Monday, 30 June 2014


Title: Stone
Director: Sandy Harbutt
Released: 1974
Starring:  Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Helen Morse, Roger Ward, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Vincent Gill, Bindi Williams, Dewey Hungerford, Rebecca Gilling

Plot: Police officer Stone (Shorter) goes undercover with the Gravediggers, an outlaw motorcycle gang to find out who is murdering their members.

Review: Originally I had intended to review this movie way back when I did “Ozsploitation Month” only to get distracted by other films to the point were I’ve only now finally got around to watching it. It is also safe to say that it is also far from the biker movie I first expected going into it, as what director Harbutt gives here instead is more of a tibute to biker culture and the outlaw lifestyle than most biker movies would concern themselves, as the focus is put less on their hell raising antics and instead more on the family unit they have crafted for themselves.

Released five years before the first of the “Mad Max” films, which several the cast would also go on to appear in, this film would also have the honour of being the first Australian biker movie, which considering what gear heads Australian audiences are really makes it all the more surprising that no one made one earlier. At the same time the Ozploitation era would frequently be responsible for so many of firsts like this including giving the world Australia’s first Kung fu movie with “The Man From Hong Kong”. Sadly though despite this legacy the film has largely been forgotten and no doubt I too wouldn’t have known about it like so many films in the genre had it not been for the truly essential documentary “Not Quite Hollywood” which equally served to provide a handy watch list for the Ozploitation genre aswell as countless stories to highlight the indie film making methods being used to make them.

Opening with not only with some seriously trippy visuals as one of the bikers witnesses the assassination of a politician while on a serious acid trip, but some fun bike porn for those of you who like your motorcycles as the Gravediggers roll out on old school Kawasaki’s (according to Wikipedia) with the opening credits being made up of sudden freeze frame shots of different parts of the motorcycle as the rider prepares for a ride. From here we get to watch various members of the Gravediggers being taken off in a variety of creative ways including the old wire decapitation aswell as an incredible cliff jump. While these moments are fun they are then completely overshadowed by arguably the best scene of the whole film with a biker funeral precession complete with motorcycle and sidecar coffin and a line of bikers which never seems to end, as some four hundred bikers turned out to help with the filming of the scene.

The downside of this scene appearing so close to the start though is that the rest of the film never manages to better it, especially as the pace becomes more sedate with Stone slowly earning the trust of the Gravediggers while at the same time becoming ever more drawn into their outlaw lifestyle, which here Harbutt chooses to show as being less anarchic in nature than other biker films and instead showing the group living in an almost hippie commune style situation. Equally interesting is the fact that Stone openly admits to being a police officer from the start, rather than the film taking the more well-travelled road of him hiding his true identity and finding a way into the gang. This honesty does as a result create an almost anthropological style situation, as the bikers immediately distrust Stone due to him being a cop and hence the embodiment of everything they despise. The scenes which follow all charting the slowly increasing trust he earns from the group by participating in gang brawls and from his riding skills all the while finding himself slowly being increasingly drawn to their lifestyle the more he learns about them. This is of course only further helped by the Gravediggers being slightly deeper than your usual bikers as highlighted during the scene where they share their stories of what brought them all together, with the majority of them taking on the outlaw lifestyle due to delusion with various aspects of society, with most falling under hot topics of the period.

While Harbutt might not here be focused on the usual biker antics he does however still give us a fair few including a parking lot brawl with a rival biker gang. What is especially interesting about these scenes though is trying to figure how much of the action was planned, seeing how Harbutt recruited a number of real bikers for the film who he was also paying in beer leading unsurprisingly to a number of fights breaking out on set, with the situation only being further antagonised by Roger Ward who for some reason thought it would be a good idea to call the local Hell’s Angels chapter a bunch of poofters from the hotel balcony. Harbutt aswell was a big fan of the group being believable in their roles and insisted on the group living embracing their roles as much as possible which saw them living the biker lifestyle throughout filming, a situation which also reportedly made it far from a fun set for the female cast members many of which complaining of being objectified throughout filming.

