Godzilla 1984 (1984)

godzilla 1984 poster japanese
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

A better Godzilla especially when seeing the original instead of 1985

Still a Godzilla movie so not for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Godzilla 1984

Studio:  Toho

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  December 15, 1984

MPAA Rating:  PG

godzilla 1984 eating nuclear energy

Mmmm….nothing picks me up in the morning like fresh nuclear energy

A volcanic eruption leads to the resurrection of Godzilla.  As Godzilla heads to Japan, the tension among the countries of the world begin to escalate and nuclear war could be imminent.  The powers of the world want to destroy Godzilla with bombs and weapons, but a scientist named Professor Hayashida (Yosuke Natsuki) has a plan to stop Godzilla…and it must work or humanity could be doomed!

Directed by Koji Hashimoto, Godzilla 1984 (ゴジラ Gojirais) also known as The Return of Godzilla.  The film is a sequel to the original Godzilla and the sixteenth Godzilla film following Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975.  The film is the first entry in the Heisei series (ending the Shōwa period).  The film was released in the United States as Godzilla 1985 and was a sequel to the American version of the original Godzilla, King of the Monsters! from 1956 and featured a cameo by Raymond Burr reprising his role and Steve Martin.

godzilla 1984 vs super x

Super X is coming at you!

I remember when Godzilla 1985 came out on VHS.  I rented it and was excited to see a “new” Godzilla film after watching Godzilla movies for years on Saturday afternoon (all of which were made before I was born).  I really didn’t remember much of the movie other than Godzilla fell into a volcano and the VHS tacked on the classic 1973 short Bambi Meets Godzilla on it.  Watching Godzilla 1984 was a fun throwback and the movie was actually one of the better entries in the Godzilla series.

The movie feels a bit more like the original Godzilla in its feeling.  The goofy Godzilla playing volleyball with other kaiju and befriending kids is over.  Godzilla is out to destroy.  The series does start to go into the defense force storyline with Super X…which appears later in other storylines.

I also like that the movie goes back to the core and the nuclear fears.  The Cold War was something terrifying as a kid…the fear of war with the USSR was high to a nine year old and Godzilla 1984 plays this up.  Godzilla was supposed to be a creation of the original unleashing of nuclear weapons on Japan…and the ’80s was a perfect chance to recreate this.

godzilla 1984 ending volcano

Wow…the nuclear waste was ok but the burritos didn’t sit well

The movie is the classic Godzilla…the rubber suited monster.  Smartly, the movie mostly plays with Godzilla in the dark.  Limited the views of Godzilla is probably a better idea to make the movie look slightly better.  Godzilla however is Godzilla, and the movie does in the end look like a Godzilla movie.

Godzilla 1984 is one of the better Godzilla entries.  It’s lack of another kaiju makes it a bit more of a monster movie and Godzilla acting as more of a force of nature harkens back to the original concept of the creature.  Godzilla 1984 started a relaunch which returned to the classic kaiju vs. kaiju.  Godzilla 1984 was followed by Godzilla vs. Biollante in 1989.

Preceded By:

The Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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