Godzilla vs. Biollante

Godzilla vs. Biollante picks up after the events of Godzilla 1985. This film marks the christening of the Japanese Heisei period of the Godzilla series. It’s a distinct picture for a number of reasons. Toho Studios held a contest where kaiju fans were given the opportunity to devise the storyline for the next Godzilla film. The results are interesting, to say the least. Biollante stands apart from all of its antecedents. It has a different style, a different tone, and of course, a different monster. The involute plot is relayed to the viewer in a scrambled, convulsive manner. The filmmakers bit off more than they could chew, but a merry slab of entertainment manages to glow through the tangled lattice of a storyline.

After sifting through rubble leftover from Tokyo’s previous kaiju-related catastrophes, scientists discover billets of Godzilla’s skin. It is believed that these cells could be used to create bacteria that would feed on nuclear waste. Several terrorist organizations angle to plunder the mutant dandruff, and confusing espionage ensues. Cut to five years later; the Godzilla cells have been fused with plant cells. The vines do their best triffid impersonations by strangling a couple of bad guys. Before you know it, there is a giant rose rising out of the ocean. A random psychic is tossed into the mix, although her relevance is never explained. She “talks” to Biollante using extra-sensory perception. Whatever.

This flick is just loony. The exposition hops from scene to scene like a pedophile hops from playground to playground. At one point, the narrative skims over quite a few defined plot details (details given by people in different places on different days) in the span of 30 seconds. The script is in such a hurry, that several key dialogue exchanges are easy to miss. I did catch one brain-raping line that beautifully encapsulates Biollante’s schizophrenic leanings. The main character (his name escapes me, as do the names of the rest of the characters) speaks of a government-funded project that involves the preservation of semen, that of Nobel Prize winners (?).

The film never settles on a target audience. While the violence is somewhat graphic, the ending is a saccharine mess fit for a Fox Family sitcom. And yet director/screenwriter Kazuki Omori felt that it was necessary to pepper the script with PG-13 profanity. Beats me. I know it sounds like I abhor this movie, but I actually think that it’s one of the better Heisei entries. Godzilla looks badass. He has a sculpted physique, and he moves like an action figure. The special effects are superb. Biollante is a massive construct. We only get to see the botanical beast in monster form for about 10 minutes, but I dug the “alligator on steroids” design that they were shooting for. There isn’t much to the battle sequences. I got more out of the military encounters than I did the kaiju-on-kaiju action.

This flick is almost as nutty as Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, which is why I recommend watching it with a group of chemically-enhanced friends. The pace is breathless, the optical effects are polished (you gotta love matte paintings), and the overall vibe of this oddball creature feature is wholly unique. I can’t figure out why Godzilla vs. Biollante has yet to hit DVD. It may be deeply flawed, but if Godzilla’s Revenge is on DVD, than this motherfucker should be on DVD. It’s only fair. VHS saves the day!


  1. I love this movie! I used to have it on vhs video. But not anymore. I really would like to buy it on dvd. Very cool review and a much forgotten movie.

  2. This one and 'vs. Megalon' remain MIA on U.S. DVD. I'm guessing it has to do with rights issues. 'Megalon' somehow slipped into the public domain for a while, and the U.S. rights for this one used to belong to Roger Corman, although I doubt that's still the case or he would have cashed in by now. I've heard you can find rips of the Japanese DVD (with subs) on various bit torrent sites, though.