Godzilla vs. Biollante

Japan Release: 1989
Running Time:
104 minutes

Godzilla vs. Biollante


Japanese Title

ゴジラ VS ビオランテ
[Gojira vs Biorante]

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho

Godzilla cells left from his attack in the mid-1980's create a miniature arms race to secure them, involving Japan, US interests and Saradia. Eventually, due to conflicts, the samples are destroyed except one remaining in Japan at the Okouchi foundation. As the country and self-defense forces eye countermeasures should Godzilla appear again, including both ESP and Super-X2 programs, they begin to research Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria (ANEB). However, the ANEB requires a Godzilla cell, allowing an opportunity for doctor Genichiro Shiragami to become involved, a man devoted to his fallen daughter, who experiments on the cells in unpermitted ways... creating a new mutation in the process.

Live Action Science Fiction Kaiju Godzilla

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

Titles

International Title

Godzilla vs. Biollante

Initial US Title

Godzilla vs. Biollante
US Distributor: Miramax (1992) / Time: 104 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Godzilla 1990
[Thai]

Godzilla, the Ancient Giant
[German]


Monsters



Aliens, SDF & Misc.

Hyper Laser Cannon (stock footage)
OH-6J



Staff

Cast

Directed by Kazuki Omori
Writing credits Kazuki Omori, Shinichiro Kobayashi
Produced by Shogo Tomiyama
Executive Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Koichi Sugiyama, Yuki Saito
Stock Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Yudai Kato, Kenichi Eguchi
Film Editing by Michiko Ikeda
Production Design by Juichi Ikuno, Shigekazu Ikuno, Tetsuzo Osawa
Assistant Director Kazuhiko Fukami, Hideyuki Inoue, Hiroshi Kubo
Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita
Kazuhito Kirishima Kunihiko Mitamura
Asuka Okouchi Yoshiko Tanaka
Sho Kuroki, Major Masanobu Takashima
Miki Saegusa Megumi Odaka
Goro Gondo, Lieutenant Toru Minegishi
Genichiro Shiragami, Doctor Koji Takahashi
Seiichi Yamamoto, Director Toshiyuki Nagashima
Seikun Okouchi, Azuka's Father Ryunosuke Kaneda
Super-X2 Coordinator Kazuma Matsubara
Prime Minister's Aide Yasunori Yuge
Keiko Owada, Prime Minister's Representative Yoshiko Kuga
Erika Shiragami Yasuko Sawaguchi
SSS9 Brien Uhl
Hyodo, General Koichi Ueda
Super-X2 Controller Kosuke Toyohara
TV reporter Haruko Sagara
Soldier Katsuhiko Sasaki
Helicopter Onlooker Hirohisa Nakata
Officer Kenzo Hagiwara
John Lee, BioMajor Spy Kurt Cramer
Michael Low, Biomajor Spy Derrick Holmes
English Reporter Beth Blatt
Demon Kogure Demon Kogure
Saradia Scientist Abdallah Helal
Saradia Plant Director Manjot Beoi

Posters



Box Office

Release Date: December 16th, 1989 (Japan)
Budget: ¥700,000,000 / $5,000,000 (Rough Figure)
Attendance: 2,000,000 (Japan)
Distribution Earning: ¥1,040,000,000 / $7,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

Toho Stock Footage



DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Godzilla vs. Biollante Echo Bridge (2012) Order
United States Region 1 Godzilla vs. Biollante Lions Gate (2014) Order
Japan Region 2 Godzilla vs. Biollante Toho (2002)
Hong Kong Region 3 Godzilla vs. Biollante Universe (2006)
Japan Blu-Ray Godzilla vs. Biollante Toho (2009)
United States Blu-Ray Godzilla vs. Biollante Echo Bridge (2012) Order
United States Blu-Ray Godzilla vs. Biollante Lions Gate (2014) Order

