Mothra vs. Godzilla [reviewed by the Drudgeon]

Mothra vs. Godzillaaka Mosura tai Gojira, Godzilla vs. the Thing, Godzilla vs. Mothra
89 min., 1964
Directed by Ishirô Honda
Language: Japanese (English subtitles available)
My rating: **
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A giant moth, tiny women, a couple of worms and Godzilla, who could ask for more?

* * *

The movie begins with a typhoon hitting a village and causing major damage.  In the aftermath a reporter, Ichi Sakai (Akira Takarada) and his photographer, Yoka (Yuriko Hoshi), show up to report on what happened.  While there Yoka finds a strange piece of green and blue…I don’t know (it kinda looks like scrambled eggs).  We then jump to the villagers seeing a giant egg out at sea and they decide to retrieve it.  A little while later Professor Miura (Hiroshi Koizumi) starts doing some research on the egg.  That’s when Kumayama (Yoshifumi Tajima) shows up claiming that he is the owner of the egg and shows Miura papers that show he bought it from the village.  As it turns out Kumayama has a boss, Jiro Torahata (Kenji Sahara) who is behind the buying of the egg.  He wants to make billions off of it, and that’s when two tiny women appear (Emi & Yumi Ito) and beg for them to return the egg back to Infant Island.  It’s the egg of Mothra!  Not soon after, Godzilla appears and attacks.  Mothra also appears to protect her egg and the fight begins.

The acting is better in this movie.  Well, I shouldn’t necessarily say better, it’s just not played for laughs as much as the last movie.  There are some funny moments, but overall they are taking this more seriously.  Yuriko Hoshi is great as the “sidekick” to Akira Takarada.  She plays a strong woman, which didn’t seem to be the norm in most Japanese films of the time, but she doesn’t play it too strong.  She plays it believable, unlike a lot of strong women in movies where they are almost cartoonish when they try and show how strong they are.  She makes it work.  Kenji Sahara is also great as the rich slime ball that doesn’t care about anything but money and making more of it.

There is a big jump in the effects department compared to the last movie.  The models (for the most part) are top notch, with everything (minus the tanks) looking less like toys and more like actual vehicles and buildings.  The monsters themselves are also a lot better, with Godzilla looking better and Mothra being a beautiful construction.  Mothra is still a bit jerky while flying around and kinda looks like a stuffed animal, but that’s part of her charm.

Everything about this one is a full step up from the previous efforts.  The acting is better, but the big thing is the effects.  The effects are just great in this one (well there are a few sore spots, but nothing too bad) and the series is starting to show some real progress towards the reason why Godzilla is so memorable.  The movie is also a great example of what to expect when you watch a Godzilla film.  Godzilla doesn’t show up right away and monster fights aren’t the central focus of the movies, but a lot of the time it’s about the people.  This time it shows the greedy and no matter how terrible things are, money is always the answer to them, and that could get you killed.  Good message within a really good movie.  The best so far!

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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