MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
A group of reporters, a giant egg, greedy businessmen, a big ass moth, little larvas and Godzilla. Need more?
Is it good movie?
When I watch something like Mothra vs. Godzilla, a requirement emerges that one must listen to the wonderfully bad English dub. That dub adds an element to older foreign films, that extra bit of goofiness that’s yet another layer of cheese to the wonderfully bad special effects. Or perhaps I should say dated effects, because in all actuality for a low budget 1964 flick there are a number of trick shots and effects that look really good considering. With that said, probably 10 years have passed since I last checked out a Godzilla movie; and the one element that's bad, distractingly bad is the actual Godzilla costume. Maybe it’s that scene from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure that has screwed up my senses, but that damn rubber suit is difficult to get past: slow, prodding, Frankensteinish, inflexable. However, don’t misunderstand. It is the ineffectiveness of the suit that makes Godzilla great. I know puriest out there might question anyone who questions the suit, but I'm not questioning. I'm commenting. The damn thing is goofy. Loveable, but goofy. Period.
The premise for this entry (it’s the fourth) comes in the form of a giant egg that washes ashore following a massive storm. It’s basically a ten story Easter egg and it draws a crowd. This brings us our main characters, a pair of reporters and a scientist who do battle with a pair of greedy and ruthless businessmen hoping to profit off the egg. Then come yet another pair, this time little fairies wearing white fur coats and white fur hats who tell the evil doers to return the egg. Then...well, does it really matter? Godzilla plots are never mistaken for Tolstoy, folks. Fans want chaos. Plot becomes secondary compared with rubber monsters ripping apart a city. And we get that. Godzilla crushes a bunch of shit, breathes fire, gets blown up, attacks tanks, and battles Mothra, the giant moth, who flies around and does whatever ass kicking a moth can do. What makes this movie work is the unstoppable force of mother nature (Godzilla/Mothra in this case), exacting revenge on the human race. It's the reason why Godzilla is so loved nearly 50 years after the fact. With decent acting, good music and a plot that drives it, Mothra vs. Godzilla is vintage Japanese goodness.
Video / Audio
Video:Widescreen presentation for both films.
Audio: Either original Japanese or dubbed English. They sound as good as they probably can.
Two Verisons of the Film: The original Japanese verison and the English dubbed version. The original runs about 30 seconds longer and the main difference I noticed is the attack from the Americans. Go for the dubbed.
Audio Commentary by Ed Godziszewski and Steve Ryfle: While extremely informative, these two guys sound like they’re reading their info (and there is a ton of it) at times and act like this movie is Citizen Kane. The movie’s very enjoyable, but come on! Loosen up, fellas, this is freakin Godzilla! They both think it has the greatest effects, score, acting ever. Also, there’s an interesting portion in here about dubbing and the people that did it.
Slide Show of Original Posters: A healthy dose of Godzilla. 15 posters, stills and handbills put to music.
Akira Ifukube Biography with Tribute by Shogo Tomiyama: While interesting, this must have had the budget of a high school slide show. Don't be sleepy if you're watching as it is verrrry dullll.
Original Japanese Trailer: Watch it and like it.
Mothra vs. Godzilla has everything a Godzilla fan looks for. From the goofy effects to the the great monster battles, this is one of the best.