Mothra vs. Godzilla

Mothra vs. GodzillaAfter a typhoon, a news reporter, Ichiro Sakai (Akira Takarada) and his photographer, Junko Nakanishi (Yuriko Hoshi) are documenting the damage. While they are surveying the area, a giant egg is found. Kumayama (Yoshifumi Tajima), from Happy Enterprises, tells all the scientists, and the reporters, that they must leave the egg alone. He has purchased it from the local villagers who found the egg. He plans to keep the egg for himself, and charge people a fee to view the egg.

While Kumayama and Banzo Torahata (Kenji Sahara), the head of Happy Enterprises, are discussing the egg, the are confronted by two tiny twin women, known as Shobijin (Yûmi Itô and Emi Itô), who beg the men to return the egg to them. Instead of heeding their warning, the men try to capture the miniature twins.

The twins escape and are found by Ichiro, Junko, and Professor Miura (Hiroshi Koizumi). They explain that the egg belongs to Mothra, a giant moth who lives on their island. The egg was washed away by the typhoon. Ichiro, Junko, and Miura try to help the Shobijin, but are unable to get the egg back. The Shobijin thank them for trying to help and head back to Mothra island, promising not to forget their kindness.

Godzilla, who had been washed ashore by the typhoon, emerges and begins attacking the city. As a natural response, the military is called in to try to defeat Godzilla. Their weapons are no match for the giant monster. Ichiro, Junko, and Miura go to Mothra’s island to ask for help from the villagers on the island. Upset by the fact that the egg has been stolen, the villagers do not take kindly to the strangers.

Eventually, the trio convinces Mothra to help save Japan. However, if Mothra makes the flight to battle Godzilla, she won’t have the strength to fly back. The Shobijin say that Mothra will live on, once the egg hatches.

Meanwhile, back in Japan, the heads of the military continue with plans to try to defeat Godzilla, including electrocuting him. As their plans fail, Godzilla finds Mothra’s egg, and tries to destroy it. Mothra shows up before he can do any damage to the egg. An epic battle between these behemoths ensues. Will Mothra be able to save Japan and protect her egg?

I was inspired to watch some classic Godzilla movies by the Godzilla reboot that was released this weekend. While the new movie blows the classic away in terms of special effects, you can’t replace the campiness and overall experience of watching the original incarnation of the giant lizard.

Watching a Godzilla movie from 1964 is completely different from watching any of today’s versions. Instead of being terrifying (as much as a Godzilla movie can be), it almost felt like a comedy. The characters were delivering some funny one-liners. One could almost make a case that classic comedies, like Airplane!, may have been inspired by movies like this one. It was surprisingly funny.

Also, Godzilla from the 1960s is more of a giant, clumsy oaf. Not the sure footed monster we see today. He would bumble his way around, tripping over obstacles, stumbling across the landscape. And he looked genuinely confused and pissed off when he would crash into a building, only to have it crumble onto him.

Similar to the 2014 version, the military tries military tactics to defeat the beast. These, of course, are no match for Godzilla’s sheer size. They may have been more effective, had they been able to hit a 165 foot tall lizard with their missiles, rather than have things exploding all around him. Mothra, on the other hand, only needed to flap her giant wings, creating a powerful wind strong enough to drive Godzilla back. The fight between Godzilla and Mothra truly is epic. It is cheesy and absurd. And funny. I found myself actually laughing as Mothra dragged Godzilla by his tail.

You can’t beat these old Godzilla movies. They are classics. You can’t recreate the feeling of these films. They are good family fun. By the end of the movie, I had all of my kids in the living room watching with me. And you haven’t really watched a movie until you have a 4-year-old giving play-by-play on Godzilla fighting Mothra.


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