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Godzilla vs Destroyah / B2 / Japan

06.12.13

Poster Poster

Artist Noriyoshi Ohrai provides another great illustration on this Japanese poster for the release of Godzilla vs Destroyah, which was the 22nd film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the final release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

Prior to release the production company Toho announced that this film would see the death of this incarnation of the legendary kaiju in order to make way for an American version of Godzilla (a film that was eventually released in 1998 to critical derision). The film begins with Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka), the psychic who has has previously used her powers to communicate with Godzilla, discovering that his home on Birth Island has been completely destroyed by an unknown force. Sometime later Godzilla appears near Tokyo covered in glowing, red hot rashes and the Japan Self Defense Force instructs a scientist to investigate what’s causing his condition.

It is soon discovered that Godzilla’s heart, which is effectively a nuclear reactor, is going into meltdown and once it reaches 1200 degrees Celsius it will explode with the force of 1000 nuclear bombs. The JSDF launch the flying attack fortress Super X-III to try to keep control of the situation. Meanwhile, scientists have developed a new formula for the ‘Oxygen Destroyer’ weapon that was originally created by Dr. Serizawa back in 1954 (the original Godzilla film) but fears over its side effects are realised when a number of mutated creatures are found to have been infected by the formula and are growing at an alarming rate. Quickly they evolve into crab-like creatures that start attacking Japan and have several skirmishes with the JSDF who dub the eventual combined creature ‘Destroyah’. Godzilla Junior reappears, greatly resembling his father, and the stage is set for several showdowns between Destroyah and the two Godzillas whilst scientists race to try and prevent a meltdown disaster.

This film features several calls back to the original 1954 Godzilla, including a cameo by Momoko Kôchi who played Emiko Yamane in the original film. This bit of trivia on IMDb hints at an early planned version of the final Heisei era Godzilla film:

An original idea for this movie had Godzilla fighting the original 1954 Godzilla in ghost form. The project, “Godzilla VS Ghost Godzilla”, was scrapped because the producers thought Godzilla didn’t need to fight a clone version of himself for three movies in a row, following Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla(1993) and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994).

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla vs Mothra / 1992 version / B1 / Japan

28.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Mothra
AKA
Gojira vs. Mosura (Japan - original title) | Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Saburô Shinoda, Akiji Kobayashi, Akira Takarada, Makoto Ohtake, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Hurricane Ryu' Hariken
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Saburô Shinoda, Akiji Kobayashi, Akira Takarada, Makoto Ohtake, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Hurricane Ryu' Hariken,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs Mothra, which was the 19th film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the fourth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era. There was an earlier film in the franchise called Mothra vs Godzilla (1964) but this film is not a remake of that story.

Godzilla vs Mothra is, adjusted for inflation, the most financially successful entry in the entire series. The story sees a meteor crashing to earth and awakening not only the legendary lizard but also uncovering an egg of the benevolent giant moth, plus an evil version of Mothra called Battra that was created by Earth’s ‘life force’ to protect the planet itself from threat. Godzilla sets off on one of his usual rampages and Battra attacks Tokyo in anger at the pollution that mankind has caused. The trio of monsters face-off against each other in several battles and there’s also a subplot involving an Indiana-Jones-like treasure hunter and ethereal creatures known as Cosmos who are involved in the bigger conflict.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla / 1993 version / B1 / Japan

12.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
AKA
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (alternative title) | Gojira VS Mekagojira (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1993
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda, Leo Meneghetti, Daijiro Harada, Tadao Takashima
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda, Leo Meneghetti, Daijiro Harada, Tadao Takashima,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B2 poster for Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, which was the 2oth film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters) and was marketed as the 40th anniversary of the series. The film was also the fifth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era. Despite sharing the same title with a 1974 film, this is neither a remake or a re-imagining of the earlier version.

The story sees the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (UNGCC) created in order to stop the legendary monster. Two machines are manufactured from the salvaged parts of Mecha-King Ghidorah, a mechanised abomination last seen in 1991s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah; one is a flying gunship called Garuda and the other is the titular Godzilla-like robotic beast. When a mysterious egg is discovered on an island in the Bering sea, both Godzilla and Rodan – the irradiated pteranodon seen in several previous films in the series – appear and battle over it, allowing a team to escape to a research centre in Kyoto. When the egg hatches it is revealed to be Baby Godzilla (AKA Godzilla Junior) and once again the legendary Kaiju is summoned to Japan by its psychic powers. The UNGCC decide to mobilise their new defence weapons and both Rodan and Godzilla are pitched against the metallic foes.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla 2000 / B1 / Japan

12.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla 2000
AKA
Gojira ni-sen mireniamu (Japan) | Godzilla 2000: Millennium (alt. longer title)
Year of Film
1999
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Shirô Sano
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Shirô Sano,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 for the release of Godzilla 2000, the twenty-third film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the first release in the third generation of Godzilla films, which is known as the Millennium Series. Studio Toho decided the film would be a reboot meaning it had no continuity with earlier films in the series, except for the 1954 original.

Set in 1999, we learn that Japan has suffered other Godzilla attacks since the 1950s and the Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) was formed in response by scientists who aim to predict his next landfall. In 1999 he appears at the same time as the Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) find a mysterious rock-like object at the bottom of the Japan Trench which takes off during an operation to salvage it. Godzilla follows and is blasted by the object causing him to retreat, but not before his atomic breath causes the rock to break open revealing an unusual blue alien craft.

The craft flies to Tokyo and begins to download information from the city’s computer network as the aliens try to discover more about Godzilla’s regenerative properties, named by the GPN scientists as Regenerator G1. When Big G arrives and once again attacks the craft, the aliens steal some of his DNA during the battle and use it to attempt to reform themselves as a giant Millennian. Unfortunately Earth’s atmosphere is different to their own and the creature mutates into the hideous gigantic Orga and begins a final battle with Godzilla.

The film featured a new design of for the famous beast with a notably meaner looking face and large scales on his back, replacing the tired costume used for previous films in the series. Godzilla 2000’s relative success at the Japanese box-office saw Columbia Tristar decide to release the film in the US (the last Japanese Godzilla film to get a cinema release was Godzilla 1985). The distributor decided to edit the film for pacing reasons and removed about 8 minutes from its running time, whilst also completely re-editing the sound design and also injecting quite a bit of humour into the dubbed script. Unfortunately, poor box-office receipts meant that future entries in the Millennium series were released straight to DVD in the States.

The trailer for the US release can be viewed on YouTube.