RiffTrax Wiki
43d0989d523c08ee8309f028e81f6d1f large.jpg
Riffed by RiffTrax
Riffers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett
Series RiffTrax Live!
Date Released August 14, 2014 (Live) and October 31, 2014 (Studio)

Godzilla is a 1998 American science fiction monster film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. A reimagining of the popular Japanese film monster of the same name, the film revolves around a giant reptilian monster, mutated by nuclear tests in French Polynesia, who migrates to New York City to nest its young. The cast features Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn and Jean Reno. The screenplay was written by Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin with the story partially credited to Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who have written an earlier version of the script that differentiated from Emmerich and Devlin's version significantly but borrowed minor elements from Elliott and Rossio's script. RiffTrax riffed the film live on August 14, 2014 from the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee. The studio riff was released in October 2014. It was voted Live Show of the Year in the RiffWiki.net 2014 Year in Review.

Synopsis and Preview


RiffTrax Live GODZILLA (Official Trailer)

[Spoilers Begin]

Following a nuclear incident in French Polynesia, a lizard's nest is irradiated by the fallout of subsequent radiation. Decades later, a Japanese fishing vessel is suddenly attacked by an enormous sea creature in the South Pacific ocean and only one seaman survives. Traumatized, he is questioned by a mysterious Frenchman in a hospital regarding what he saw, to which he replies, "Gojira". Dr. Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick), an NRC scientist, is in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine researching the effects of radiation on wildlife, but is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of an official from the U.S. State Department. He is sent to Tahiti and Jamaica, escorted by the military, to observe the wreckage of the recovered Japanese fishing ship with massive claw marks on it. The Frenchman is also present, observing the scene, and introduces himself as Philippe Roché (Jean Reno), an insurance agent. Aboard a military aircraft, Dr. Tatopoulos identifies skin samples he discovered in the shipwreck as belonging to an unknown species. He dismisses the military's theory that the creature is a living dinosaur, instead deducing that it is a mutant created by nuclear testing. The giant reptilian creature, dubbed as "Godzilla" by the media, travels to New York City leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The city is evacuated as the military attempts to kill it but fails in an initial attempt. Dr. Tatopoulos later collects a blood sample and assumes that the creature reproduces asexually and is collecting food for its offspring. The aspiring journalist, and ex-girlfriend of Dr. Tatopoulos, Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo) uncovers a classified tape in his provisional military tent which concerns the origins of the lizard. Her superior, Charles Caiman (Harry Shearer) however, declares the tape as his own media discovery, and the tape is broadcast on television embarrassing the military on the sensitive nature of the situation. As a result of this leak, Nick is fired from the operation. Nick is then kidnapped by Roché, who reveals himself to be an agent of the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence agency. He and his colleagues have been keeping close watch on the events and are planning to cover up their country's role in the nuclear accident that spawned the creature. Suspecting a nest somewhere in the city, they cooperate with Nick to trace and destroy it.

Following a chase, the creature dives into the Hudson River where it is attacked by Navy submarines. After sustaining head-on collisions with torpedoes, the beast sinks after being rendered incapacitated. Believing it is finally dead, the authorities celebrate. Dr. Tatopoulos and Roché's special operations team, covertly followed by Timmonds and her cameraman Victor "Animal" Palotti (Hank Azaria), make their way through underground subway tunnels to Madison Square Garden. There, they locate 200 eggs, having finally found the nest. As they attempt to destroy them by planting explosives, the eggs suddenly hatch. Sensing the human intruders as food, the young creatures begin attacking them. Dr. Tatopoulos, Palotti, Timmonds and Roché take refuge in the coliseum's broadcast booth and send a live news report to alert the military of what will happen if the offspring escape. A prompt response involving an airstrike is initiated as the four escape moments before the arena is bombed. The adult however, survived the torpedo attack earlier underwater and emerges from the Gardens's ruins. Discovering all of its offspring dead, it roars in anger and chases Dr. Tatopoulos, Roché, Timmonds and Palotti. Roche finds an abandoned cab and drives all of them through the streets of Manhattan. In pursuit of the quartet, the beast eventually makes its way to the Brooklyn Bridge. The creature becomes trapped in its steel suspension cables, making it an easy target. After being successfully struck with missiles by military aircraft (the ones which earlier bombed the sports arena) it collapses, smashing the cab under its jaw and slowly dies. Roche and the rest of the team part ways, and the people of New York celebrate.

Meanwhile, back in the Garden's ruins, one egg has survived the aerial bombardment. The baby Godzilla hatches and roars at the camera.

[Spoilers End]

Cast and Crew

  • Matthew Broderick as Dr. Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos
  • Jean Reno as Philippe Roaché
  • Maria Pitillo as Audrey Timmonds
  • Hank Azaria as Victor "Animal" Palotti
  • Kevin Dunn as Colonel Hicks
  • Michael Lerner as Mayor Ebert
  • Lorry Goldman as Gene
  • Harry Shearer as Charles Caiman
  • Arabella Field as Lucy Palotti
  • Vicki Lewis as Dr. Elsie Chapman
  • Doug Savant as Sergeant O'Neal
  • Malcolm Danare as Dr. Mendel Craven
  • Ralph Manza as Fisherman Joe
  • Glenn Morshower as Kyle Terrington
  • Gary A. Hecker as Creature Vocal Effects
  • Frank Welker as Creature Vocal Effects



  • This was the second RiffTrax Live show of 2014, following Sharknado and preceding Anaconda .
  • The rights for this film and Anaconda were aquired through funds raised on RiffTrax's second Kickstarter campaign.
  • The studio release of the riff is the second Blockbuster MP3 commentary of 2014, the other being The Wizard of Oz.
  • Gene Siskel picked this movie in "The Worst Films of 1998" special on At the Movies.


See Also

External Links