CNN Showbiz


Godzilla breathes his last
fiery breath... for now

December 1, 1995
Web posted at: 8:50 p.m. EST

From Correspondent May Lee

TOKYO (CNN) -- He needs no introduction.

His glaring eyes and gnashing teeth, not to mention his habit of destroying everything in sight, has made the overgrown lizard a superstar. However, in his 22nd film, "Godzilla vs. The Destroyer," to be released December 9 in Japan, the 42-year-old monster will finally meet his end -- Godzilla will die. (1.5M QuickTime movie courtesy Toho Films)


The film's directors promise the final scene will be unforgettable. "Godzilla died once before in the first movie in 1954," said the new film's special effects director, Kouichi Kawakita. "So this last film incorporates the image of the first death."

What was the cause of Godzilla's first demise four decades ago? The Destroyer, a weapon that zaps oxygen (remember, Godzilla is a nuclear monster).(570K QuickTime movie courtesy Toho Films)

Now, in this final installment, the Destroyer will be to blame again, but this time it will come to life in the form of an indestructible monster.

Kawakita painstakingly guided his team of designers and technicians to create the sci-fi world of Godzilla. Although technological advances such as computers and robots have given the Godzilla films more realism over the years, the simple monster suit hasn't been outgrown.

on the set costume

All it takes are the right moves and a few visual and audio enhancements and -- presto -- Godzilla is out flattening entire cities once again. With just a few giant steps, Hong Kong and Tokyo fall victim to his violent temper in the latest film.

Bringing the Godzilla series full circle involved using the same human characters as well as the sometimes more famous creatures.

Director Takao Okawara starred in the first film and plays the same character in "Godzilla vs. The Destroyer." There is a serious and very real side to this final chapter, he says: "That is, the nuclear threat that still plagues the modern world. In this last movie I want people to look at the death of Godzilla knowing that he was created by nuclear power and the most selfish existence in the world -- mankind." (119K AIFF sound or 119K WAV sound)

With the strong anti-nuclear message, Godzilla will bid farewell to the silver screen in Japan, but don't be surprised if he shows up in the Western world sometime soon. Tri-Star, a U.S. film company, has bought the rights to make one Godzilla movie, which is expected to come out some time in 1997.


Japanese creators have no qualms about the deal. "Personally, I am looking forward to seeing Godzilla in the U.S.," Okawara said. "I'm a Godzilla fan so I want to see the American Godzilla movie." (60K AIFF sound or 60K WAV sound)

And why not? It's about time that the ferocious fire-breathing monster picked on someone else for a while.

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