With the success of King Kong Vs Godzilla, Toho Studios decided to once again bring in a monster from another movie monster to fight Godzilla, but this time they decided to use one of their own monsters. This actually started a trend of Toho bringing monsters from some of their other movies into the Godzilla series. In this case, they decided to use Mothra, the winged avenging moth famous for it’s own movie. So let’s see what happens when these two monsters clash in today’s movie, Mothra Vs Godzilla.
The plot: After a typhoon ravages a coastal village, reporter Ichiro Sakai and his photographer, Junko Nakanishi, are covering the destruction when Junko discovers a strange scale floating in the wreckage. Later, a giant egg is discovered off the coast of the village. Professor Miura is beginning to stop when he is ordered to stop by Kumayama, an entrepreneur from Happy Enterprises, who had just purchased the egg from the local villagers in the hopes of making it into a tourist attraction. Later that night, Kumayama meets with the head of Happy Enterprises, Jiro Torahata, to make plans for the giant egg when they are interrupted by the Shobijin, the tiny twin priestess of Infant Island. The Shobijin beg the two men to return the egg to Infant Island but the two men ignore their pleas and try to capture them but the Shobijin escape. Miura, Ichiro, and Junko encounter the Shobijin, who ask for their help in getting the egg back, but the men from Happy Enterprises refuse to give back the egg and instead try to buy the Shobijin from them so the Shobijin leave, warning that destruction will come to the city if the egg hatches. A few days later, Ichiro and Junko are asked to visit Miura, who puts them into decontamination, explaining that the scale the brought him was highly radioactive. The three people go back to where Junko discovered the scale and witness Godzilla emerging from underneath the ground, where the typhoon had buried him. As the JSDF tries to stop Godzilla, Ichiro, Junko, and Miura travel to Infant Island to ask the Shobijin to send Mothra to help them with Godzilla. The Shobijin and the natives refuse at first, but are finally convinced to send Mothra to help, in spite of the fact that the giant moth is dying. Godzilla’s rampage has finally made it’s way towards the egg but Mothra arrives and begins to battle him. Mothra gets the upper hand initially but after being blasted by Godzilla’s atomic ray, she flies towards her egg and dies. As Godzilla heads towards a nearby island, the egg hatches to reveal two giant larvas. The two monsters head towards the island and begin to fight with Godzilla, eventually covering him in a silken cocoon to the point that Godzilla is barely able to move and tumbles over a cliff and back into the sea, leaving the twin Mothra larve free to travel back to infant island.
Mothra Vs Godzilla is one of the most favorably reviewed movies from the Godzilla series, earning a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This was one of the few movies in the Godzilla series that was not heavily edited before it was released in the U.S. The main change that was done was to the title, being released as Godzilla Vs The Thing. This caused some confusion to the audience because many of the movie posters displayed Godzilla fighting some sort of tentacled monster. The confusion did not end when it was released on video in the 80’s since the video was released as Godzilla Vs Mothra but the characters constantly called Mothra “The Thing” in the movie.
This is definitely one of the better movies from the Showa era of Godzilla films. The plot was pretty good and the human characters did a good job of helping move the story along. I liked the slight changes that they made to the Godzilla suit because it actually made him look more evil in appearance. The Mothra puppets/models were also in good condition considering they were the same ones used in Mothra’s solo movie. The fight between Godzilla and the adult Mothra, as well as the fight between Godzilla and the Mothra larvae, were very well choreographed. They did a good job of making the fights seem more believable. The special effects were also very well done, in spite of some mishaps that occurred. A great kajiu movie that is worth watching.
I know that on paper, Godzilla vs a giant moth does not sound entertaining, but this movie is worth watching.
Rating: 4 out of 5