Godzilla vs Biollante 1989 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


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Movie Information 

  • Director: Kazuki Omori
  • Producer: Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Japanese Release Date: December 16, 1989, released by The Toho Motion Picture Company. Running Time 104 minutes.
  • US Release Date: December 9, 1992, released directly to home video by Miramax/Dimension Films. Running Time 104 minutes.
  • Taglines: “If we don’t produce this bacteria, then sure as 80 these eggs someone else is going to do it.” “The most terrifying monster of all time is back in his greatest movie ever” “The Super-Beast Battle of the Century” “The ultimate battle has only just begun.”
  • Alternate Titles: Godzilla versus Biollante

Synopsis

A grieving biologist tries to keep the spirit of his dead daughter alive by combining her DNA with a rose. However it does create a haunting flower or flowers; enlisted to develop Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria is a substance poisonous to Godzilla. The scientists secretly combines the Godzilla cells with the roses and unwittingly creates Biollante the rose form. Biollante is a reptile like plant with many feminine traits. Godzilla, unleashed from Mount Mihara by terrorists using bombs to help Godzilla escaped from a volcano.

Godzilla approaches Biollante rose form and eventually kills it although Godzilla is infected by the bacteria Godzilla and low body temperature prevents the poison from taking effect; the military tries to the Lord Godzilla into what is called a Thunder Beam (an artificial lighting field) to superheat his body out while doing this a resurrected and hideously morphed Biollante reappears and the monsters ensue in a battle. Biollante eventually vaporizing into a glowing mast and Godzilla, finally suffering the effects of the bacteria sluggishly returns to the water and collapses however it would be a few minutes later people assume that Godzilla died from the bacteria, but being that he was soaking in the water be somehow survived and sluggishly returned to the ocean.

What I like about This Movie

This is perhaps the best of the Godzilla films that were made in the 80s and early 90s. The Godzilla suit shown in this movie is a very well-designed and mean looking Godzilla and his tail is enormously large in this movie, so he does look menacing. Another thing I like about this movie is the actual storyline how they combine Godzilla DNA to a plant to form one of the heaviest and perhaps one of the biggest Kaijus out there. I love how the adult Biollante looks with all its tentacles and its huge mouth and the fact that he is planet Green is a plus. Biollante towers over Godzilla and Godzilla is still considered 80 m tall in this film until the next film where he is relocated as a Godzillasaurus to another part of the ocean where there is no nuclear energy however that is not the case because he does confront a nuclear submarine of modern technology and consumes energy only to appear even larger than before. It grows to exactly 100 m tall.

This movie has another plus it is the 1st time you see Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa and she stars in the entire Heisei Series of Godzilla movies until his death in 1995. The negative points about this movie the one thing that bothers me about this movie is the fact that in The Return of Godzilla is shown to fall into the volcano and die this is what we were told. The problem I have is in the next movie it seems that Godzilla walks right out of this very same volcano that he died in. I did not think this is to be true because of that so I’m assuming he fell into the volcano as you have seen in The Return of Godzilla and somehow survived because in Godzilla versus Mothra is fighting Battra and they both walked out of that very same volcano at Mount Fuji and survived the tremendous temperatures.

Trivia

  • Was originally going to feature a fish-rat hybrid named Deautalios, another of Dr. Shiragami’s creations? Deautalios was to battle Godzilla and lose, after which Godzilla devoured the creature’s flesh. Later on, Deautalios was written out and replaced with the rose form of Biollante.
  • In 1986, a contest was held to decide the plot for the next Godzilla movie. The winner was Shinichirô Kobayashi, a dentist and part-time screenwriter. After the script was heavily altered, the movie came to the screen in 1989. However, the second place script would later become the other Toho science fiction film, Ganheddo (1989).
  • After this film failed in the Japanese box office, Toho believed it was because Biollante was an unfamiliar kaiju to the fans. So, Toho decided to bring back old enemies of Godzilla for the next few films, beginning with _Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ (1991)_.
  • It took over twenty crew members to manipulate Biollante in its final form.
  • In early 1990, Toho entered discussions with Miramax to distribute the film. When the discussion broke off, Toho filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court, accusing Miramax of entering an oral agreement in June to pay Toho $500,000 to distribute the film. This lawsuit delayed the film’s release for 2 years. An out of court settlement was reached with Miramax buying the rights to the film for an unreported figure. While Miramax had entertained thoughts of releasing the film in theaters, in the end it was decided to release the film straight to home video instead. HBO released the film on VHS in 1992 and Laserdisc in 1993. Miramax utilized the uncut English International Version of the film for this release.
  • First Godzilla film to be made in Japan’s Heisei era (Emperor Hirohito had died early the same year, thus was the end of Showa and the beginning of Heisei).
  • The destruction of the Twin Towers was done three times. All three takes were used in the film.
  • The tanks that fire lasers and missiles at Godzilla weren’t in the original script.
  • A stop-motion animation sequence with Godzilla fighting Biollante was filmed, but wasn’t used in the final finished movie because it didn’t match with the other special effects footage.
  • The shots of Godzilla moving in the ocean were filmed in a large pool.

Closing Statements

This movie to me is like I mentioned before it is one of the best movies that have been made in the late 80s and early 90s. The actual storyline was very interesting and different at the same time the monsters are superior and a lot of ways. Biollante is one massive beautiful looking monster very well-designed. Godzilla as well as a great design very muscular in the chest area as well as a very long tail. The introduction of Miki Saegusa stars in all the Heisei Series Godzilla movies. This movie is definitely worth watching if you can get your hands on. It is one of the movies that The Toho Company has not released on DVD on until previously I am to believe by 2012 it has now been released on Blu-ray disc as well as regular DVD. If you like Godzilla you to run out and get this DVD it is worth it.

Written by Barney Buckley

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