CD Soundtracks

Compilations

Pictures

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Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on April 17th, 1990 with the registration number PA0000465312. The movie was submitted under its international title, Godzilla vs. Biollante. Unlike many other Toho claims, the film was not submitted with a romanization of its Japanese title. The filing was followed on March 9th, 1993 with a submission from Toho and Miramax, registration number V2878P010. This later claim states a retroactive copyright filing between them that occurred on February 28th, 1992. On February 24th, 1994 yet another claim was submitted, under registration number V2967P058, which included Toho, Miramax and HBO. A large number of claims, a total of 15, were also submitted between December 12th, 2010 and October 17th, 2014, starting with registration number V3597D642. These later claims track the movie during the sale of Miramax and its film library by Disney while the more recent claims denote an agreement for distribution between Miramax and Lions Gate.
  • This is the second film in the Heisei Godzilla series, which ran for a total of 11 years, starting with The Return of Godzilla (1984) and ending with Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995). Despite being the second movie in the series, it is technically the first Godzilla movie to be filmed in the Heisei era. The Return of Godzilla (1984) was actually filmed in the Showa era, as the Heisei era didn't start until January of 1989.
  • Shooting for the movie started in August and wrapped in November, a month before its December release in Japan. This detail is noted on the Making of Godzilla vs. Biollante VHS tape.
  • Composer Hiroshi Miyagawa, who did work on Las Vegas Free-For-All (1968) and other Toho films, was originally considered as a composer for the movie. However, he turned out to be unavailable for the project and Koichi Sugiyama was eventually selected instead. This information is found in the 1997 book Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • A contest was held by Toho to decide the story of the sequel to The Return of Godzilla (1984). Five finalists were chosen, with their entries being submitted to Kazuki Omori. Ultimately, dentist Shinichiro Kobayashi's entry won, though the script would end up seeing numerous revisions, with one of the more popular unused drafts being Godzilla 2: Godzilla vs. Biollante featuring the rat-fish hybrid monster Deutalios and a four-jawed Biollante.
  • Kaoru Saito, who managed special effects lighting, had the idea to incorporate reflectors above the big pool in the Toho lot. These reflected light onto the water, giving the water's surface a more expansive feel and hiding the fact that it was a pool. This account is mentioned on the Making of Godzilla vs. Biollante VHS tape.
  • Godzilla vs. Biollante was the first movie in Japan to shoot 70mm optical compositing using a 35mm8p camera. 70mm film was used in this manner to reduce grain during the composition of effects shots. The results of this blending with low grain can be seen in sequences like the pan up from the news crew around Lake Ashinoko to Biollante in its rose form. This is mentioned in the Making of Godzilla vs. Biollante VHS tape.
  • In early 1990, Toho entered discussions with Miramax to distribute Godzilla vs. Biollante in North America. The talks failed to a degree, though, and Toho filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles federal court on August 29th, 1990. In the lawsuit, Toho claimed that Miramax had given an oral agreement back in June of 1990 to pay Toho $500,000 for the North American, British and Irish distribution rights for the movie before backing out. Eventually an out of court settlement was reached and Miramax bought the movie in 1992 for an undisclosed amount. Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • American composer David Howell assisted in the soundtrack. This detail is mentioned in the book Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • The movie did not meet Toho's expectations at the box office. With the lack of financial success for either Godzilla vs. Biollante or Gunhed (1989), special effects director Koichi Kawakita took it very hard and developed a drinking problem. The director would be met with financial success, though, for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). Noted in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Producer Fumio Tanaka, who produced Space Amoeba (1970) and The Return of Godzilla (1984), has expressed his displeasure with the movie, in particular the portrayal of Godzilla. He has stated that there was no reason that this was a Godzilla film, and compares Godzilla's character to Jason from the Friday the 13th Series. Tanaka was an open critic of the previous, 1984 movie as well, saying Godzilla had little personality. Mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).

Concept Art


Cut Scenes

Biollante Kills at the Lake

Biollante Kills at the Lake

While investigating the appearance of Biollante in Lake Ashinoko, the military dispatches a boat with soldiers in it. Venturing too close, Biollante retaliates by having one of her fanged vines crash down on the small vessel, killing the soldiers and sinking the craft.

Background:
Although lensed and edited, the sequence was removed from the final cut of the film. Consequently, Biollante comes off as far less menacing to humanity in the final edit than she does in the original screenplay.

 
Godzilla Advances on Lake Ashinoko

Godzilla Advances on Lake Ashinoko

Having defeated the Super-X2, Godzilla advances inland on Japan. As night falls, the nuclear menace makes his way through the foliage to face Biollante at Lake Ashinoko.

Background:
This scene featured Godzilla marching through the woods toward Biollante in her rose form. The sequence loses some credibility as real plants were used for the foliage, destroying the sense of scale with the giant Godzilla. In the end, a more direct cut to an impressive shot of Godzilla advancing far above the forest treeline nearly at the lake was used.

