The BBFC first classified a Godzilla movie, Godzilla, King of the Monsters, in 1956. But the focus of this From the Archive piece is Godzilla 1985, 30 years later.
Godzilla 1985 was submitted to the BBFC for classification on 15 July 1986. The BBFC classified the film PG, but only after one cut was made to reduce a scene of horror that Examiners thought took the film to 15. Prior to the introduction of the 12 certificate in 1989, film distributors needed to secure a PG rating to reach a younger and family audience.
The Examiner report here describes how ‘Big G’ will be “real fun for the kids” once the distributor makes the vital cut to a scene at the beginning of the film involving an attack on a man by a “giant seahorse”, “that would simply frighten kids under the seats, never to re-emerge”. The distributor made the cut (of 17 seconds) and the film was passed PG.
Godzilla 1985 was submitted again on video on 30 July 1986, without the cuts to the early scene. Examiners considered that on the small screen, the green rubber monster had much less impact and the video was passed PG uncut, ahead of its video release in March 1987.