While it might be now more overshadowed by the “Mad Max” films this is still an enjoyable movie, even if its opening fifteen minutes is misleading as to what the rest of the film will be like, especially with the earlier mentioned funeral scene but it ensures that while the tone for the majority of the film is pretty sedate that it still saves a jaw dropping surprise for the ending! True it might be a very different biker movie and more for the completest than the casual viewer, but as a curious watch the set pieces alone make it a worthwhile watch.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Fistful of Gojira Part 7: Godzilla (2014)

Title: Godzilla
Director: Gareth Edwards
Released: 2014
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathaim, Bryan Cranston

Plot: In 1999, The Janjira nuclear plant was mysteriously destroyed in what was presumed to be an earthquake, while also killing plant supervisor Joe Brody’s wife Sandra. Years later Joe is still obsessively searching for the truth, while his now grown up son Ford now works as a Navy ordnance disposal officer. Together they now discover the real truth behind the accident at the plant, as the world is now faced with a horror which only Godzilla can save us from.

Review: It’s hard to believe but it really has been ten years since the release of “Godzilla: Final Wars” the film which many saw to be the final Godzilla film, something which only seemed to be resonated at Toho, the studio which had been the home of Godzilla for over fifty years and whom following “Godzilla: Final Wars” had dismantled their legendry water stage which had played such a key part of numerous Godzilla productions. Elsewhere Tristar Pictures who had been responsible for the much lamented 1998 American adaptation had let their rights expire in 2003 having long since given up on their idea of producing their own trilogy of films. The fans meanwhile continued to hold out hope for a new film as their love for the Giant radioactive lizard continued to live on through their repeated viewings of the of the original films and in 2009 their prayers would be finally answered when Legendry picked up the rights the long awaited end results of which we now see here and finally confirming if it was really worth the wait or if final wars really should have been final. Thankfully the wait has been worthwhile as here Director Edwards gives a film which is not only a worthy addition to the franchise (doubt anyone will be calling this version zilla in the future) but still manages to add his own style to the film in the first of a proposed trilogy films and more impressively managing to do all this without technically rebooting the franchise.

Edwards whose previous film was his low budget debut “Monsters” is certainly an interesting choice, but seeing how the 1998 version had been helmed by blockbuster director Roland Emmerich, you can hardly blame them for choosing to take a risk on a relative unknown especially to mainstream movie goers who no doubt missed out on the genre jumping antics of his debut film, a trait which he chooses to carry over here. Not content it would seem with telling a straight giant monster story it would seem here he actually pushes the giant monsters bizarrely to the background preferring to give us a road trip movie (of sorts) as Joe makes his way from Japan back to San Francisco to get back to his wife and son. Bizarrely rather than detract from the film, this unique approach strangely works even if you’re not quite sure what you’re watching exactly as for a Godzilla movie he does spend a fair part of the movie feeling like a supporting character rather than the marquee name we expect.

While Edward’s approach might certainly be unique there is still an overwhelming sense of respect that he clearly has for the franchise, approaching Godzilla without the slant of being either good or evil, but rather as very much a force of nature and every bit the anti-hero that he was in his early films and throughout the Showa era. This vision of Godzilla is instead a monster driven by the single minded desire to hunt and destroy his prey and its really just good luck for the human population if said prey happens to be attacking major cities. It is also an approach which is carried over to both Muto’s who equally care only about getting to sources of radiation in an interesting counter to the anti-nuclear stance which Godzilla represents. Edward’s however gets things spot on when it comes to highlighting the size of his monsters, with the frequent use of low angles and scale establishing shots such as the ones of Godzilla swimming underneath battleships. Unquestionably though the real highlight here though is Godzilla’s first full appearance which sees him first highlighted with signal flares before being given his full reveal which squashes any grumblings regarding a Western Godzilla having the same presence as the original and for the record no I don’t think he’s too fat, though still confused as to why Edwards insisted on giving a face similar to King Kong? Did he not think that audience could feel for a radioactive lizard?

The human cast are all great, even though "Breaking Bad" fans might be a little upset to see Cranston reduced to more of a supporting role than the trailers suggested. Taylor-Johnson meanwhile still seems be being pigeonholed into being an action star and while he is still believable you can't help but feel that he would be more comfortable in a more dramatic role. Elsewhere Watanabe seems to only be on hand to spout philosophical musings and if its like the screening I was at provide some of the audience with a cheap thrill of how he pronounces the word Godzilla.