 
Roses Bloom

Roses Bloom

Godzilla, unleashing a final gout of his atomic ray, sets Biollante's rose form aflame. The swarming fires rose up, engulfing the toothed flower into a towering inferno, disintegrating into a cloud of ember pollen. Lifting into the skies and settling on the lands around, the green hills and shores began to blossom. Hundreds of flowers blanketed the ground, giving a sight of bliss. Giving one last grunt at the sight, Godzilla turned and walked away.

Background:
Although visually impressive, the sequence was ultimately removed. Seeing Godzilla juxtaposed amongst hills of roses was in the end an odd mesh of visuals, and gave the film an almost whimsical moment that the final edit would ultimately avoid.

 
Damaged Super-X2

Damaged Super-X2

Following its bout with Godzilla, the Super-X2 returned to base. Having lost its fire mirror, the craft ended up recieving a direct hit from the nuclear menace's atomic ray. The beam scorched the front of the flying warship, peeling back the protective layer. The crew behind its creation examines the damage and the state of the fire mirror inside.

Background:
Although a new prop was created to show the damage the flying craft had recieved, this scene was axed. In the end, a shot of the pit crew looking at a wire frame model of the damage was used, which conveys the same information in a quicker way.

 
From Osaka to Wakasa

From Osaka to Wakasa

Having destroyed much of Osaka, along with the Super-X2, Godzilla travels further into the mountains. With the Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria (ANEB) coursing through the King of the Monsters' veins, the military is keeping a close eye on the behemoth. Helicopters circle the beast relaying information as the monster advances toward the Wakasa plains.

Background:
Many scenes were cut from the 1989 movie. While some scenes were removed because the effect was unsatisfactory or it altered the mood of the film, others were shaved for pacing reasons. This simple sequence, which features Godzilla walking as helicopters circle him, was ultimately removed and the film simply transitions to Major Sho Kuroki seeing the helicopter footage as he talks about Godzilla being unfazed by the ANEB so far.

 
Staring Down Godzilla

Staring Down Godzilla

At 120 meters tall, 40 meters taller than Godzilla, Biollante stares at the King of the Monsters eye-to-eye: the two combatants ready to lock themselves in fierce combat.

Background:
Special effects director Koichi Kawakita was a big fan of point of view (POV) shots. Most of the Heisei Godzilla films that he worked on featured them early in development, although they were generally cut. One major exception is a sequence with the AH-1S Attack Helicopter firing on a ANEB infected Godzilla that was actually used in this film. However, this wasn't the only POV shot that was planned, as Kawakita tried to convey the massive size of Biollante by having her stare down at the smaller Godzilla from a fish-eye perspective.

 
Entangled Godzilla

Entangled Godzilla

After a brief stare down, Biollante set out to stop Godzilla by entangling him in her tendrils. Attacking from all sides, the King of the Monsters was briefly overwhelmed by the assault.

Background:
While in production, many ideas were thrown out about on how to animate the bulbous Biollante. One such idea was to construct a claymation Godzilla that was to be attacked by Biollante's twisting vines. The claymation allowed for more convincing motion from the the snake-like tendrils, but in the end, the effect was removed from the final cut.

 
Biollante's Sacrifice

Biollante's Sacrifice

With Godzilla's strength waning due to the ANEB, Biollante readied her final strike. Working with the spirit of Erika, the plant monster transformed its physical form into a wash of energy. Consuming the weakened Godzilla, Biollante took the sins of the nuclear saurian with it to the grave.

Background:
A combination of live action and animation, the scene was completed with all of the post production elements finished. However, the scene was axed, and instead a different ending with Godzilla collapsing into the nearby water and Biollante returning to the sky was drafted.

 
Godzilla Awakens

Godzilla Awakens

After collapsing in the water earlier from the affect of the Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria, Godzilla finally recovers and slowly opens his eyes before getting up.

Background:
This scene is a slight extension to what appears in the film, and is a brief sequence of Godzilla laying in the water before slowly waking up. Ultimately, the final edit of the film removed this sequence and opted for a more surprise reveal, wherein the characters and audience are abruptly shown that Godzilla is awake.


Reviews

Anthony Romero Star Rating
October 16, 2005