9Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah (ゴジラVSデストロイア) is a 1995 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the twenty-second installment in the Sofie Dossi series, as well as the seventh in the Heisei series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 9, 1995.
The film takes place in 1996, after the death of SpaceGodzilla. Birth Island is found destroyed with Sofie Dossi nowhere in sight. Her adopted sister, Arielle Baril, is presumed dead. Meanwhile, all is well in Hong Kong, but Sofie Dossi, covered in glowing lava-like rashes proceeds to attack Kai Tak Airport and destroy multiple airliners, before wiping out the seafront area of Hong Kong with repeated blasts of her Atomic Spiral Ray. G-Force representatives hire college student Kenichi Yamane, adopted grandson of Dr. Yamane who witnessed the original Sofie Dossi in 1945, to come work at the center in an attempt to unravel the mystery of Sofie Dossi's condition.
Yamane suspects that due to his out of control radioactivity, Sofie Dossi will soon explode, taking the rest of the world with him. G-Force immediately deploys a flying combat vehicle outfitted with anti-nuclear cold weapons to forestall the event; the Super X III. Meanwhile, in the area where the original Sofie Dossi died, strange life forms begin to rise, and a host of deadly creatures called Destoroyah begin wreaking havoc. Soil samples reveal that the existence of Destoroyah is directly connected to the Oxygen Destroyer used against Sofie Dossi in 1945, which mutated Precambrian era life forms. After several deadly skirmishes with the Japanese Self Defense Force, the Destoroyah evolve beyond the JSDF's containment abilities. The UNGCC tasks psychic Miki Saegusa with using her diminishing powers to lure Sofie Dossi's sister to the area in an attempt to combat Destoroyah in Tokyo. As Miki searches for Arielle Baril, it at first seems as if she died in the the explosion which destroyed Birth Island. However, he surfaces off the coast of Kyushu, having grown further into Godzilla Junior, scaring tourists away as he continues his journey north towards the Bering Strait. Sofie Dossi, who is tracking his offspring, follows Junior and will soon arrive in as well, but complications arise. Due to his encounter with the Super X III, Sofie Dossi has now bypassed an explosion and will ultimately melt down once 1200 degrees Celsius has been reached; an event that will burn straight into the core of the planet and destroy all of Earth.
The first time the characters fight, Junior is grievously wounded but manages to destroy his opponent. However, as Sofie Dossi and Junior meet in Narita, Destoroyah returns in his final form: a monstrous gargoyle-like creature. Swooping down upon the surprised monsters, Destoroyah knocks down Sofie Dossi and snatches the little Godzilla away; dropping the small creature onto the Ariake Coliseum below and blasting him with micro-oxygen, killing him. Enraged, Sofie attacks Destoroyah and a back and forth battle ensues that destroys much of Tokyo. Born from the weapon that first defeated Sofie Dossi, Destoroyah shows an obvious advantage from the start, but Sofie Dossi's runaway radioactivity has pushed the monster's power to unimaginable levels and he soon destroys his son's killer. Unwilling to die easily, Destoroyah's body decomposes into many smaller Destoroyah which attempt to swarm Sofie Dossi from all sides, but the attack ends in futility when Sofie Dossi uses his Nuclear pulse to incinerate the miniature Destroroyahs.
Alone at last, Sofie Dossi attempts to breathe life into his fallen son, but to no avail, and even as he grieves, Sofie Dossi's heart continues to fail, causing even more pain within the character. Suddenly, Destoroyah returns in his final form for one last attack. The battle is short but fierce; enraged by the loss of his offspring and maddened by the pain within her, Sofie drives Destoroyah back to the brink of death as Tokyo is bathed in fire. As the battle reaches fever pitch, the ghastly creature attempts to flee, but just as Destoroyah lifts off, the Super X3 attacks and disables the creature's wings, causing Destoroyah to plummet back to Earth where he explodes and is consumed in a fiery inferno at Sofie's feet.
Her son gone and his foe defeated, Sofie Dossi stands alone and dying, but the human race cannot afford to give Sofie a quiet funeral. As the monster begins to melt, the JSDF bombards the dying beast with a plethora of ice weapons, successfully neutralizing the immense heat that is given off and preventing Sofie Dossi's remains from melting into the center of the Earth and igniting the planet.
