It was 1985

Captured on VHS


It was 1985 and life was good because Godzilla was back! After a nine year hiatus, Toho revived Godzilla once again with the release of Godzilla (1984) on December 15, 1984. The latest from Toho was written in continuity with the original Gojira (1954) leaving behind all the other Showa era films.

I learned about the film on local news stations announcing Godzilla’s return to the big screen. In 1984, Rocketships & Accessories celebration Godzilla’s 30th Birthday and promoted his return. The shop was featured on local television program during which they discuss the coming film. The shop carried figures, books and other collectibles from the film.

Godzilla was released by New World Pictures in the U.S. on August 23, 1985, under the title Godzilla 1985. Like the U.S. release of Godzilla King of the Monsters (1956), Godzilla 1985 shot additional footage with Raymond Burr who returned to reprise his role as Steve Martin, an American journalist. The new film was edited extensively like the original. Dr. Pepper was a major sponsor and promoter. They launched a $10 million advertising campaign for the film. The new scenes shot for the state-side release included strategic Dr. Pepper product placement.

Left: WGBS Philly 57 Ad for the premiere of Philly 57, WGBS-TV, on October 19, 1985 in TV Guide. (Source: John); Right: Philly 57 Super Sunday advertisement

In 1986, with great anticipation and VCR ready to go, I recorded this Heisei classic broadcasted by local Philadelphia channel Philly 57. “WPSG, virtual channel 57 (UHF digital channel 33), is a CW owned-and-operated television station licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States” (Source: Wikipedia). Philly 57 was a new comer to Philadelphia but they kept the great tradition of broadcasting Godzilla movies on the weekends and Japanese TV programming including Ultraman Powered, Star Blazers and Speed Racer. Channel 57 signed on the air in Philly on June 15, 1981.

Philly 57 promoted Godzilla 1985 as a world television premiere on the station’s Friday night movie at eight o’clock. Take a look at the promotional commercial. During its airing on Philly 54, there was a trivia contest to win a 6ft-blow-up Godzilla. This morning I woke up and digitized my old VHS tape of Philly 57’s world premiere of Godzilla 1985. Enjoy this short clip with the Dr. Pepper commercial.