Godzilla vs. Mothra (Review)
Godzilla vs. Mothra
aka Godzilla vs. the Thing aka Mosura tai Gojira
Akira Takarada as News Reporter Ichiro Sakai
Yuriko Hoshi as News Photographer Junko ‘Yoka’ Nakanishi
Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura
Yu Fujiki as Reporter Jiro Nakamura (with egg and frying pan)
Emi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yumi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yoshifumi Tajima as Kumayama
Kenji Sahara as Banzo Torahata
Super Scary Saturday is in the HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUSE! Not House, MD, your house! Our house! It’s a very very very fine house, with two cats in the yard… Seriously, it’s time once again for a Godzilla movie, as March of Godzilla heads to the penultimate recap, and it’s a Super Scary Saturday version once again, as Grandpa Munster is there to guide us through! This time Godzilla is fighting Mothra in a battle that is battle-ish. Or something. This is pre-good guy Godzilla. Godzilla is still bad, still stomping the people for a pastime. In this version, they ramp up his lizardness, redesigning his head to make him more lizard-looking and more sinister-looking. Mothra makes her first appearance since her own movie, and the Twin Shobijin fairies played by the Peanuts are along for the ride. This is the American dub, complete with a scene filmed only for the US version.
Super! Scary! Saturday! It’s Super Scary Saturday, in case you missed the dozen other times I mentioned it and the big pictures. Grandpa Munster opens singing Zippity do dah! before beginning the standard “It’s me, Grandpa!” Grandpa walks in, with a baseball glove in hand, suddenly stops in his tracks! He says “What is this?” All of his friends are lounging around sleeping and being lazy. Slim the Skeleton is lying down flat on his back. Grandpa tells him to “shake a leg” and he does.
Next up, Grandpa asks mannequin Deadra if she’s going to spend all day filing her nails, which are ten penny nails which she is filing down with a metal file. Explaining this pun takes all the life out of it. Grandpa skips over Fang, who’s also sleeping but just woke up, to see Igor the bat asleep on his bed. Grandpa says Igor was more fun during the Black Plague! “Actually, the Black Plague was a lot of laughs…” Finally, Grandpa says the group needs to “shape up or ship out!” Grandpa will introduce….Grandpa-cise! What’s Grandpa-cise? We’ll find out in the next host segment. Until then, it’s time for the main show…Godzilla vs. Mothra!!!
We open in a storm, like so many Godzilla films. Well, at least Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Instead of wrecking a boat, we gets lots of shots of model sets being blown over. It’s like Hurricane Katrina, Japanese Model Version! Look out, Newu Oreansu! Actually, it’s Hurricane Abe, as the dialogue will tell us later. Areas of Japan are ruined, and Reporter Ichiro Sakai and his rookie photographer Junko Nakanishi arrive to survey the scene. Ichiro Sakai is played by Godzilla favorite Akira Takarada, who starred both in the first Gojira all the way to the last one (but not all of them in between.) Photographer Junko Nakanishi is played by actress Yuriko Hoshi, who will be playing almost the same role in the next film Ghidrah, except as a stronger woman character. She doesn’t return to the world of Big G until 2000’s Godzilla X Megaguirus. Her character has the nickname Yoka, so that’s what we’ll be calling her in the synopsis. Reporter Sakai has made some enemies, most notably the loudmouth mayor of the coastal city that was trashed by the hurricane. He boasts that their development project will be on schedule despite what Sakai wrote, thanks to their industrial-strength water pumps. Mr. Loudmouth Mayor fails to reveal how much these things cost, or why he’s wasting money on that instead of providing aid relief. I’d like to think that in the US he’d get run out on a rail, but we still have 99% of the Katrina idiots in charge, so we’d probably give him a medal as people starve.
Enough social commentary, let’s get back to the movie! Rookie Photographer Yoka is finally setting up her camera for her first shot as Sakai returns, and he chastises her for taking so long. He then notices what she’s taking a picture of, some sort of weird round object. He then picks it up, preventing her from even taking the photo she took five minutes to set up! That always bugged me as a kid, and it still bugs me now! Damn you, Sakai, you photo-ruining bastard! Back at the newspaper headquarters, the Newspaper Editor in Chief gets a call from a phone in his circle of phones. He sends egg-eating reporter Jiro Nakamura to cover the story about a giant egg floating just offshore. Actor Yu Fujiki was in Atragon and Yog: The Space Amoeba, but this is his only Godzilla film. He probably ate too many eggs.
