Return of Godzilla (1984) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Koji Hashimoto
Starring: Ken Tanaka, Yasuko Sawaguchi
Rated: PG/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Kraken Releasing
A reporter investigates the disappearance of a ship. He finds the ship and discovers that all the hands have been killed by a giant sea louse except for one. The lone survivor then tells the reporter that the ship was attacked by Godzilla (Gojira). Fearing a panic, the Japanese government then takes the survivor into custody to keep him from revealing that Godzilla has returned. However, a Soviet nuclear submarine is destroyed and the situation puts them and the United States on the brink of nuclear war until the Japanese decide to come clean and admit that it was Godzilla. Soon the Japan and the rest of the world are on red alert as they wait for Godzilla to begin his rampage anew.
The Return of Godzilla is the original uncut version of what most of us know as Godzilla ’85. Originally released in 1984, this version isn’t chopped up like the American version was and it also doesn’t include that American stuff that was added on to make it more appealing to us. This disc just comes with the original version but up until now, I don’t think we’ve ever seen this movie get a legit DVD/Blu-ray release. So in a lot of ways, this is great for any fan of Godzilla who is looking to complete their Blu-ray Godzilla collections. This is the 16th Godzilla movie overall but we should note that it was the first for the Heisei series. The movie itself starts out good enough. We see a crew on a boat in bad weather. Lightning then hits and they are pretty sure they spotted a new Godzilla. The next day a reporter finds the ship and gets on board where he finds a survivor and a giant sea louse. The fun should probably start there. Nothing I said “should” because like so many other Godzilla movies this one really takes it’s time getting the stuff started. We have people talking and meetings of people in power before we finally make it to Godzilla action. I really wish more of these movies would get the ball rolling on the good stuff a lot sooner than they do. This one seems to be no different and perhaps due to such that is why more people want the American cut that we don’t get here with this.
Outside all that this is a movie that gives you the typical Godzilla action you’ve come to expect and want. When things aren’t slowed down we have Godzilla walking around and smashing the city while everyone tries to come up with new and complex ways to stop him from doing just what he’s doing. Those parts of a Godzilla movie always have their charm to them but you can also see where some people might call it a bit dull in spots because that is just what it is in spots. I will say that Kraken Releasing does a fine job of presenting this movie to all of us on Blu-ray here with a solid transfer that looks just as good if not better than all the number of films we saw come from Sony over the last couple years. It would have been really nice to have Godzilla ’85 with it, but maybe one of these days that will come down the way for us to enjoy as well. It would be nice to compare overall but you get a solid looking movie here, even if the movie isn’t the best Godzilla movie you’ll ever see overall. Outside of this, Kraken Releasing does also have some other Godzilla movies you might want to pick-up as well if you are on a mission to get the full Godzilla experience in HD.
– Theatrical Promo
Quality of Transfer: 88%