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Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA (1964)

Our stomp down the big list continues.  Today's film is Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964).  The Toho Triple Threat is back, with Honda, Tsubaraya and Ifukube working their respective magic.

(Despite the poster for the American version above, no, Godzilla does not face Cthulhu.)

My review is first:
I gotta tell you ... watching the films on this list in order really brings perspective to them that I wasn't anticipating.  I figured and falsely remembered that we'd be in full goofball Shōwa swing by now.  Nope.  Not at all. 
In this film, Godzilla retains his menace.  Despite having choked on a tree by Kong's hand in his last outing, Gojira rampages across Nagoya and its outskirts.  From the moment he springs from the earth, through his havoc in the city, then through his strike on a hotel and Mothra's egg, all the way until Iwa Island where he was encased by two Mothra larvae, ... the monster is a monster.  It is truly good stuff.   
Flaws?  Yet another trip to an island full of natives.  I understand their connection to Mothra and the tiny twins, but it feels like we've been to this well too much.  (Especially since they make a thick red drink like they did in King Kong vs. Godzilla.)  Goofy characters, but they're not so bad.  Yet another subplot about businessmen crooks trying to make hay on the situation getting one upped by the monsters.  Apparently the original script was going to include the fictional nation of Rolisica again, as seen in Mothra.  Finally, there's a lot of reporters running around ... standard kaiju movie shenanigans that pads the film. 
Also, we get a taste of Toho's actor stable here.  No Serizawa, but we see King Kong's general, Jun Tazaki, yet again, plus we get Akira Takarada.  He starred in Gojira and will appear six more times before Final Wars
All of that aside, Mothra vs. Godzilla ... far better than I remembered.  4 out of five atomic blasts of awesomeness.
Now my son, James:
Wwweeelllll...I thought it was fine for a monster-movie, but the moth REJECT was back for more!!! But on the plus side, Godzilla wanted an omelet for breakfast, so he tried to destroy the huge egg that washed up on shore. And then Moth guy tried to keep Godzilla back away from the egg because it was her egg. 
I'll give it 3.5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!!
He's always had something against Mothra.  Don't know why.  I think the singing twins annoy him.

Here's the trailer:

Next time, the gangster-filled flick, Dogora.

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