yen... Then again, we may not even have a next year." This line in the dubbed version becomes, "Let's go freeze that overgrown lizard. This is gonna make my day." Unfortunately, this sort of thing is commonplace in the Heisei dubs.
- Blood from the Mouth: Destoroyah coughs up blood after getting hit with the Red Spiral Ray.
- Call-Back: The entire plot is Godzilla's power going out of control to the point he will eventually explode. This is exactly what almost happened in the previous film after SpaceGodzilla shoulder crystals were destroyed and his energy began to overload, only in that case the explosion would've only blown up everything from the city to Birth Island (presumably because SpaceGodzilla wasn't overcharged to anywhere close to the degree like Godzilla is here).
- Catastrophic Countdown: Rather than counting down to Godzilla's meltdown, the countdown is his rise in temperature.
- Character Aged with the Actor: Momoko Kochi returned for the role as Emiko Yamane. This would be her final role after her death in 1998.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Destoroyah tortures Godzilla Junior.
- Continuity Nod: Several connections with the original Godzilla appear on this film:
- Emiko (played once again by Momoko Kochi, as mentioned in the Role Reprisal entry) senses Kensaku Ijuin's Micro-oxygen being similar to Daisuke Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer, thus, the flashback (with the stock footage from the original Godzilla) making the connection.
- Emiko's nightmare after Ken Yamane's Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment when he declares using the Oxygen Destroyer on Godzilla's current state. Emiko's nightmare sequence plays another flashback scene in which Ogata and Serizawa went underwater and Serizawa using the weapon underwater. Of course, Emiko and Miki Saegusa both object to this.
- While the Oxygen Destroyer is the only weapon to ever kill Godzilla, it mutated Precambrian life-forms that could survive without oxygen. This is similar to Godzilla's mutation from the H-Bomb testing, which could wipe out anything within proximity and mutated the poor creature. This returns to one of the dark themes of the original Godzilla.
- Cool Plane: The Super-X III is capable of tanking Godzilla's fire head-on.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to the semi-soft hearted Godzilla Vs Spacegodzilla, this film is perhaps the darkest entry of the entire Heisei series (being the last film of this series notwithstanding). As dark as the first film as people say, since it deals with Godzilla dying, a villain that has no qualms killing anything in its path, and the idea to use the weapon to kill the original Godzilla. Several reprise from the music drives this further.
- Dead Line News: Averted, as Yukari Yamane was about to fall victim to one of the Destoroyahs until Kensaku saves her when Destoroyah blasts a car in half and flips the car over.
- Death by Irony:
- Destoroyah is a creature mutated by the Oxygen Destroyer, a weapon that killed the first Godzilla. Godzilla of the Heisei era is the one who kills him (indirectly).
- Two years previously, Rodan dissolved himself into energy and got absorbed by Godzilla so that Godzilla could use the Spiral Ray. Now, close to death, Godzilla can't fire his normal strength beam, as he simply has too much radiation.
- Destoroyah dies in a similar manner to the way he killed Junior: Falling to the ground from a high altitude, with the impact killing him.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Destoroyah's body explodes after he is killed.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The freeze rays, and several weapons that actually worked on a kaiju.
- Destructive Savior: For a teenaged Godzilla, Junior caused some destruction, but not at a collateral level as his father. Even if he's Raised by Humans. However, being Godzilla's son and able to breathe a stream of atomic breath, it's inevitable. And to his forgiveness, the main building he toppled was wrecked because Detoroyah blasted him into it.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
- The Super-X III is one of the few Anti-Kaiju weapons to actually A: Survive the end of the movie, and B: win a battle against the Kaiju. It actually puts Godzilla down and slows his meltdown for several precious hours, and at the end of the movie, it and the Maser Cannons work together to finish Destoroyah off.
- Word of God says that it is Godzilla who kills Destoroyah off, not the military. As Destoroyah falls out of the sky, Godzilla refuses to move out of the way. This is because he has been superheating the ground. The sudden change in temperatures between freezing cold and blazing hot is what destroys Destoroyah, which is Godzilla's doing. Rather than through violence, Godzilla kills Destoroyah scientifically. But it is still his actions (however passive they may be) that finish the monster off.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Arguably the only known case of having a movie length version of this, as the film states Godzilla is literally dying from the film's very start, and despite this manages to fight off the army, the Super X-III, kill Destoroyah, and even resurrect his dead son! What makes the latter more impressive is that he did it in the process of finally going out while burning through an attempt to freeze him solid to prevent him from going into meltdown!