Needless to say with Edward’s aiming for a more realistic approach to the series, which is hardly surprisingly considering how leaps of fantasy are not exactly in vogue in Hollywood thanks to the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. This of course means no Kung fu antics from Godzilla or Muto which I didn’t honestly expect to see anyway and such didn’t disappoint me that it is a much more animalistic and natural fight that we get when the monsters meet (if one were they breath radioactive fire) and seeing how Godzilla maintains the rest of his traits including the aforementioned radioactive flame breath whose appearance would have been more of a showpiece had it not been ruined by one critic’s twitter feed after attending one of the advance screenings (cheers for that). What frustrated me though was that it was during these scenes that the fact that Edward’s is using the monsters as the background for Ford’s journey really became apparent, none more so than the first meeting of Godzilla and Muto were just when we expect to see the two monsters clash, the film suddenly cuts to Ford’s son watching the attack unfold on a news report! Seriously if you’re going to play the tease these are really not the scenes to do it with and its only how unexpected and well cut this scene is that it stopped it from frustrating me further.

The other niggling issue with Edward's directing is the worrying amount of shots which seemed to have been borrowed from other films, with Jaws and Jurrasic Park, aswell as more interestingly "The Abyss" all having seemingly being homaged here only sadly with none of the fan boy nodding flair that Tarantino brings to his own homages. At the same time the film frequently can't decide what sort of films it want's to be which might be a lot to do with its placement on the summer blockbuster schedule and why we get so many shots which made me feel like I was on a Universal Studios thrill ride, with the monorail attack being a prime example of this.

True this film might have some issues with some of its directorial choices, but this is still a great addition to the franchise and a promising start to what will hopefully be a great trilogy, especially if Edward's is to stick with it and maintain his creative vision throughout like Nolan got to with his Dark Knight trilogy even more so when the prospect of Monster Island and Mothra have both been seriously hinted at as making an appearance in the next film. At the same time though I still have o view this film as its own film and should be viewed as its own trilogy rather than an extension of the original saga but needless to say the King of Monsters is most certainly back!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Fistful of Gojira Part 6: Godzilla: Final Wars

Title: Godzilla: Final Wars
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Released: 2004
Starring:  Masahiro Matsuoka, Rei Kikumkawa, Don Frye, Kane Kosugi, Maki Mizuno, Kazuki Kitamura, Masakatsu Funaki, Kumi Mizuno, Kenji Sahara, Masami Nagasawa, Chihiro Otsuka, Masatoh Eve, June Kunimura, Akira Takarada, Tsutomu Kitagawa

Plot: When an invasion by the alien Xilens, unleashes giant monsters around the world, the Earth Defense Force (EDF) are soon faced with releasing Godzilla from his current icy tomb in the South Pole, but whose side will he fight for?

Review: Released to celebrate fifty years of Godzilla this film is every bit the best of collection that Director Kitamura proposed for the project. This of course is nothing but a plus really for the fans especially when it features the largest collection of monsters from the Toho catalogue since the legendry “Destroy All Monsters” as every monster from Godzilla’s (with the exception of Destroyah) past battles are brought back for one final battle in what is unsurprisingly also makes this one of the most action packed entries to date.

Unquestionably it was a big responsibility that Kitamura was tasked with here, but equally an honour he was more than happy to except as he stated that it came with "the same kind of honour that a British director would feel being asked to direct a Bond movie". A comment which would also serve to remind most western audiences of the radical difference in viewpoints when it came to the franchise, especially when the West still largely view the series as just a bunch of fun movies about monsters stomping on Tokyo. Still this public perception did not stop Godzilla getting a star on the Hollywood walk of fame upon the release of this film which currently to date has been the last films in the series which Toho have produced originally promising to not make another for 10 years, but as yet there has to be any news on any new films being produced by the company leaving Legendary to continue the series with their intended trilogy (the first of which I will cover next time).

Now there has been some criticism by some Godzilla fans that this film was something of a lark and devoid of any of the emotional content for a film which carried such significance for the series, but then at the time of this film’s release we were 28 films into the franchise and after fifty years of kaiju goodness its safe to say that finding a plotline which carried weight was going to be tough going and with so many classic monsters from Godzilla’s past being brought out of retirement the fact that the film is essentially one long brawl if hardly surprising. True giant monsters brawling was no surprise but while we usually get scenes of the human cast talking or on some quest or other, here these scenes are replaced with even more fighting as Kitamura cranks up the action quota by combining scenes of monsters trashing major cities but “Casshern” style action as aliens and the super powered mutant members of the Earth Defence Force and if your mind isn’t completely frazzled by all that Don Frye plays a character katana welding Stalin lookalike!!
On the flip side of things it was equally not surprising that the film ended up being such a frenzied and kinetic film, as  Kitamura had already directed the zombies and gangsters splatter fest “Versus” aswell as the hyper pop samurai movie “Azumi”, let alone producing the truly bonkers “Battlefield Baseball” and here it essentially more of the same while ensuring that this film features some of the most exciting Godzilla action to date.

