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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Countdown To Godzilla 2014: 84Goji Suit

Films: Godzilla 1985 (1984)

For the rebirth of the Godzilla legend, Toho decided to once again portray the King of the Monsters as an evil creature. Thus the 1984 Godzilla would posses the general appearance of the 1954 Godzilla (from Godzilla, King of the Monsters) and the facial expression of the 1964 Godzilla (from Godzilla vs. the Thing), the latter incarnation being arguably the most evil-looking version of Godzilla up to that time. The 1984 Godzilla suit therefore possessed features previously seen only on the 1954 and 1955 (Godzilla Raids Again) suits; fangs, four toes, ears, staggered rows of dorsal plates, and a rough underside of the tail. The detailing in the legs for the 1984 Godzilla was very good, but the musculature for the chest and shoulders were less well-defined, thus diminishing the costume’s overall image of power.

The dorsal plates were very well-detailed, but also appeared to be more numerous compared to the 1954 and 1955 costumes. The largest dorsal plate was placed at waist level, which had not been done before or since. The tail was longer than any previous version, the neck was short and the head was fairly large in proportion to the body. The 1964-style eyes, with red-brown irises, looked suitably evil. The 1984 costume also boasted a new feature for a Godzilla suit; the upper lip could curl up in snarl. It was so advanced, one might think it could even read a 3D barcode. For water scenes, a virtually identical Godzilla suit was built. Since this was the first time molds were used to construct a Godzilla suit (as opposed to the scratch-built methods previously employed), it was very easy to build two matching costumes. It should be mentioned that a 5-meter tall mechanical figure of Godzilla, called the “cybot”, was used for several close-ups in the movie. Unfortunately, the face of “cybot” scarcely resembled the face of the suits, and in the finished film the alternating footage of the Godzilla suits with the “cybot” is very jarring. As with the 1962 Godzilla (from King Kong vs. Godzilla), the 1984 Godzilla is an anomaly in the evolution of the King of the Monsters because it does not resemble prior or subsequent Godzilla costumes.
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