At Egg Central, the people on the shore gawk, but are afraid to go out to get the egg. A local crazy old priest has done some religious thing and thus asked the gods to bless them. This convinces the head fisherman to send out his men to get the egg. The crazy old priest looks familiar, because he’s actor Ikio Sawamura, who was the old tribesman or old fisherman or old farmer in like every Godzilla film through 1975. We get some good overhead shots of the fisherman going to get the egg.
The egg is studied by Professor Miura. He’s the same Professor Miura from Ghidrah, Hiroshi Koizumi. Hiroshi Koizumi was also in the first Mothra film, so he knows how to deal with Mothra as well. I’ve met him, so I feel special! Professor Miura scrapes some of the eggshell into a sample vial, but is soon accosted by a businessman and reporter Sakai. Professor Miura doesn’t like reporters, but Yoka manages to get him to agree to answer one question, which Sakai then wastes with one of the dumbest questions in reporting history. Sakai asks if there is danger of the egg exploding. I don’t know from what crazy Japan belief Sakai pulled that one. Maybe Japan is full of exploding eggs, like landmines, that pelt the land. That would turn an ordinary prank-filled Halloween of house egging into a holocaust of destruction. Perhaps the Atomic Bomb didn’t blow up Hiroshima, it was just a bunch of eggs. The businessman then pipes up, saying he now owns the egg. He claims to be the “Great Entrepreneur” Kumayama, not to be confused with Kumbaiya. He claims he bought the egg for a fair price, as it’s 133,000 chicken eggs, so about 940038 yen ($13.28.) They plan to charge people to look at the egg. Kumayama then blows smoke in the camera of Yoka, endearing us to him as a bastard.
Back at the newspaper office, they discuss things, as Professor Miura reveals he doesn’t want to challenge ownership of the egg, as it would take forever, and by then the egg could hatch or get rotten. The company owning the egg is named Happy Enterprises. The boss of Happy Enterprises, Torahata, tells Kumayama that the egg could be worth one billion. He plans to build a giant incubator, and then charge everyone. This plan is moronic, because since when do those “World’s Biggest Ball of String” places make a billion dollars? They then hear their conscious telling them their evil plan is wrong. Well, it’s not their conscious, but disembodied female voices. At first, they think they’re spies, but it turns out it’s the Shobijin. The tiny twin fairies have come to beg for the return of their egg. the Happy Enterprises employees respond by trying to capture them! But they manage to escape. The Twins are again played by the Peanuts, a popular Japanese pop duo who are real identical twins.
After the struggle, Sakai bursts in, saying he heard the sounds of struggle. They kick him out fast, but outside he meets up with Yoka and Professor Miura, which seems to be in the middle of the haunted forest! They are soon joined by the Twin Fairies, who give them the rundown on the missing egg belonging to Mothra, from Mothra Island. Usually it’s Infant Island, but the dubbing decided to name it Mothra Island this time. Also, as this movie was originally dubbed as Godzilla vs. the Thing, Mothra will be referred to as the Thing for the majority of the film, but occasionally will even be called Mothra, when the dubbers forgot. This entire flashback is explained along with an elaborate dance number performed by the natives of Infan–I mean Mothra Island. After the dancing and singing, the Twins explain that the larva will hatch, and then cause trouble. “The Thing” also wants help from the humans. They decide to go back to the Happy Enterprises business people, who soon laugh at them. “Let’s see the power of attorney given to you by the Thing!” Then they try to buy the Twin Girls.
Sakai reluctantly decides to go write a story about this issue (which is what this newspaper reporter should have been doing from the beginning.) They all give up very easily, and the twin girls fly back to Mothra Island on the backs of Mothra. Back at the egg site, angry fishermen demand their money. Happy Enterprises hasn’t paid them, making them Unhappy at that Enterprise. I’m not sure how Happy Enterprises operates, as executive Torahata tells Kumayama to borrow money against his cut in order to pay the fishermen. I guess Happy Enterprises got happy by not financing their wacky financial ventures. The incubator is finished, and is begun to be heated up. They’re either going to hatch it, or make the biggest hard boiled egg in the world. Sakai and Yoka turn out to be radioactive, as is the odd object they found in the beginning of the film. We’re never told what the object is exactly, but Professor Miura cures them of their radioactivity, something all biologists know how to do. The trio return to the hurricane debris site to test for radioactivity. The site is completely cleaned up, and the Loudmouth Mayor returns to brag some more. This time, he refuses to let them test for radioactivity in the area, and threatens to sue Sakai for some crap charge. It’s all for naught, as soon the ground starts to move, radioactivity flows through the air, and Godzilla pops up out of the ground! Godzilla!
