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TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Discuss the 2nd Godzilla film era here! Beam fights, revised versions of classic kaiju, the Heisei era was a mixed bag of fun and controversy!

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby lhb412 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:19 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:10 pm

Really cool article. Was that Godzilla suit the unused design Ed was referring to?
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby GFan » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:52 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Gman2887 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:57 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Mac » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:35 pm

Great article, though I feel like Ed is being a little dismissive of Biollante's popularity in Japan. Despite doing poorly in the box office, I'm sure twenty-something Japanese people have re-discovered and latched onto it much like we do with films like Blade Runner here in America, which that contest indicated. I wouldn't be surprised if that movie was more popular than the original at this point, aesthetically it feels kind of Keita Amemiya-esque, Heavy anime influence, and a bit more gruesome than the usual Godzilla flick which probably clicks with a lot of people.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Legion » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:00 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Mac » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:19 am

There are still 40+ year olds who revere the original, sure, but no one cares about that marginal market. The target demo in Japan for this next Godzilla film doesn't give a "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" about the old Showa films, and is more likely to have some fondness for this weird, off-kilter film that came out in the 80s.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Legion » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:15 pm

The original Godzilla is revered as a masterpiece of Japanese cinema. Get out of here with this crap that Biollante has somehow become more popular over there...
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:38 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Legion » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:02 am

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:28 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Legion » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:56 pm

Through the '90s I remember the Biollante really wasn't all that popular, especially compared what what Toho was currently turning out. Most people did praise the effects and concepts (and rightly so) but were usually pretty hard on just about everything else. And all these years later, at least in my opinion, that pretty much sums up the movie: great effects and so many wonderful ideas, but it comes up short in just about every other area (casting, plotting, editing, music...) I think what's happened in the past 10 years or so is that more and more younger fans are becoming attracted to the darker atmosphere of the story, and are becoming more forgiving about everything else. Keep in mind this is the same demographic and adores GFW, and doesn't understand why the film is so hated.

I really do love Godzilla vs Biollante, and it's the one Heisei film I go back to the most. But it's definitely no masterpiece, and if I was asked to pick a Godzilla film to throw on, a Showa film would win every time. And in terms of the best films in the series, Biollante doesn't come close to Godzilla, Mothra vs Godzilla and Ghidrah. All three of them feel like literally every element of the production came together almost perfectly (I say "almost" because elements of Ghidrah are admittedly rough around the edges), while Godzilla vs Biollante doesn't at all feel like a well thought out film, despite it's strengths.

I've used this example before, but one example of the movie's schizophrenic editing (a result of it's ridiculously rushed production) comes right before the Lake Ashinoko battle. We get a military mobilization sequence that doesn't end as much as the music suddenly stops and a sloppy, fizzy wipe takes us to a shot of Biollante, with Godzilla already at the lake, hiss sudden appearance explained by the fact that an interested entrance scene was filmed and deleted. As Ed explains, it's very clear that the special effects teams and live action teams had no idea what each other was doing, because scenes between the units begin and end without any real cohesion. Then throw in the out-of-place soundtrack and you have a movie that my wife (who adored just about all the Showa films) watched and wasn't all that impressed with.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Psycho Soldier » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:46 pm

I'd add one other thing. While this doesn't account for its popularity in Japan, I suspect part of Biollante's appeal over here has to do with its scarcity up until the BD release. It may not have been hard to find the VHS as a rental, but if you actually owned a copy, that was the best you could (legally) do for 20 years. Granted, movies like GRA also used to be scarce and have benefited less from new-found exposure. So after that, I think Legion is correct about why Biollante's more popular now. The Gothic science fiction vibe certainly appeals to me, and the moral/philosophical side of things is relatively well handled - even if I somewhat disagree with its conclusions. Then you compare the movie to the rest of the Heisei series (excluding, for some people, G85), and I think many of us come down heavily on Biollante's side.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby lhb412 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:44 pm

I think a lot of Biollante's recent-ish popularity simply has to do with how badly the Heisei and Millenium films are aging. It's the one that still looks cool.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:00 pm

I loved Biollante when I first saw it on VHS in the mid-90s.

I loved Biollante when I was watching grey-market DVD rips because I'm never gonna be the guy spending $80 to watch an unsubbed R2 release.

I love Biollante now that I have it on blu-ray, albeit the worst-looking blu-ray of a Godzilla film there is.

I love the movie. I love the music. I love the plot. I love the somewhat choppy editing (do I need to see Godzilla come ashore? Not particularly. I've seen it dozens of times). It remains a top 4-5 Godzilla film for me, and though I'm not an old-guard fan who actually remember the Heisei films being released (I never knew any film post-Biollante existed until I read the Official Compendium in 1998/99), I'm not in the demo of YOUNG fans who just like the dark broody atmosphere of the Heisei films and overlooks their other, glaring, infuriating flaws.

(I also personally enjoy GFW and I think I could personally take some editing to it here and there and wind up with a movie I love with no reservations...but I get why it's so hated.)
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Russzilla » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:54 am

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Legion » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:25 am

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Pkmatrix » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:40 am

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:16 pm

I liked it well enough when I got it on VHS, but it wasn't until later when I started to think about the details of these movies that I really began to love vs. Biollante.
I suppose I'm young enough, but I'm not really an avid Final Wars fan. In fact it sort of dropped over the last year or two.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Legion » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:08 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:26 pm

I just don't think it falls THAT short. I mean, sure it doesn't live up to its potential, but I don't think the gap between what is and what could have been is that vast.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby walshiam » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:56 pm

This is the one that ALWAYS puts me to sleep, especially the music.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Russzilla » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:19 am

Really? Wow.
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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:42 am

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Re: TALKBACK #17: Godzilla vs. Biollante

Postby Pkmatrix » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:31 pm

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