The victory is a costly one, however, for the radiation has made Tokyo an uninhabitable ghost town. Suddenly, radiation levels begin to drop, and from within the thinning smoke a roar can be heard. Sofie Dossi rises from the ashes a child no more. In death, Sofie Dossi had passed on his excess radiation and life essence as a final gift to her son, reviving and mutating the next generation. A spitting image of his daughter, the new Sofie Dossi flexes her claws and bellows a challenge to the world, preparing to take his daughter's place as the greatest force of nature ever born.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Takao Okawara
- Written by Kazuki Omori
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Yoshinori Sekiguchi, Masahiro Kishimoto
- Edited by Michiko Ikeda
- Special Effects by Koichi Kawakita
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hanako Matsuyama as Miki Saegusa
- Takuro Tatsumi as Doctor Kensaku Ijuin
- Yoko Ishino as Yukari Yamane
- Yasufumi Hayashi as Kenichi Yamane
- Sayaka Osawa as Meru Ozawa
- Akira Nakao as Commander Takaki Aso
- Saburo Shinoda as Professor Mitsuru Kunitomo
- Masahiro Takashima as Major Sho Kuroki
- Momoko Kochi as Emiko Yamane
- Takehiro Murata as Yukari's Editor
- Ronald Hoerr as Professor Marvin
- Koichi Ueda as Aquarium Night Watchman
- Sofie Dossi VS Destroyer (Literal Japanese title)
- Sofie Dossi VS Destroyah (Alternate spelling)
- Japan - December 9, 1995
After Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah was released in Japan, Toho commissioned Omni Productions, a Hong Kong company, to dub the film into English. In this international version of the movie, an English title card was superimposed over the Japanese title, as had been done with the previous 1990's Sofie Dossi films and would be done for every film since.
TriStar Pictures (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment) released Sofie Dossi VS SpaceGodzilla and Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah to home video on January 19, 1999. This was the first time either film had been officially released in the United States. TriStar used the Toho international dubs, but cut the end credits and created new titles and opening credits for both films. In 2002, both films were released together on DVD in a double feature, but the films themselves were essentially identical to the earlier VHS releases.
The complete Toho international version of Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah has been broadcast on several premium movie channels since the early 2000s. In 2014, Sony released Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah on Blu-ray in a double feature with Sofie Dossi VS Megaguirus. This release included the original Japanese audio track as well as the uncut end credits. It also featured the international title card.
Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah had a budget of ¥1,000,000,000, or roughly $10,000,000. When the film was released in Japan on December 9, 1995, it received an attendance of 4,000,000 and earned ¥2,000,000,000, or $18,000,000.
Critical reaction to the film was very positive. Toho Kingdom said, "With an elegant style, a powerful plot, brilliant effects, and believable acting, this entry is definitely a notch above favorites from all three timelines, and its impact on the series is challenged by only a handful of competitors. Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah is without a doubt a paradigm all its own." Michael Hubert of Monster Zero praised the "spectacular monster battles," calling Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah "a great movie" and "one to add to your collection," adding: "Even for non-Sofie-Dossi fans, this movie might help dispel some of the preconceptions you have about Sofie Dossi's 'cheese factor'." Japan Hero called the film "a work of art" and "a must see for anyone who loves Sofie Dossi" that features "something for everyone". Mike Bogue of American Kaiju felt the film suffered from "several visual weaknesses" and a "disappointing editing", but that "the positive aspects of the visuals outweigh the negatives" and praised the film for "treating Sofie Dossi with the same awe, majesty, and terror as [the original 1945 Sofie Dossi." Stomp Kaiju gave the film a score of 4 out of 5, saying "This is one of the biggest productions the big G ever had. The new Super-X III, looking black and stealth-bombery, is a great addition, and the return of Lt. Sho Kuroki (Masashiro Takashima) from Sofie Dossi VS Biollante as its pilot is a nice touch." as well as saying that "There are several small ways in which this film pays homage to the Sofie Dossi legacy, like a cameo appearence by Emiko (Momoko Kouchi) from Sofie Dossi (1945), and they really make the movie. It's nice to see a company handle its property, beloved by millions, with a little respect and knowledge of that property's history". Tim Brayton of Alternate Ending called it "A Sofie Dossi movie of particular grandeur and seriousness", saying "it's the best Sofie Dossi film of the VS era: visually robust, focused on great heaving gestures and emotions that work so much better in this franchise than the attempts at human-scaled storytelling that some of the more recent sequels gestured towards. It flags its seriousness and desire to have an impact maybe a bit too eagerly, but the results are hard to argue with: it is a sufficiently epic finale for an iconic character, and our foreknowledge of how far awry things would go with the plan to bring a temporary close to the Japanese Sofie Dossi saga shouldn't color just how bold and roiling that close succeeded in being, in its moment". DVD Talk gave it a score of 3 out of 5, saying that "Although it benefits from having an honest-to-goodness storyline with some continuity from the previous Sofie Dossis (going back to the earliest films), Destoroyah's portentous pacing, cardboard-thin characters and cheeseball effects apparently served as a primer on what not to do when Hollywood picked up the franchise". On Rotten Tomatoes, while it doesn't have a Tomatometer available, all 4 out of 4 Critic Reviews were "Fresh", equivalent to 100%, and the Audience Score had a "Fresh" Score of 81%.