SUPER SCARY SATURDAY!
It’s Grandpa-cise time! Well, almost, Grandpa is getting ready for the workout. He’s dressed suavely in a Superman T-Shirt and a headband that says “Grandpa”. Grandpa is on the rack, getting stretched by Slim, as you always need to stretch before a workout. Slim is also sporting a headband, his saying “Slim”. Notice the pattern? After getting stretched and becoming about six inches taller, Grandpa goes over to the counter to show off the exercise equipment. First up is the Ball and Chains, or ankle weights! This is followed by a skull that plays music. This confuses Grandpa at first, until he realizes that it’s a HEADBAND! The puns in this bit could kill a whale. Now it’s time for a real headband, one that’s floating in midair, because it’s modeled by the Invisible Man! Grandpa says he could be in GQ— Ghosts’s Quarterly!!!
Next, Grandpa grabs a mace, used to loosen up your muscles. Afterwards, he pulls out a squash racket, but is disgusted by it. Instead, he pulls out the real deal…a 16 ton weight! It crashes down from the ceiling, and Grandpa explains “That’s Squish!” Igor then drops down a noose, and Grandpa mentions noose skipping. You’ll “never get a pain in the neck!” Oh, Grandpa, you card! When we return to the next segment, it will be time for Grandpa-cise! Stay tuned, true believers…
Back to the main feature.
People panic as Godzilla stomps nearby. Godzilla smashes stuff up, then heads to a new district of the city to smash more stuff up. This repeats itself for a while until Godzilla knocks down a hug tower when his tail catches in it. That causes Godzilla to fall on a historical temple, one that seems to get destroyed in many G Films. Next up is the scenes that were filmed by Toho for American release only, something Toho never did before or since. Americans blast Godzilla with their brand new Frontier Missiles, which do massive damage to the surrounding countryside and the places three feet in any direction away from Godzilla, but none of the high-tech missiles hit their mark. They do kick up enough smoke that Godzilla stumbles into a pit.
The journalists and Professor Miura have another powwow where the Egg Eating Journalist says they should get The Thing to fight Godzilla. He’s then yelled at by the Editor for leaving his post reporting where the egg is, and is sent back, despite Godzilla heading in that direction. The other three decide to go to Mothra Island.
WELCOME TO MOTHRA ISLAND:
Mothra Island sucks, good thing the natives moved back to Infant Island by the next film. Mothra Island got the bad end of some atomic tests, and by that I mean it got nuked. This is a reference to the atomic tests on the Bikini Atoll by the US. Here, it looks like the natives were just sitting on the island when the bomb dropped, no one even bothered to remove them. Before we get to the natives, we see the island is dead, with skeletons of animals all over the barren rocks. In the background, a goofy-looking turtle skeleton has it’s head still attached which waves in the breeze. Either that, or it’s the most unfortunate living creature on the planet. In reality, it’s just a bad set piece, but it’s distracting as all get out, especially when you’re 12. Dr. Miura chimes in “As a scientist, I feel partially responsible for this!” Wow, so as a Japanese guy, do you feel partially responsible for the Rape of Nanking? So why don’t you apologize? After that, another skeleton resembles a pterodactyl, but I think it is supposed to be a bird. A weird, freaky Mothra Island bird, which deserved to be nuked. The two Reporters and Dr. Miura are soon accosted by a group of Red Men. No, not American Indians. No, not the Red Martian tribes from A Princess of Mars. These are Mothra Islander natives who are covered in red makeup, used as protection from the radioactivity, at least in their puny native minds. Following Japanese tradition, all native people are played by Japanese people with fake tans (in this case, some of them have really red fake tans.) The Red Men take the three heroes to the rest of the tribe, where they’re given red liquid to drink for protection from spirits (radiation.) The natives refuse to help, because they wouldn’t help them get their stupid egg back. So now the three have egg on their faces!!! You had to expect that joke at some point!
