Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
aka Gojira vs. Kingu Gidora
Article 5559 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Kazuki Ohmori
Featuring Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka
What it is: Kaiju
Time travelers from the future offer Japan the opportunity to go back in time and prevent the creation of Godzilla, warning them that if they don’t, the destruction of Japan at Godzilla’s hands are imminent. But are the time travelers telling the truth…?
This movie didn’t get an American release for quite a while, partially because it was perceived as having a definite anti-American bias. This is because part of the movie takes place in 1944 during World War II, and, given we were on opposite sides during that war, it’s not surprising that the Americans during this sequence are not treated sympathetically. Still, this sequence plays into the most interesting aspect of the movie, as it involves the relationship between a Japanese soldier and the prehistoric monster who saved his life on an island, a monster who is actually Godzilla in his pre-irradiated form. Had this relationship been explored as the central concept of the movie, it might have been a very different and original take on Godzilla; as it is, the movie relegates this relationship to a subplot and goes for more conventional thrills. At first, the time travel aspect makes it seem like there’s more novelty value on hand, but after awhile you figure out it’s just a slight variation on MONSTER ZERO with elements of THE TERMINATOR thrown in the mix. The monster action is a long time coming in this one, and the movie occasionally lapses into silliness; some of the special effects involving the android are laughable (especially the fast motion), and there’s something comic about a plot in which Godzilla is needed to stop the threat of King Ghidorah followed by King Ghidorah needed to stop the threat of Godzilla. It has its moments, but it is a couple steps down from GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE.