In some ways, Godzilla movies are like professional wrestling, since they’re really just excuses to watch a bunch of big guys beat the crap out of each other. Though both can also be rather silly, too. Especially when they dumb things down for their younger fans. Both sides of which are illustrated by two movies included on the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray, the third in a series of four two-disc, two-movie Blu-rays called The Toho Godzilla Collection that present eight of the eleven movies Godzilla made before retiring in 2004.
Kicking off this collection, 1995’s Godzilla Vs. Destroyah has our hero returning from the dead. Except now he’s even more radioactive than before, prompting action by both human scientists and a fellow big lizard called Destroyah.
Then, in 2000’s Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus — which followed the forgettable Godzilla 2000 — scientists try to destroy Godzilla with an artificial black hole, only to accidentally mutate some dragonflies. And you know who has to clean up that mess.
Unlike the previous collections in this series — Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla Vs. Mothra and Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II/Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla — which were both good and both bad, respectfully — the movies on the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray are a mixed bag. While Godzilla Vs. Destroyah is a let-down, thanks in no small part unwanted cuteness from Godzilla, Jr., Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus at least has some solid battles.
Just be prepared that neither film is as good as any of the ones Godzilla made when he was young, such as 1965’s Invasion Of Astro-Monster (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero) or 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster). This is largely because the movies on the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray don’t have the goofy, low-rent charm of those earlier films. While the special effects are still bad, especially for movies made in the late-’90s/early-’00s, they’re not as charmingly cheesy. And the same is true for the stories, which are still silly, but not in the same ridiculous way. Sure, they’re still, in true wrestling fashion, just excuses to watch two guys in rubber suits fight each other, but their excuses are flimsier than usual.
That said, there are much worse Godzilla movies. Like the ones with his other kid, Minilla. Or the one with Matthew Broderick.
Still, if you’re a fan of the G-man, and haven’t seen them before, you should check out the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray, if only to see the big guy smack the bejesus out of some mutant dragonflies and a guy with a name like a Swedish death metal band.
That said, if you do like either movie enough to own them, the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray presents both films in the best way possible. Both movies have been newly remastered into high definition for this collection, with Godzilla Vs. Destroyah presented in 1.85:1 widescreen while Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus is 2.35:1. And while they don’t look as good as the new Godzilla will when it comes out on Blu-ray, both films still look a lot better than they did on their respective DVDs.
The same can also be said for the sound, which has gotten a similar cleaning, even if Godzilla Vs. Destroyah has presents the original Japanese audio and the dubbed English track in stereo (Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus is 5.1 surround sound for both).
Though what’s interesting is that the default setting for all of the movies in this Blu-ray series is set for Japanese audio with English subtitles, not English audio. Which is kind of a nice nod to longtime fans who, like serious anime viewers, prefer to watch Godzilla movies in the original Japanese.
The Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray also has more in the way of extras than either the Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus DVD (which only had some trailers, including one for the 1998 Godzilla) or the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah DVD that paired that film with Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla (and had no extras). Not only do they have digital copies of the movies, but they also have the original Japanese trailers, both teaser and theatrical (but not, disappointingly, any for the new movie). Which may not seem like much, and it isn’t, but it is better than nothing. Especially for someone, like me, who enjoys watching a movie’s trailer before he watches said film.
In the end, though, while these films may not rank among Godzilla’s best work, if you’re fan — especially of Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus — the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray is worth getting, if only to see these smackdowns looking better than they ever have before.
To read my review of the Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla Vs. Mothra Blu-ray, click here.
To read my review of the Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II/Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla, click here.
To read my review of the Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S./Godzilla: Final Wars Blu-ray, click here starting Thursday May 8th.