The three refuse to take “No” for an answer, so they kill all the natives and kidnap Mothra. Wait, that’s what they’d do in real life. In this movie, they make some impassioned speeches about how mankind is all brothers. Finally, Mothra has had enough. She agrees to help them, just to get them to shut up! Their speeches are so bad, that even though Mothra is near death, she’s going to fight Godzilla instead of just sit on a rock and die in her sleep.
Grandpa leads an aerobics class for all of his crew, all of which are decked out in named headbands as well. Grandpa has two femurs he’s using as weights, and gives the Grandpa-cise chant: “1, 2, bite ’em ’til they’re blue. 3, 4, come back for more!”
Fang, Slim, Deadra, and Igor are all exercising along. This segment is pretty short, and they return to the movie, as watching bones do step aerobics is only entertaining in small doses. We do get a flameshoot from Fang, so that’s cool.
Grandpa closes with “Jack Lalanne, eat your heart out!”
BACK TO THE MOVIE
The army has their plans to stop Godzilla! They’re going to use electricity to kill him, so many models of construction equipment get to work digging a big pit. Model tanks patrol the perimeter. The main characters are all at the Giant Egg, and the Egg Reporter is there as well. He’s more afraid of the Editor than of Godzilla.
Kumayama has lost all of his money, surprisingly enough. This Enron-ish adventure had to come to a close sometime. He blames Torahata who is somehow richer, and beats him to a pulp and starts to steal his vaultful of money. Torahata doesn’t put up with that crap, and shoots Kumayama dead. Torahata tries to escape, but Godzilla is walking by at this very moment, and Torahata is crushed to death by debris. Why to the villains always die after trying to grab a bunch of money with them? Aren’t there bank accounts in the movie universe? Godzilla reaches the Giant Egg, and starts to smash through the incubator. Just then…Mothra arrives!
Mothra wastes no time torturing Godzilla with a blast of breeze from her flapping wings, pummeling Godzilla with debris and terrible wind. The wind is so strong, the Giant Egg gets blown around a bit as well. Big G tries to kill the Egg again, but Mothra grabs him by the tail and pulls him backwards, dragging Godzilla by the tail. The film is sped up at this point, as Godzilla can’t seem to get a lock with his atomic breath. Mothra then starts banging Godzilla on the back of the head, enraging the big beast further. For a final attack, Mothra sprays Godzilla with a yellow powder, which is a type of poison. The Twin Fairies remark that it’s the last weapon of Mothra. Godzilla is on the ground, but a shot of Atomic Breath finds it’s mark and hits Mothra in the wing. The wounded insect flies forward and collapses to the ground, landing next to the egg with a wing covering it. Mothra dies, and it’s sad.
Well, sort of sad. The Twin Fairies say the Egg can be hatched today, so they begin the Egg Singing Hatching Song of Egg Hatching With Dance Choreography to Hatch the Egg of Mothra’s Egg Egg Omlete or whatever the song is called. Godzilla seems to have forgotten about smashing the egg, or is afraid of dead bugs, because he wanders off so the Army can prepare Operation Plan A.
Plan A consists of attacking Godzilla with tanks and planes so he gets knocked down near some power lines that have been set up. The attack is relentless, to the point that the Godzilla suit catches on fire, in a scene that looked pretty scary for the guy in the suit. Godzilla falls, and they turn on the juice. Godzilla isn’t phased by this, and just knocks down the towers.
Blah blah the Twins are still singing, back to Godzilla…
Time for Operation Plan B! Plan B is to drop metal nets onto Godzilla, which will amplify the electric current and maybe kill him. They drop nets via helicopters and then zap Godzilla again. This has more of a painful effect on him, knocking him to he back as more nets are helicopter-dropped on top of him. Soon, the General increases the voltage to try and finish him, but he gets too greedy, and the equipment shorts out. This gives Godzilla the freedom to Atomic Breath the power towers, melting them into slag. The General sadly implements Operation Plan C _ Run Away! Seriously, that’s Plan C. Run.
