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December 4, 2012

Movie Review: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989, Blu Ray)

Directed by Kazuki Ohmori
Starring Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka and Masanobu Takashima
Run Time: 104 minutes

Dr. Shiragami has been genetically engineering a form of indestructible plant life using a rare supply of Godzilla cells. This experiment has brought a strange new form of plant life into existence: Biollante, massive yet peaceful in every way.....until Godzilla returns once again to wreak havoc upon Japan. It is only then that something within Biollante stirs and the plant must fight to save her creator and the land she loves. It’s the super-beast Battle of the Century when Godzilla and Biollante come face-to-face in an explosive fight to the finish.

I’ve always considered myself a casual Godzilla fan, and not of the rabid variety. I have a few of the older titles in my collection and consider the original Gojira (1954) to be one of the top 5 sci-fi movies of the 50‘s, being a truly dark and scary monster movie with a great social and environmental message. Most of the Godzilla films which I’ve watched over the years though have usually tended to be on the goofy side- a blast to watch, but really never more then just mindless fun. So when this title came to my door I really wasn't expecting much more then the usual “Big Lizard lays waste to Tokyo” theme. And this pretty much proves once again that I don't know Jack-shit.

There are no two ways around it.....Godzilla vs. Biollante is an absolutely bad-ass flick. Its gonna give you everything you expect in a Godzilla movie- first, The Big Guy is in all his glory, rising from the sea to decimate the local populace and looking for nuclear reactors to feed from. Second, its got all that amazing model-work that the series is so famous for, entire cities made to scale, for the sole purpose of being flattened to rubble in epic battles by gigantic monsters. But what this movie has that none of the others do, is a new monster to challenge Godzilla that truly steals the show.

Shortly after escaping the laboratory where it was created, Biollante takes root in a local bay, where it grows into a 300 foot tall, beautiful rose-plant like creature. Totally harmless, say for its tentacles which are used for self-defense.  When Godzilla reaches the bay its pretty much a slaughter, with the big lizard making short-work of the peaceful Biollante. But what Godzilla and the residents of Tokyo are soon to discover, is that Biollante is an immortal creature capable of resurrecting itself, and when it does, it doesn't come back as a pretty rose comes back instead as an ass-kicking super-beast. A monster twice the size of Godzilla that is now half octopus and half crocodile, and in my opinion the most boss looking creation in the Godzilla Universe. And the battle between the two giants is about as epic and fun as anything you’ll see in the series. Couple that with an interesting and intelligent story-line and you’ve got the makings of a modern-day Kaiju classic.

In my opinion this is the kind of movie that was absolutely tailor-made for hi-def viewing. Giant monsters destroying whole cities in 1080p? You bet your ass! This shit is nothing short of magical, and is guaranteed to bring out the 7 year old kid in all of us. With 2012 almost behind us, I can say with confidence that Godzilla vs. Biollante in my personal pick for blu-ray of the year. Not only is it a visual feast for the eyes, but its arguably the best Godzilla movie to come along since the original, Gojira.

A big thumbs-up to Echo Bridge Entertainment for  giving the hi-def treatment to this awesome creature-feature.

I score it 8.5 out of 10

*Making of Godzilla vs. Biollante- Behind the Design (very cool stuff)

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