Director – Ishiro Honda (Godzilla, King Kong vs. Godzilla)
Starring – Furanki Sakai (The Ghostly Trip, Blood), Hiroshi Koizumi (Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., The Return of Godzilla), and Kyoko Kagawa (After Life, Deep River)
Release Date – 1961
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “Mightiest monster in all creation! Ravishing a universe for love!”
I stayed a lot with my grandmother when I was growing up. My dad went to auto auctions out of town several days a week so I would stay with her and watch horror and sci-fi flicks. We would watch a lot sci-fi shows on Sci-Fi Channel but on rare occasions the channel would air movies. One random day it aired a Godzilla flick and my grandmother turned it into a big deal. She made me some popcorn and let me drink soda which is something she was against. When the movie played I found myself enthralled with it. I needed more so I rented as many as the local video store had.
Over the years I’ve seen pretty much the entire Godzilla series and a few of the tie in films like Mothra. Several months back Mill Creek Entertainment announced a steelbook blu release for the 1961 kaiju film Mothra. This was something I was not expecting but it was exciting news to say the least. I reached out to Mill Creek and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a scientific expedition to a once thought deserted island where it is reported that a group of people are living in a heavily radiated region that was once the site of atomic testing. What they find there is a giant egg worshipped by the locals and a pair of tiny twins that are then kidnapped and brought back to the mainland. Their disappearance and turmoil awakens the creature in the egg and Mothra heads to the mainland to rescue the tiny twins from their captor. **Spoiler Alert**
Godzilla has stomped into the hearts of millions but I always find myself partial to the off shoot monsters from the series. Movies like Mothra, Rodan, Varan, and so on. Godzilla is amazing so don’t take that the wrong way but I love the tone of these films. Especially Mothra and how light hearted it is compared to the others. I was wanting to introduce my kids to the Godzilla series and thought that Mothra would be the perfect film to get their toes wet. I can’t say that they enjoyed themselves but I had a lot of fun revisiting this one.
The acting in this one is what you expect from the Godzilla series. The Japanese cast gives the roles their all but the dubbing has almost made it feel like a parody. If you can watch the scenes with subtitles you can really enjoy their performances but if you watch the dubbed version it does comes off as comical at times.
The story for this one is giant monster mayhem but not as maniacal as Godzilla. We don’t get the unapologetic city destruction. Instead, Mothra’s small rampage was justifiable and the people are the villians this time around and not the giant monsters. I wouldn’t say this is a departure from the other films in the series but it is very appearent that Mothra is established as a creature of good and not your typical monster.
Finally, if you want foam monsters destroying miniature cities then you are in look. It doesn’t have the amount of buildings being destroyed as other kaiju movies of the time but it still delivers on the cardboard carnage. Overall, Mothra may not redifine the sub-genre but it definately improves upon it. The blu from Mill Creek doesn’t deliver the best quality of the film available but the steelbook is an extremely nice addition to the collection.
Includes both the Japanese and U.S. edits of the film