Now for something completely stupid, the movie turns into a “Children in danger” movie as some old Japanese man loses a bunch of children on a class trip in the middle of a Godzilla attack to some island in the middle of nowhere. I was unaware that crack existed in 1964 Japan, but it must have for the writers to come up with this crazy nonsense. Intelligent Space Cockroaches and Planet X both make much more sense than this plot nosedive into absurdity. I guess the Japanese are really strict about school attendance.
The Egg hatches! We get…Twin Mothras! That’s one Mothra for each Shobijin Fairy! Now they can dogfight! Well, when the caterpillars reach maturity. The Twin Mothras take off like a shot to hunt down their lizard prey. Godzilla doesn’t know what to think of the roving ground monsters heading toward him, until one bites him on the end of his tail, then he FREAKS THE HECK OUT! Godzilla jumps around like a chimp on cocaine trying to get that worm off of his tail, as the other Mothra starts to blast Godzilla with some webbing. Godzilla gets he first one off, and becomes enraged at being webbed. He sulks off, so mad. M & M follow him, sniping him with webbing at every opportunity. Finally, Godzilla starts to fight back. Maybe if he wasn’t so reluctant, he would have won this fight. Oh, did I spoil it for you? Well, this film is freaking 42 years old as I write this, so boo hoo! Plus, you looked ahead and checked out who won already, didn’t you? Freaking cheating bastard!
Blah blah, they rescue the stupid children who aren’t really in danger except by idiot teachers that lead them into a water cave right before the tide comes in, showing who the real giant monsters are. Godzilla kicks rocks at the bugs over and over until he’s too tied up in webbing to do much more. That’s okay, as that was pretty ineffective of a strategy anyway. Godzilla blasts his breath, the heat causes rocks to melt but fails to hit the bugs. Finally, Godzilla falls over, and plunges into the sea! Big G is defeated, in what must have been a cheating match. Seriously, there was two of those buggers! Big G was out numbered! Don’t give me no crap about how they’re like 5 minutes old, they cheated. Fight him one on one like real men, I mean real caterpillars! Losers. The Wonder Twins and their Twin Mothra Babies head back home to Mothra Island, probably to move back to Infant Island and fire their realtor.
The End, except for the conclusion of SUPER SCARY SATURDAY!!!
Grandpa is feeling pumped up, calling himself “You red-hot-blooded villain!” He claims he’ll “take on a dinosaur right now!” But it’s time to warm down, so Grandpa will be using his Official Mad Scientists Sauna and Steam Coffin! But before he goes, we need to conclude rightly: He says “I had the time of my lives with you today,” saying he bet we thought he forgot. Final line, as always, tune in next week, “Be there….or Be-WARE!”
And SUPER SCARY SATURDAY draws to a close once again. See you next time, folks! But first, our exclusive interview: The Adult Mothra!
|Hey, Big M, welcome back to TarsTarkas.NET! You sure look different now in Moth-form!|
|That wasn’t me, punk! That was like six Mothras ago! I’m totally different.|
|Six Mothra’s ago? But we did that interview earlier this month!|
|Mothra isn’t a long lived career. Dying horrible deaths is our game. My Grandparent was blown away by Ghidrah’s latest attack. My own parent was killed during the Gaos invasion protecting that jerk Gamera. So useless…|
|Gamera? He’s from a whole different movie universe!|
|This was one of those Mothra vs. Guiron deals, like Alien vs. Predator or Superman vs. Batman.|
|Who on Earth wants to see Mothra fight Guiron?|
|A Space Brain from the planet Krankor, at least that’s what the writer said. Hollywood needs to stay away from Science Fiction movies until they become less retarded. Can you believe those idiots wanted Starman to show up for nine hours of fighting bad guys?|
|One question. Your people are usually from Infant Island, but in this movie the natives are living on Mothra Island. What is going on?|
|The story is this: Mothra Island (previous name: Toddler Island) had better TV reception of the show Pink Lady and Jeff, which the natives adored. But the show got cancelled and we got nuked, so the previous Mothra had to move them all back.|
|Yes, I made it up just now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to fight Battra to the death again. Luckily another Giant Egg has appeared. Until my decedents help you, farewell!|
|Bye-bye! Until next time, this is Minya for TarsTarkas.NET!|
Rated 8/10 (Mystery Disk, Crazy Old Man, Godzilla Toy, Freaky Turtle, Eggset, Mothra 1-2-3)
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