Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) – Ishiro Honda

 

The Sci-Fi Chronicles book continues to pay off as I now get to spend some time with that kaiju known the world round as Godzilla. I’ve previously reviewed the original film here. His competition in this film, Mothra, had a film of its own, but in this one, the two beasts go head to head…

After a typhoon strikes a local village, a giant egg washes ashore, which is bought from the poor townsfolk by a greedy developer, Happy Enterprises, with the intention of turning it into a money-making attraction and to drive interest and curiosity about it until the thing hatches…

Meanwhile, Ichiro (Akira Takarada) and his photographer Junko (Yuriko Hoshi), catch the case, and decide to do some investigating of their own, and things get even stranger…  Not only is the giant egg threatening to hatch, but it seems a pair of tiny identical women, twin fairies, known as Shobijin (Emi Ito and Yumi Ito) have come to Japan from the fantastical Infant Island, accompanied by a giant moth, Mothra, to ask for the return of the egg. It’s Mothra’s unborn.

When Happy Enterprises says no to the fairies, they climb aboard Mothra, and return to their island.

But karma is a bitch.

No sooner has the giant insect left than Godzilla is woken from his slumber, and rises up to once again wreak some havoc and devastation on the Japanese countryside. This also ends up putting Mothra’s egg in the path of danger…

mothra

So, Ichiro and Junko travel to Infant Island, which is populated by some strange characters, to ask for help. The island itself is a radioactive mess, and the people and creatures that live there struggle to survive. After trying to make as many persuasive arguments as they can for help, which are all rebuffed, Mothra finally agrees to help, in return for her unborn children.

But will Mothra be enough to take on the giant, building-stomping lizard, or will it fall onto her unborn young to do that?

I haven’t seen tons of Godzilla movies, but I always tend to enjoy them, there’s always this weird balance between some human melodrama, and some truly outlandish things… a giant moth, and little fairy women for instance, to say nothing of a giant lizard that returns to deal out collateral damage on a regular basis.

They’re just so fun! And you can’t help but get into the enjoyable nature of everything in it, from the model work, which is better than that seen previous, but still, very evidently, models, and there is also a lot of humor running through these films. Little jokes, lines, asides, and even big gags.

There’s a reason these films continue to endure, and it’s not because the special effects are amazing, no, it’s because they are imbued with such a sense of fun.

I may have to track down some more outside of the titles recommended in the Sci-Fi Chronicles book…

MG8

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