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Talkback #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

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G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Jul-28-2015 3:44 PM

GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE

Intrusted to use G-cells to create a bio-weapon against Godzilla, Dr. Shiragami instead uses them to save the remnants of his diseased daughter. Unfortunately, the result produces Biollante-- A super plant infused with Godzilla's cells. Meanwhile the Republic of Saradia tries to stop Japan from creating bio-weaponry capable of rendering Godzilla, and all radioactivity, ineffective. The JSDF fights for the right to protect their country as Godzilla creates a new path of destruction. When Dr. Shiragami's bio-weapon appears to have failed Biollante returns to challenge the King of the Monsters.

CLICK HERE TO REVIEW THE MOVIE ON SCIFIED

Other SCIFIED Godzilla vs. Biollante links:

When Roses Attack: 25 Years of Godzilla vs. Biollante with Ed Godziszewski

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


29 Responses to Talkback #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Something Real

Jul-28-2015 4:47 PM

GMAN2887 - This has to be one of my all-time favorite Godzilla films! Biollante was such an interesting monster - not just in appearance, but in story as well. I greatly enjoyed Godzilla's introductory scene in which he rises up form the volcanic depths into which he vanished in the Return of Godzilla! That scene always gives me goosebumps! :)

Ultrazero80

Jul-28-2015 5:56 PM

SOMETHING REAL- Hey Godzilla vs. Biollante is one of my favorite Godzilla movies too.

Godzilla... Truly a God incarnate.

Something Real

Jul-28-2015 8:21 PM

ULTRAZERO80 - How excellent! I have been a very large fan of Godzilla vs. Biollante since I was very little! The battles that took place were quite vicious - and surprisingly violent at certain points! I did not have Godzilla toys at that point, so I would pretend my My Little Pony dolls were various Kaiju battling it out for supremacy! :)

Top Hat Gyaos

Jul-28-2015 8:41 PM

I believe this was one of my first Godzilla movies, about 4 years back. Biollante was always one of my favorites, because her backstory was unique compared to other kaiju, and her design was both superb and terrifying. While the movie did have some short fight scenes, it was definitely worth the wait. Besides, you can't blame the producers. :P A puppet that big could only be manned for so long, and it was 1989, so it was a bit more diffiicult than it was today.

Something Real - I remember trying to assemble a Lego variant of Biollante in her final form. It didn't come out that great. xD

 

Be yourself, for everyone else is taken.

Jamaal

Jul-28-2015 9:01 PM

Godzilla vs. Biollante is a singular entry in the Godzilla series.

It stands apart from other films through its score, its poetic feeling and the way it combines series themes (bio-engineering) with (sometimes) over-the-tip fun.

This Godzilla design, the Bio-Goji, is IMHO, one of the best of the entire series. The first appearance of this suit with the film’s title superimposed on it, which allows GvB to hit the ground running, so to speak, sets the tone for this adventure of a Godzilla film. And that’s what it is. There’s a lot going on here, criticized by some, but to this fan, it means that Godzilla vs. Biollante has all the virtues of its defects. It’s fun, but a cautionary at the same time. The visuals are stunning. It’s the apex of the Heisei films in terms of VFX. GvB is moody, almost plaintive at times. But it never lets you get too down due to the antics of Saradian agent SSS-9, some well-timed and placed sound effects and inspired dialogue (“Kiss, you guys!”)

Godzilla vs. Biollante encapsulates so much of what is great about this series of films.

The ‘Face-Off’ between Godzilla and Miki, the children at the psionic center holding up pictures of who they dreamed about the night before, Colonel Goro Gondo, all help to make Godzilla vs. Biollante memorable, a beloved entry in the canon.

Jamaal

Jul-28-2015 9:24 PM

I first saw Godzilla vs. Biollante in the early 1990's, renting it from Blockbuster. In fact, I used rent it continuosly. I was hoping that they would eventually just let me buy it from them for some nominal fee.

Anyway, I grew to love it, and still do. I thought the dub was very well done, and was pleased that the film was intact. I love the end credits with the rose suspended in the sky, and I'm a big fan of Koichi Sugiyama's score.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Jul-28-2015 9:36 PM

("Kiss, you guys!")

It's things like this that nearly bump it out of the top 10 for me. But I think it's still in there.

