Release Anniversary: 12/04/04 – Godzilla Final Wars!


Godzilla60thG-FinalWarsGreetings, Goji-Fans!

Ye Olde Dragon here, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the final entry in the Godzilla millennium saga, GOJIRA FAINERU UOZU, a.k.a. GODZILLA FINAL WARS. It would be the final Toho Godzilla film to this day*.

Basically, it was made to be a modern day DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) with aliens unleashing Toho’s roster of monsters upon the Earth, some not seen since the Showa Era (1954 – 1975). The combination of Toho’s classic “suit-mation” technique and CGI was rather jarring, at least in my opinion.

I think it’s safe to say that this was done strictly to cash in on Godzilla’s dwindling theatrical power with an overblown Hail Mary pass. This is evident by the sheer number of Kaiju that appear and the appearance of three veteran Toho actors – Akira Takarada, Mie Hama and Kenji Sahara. Ms. Hama even played a character named Namikawa – the same name as her alien femme fatale character from 1965’s MONSTER ZERO.

Director Ryuhei Kitamura even went so far as to include the 1998 US version of Godzilla, though it’s performance was about as convincing as the dinosaurs in Sid and Marty Kroft’s The Land of the Lost TV series, mercifully being wiped out quickly by the “real” Godzilla. With in the movie, the aliens didn’t even bother to call it by name, simply referring to it as a “tuna eating monster”. It has been debated throughout the fandom as to whether or not this was a slam against the US incarnation, even though Kitamura has publicly denied this.

Never theatrically released in the US, the home-video version has your standard bargain-basement English dubbing, which somehow makes the script even more nonsensical. Do yourself a favor and watch it with the Japanese audio and subtitles.

*– Within the last two or three days has come word that supposedly Toho is going to attempt to release a Godzilla movie in 2016 – at least in Japan.

Original release date: 12/04/04
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Music: Keith Emerson, Nobuhiko Morino & Daisuke Yano
U. S. Release date: released on home video 12/13/05
Godzilla played by: Tsutomu Kitagawa


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