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Burning Godzilla hasn't been seen in a movie before or since, and it makes sense since this was made for the "final" film of the Heisei series.
- End of an Age: Production-wise Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is the end of an age on multiple fronts:
- The final film in the Heisei series.
- The final Godzilla film produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka.
- Akira Ifukube's final Godzilla score.
- Evil Counterpart: Believe it or not, Destoroyah is this to Godzilla (especially the original). They're both ancient creatures that existed long before humans before being awaken by a man-made superweapon. While Godzilla vented on humanity because of what he's become, Destoroyah is an Ax-Crazy murderer who has absolutely no qualms about killing everything in his path.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Yes Kenichi, Destoroyah will "gladly" kill Godzilla for you when it was born from the Oxygen Destroyer, even though it has killed innocent people and Junior.
- Foregone Conclusion: Both times for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and this film:
- Godzilla never destroys Japan. In the ending, we see why, explaining Japan's economical boom in the future.
- Mothra successfully destroys the meteor heading towards Earth like she voluntarily does so for Battra in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth.
- Godzilla's death itself, as he already has his fatal condition when the movie starts, and the tagline and the trailers proclaimed "Godzilla Dies!"
- Freeze Ray: The Super-X III and several modified Maser Tanks use these and freezing missiles against both Godzilla and Destoroyah (They actually work).
- From Bad to Worse: Godzilla is about to explode if someone doesn't do anything about it. Freeze him, and crisis averted. Then Godzilla's going to undergo a literal Super Power Meltdown. Then it gets worse: a mutated life form is killing fish, has the powers of the Oxygen Destroyer, can transform multiple stages, and its final form looks like the devil.
- Future Badass: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah implies this will happen to Junior as the plot of this film covers Godzilla's death, and the resurrection of Junior.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Destoroyah fulfills this role, although it has thematic connections to Godzilla.
- Gentle Giant:
- Junior of course since Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, he seems more accustomed to humans than his father (for obvious reasons). Played straight AND horribly averted when he saves Miki and her psychic partner from Destoroyah from destroying their helicopter. The aversion is due to him attacking whales in an earlier scene.
- When you get that big, eating tiny fruits on an island isn't going to cut it any more, also as mentioned earlier the Godzillasaurus is a carnivore. And to be fair he didn't see a far more plentiful source of fresh meat as food.
- Grand Finale: Of the Heisei series as a whole, with montage of the first film, then the entire second series in the credits.
- Happily Married: Sadly averted in the Japanese version. Emiko did not marry Ogata after the events of 1954. Yukari and Kenichi Yamane are the children of the island boy Dr. Yamane adopted after the events of 1954. Emiko is their spinster aunt.
- Harmless Freezing: Both played straight and averted. It played straight so Godzilla would not explode by the freezing weapons. The aversion is due to Destoroyah's weakness to extreme tempatures.
- Heartbroken Badass: Godzilla goes on one Hell of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Destroyah kills his son.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Both Godzilla and Miki suffered one after Junior's death. Then everyone mourned when Godzilla himself dies.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: Godzilla's Super Power Meltdown from nuclear energy, becoming the plot of the film.
- I Just Want to Be Normal:
- Miki Saegusa notes that her psychic powers have been fading away lately, which worries her. Meru Ozawa, in contrast, says that she can't wait for her own powers to fade away, since it means she would be able to start a family as a normal person. Miki's reaction to Meru's response seems to indicate that she agrees with her colleague's sentiments more than she had realized.
- Averted in the Japanese version, Meru's reaction is actually the opposite from the dub's dialogue. She relishes having psychic powers and even says that she uses them to find out if the boys who loved her would ever marry her. Being that she's still single, apparently, they would not.
- Immune to Bullets: Even at point-blank range to the face, one of the Destoroyahs shrugs it off. They're not immune to being shot by a rocket launcher though.