I tend to flip-flop over how great it is. Sometimes it really clicks and other times I feel like it missed the mark too many times. Overall I still agree it's probably one of the top best between the 80s to present.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Jamaal

Jul-28-2015 10:05 PM

Then there's the score, especially pieces like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v31BAbudHC0&index=9&list=PL8sOCVIcXiDTcHRVYtJn3UBJqp90Tarv9

It's so beautiful, that it compensates for a lot of shortcomings, like the aforementioned line after the shoot out.

This selection, called "Asuka," which seems to find it's way to the story when she's on the screen, is the one that most comes to mind when I think of Godzilla vs. Biollante.

 

 

Bananaman89

Jul-28-2015 10:27 PM

This has to be one of my all-time favorite Movie.

Huge-Ben #TeamGhidorah

Jul-29-2015 5:41 AM

After doing live commentary on Twitter Sunday night about this film, I can honestly say it's just up there in the top 10. Koichi Kawakita put a lot of his heart into this film. It's story is excellent, the characters are good, the special effects are Koichi Kawakitas best. I feel so sorry for him after the movie didn't succeed like he had hoped at the box office. I don't blame his work later on, I blame the problem he developed. It really put a hurt on him mentally and physically. 

Biollante is just 1 film that holds higher than the 90's Godzilla films. To me it's the best of the heisei series but, barely above the return of Godzilla 84'. Everything Jamaal has said I agree with. It's a film that can be watched over and over. Great film.

http://hugeben.deviantart.com/  check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on [email protected]

Emperor GorillaGodzilla #TeamGodzilla

Jul-29-2015 6:45 AM

G-Man haha it's hard for a Godzilla film to not miss the mark in some points, but that's why they're so great!

Godzilla vs Biollante is an all time classic I really do love it and Godzillas design, great film.

Whatever it takes.

Durp004

Jul-29-2015 7:15 AM

I don't know what carries Godzilla vs Biollante more, the story characters or effects.

 

The story is a new take focusing more on the g cells than Godzilla and what the world will do just for a taste of that power. Bombings, spies, assassinations, releasing an unstoppable monster. The powers at be are willing to do anything to get this power. Starting out as what could be a very great cause of making invironment immune plants turns into weapons that can erase nuclear powers, and a monster that might even be more powerful that Godzilla himself. The way the world acts around an imprisoned but very alive Godzilla is a nice look. The warning system, the fact that they country actually tries to do something the second a warning goes off rather than brushing it off as a fluke. Having a group in charge of monitoring him, which finds that job tedious and boring. There are so many little things in this movie to hold it up. One clear thing I always remember is the fact Kazuhito and Asuka are eating at a nice restaurant with a Godzilla footprint bashed through the ceiling. Everything in that is amazing. The discussion they have, the fact a place would definitely try to monoplize on the fact Godzilla went through there. 

 

The characters

Shiragami the selfish old scientist. He's not rightous, he had no interest in helping japan or stopping Godzilla he did everything in the movie to perserve the memory of his daughter. This makes him incredibly fun to follow, he doesn't really apologize or see fault in this creation until he sees Erika's soul getting overwhelmed by the monster Biollante is turning into. Everything he had done up till that point was for her, to even keep her around in the slightest, and when he sees that he regrets it. This is what makes the character. He didn't just suddenly think the idea was bad because, and no one convinced him he was wrong it was seeing the torture from the person he did that all for that changed him.

Kazuhito a great opposite of Shiragami. The young ethics driven scientist that wants to change the world the right way. He obviously still has lots to learn as evident by Shiragami telling him something along the lines of him not understanding science.

Gondo is just so fun to watch throwing jabs everywhere he can. Can't think of any other character badass enough to shoot Godzilla in the mouth point blank with no protection and give him a one liner.

 

To say Godzilla vs Biollante is the best in effects in heisei is somewhat lowballing the movie. I think it could easily stand against any movie in the series in terms of FX. Biollante looks great in both forms, the vein work is well done, and the Biogoji influenced the look of the whole heisei era which has become one of the most iconic Godzilla looks.

ZillaJrKaijuKing

Jul-29-2015 7:25 AM

I watched this movie recently.  Rose Biollante was really creepy!