While Kitamura might be a very modern director he still shows enough respect to the series to stick with old school effects for the vast majority of the films going on record at the films premiere in Hollywood, while also addressing the cheeky nod to the American remake which sees Godzilla facing off against the since renamed Zilla.

“We stick to the special effects. That’s what we’ve been doing for 50 years. And that’s why Hollywood don’t do it. So on the first meeting, I told everybody that we stick to the special effects, and the live action instead of CGI. So it’s a CGI-monster-Hollywood Godzilla versus our man-made live-action monsters.”

It is a powerful combination of old school effects and CGI which we get here as a result with the CGI only really being used for the more complex monster manoeuvres such as Anguilus’s Spike ball and Mothra’s flying footage. True by sticking with the man in the suit costumes it does also mean that we still don't have a believable Minila who is back on usual fan aggravating duties, perhaps to even more of an extent this time seeing how the character who finds him has a rifle and doesn't take the opportunity to shoot him between the eyes leaving us to endure his usual antics.

This dedication to tradition though does not extend to the score it seems as Akira Ifukube’s legendry themes are for the most part absent, while the Godzilla theme does still make a noteworthy appearance at the start of the film. Elsewhere Keith Emerson (of “Emerson, Lake and Palmer” fame) handles most of the score duties making for a change of pace which like so many aspects of the film was greeted with mixed opinion, but like the tracks from Zebrahead and Sum 41 which also feature on the soundtrack it does bring a more modern edge to the film, while more importantly not removing any of the soul from the film, especially when music has always played an important part in establishing Godzilla’s screen presence.

Ultimately this I found this film to be a lot of fun and a fitting end to not only the Millennium era but the series aswell (if this would be unfortunate to be the last Toho film) while at the same time managing to pull out a few surprises along the way, such as a new version of Gigan whose hook hands are replaced with double chainsaws!! Here's just hoping that Toho are using this time they have given to the Legendry to make their trilogy, to ensure that his homeland return is something really special as here it is clear that even after 50 years of city stomping antics Godzilla still has plenty of fight still left in him.

Monday, 9 June 2014


Title: Goon
Director: Michael Dowse
Released: 2011
Starring:  Seann William Scott, Live Schreiber, Jay Baruchel, Marc-Andre Grondin, Alison Pill, Eugene Levy, David Paetkau, Kim Coates, Jonathan Cherry

Plot: Doug (Scott) a simple bouncer blessed with remarkable fighting skills and a thick skull suddenly finds himself drafted to his local hockey team as an enforcer (aka Goon) as he suddenly finds a new use for his unique skill set.

Review: For whatever reason soon after this film was released it seemingly sank without trace, more so here in the UK were honestly we don’t exactly have a vibrant Ice Hockey scene and which might have had a lot to do with its current under the radar status, despite receiving a fair amount of praise from the critics on its release.

Playing like “Raging Bull” meets “Slap Shot” it is strange mixture of black humour and extreme violence which forms the back bone of this film, which might go a way to explaining why it’s become such an overlooked film as like a John Water’s film it is an acquired taste and one which really won’t sit with everyone especially as most moviegoers prefer to either be amused or shocked with violence but ideally not at the same time. Still when you consider that ice hockey is a sport renown for its spontaneous fights it is hardly surprisingly that they is the mixture that director Dowse choose to go with.

While Williams might be best known for playing the loud mouth jerk and general pervert Stiffler in the “American Pie” films, he has actually done quite a few decent movies outside of this franchise which have frequently shown him to have more range than expected with key examples being “Final Destination” and my personal favourite “Southland Tales” which saw him playing the polar opposite of the characters we have come to expect from him. This again is another of those kinds of roles as despite the fact that here he is playing a guy whose sole purpose in life is to beat the snot out of rival hockey players, it is played with such heart that you really feel for the guy, even more so when all he ultimately wants is to viewed as being more than the black sheep of the family, especially when both his father (Levy) and brother are doctors a family field which it seems alluded him somewhere on the path to his current situation.