- Made of Explodium:
- After Destoroyah's wings get shot by the freeze weapons and lasers, he explodes after crashing into the ground.
- Averted with Godzilla, since he was thought to explode. Instead, he was having a literal meltdown.
- Mood Whiplash: To show how utterly monsterous Destoroyah is, he attacks Godzilla while the nuclear giant's grieving twice!!
- Mythology Gag:
- Shinkichi Yamane, the boy next to Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura), is the father of Ken and Yukari, who wants them to become scientists. Ken actually is one somewhat while Yukari is a newsreporter
- Serizawa's picture, which is Akihiko Hirata, plus Ken's room, with has Kyohei's stegosaurus.
- The simulation if Godzilla explodes shows him behind the Wako clock tower and the Diet Building, the two monuments the original Godzilla destroys in the first film.
- One-Winged Angel: Destoroyah evolves as the film progresses, each new form getting an appropriately epic reveal, but his final form is probably the best example.
- Papa Wolf: Oh shit, Godzilla took this to the extreme.
- Posthumous Character: 3. Shinkichi Yamane (Toyoaki Suzuki, the boy in the photo with Dr. Yamane), Dr. Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura), and Daisuke Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata).
- Readings Are Off the Scale:
- The scanners also produce this result when the Destroyahs combine into their first Kaiju sized form.
- The soldiers say this about the radiation levels Godzilla is emitting.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Godzilla's response to Destoroyah killing his son.
- Role Reprisal: Momoko Kochi as Emiko Yamane. Despite Akira Takarada being still-living at this time, his character, Ogata, is never seen or mentioned, implying that he died sometime after the events of 1954. Sadly, this would be Kochi's final reprisal as the character as she died in 1998.
- Shout-Out: Destroyah's human sized forms have Nested Mouths, like the Xenomorphs from Alien.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Holy crap. The entire film was basically 95% cynical. Unlike the original film, which is 100%. This film heads towards the cynic route because Godzilla was dying, Junior being dead, and Destoroyah, being a monster that he is, is a living personification of the weapon that killed the original Godzilla. It got to the point people dreaded The End of the World as We Know It if Godzilla dies either explosion or meltdown. As Godzilla does die, the remaining 5% landed on the newly resurrected Junior, who would give Japan its eventual future it gains.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Destoroyah, Destroyer, or Destroyah? Technically, the English version used Destroyer. Word of God says "Destroyer" is the correct pronunciation, but rights issues with the word "Destroyer" caused the change in spelling to "Destroyah".
- Stock Footage: Used brilliantly to connect the original film with this one. The Montage in the credits also counts.
- Superpower Meltdown: Godzilla literally undergoes a nuclear meltdown, making it the plot of the film.
- Survivor Guilt: This may imply what Emiko Yamane went through after the events of the original film, as it was her that Serizawa chose to use the Oxygen Destroyer on Godzilla while making a Heroic Sacrifice. Her nightmare scene seems to support this.
- Tagline: "On December 24, Godzilla dies."
- Taking Up the Mantle: After Godzilla dies, his adoptive son Junior grows into his adult form and takes up the title.
- Tonight, Someone Dies: The tagline was "Godzilla dies."
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Junior, who in the previous film is portrayed as an annoyingly weak Super-Deformed foster son, actually grew up badass like his father. Apparently absorbing all the radiation from your melting-down daikaiju father will do that to you.
- Even better, after he was seemingly killed by Destroyah, he actually absorb the remnants of his father's melting body, grew further into a massive, full fledged Kaiju, continuing his father's legacy, and accidentally saves Japan from nuclear devastation. Damn.
- Unstoppable Rage:
- Crosses with Papa Wolf. Godzilla's son, Junior, is killed by Destoroyah, sending Godzilla into a frenzy wherein he nearly rips Destoroyah open, his own suffering be damned. The JSDF's freeze weapons and Destoroyah's own attacks did put nails in Godzilla's coffin, but it was his anger over Junior's death that caused Godzilla's meltdown.
- To put that in perspective, Destoroyah is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the only weapon to ever kill Godzilla. Godzilla's Unstoppable Rage causes Destoroyah to run away!
- The Worf Barrage: Destoroyah is the first villain to tank Godzilla's Red Spiral Ray.