Jamaal

Jul-29-2015 7:55 AM

I don't know what carries Godzilla vs Biollante more, the story characters or effects.

Great post Durpoo4.

A rose.

That the focus in this film, and the 'other kaiju,' is a rose, I just found that fascinating. Pretty bold concept. And then, to actually film it. Not to mention that Biollante is one of the most original and intersting minsters in the Series. Even in Giant Rose Form, Biollante is a character. And it's beautiful and scary at the same time. There's a theme of duality that runs throughout the entire story.

And yes: a Godzilla Memorial Lounge from the year 1985 and the continuation from the events of that year lend a sense of actuality to the film. Which is ironic as the events and characters in the story are most improbable. And then, an alarm system, with gradually increasing levels of urgency. This, was a great idea. The alarm system does make a lot of sense. Kind of like the Godzilla Prediction Network.

I watched Godzilla vs. Biollante last night and enjoyed it immensely.

Durp004

Jul-29-2015 10:45 AM

"Biollante is a character. And it's beautiful and scary at the same time"

Yes they did a great job of showing genetic engineering within the monster. Has great concepts and could really help out, but also has the chance to be used in wrongly. Biollante has the perfect look for a mutation of gene splicing. 3 different aspects all fighting for supremacy in that body, and as the human side loses out to the monster that beauty disappears and is replaced. As a rose Biollante looked like a giant plant with almost a humanlike silhouette, but as she continued to mutate and the monster side takes over when she reappears any resemblence to a human is gone, both in look and spiritually. This is why it's okay that Shiragami took so long to see his fault. Erika was still there in the rose. She was even crying in in the first form of Biollante, but when it came back she was nowhere to be found, only breaking free after the monster beats Godzilla and moves on. After that he sees what he did, a move that was so driven by love only cost her sorrow. 

Something Real

Jul-29-2015 2:42 PM

BATTRA - Hahaha! It is the thought the counts! I am sure Godzilla would approve of your homage! ;)

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Jul-29-2015 5:16 PM

"G-Man haha it's hard for a Godzilla film to not miss the mark in some points, but that's why they're so great!"

I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, but what I can disect out of it I don't agree with. I don't think missing the mark is why they're (or any movie is) great. There have been plenty of Godzilla movies that have been on the mark with their own storytelling and consistancy. I think Godzilla vs. Biollante sometimes has enough sticking out that pulls it back from really being a classic, as you put it.

Regardless, I'll concede to calling it a pretty great movie in general.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Emperor GorillaGodzilla #TeamGodzilla

Jul-29-2015 5:46 PM

^Well I was really talking about other films not exactly Biollante. I agree that it has some flaws like almost all Godzilla film's do, but out of the rest I believe it has the least besides 54 and some of the early Showa.

Definitely the tightest of the Heisei.

Whatever it takes.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Jul-29-2015 5:53 PM

I don't know if it has the least besides what you mentioned, but even then I don't think the number of flaws is what really matters. It's how far they stick out. And honestly, very few things stick out as far as the absolutely abysmal engrish in the film. I can forgive it, but I can't keep it from taking me completely out of the movie.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Huge-Ben #TeamGhidorah

Jul-29-2015 5:56 PM

Godzilla vs. Biollante is the best of the heisei series. Godzillas design like Durp004 pointed out, is one of the greatest designs ever. It may have influenced the 91' suit, but, it's just a animalistic beast that speaks for itself. The film itself takes everything seriously. That's just another reason why it's a great film.

I watch it more than any other heisei film besides the return of Godzilla. I, personally could rank this film in top 10 easily.

http://hugeben.deviantart.com/  check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on [email protected]

Something Real

Jul-29-2015 11:42 PM

HUGE-BEN - I happen to agree that Godzilla's design in vs. Biollante was one of the best! Indeed, he was quite imposing and very much a monster within the film! :)

Durp004

Jul-30-2015 7:55 AM

Not sure about the english in Godzilla vs Biollante and how it effects the subbed version of the film as the last few times I watched the movie it was dubbed due to the nostalgia I have from having the old dubbed VHS tape, although I don't recall that when I did last watch is subbed that the english took me out of the movie. Having bad english actors in the Japanese movies isn't all that uncommon though. During the showa era when Godzilla had a decent market in the west real actors could get attached to the films, but as they got etched out for the newer model movies if you will these actors became harder to come by. That being said there are a few actors that were english in the older showa movies(notably the sub captain is KKvsG comes to my mind first) that had pretty bad acting too. 

