Godzilla 1985/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Godzilla 1985
  • This was not only the last Godzilla film produced during the Showa Era in Japan (the reign of Emperor Hirohito (1921-1989), but also the first film in a new series (later called the "Versus Series" in Japan), a direct sequel to the original film, Godzilla (1954). The next film, _Gojira vs. Biorante (1989)_, was the first Godzilla film to be filmed in the Heisei Era (the reign of Emperor Akihito; 1989-present). This led to some confusion with American Godzilla fans, who called this particular series the "Heisei Series."
  • The first Godzilla film, in its Japanese version, with closing credits.
  • The first Godzilla film shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio (VistaVision). All Godzilla films (in the VS/Heisei Series) up to Godzilla vs. Destroyah (1995) were shot in this ratio.
  • When Godzilla blasts a news helicopter in Shinjuku with his radioactive breath ray, look carefully in the background for a billboard with the Ghostbusters (1984) logo (albeit backwards) as the copter falls from the sky just before hitting the ground.
  • Justin Gocke is uncredited in the US version of "Godzilla 1985". He played "Grandson Kyle". The first name is not used in the American version. He does not appear in the Japanese version.
  • First Godzilla movie in Korea to actually be dubbed in Korean. Before then, most of the Godzilla movies in Korea were still in Japanese with Korean subtitles.
  • Actor Akihiko Hirata, who portrayed Dr. Serizawa in the first Godzilla feature was supposed to have a role in the new update. Unfortunately he had succumbed to throat cancer just before filming.
  • This is the first film in the series since the original Godzilla (1954) in which Godzilla doesn't do battle with another monster.
  • After almost a decade of failed film proposals to revive the Godzilla character (including "Resurrection of Godzilla," "Godzilla Vs. Gargantua," etc.), Toho finally made this film after the Godzilla-mania of 1983, when Toho held an incredibly popular film festival, featuring all previous Godzilla films, as well as all other Toho sci-fi and monster classics. (Actor Akihiko Hirata attended the festival dressed as his Dr. Serizawa character from the original Godzilla (1954).) The mania even resulted in a new wave of merchandise and other events (including Bandai obtaining the license to do Godzilla toys in Japan, and Akira Ifukube conducting a popular "Godzilla Fantasia"), as well as creating a new generation of fans. Because of this resurgence in Godzilla's popularity, Toho figured it was time to bring back the character in earnest.
  • Raymond Burr reprised his character as the journalist Steve Martin for the American version of this film. However, since Steve Martin was the name of a popular comedian, he is referred to on screen as "Steve" or "Mr. Martin."
  • This was the last Godzilla film, in its original Japanese version, to end with a "The End" title (in the case of this film, at the end of the credits).
  • This film was based partly on a 1980 story treatment by Tomoyuki Tanaka and Akira Murao called "The Resurrection of Godzilla" ("Gojira no Fukkatsu"). Conceived as a direct sequel to Godzilla (1954), a new Godzilla, identical to the one from 1954, was reawakened by illegal nuclear waste dumping by a freighter in the Pacific Ocean. The protagonists include Shinpei Muraki (the young director of the Information Science Center), Professor Inamura, his daughter Akikuko Inamura (Muraki's love interest), and American scientist Dr. Radner. The story was also the introduction of what is considered Toho's greatest "lost" monster, Bagan, which Godzilla fought in the story. Bagan, a guardian spirit, has four forms in this film: the Dragon Spirit Beast (Doragon Reijû), the Ape Spirit Beast (Enjin Reijû), the Water Spirit Beast (Sui Reijû), and ultimately, a totem-like amalgam of the three forms. Godzilla savagely fights and kills the monster after the middle of the film. Another adversary for the radioactive terror is a JSDF armored super-vehicle, the Super-Beetle (which was ultimately reworked into the Super-X). The film's climax has the protagonists attempting to destroy Godzilla on Beonase Atoll, with a trap containing Dr. Inamura's nuclear invention, Reiconium. When the device malfunctions, Dr. Radner makes a Serizawa-like sacrifice and reactivates the weapon, engulfing Godzilla in lethal radioactive blue flames, apparently killing the monster, and taking Radner's life in the process. The story ends with Godzilla's lifeless body washing ashore a beach on the West Coast of the United States, with a nuclear power plant nearby; a narration stated, "As long as nuclear energy exists, Godzilla will live," as Godzilla's eyes open and the monster stirs to life with a mighty roar. Although the script was never produced, many of its elements nonetheless remained in the film, including the Shokkiras (the radioactive sea louse), and Godzilla attacking a nuclear power plant (and absorbing energy from the core reactor).
  • Kenpachiro Satsuma had suffered grueling injuries while playing Godzilla, including a sharp wire in the suit's leg chewing on his thigh (and thus shouting for help inside the suit as a scene was to be shot), and sharp staples from pyrotechnic explosives trickling into his suit and down his feet when the back was left open (Satsuma was very angry with the SPFX crew about this, having warned them to "Wait until I am fully sealed in the suit!" The crew was more careful at this point). After production, Satsuma lost a lot of weight (similar to how Haruo Nakajima lost 20 pounds after he first played Godzilla).
  • Stuntman Kenpachiro Satsuma played Godzilla for the first time in this movie, and continued to play the role for the remainder of the VS Series. However, the Godzilla suits used in this film (constructed from the outside in) were not originally made to fit him, but for another stuntman who left production at the last minute.
  • Godzilla was brought to life using several different techniques: Two prosthetic "suitmation" costumes (one for land scenes, and the other for water), a full-sized "dummy" (for the scenes where Godzilla pops out of the water), a 3-foot model (the concept maquette), various appendages in a variety of sizes (including a tail prop, and a full-size Godzilla foot prop), and the one most expensive effect for the monster in the film, the 20-foot tall animatronic "Cybot Godzilla," which was manipulated by computers. Toho had heavily promoted the Cybot Godzilla in the press, and had hoped that this would be the ultimate technique to use for the film. But it could not be used to create full shots of Godzilla walking (since the prop was plugged onto a set of fixed legs/tail), so Toho compromised by using the classic "suitmation" technique, especially for nostalgic reasons.
  • Executive producer Tomoyuki Tanaka strongly considered two Godzilla series veterans, director Ishirô Honda and composer Akira Ifukube, to work on this film, but despite Tanaka's pleas, both men declined for professional and personal reasons. They were both still greatly affected by the passing of special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya in 1970, and felt that "Godzilla died when Eiji Tsuburaya died." Additionally, when Ifukube heard about the changes made to Godzilla, such as his increased size from 50 meters to 80 meters, he reportedly said, "I do not write music for 80 meter monsters."
  • Actress Yasuko Sawaguchi was picked to play Naoko Okumura (the film's heroine) on the basis of being chosen as the then-new Toho Cinderella earlier the same year (immediately after which she had already made her debut in Karate Cop III: Song of the Sea (1984)). So for Godzilla's big comeback film, it made sense for Toho to cast Sawaguchi as the female lead, since she was Toho's hottest new actress at the time.
  • As of November 2012, this film is the only Godzilla movie not officially released on DVD in the United States.
  • This was the last Godzilla film for special effects art director Yasuyuki Inoue. He had originally been loaned to Toho to work on the original "Gojira" (1954).
  • The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society's 8th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1985.
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