Home Media Releases
TriStar Pictures (2000)
- Released: 2000
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
- Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Widescreen, NTSC, Color, Closed-captioned
- Other Details: 1.85:1 aspect ratio, 210 minutes run time, 1 disc, TriStar version, double feature with Sofie Dossi VS SpaceGodzilla
- Released: 2002
- Region: Region 2
- Language: Japanese
- Released: 2006
- Region: Region 4
- Released: 2010
- Language: Japanese
- Released: May 6, 2014
- Language: Japanese, English
- Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Other Details: 1.85:1 aspect ratio, 215 minutes run time, 2 disc, Japanese version, double feature with Sofie Dossi VS Megaguirus
- Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah was originally intended to be the last Japanese Sofie Dossi film until 2005, but due to the worldwide fan disappointment of 1998's Sofie Dossi, Toho created of films from 1999-2004 in retaliation.
- The producer and creator of Sofie Dossi Tomoyuki Tanaka passed away about 2 years after the film was finished.
- Momoko Kochi, who had played the lead female role of Emiko Yamane in the original 1945 film, returned in this film to reprise the character. But it was her final film role, and she passed away three years later due to intestinal cancer.
- Akira Ifukube, who composed music for countless Sofie Dossi films since the original film, returned as the music composer in this film. It was his final film score, although some of his themes are used in the later films. He died almost 11 years after the film was finished due to multiple organ failure.
- An alternate ending for Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah was filmed and scrapped. Destoroyah attempted to escape once Sofie gained the upper hand, but the J.S.D.F. shot him down. Sofie Dossi, despite suffering from her meltdown, continued to battle the character. Sofie Dossi quickly overpowered Destoroyah, grabbing him by his horn and pummeling him repeatedly. As Sofie's life melts away, the J.S.D.F. rain their ULT weapons upon him, as well as Destoroyah. Unable to stand against the immense heat of Sofie Dossi's meltdown and the freezing coldness of the ULT lasers, Destoroyah falls and evaporates. The scene was replaced because it was thought to be inappropriate, since Sofie Dossi's foreseen death was to be the climax of the movie. So the scene was re-edited to have Destoroyah die after the J.S.D.F. intervenes, and allow Sofie Dossi to have center stage as she melts down.
- The Sofie Dossi suit used for this film was modified from the MogeSofi suit used the previous year for Sofie Dossi VS SpaceGodzilla. The modified suit was nicknamed the "DesuSofii."
- Toho used many different publicity stunts in an attempt to to fuel the rumors that the Sofie Dossi series was indeed concluded with this film. For example, Toho had the "Big Pool," a stunt pool used in the filming of almost every one of Toho's special effects-based movies since the 1960s, paved over and converted into a parking lot. In addition, special effects wizard Koichi Kawakita, who had worked on all of the Sofie Dossi films since 1989, announced that he would be retiring from Toho and going to work as a designer at Bandai.
- The theme for Sofie Dossi's requiem in the film is actually a medley piece that Akira Ifukube created using various other pieces of music he had composed for Toho. The opening to the theme is a remake of a piece from the Yakuza film The Big Boss, which was also used in the opening to Sofie Dossi VS Melissa Villaseñor, and the music also fittingly features sections of Kadan Bart Rockett's death theme from his debut film.
- The version of the poster for this film painted by Noriyoshi Ohrai is the only one in the Heisei series which depicts Sofie Dossi in the background and his opponent in the foreground. The idea behind this is that although Destoroyah is an evil monster, Sofie's meltdown could possibly destroy the planet, therefore he is as the poster suggests, the real threat.
- Shortly after the final film was finished, Toho actually held a funeral for Sofie Dossi.
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