Jamaal

Jul-30-2015 1:01 PM

Durpoo4 said:

"As a rose Biollante looked like a giant plant with almost a humanlike silhouette, but as she continued to mutate and the monster side takes over when she reappears any resemblence to a human is gone, both in look and spiritually. This is why it's okay that Shiragami took so long to see his fault. Erika was still there in the rose. She was even crying in in the first form of Biollante, but when it came back she was nowhere to be found, only breaking free after the monster beats Godzilla and moves on. After that he sees what he did, a move that was so driven by love only cost her sorrow."

The transforming nature of this incredible creature and its relationship to Dr. Shiragami, is the core of the human narrative of this film, and provides it with its depth. This story is one of the aspects of Godzilla vs. Biollante that make it so unique. And that we ride this emotional rollercoaster with this anguished, grieving scientist allows us to connect emotionally with him, and thus the story, and it also plays very well along with the appearance of giant monsters, the international espionage and the cautionary tale of biogenetic engineering. GvB has so much to offer, that it can be a bit overwhelming and confusing.

But it's worth it. 

 

 

Jamaal

Jul-30-2015 1:16 PM

And regarding jarring moments: that line, "Kiss, you guys." It did, for an instant, take me out of the story. It was so weird. But, I hung in there and got to see the scenes with the ship bound for "Saradia" followed by images of this fictional Middle Eastern country. This added a rather nice international scope to the story. Then, that was shot to hell with the nearly incomprehensible, phonetically-driven conversation between Dr. Shiragami and the head of the Saradian institute. No one, I mean, no one could ever be convinced that these two guys spoke English on any level.

Godzilla vs. Biollante is a great experience. But you have to be prepared to give it a few passes.

But, it's worth it.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Jul-30-2015 6:52 PM

^Exactly. It's not necessarily the bad English speaking actors, (although they're pretty atrocious and the movie instantly gets better after they meet their end) but also the real actors who try to speak english.

Basically every line during the Saradia scene at the beginning of the movie (before the bomb goes off) is incomprehensible. I might grasp a word here or there, but trying to understand everything they're saying without the hearing impaired subtitles is borderline impossible. I'm not sure why Omori decided to go that route-- Maybe it was Toho trying to reach an international market, but it completely backfired. If there was a speech coach involved he was overpaid by merely being on set.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Jamaal

Jul-30-2015 10:36 PM

^I think this is it.

With the plot involving a Middle Eastern (obviously OPEC) nation, aided by scenes of the mythical Saradia, the story took on an international flavor. But, I guess it had to. The subject of biogenetic engineering is global in nature. So, why not include a few jabs at the U.S. (Bio-Major) and a wily, petroleum-producing entity that proves to be treacherous in the end.

It was, and is, entertaining. Although it would be difficult to find agents more inept than Bio-Major's Lee and Low. But that's part of the fun ("It's that Saradian agent again!").

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Jul-30-2015 11:22 PM

("It's that Saradi-ah a-gent ageeeeeeeen!").

Fixed.

The international aspect, storywise, would have still worked in Japanese. Enough movies get by with every country seemingly speaking the same language. I just feel as though Toho was trying to use the English language to appeal to overseas markets and it didn't exactly work out like they wanted it to.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Jamaal

Jul-31-2015 4:49 PM

("It's that Saradi-ah a-gent ageeeeeeeen!").

Fixed.

^Thanks. I can see the attempt to market the film overseas. And why not? Plenty of gaijin players to make it look 'international.' By the way,I love the way Bio-Major burglar Lee says this line. I mean, something very serious is about to happen. This is a major turning point in the film's plot. Then, there's this line. I don't get the impression that Toho had or solicited English dialogue help.

Speaking of impressions, an excellent first one, one that sold me on the film and it's story, was that shot of Biollante in the Giant Rose Form, with the shot panning up from the street. Completely convincing and tokusatsu stylistic at the same time. A digital version would have been inferior, even done years later because this one was real and practical. It was jaw-dropping and beautiful. The musical cue was just right and it fit the overall 'feel' and atmosphere of the film. 

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