For decades the only way American Godzilla fans could see the Japanese version of what became GODZILLA 1985 was through the bootleg market. Eventually Americans were able to buy Japanese DVDs of the film but it wasn't until just this past year that we finally got an actual legal release of THE RETURN OF GODZILLA (1984) here in the
United States. Being a geeky
bastard I, of course, had already seen this film via bootleg and knew that it
was much different and much better than what was served up to American audiences
in 1985. But I have to say that revisiting it now via the Kraken Blu-ray was
revelatory in several ways.
I've always thought it was a good film but I honestly now consider it to be one of the best of the post Showa series of Godzilla films. Fashioned as a direct sequel to the original 1954 film and completely ignoring every movie that came along in the decades after it does what last year's SHIN GODZILLA did. That is to say it reinvents the creature for a new age bringing both seriousness and a sharp focus to what made the original classic such a great film. The two reboot films share more than they don't with both emphasizing the dangers of slow government bureaucracy as well as the fear of the potentially world ending dangers of human fallibility and gigantic mistakes that can't be altered. Both films are excellent and I find it difficult to decide which I like better.