Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla

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Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla

Directed by
Kensho Yamashita

Screenplay by
Hiroshi Kashiwabara

Special Effects by
Koichi Kawakita

Music by
Takayuki Hattori
(Stock tracks by Akira Ifukube)

Cast
Megumi Odaka – Miki Saegusa
Jun Hashizume – Koji Shinjo
Akira Emoto - Yuki
Zenkichi Yoneyama - Kiyoshi Sato
Towako Yoshikawa – Dr. Gondo
Yosuke Saito – Dr. Okubo
Akira Nakao – Commander Aso
Koichi Ueda – Commander Hyodo
Kenji Sahara – Minister Segawa
Sayaka Osawa, Keiko Imamura – Cosmos


Max’s Review:

Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla (1994) is widely considered one of the worst Godzilla movies yet made among fans. However, while it certainly pales in comparison to the two films which border it, the above average Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993) and the excellent Godzilla vs Destoroyah, (1995) it is overall quite average as Godzilla movies go. It’s not Godzilla’s finest hour, but it’s far from his worst.

Admittedly, the plot is one of the film’s least impressive aspects. Nothing really innovative or creative is attempted, and the pacing is very uneven. The character development and acting is middle of the road, with the only real standout being a negative in the form of Yosuke Saito’s heavy-handed portrayal of Dr. Okubo.

Thankfully, the kaiju are better handled. Godzilla is nicely portrayed, and the well-proportioned suit is one of the best to date. Spacegodzilla is an excellent villain, with a likeably vicious personality, interesting and varied powers, and a memorable appearance.
Little Godzilla is possibly the most hated aspect of the film among fans, thanks to its excessive cuteness, yet it is still leaps and bounds ahead of its Showa counterpart, the sickening Minilla.

The action sequences fall short of those in the previous film, yet are still quite good. The final battle in Fukuoka is one of the few kaiju battles to contain a strong degree of strategy, and while it does run a little long, it creates a convincing sense of Godzilla and Mogera steadily wearing down Spacegodzilla.

The special effects are perhaps the most criticised aspect of this film, yet in Kawakita’s defence, they aren’t all bad. While the battle between Spacegodzilla and Mogera in space is quite poor, this is only one scene in the entire film. For the most part, the special effects are about average for the time. The rotoscoping, pyrotechnics and miniatures are competent, and the matte work ranges from mediocre (Some shots of Godzilla in the city) to magnificent. (Godzilla approaching Birth Island) Of course there are other flaws; Spacegodzilla’s crystals appear quite plastic, and Mogera looks distractingly toy-like at time, particularly during its flying scenes. The special effects certainly leave some to be desired, yet overall they still get the job done.

One the best aspects of Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla is its musical score by Takayuki Hattori. True, it doesn’t measure up to Akira Ifukube’s superb work on the film’s prequel and sequel, but it’s still quite decent, and never hard on the ears. The highlight cue is Mogera's theme, which is enjoyably upbeat, and lends the odd-looking Mech a sense of heroic dignity.

Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla is light years behind films like GMK (2001) and Gojira, (1954) but its still a cut above Godzilla’s Revenge, (1969) Godzilla vs Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs Megalon, (1973) and even beats out Ghidorah: the three-headed monster (1964) and Son of Godzilla (1967) by a smaller margin. True, its plot is sloppy, and some of its special effects are poor, but its pleasant musical score, enjoyable villain, and the more visually impressive scenes save it from being truly one of the worst Godzilla films to date.

Max’s verdict: 5/10