Despite not knowing how to skate, which is kind of a major setback when you’ve been drafted to an ice hockey team, it is of course via montage that Doug is soon brought up to standard in record time. Not that this really matters as Doug is frequently advised to worry less about playing the game and to focus more on beating up members of the rival team, a job which he certainly has no problem adapting to and one which soon sees him being drafted to protect the star player of the Halifax Highlander Xavier Laflamme (Grondin) who following a run in three years prior with the notorious enforcer (aswell as Doug’s idol) Ross “The Boss” Rhea” (Schreiber) has found his career in a specular nose dive of drugs, sex tapes and general bad behaviour a spiral that they hope Doug can snap him out of by defending him on the ice. Of course it goes without saying that the outcome of this situation is pretty predictable as you know how the film will end essentially around the half-way point by which point your focus is no doubt more with the inevitable final showdown between Doug and his idol Rhea.

Meanwhile off the ice things get none the less chaotic especially when Doug find himself falling for “Puck Bunny” Eva (Pill) which also forms some of the sweeter moments of the film, especially when the Doug’s general naivety is none the more the clearer than it is here, especially when he beats himself up for falling for her, even though she is the one cheating on her boyfriend. If anything these scenes equally emphases what a generally nice guy Doug is even though he could be seen as a mindless thug because of his rather unique career path, with the pinnacle of these nice guy moments coming soon after he gets with Eva and forces her ex-boyfriend to repeatedly punch him in the face to make things up.

As the villain (of sorts) Schreiber is once again on great form, while once again posing the question as to why he doesn’t get more villain roles, especially as he is so good in these roles and here it is no exception. Despite being a player nearing the end of his career, it would however seem that his senior years haven’t made him the more mellow in fact it seems that it has made his perfect his antagonising tactics and being a general arsehole to everyone on the ice, while ignoring him seems to only make things worse as Xavier finds out when he gets a hockey stick wrapped across his skull. At the same time though Ross isn’t a psychotic hothead as you’d expect but rather a soft spoken and foul mouth guy who just so happens to love the fight especially if he can get into his opponents head first.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised about the level of violence in this film, as after all it a film about Ice Hockey, much less a Canadian film about Ice Hockey so while the passion for the sport is unsurprisingly there, so is the passion for the fighting which tends to go hand in hand with the sport with a multiple of unwritten rule regarding conduct in these seemingly spontaneous fights. These fights though are less about heavily choreographed fights especially when most of the time they seem to have been shot on the fly with Doug pounding on any skater who steps up, but instead are shot with emphasising the violence as blows are show being taken in slow motion to maximise their effect and with the same artistic direction which “Raging Bull” brought to its own fight scenes. The end result though is somewhat refreshing to watch, especially as blood and teeth fall in slow motion onto the ice providing a nice counter to the general crudeness of the rest of the film and only serves to make the final showdown between Ross and Doug only all he more memorable.

While this film is unquestioning one which will appeal to Ice Hockey fans over anyone else might play as a negative to some viewers especially those not overly familiar with the basic workings of the sport, as it seems that Dowse assumes that only fans of the sports would be watching it seeing how there is no real explanation of any of the rules etc. The man issue I had with this film though was the general lack of characterisation for the majority of the characters resulting in most of them being reduced to general caricatures.

True the weird mixture of violence and humour might not be to all tastes this is still a film with its share of great moments, even if at times it can be a frustrating watch as the plot meanders in places, but if you’re in need of a fix of warped humour then you can do worse than giving this a curious watch.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A Fistful of Gojira Part 5: Godzilla Vs. Destroyah

Title: Godzilla Vs. Destroyah
Director: Takao Okawara
Released: 1995
Starring:  Takuro Tatsumi, Yoko Ishino, Yasufumi Hayashi, Megumi Odaka, Momoko Kochi, Kenpachiro Satsuma

Plot: When Godzilla suddenly appears in Hong Kong with strange lava like rashes, the Japanese Self Defence Force (JSDF) are quick to launch into action as they fear that Godzilla’s body is going to meltdown. Things only get worse when the effects of the reconstructed Oxygen destroyer which killed the original Godzilla has now caused a colony of Precambrian organisms to mutate into monstrous crab-like creatures, which soon bond together to form the monstrous Destoroyah.

Review: Originally intended to be the last Godzilla film until 2004 when the franchise would celebrate its 50th anniversary, the news of Toho’s plans to kill off the company’s biggest export unsurprisingly made news around the world when it was announced. These plans were also intended to provide the 1998 American remake a clean slate to work from and build their in their intended trilogy. However as we all know now that remake would be greeted with much disappointment from both fans and critics alike leading to the plans for an intended trilogy being scrapped.

