The 15th Godzilla film The Terror Of MechaGodzilla would be the last film in the series for nearly ten years. The 1975 film did poorly at the box office, less than a million people went to see it when it was released, and Toho shelved everyone's favorite giant building buster. That break was probably a good idea anyway, the movie recycles the tired alien invasion plot once again and even though they toss in a new monster it just wasn't that great, especially if you watched the US version that appeared in the theaters. You can see that hacked up version on the Simitar dvd that came out several years ago. There's a 5 movie dvd box set that can still be found cheaply, though it's really not worth buying. I only mention it for the completest. The US version that played on tv was different again; it added a long prologue with clips from other Godzilla movies making it longer than the Japanese release by 6 minutes. You can see that on the 2007 Classic Media dvd along with the original uncut Japanese version. I watched the Classic Media versions today and parts of both the Video Daikaiju bootleg and the Simitar dvd. When I wrote this the 7 Godzilla Classic Media collection is only $18 on Amazon. Well worth the price since the movies were about 15 bucks each when sold separately.
The Terror of Mechagodzilla was called Counterattack of Mechagodzilla or メカゴジラの逆襲(Mekagojira no Gyakushū) and it was directed by Ishiro Honda with music by Akira Ifukube. The movie was written by a woman, Yukiko Takayama, and it's got a bit of a romance. One of the guys in the movie falls for the daughter of the crazy mad scientist who wants to destroy the world because he got beat up by other scientists. Problem is that the daughter is a cyborg and she's working for her dad. The mad scientist had found the titanosaurus in the ocean and using mind control he uses it to attack a ship. He's also working with the alien invaders to fix up the MechaGodzilla. That's part of his revenge plan. There are the usual antics and monster fights with some occasional good collateral damage. Nothing overly spectacular. Eventually the bad aliens are defeated and Godzilla swims out to sea. The movie is more than watchable, but only if you see the Japanese version.
Nine years later Toho returned to the Godzilla franchise and the big guy has gotten bigger. The first series of films had the big guy at 50 meters tall and in the newly started series he's gotten 60% bigger. That's 80 meters tall or about 267 feet. Some of the buildings in Tokyo had gotten pretty large over the last decade and he needed to be bigger to get his smash on. The Return Of Godzilla is the official Toho English title. The movie came out in Japan under the title Godzilla in 1984 and it came out in the US in 1985 under the title Godzilla 1985. The US version was edited heavily and new footage with Raymond Burr and some US military men added to make the movie more US-centric. I have a Video Daikaiju bootleg that runs 103 minutes and the US version is about 90 minutes so you can see there is a lot of material missing. The Japanese version is the one to watch but for some reason there isn't a legit US dvd to be had. Same with Godzilla Vs Biolante. Weird, huh. Oh, well. the internet provides.
The movie starts with a ship at sea, it gets attacked, and we know that Godzilla is back. He's also dropping giant 6 foot long fleas. Yuck, huh! The movie ignores the previous sequels as if they had not happened. It's 30 years after the first Godzilla movie and this is only the second appearance of the big guy. Something destroys a Russian sub and they get all yelly. Once they find out it was Godzilla they demand to drop a bomb on the critter. The US, not wanting to be left out of bombing something, tosses it's demands in the Japanese Prime Minister's face. The PM says hold the fuck up! No nukes! The Japanese Defense Force has tanks, missiles and the Super-X. It's a big fat VTOL spaceship looking craft that's got some super deadly cadmium missiles that knock Godzilla out. The Russians launch a nuke and the US explodes it in upper atmosphere. The radioactive fall out revives Godzilla and he beats the Super-X to the ground and pushes a building over on it. The scientists figure out a way to lure Godzilla into a volcano and they blow it up with him inside. Don't worry, he'll enjoy basking in that refreshing molten mass until next time. It's more like the early Godzilla films than the ones from the 1970's, somewhat more dark and much more deadly for the citizens unlucky enough to be out when Godzilla comes calling. It's a fun restart of the series and worth seeing.