Unquestionably it is was a big responsibility that director Okawara was tasked with here especially considering how beloved Godzilla is, even despite the fact that he was still in his much more primal form which has been one of the trademarks of the Heisei Era. Still having previously directed one of the most profitable entries in the series “Godzilla Vs. Mothra” and its follow up “Godzilla Vs. Mecha-Godzilla II” producers Tomoyuki Tanaka and Shogo Tomiyama certainly felt he was up to the task. Unquestionably though if this film was to be the final Godzilla film it certainly provided a suitably touching yet impressive end even if it ultimately would only mark the end of the Heisei era. At the same time the film contains a number of links to the original film, which not only sees Momoko Kochi reprising her role as Emiko Yamane the daughter of Dr. Kyohei Yamane in the original “Godzilla” at the same time his Grandson Kenichi (Hayashi) is also introduced here who as the resident Godzilla expert despite being a student and essentially only being tempted by a pretty face rather than you know saving the whole of mankind from being killed by an exploding Godzilla which is stated is powerful enough to cause the destruction of the entire planet, but hey whatever works right?

These links to the original film are not limited to key characters though as despite Dr. Serizawa seemingly taking the secrets of the Godzilla destroying “Oxygen Destroyer” to his grave in the first film, here it has been created again and as with all fantastical discoveries it is not long until an unwelcome side effect happens which being a Godzilla movie is in the form of monsters, but more uniquely in this case is the fact that these monsters start off small (well for Godzilla atleast) before mutating into a much larger form….twice! As a result of these changing forms the monster action is not only maximised with the smaller and more multiple form of Destroyah taking on the military before mutating into his larger forms form some more traditional city destroying action.

Destroyah is an impressive creation and more than a suitable opponent for what was expected to be Godzilla’s final battle with the battle ultimately requiring not only Godzilla, but also a now fully grown Manila and the JSDF to take him out, arguably making his toughest opponent to date, though by this same reasoning “King Ghidorah” would be considered tougher seeing how it took he combined efforts of seven monsters in “Destroy All Monsters” to defeat him. The battle with Destroyah though is unquestionably a tough one and certainly one of the hardest Godzilla has had since he faced off against “Space Godzilla” in the previous film.

Unquestionably it is ultimately a sad tone which overshadows the film, especially as Godzilla here is shown to be slowly dying as his body goes into meltdown, which also has the side effect of changing usual blue fire breath into a striking shade of crimson and impressive lightning bolts running down his spinal plates. Despite the efforts of the JSDF to prevent his meltdown ultimately when his end comes it is a suitably emotional scene and one only heightened by the score by Akira Ifukube. Okawara while he might be already handling a lot of pressure in providing a suitable exit for Godzilla, but clearly not afraid of taking a gamble he also kills of the now mature Baby Godzilla in a scene almost as emotional as Godzilla’s own death as he Okawara somehow manages to find a way to have this version of Godzilla still show the same amount of expression that his Showa form had with his humanoid characteristics. True it might be only a temporary death as Godzilla passes the torch of “King of Monsters” to his son but ultimately it is a gamble which really pays off here.

While onscreen there might have been some emotional goodbyes, this film would equally have some equally emotional ones behind the scenes aswell as this film would be the last film to be produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, who since being responsible for the creating Godzilla had produced every film in the series (aswell as every Sci-fi film produced by Toho) with this film being his last before he sadly passed away two years later, with the American remake being dedicated in his memory. At the same his fellow “Four Fathers” member composer Akira Ifukube who most importantly was responsible for giving Godzilla his trademark roar also chose to mark his retirement with this film after being tempted back by producer Tanaka despite having handed over the reins to fellow composer Takayuki Hattori on the previous film and while his memorable themes would continue to live on in the films which followed, here his final score is a powerful mixture of  haunting music and heart breaking requiem alongside his ever rousing marches  ensuring that he unquestionable end his career on a unquestionable high note.

While this might not have been the finale it was originally planned to be for the series it is still another memorable milestone in the saga before director Okawara was brought back for one more turn in the director’s chair as he ushered in the final (to date) era with “Godzilla 2000” which also marked the start of the Millennium era. Unquestionably here though he provides one of the more memorable films even without the prospect of Godzilla’s death, as this film combines tight plotting and memorable action scenes to powerful effect and ultimately ensuring that the Heisei era went out on a high.

Next Time: "Godzilla: Final Wars" - The Millennium era aswell as the franchise is brought to a close (for now atleast) with director Ryuhei Kitamura crafting a film he described as being a "Best of album" for the franchise and in many ways a modern reworking of the classic "Destroy all Monsters". Needless to say Godzilla was going to go out with a bang as memorable faces returned to do battle one final time.
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