Directed by Ishirô Honda
Distributed by Classic Media
You don’t have to be Japanese to understand the meaning of the above lyrics. Any Kaiju fan could tell you that they’re an excerpt from the Twin Faeries of Infant Island’s summoning of Mothra song. I’ve had that shit forever seared into my memory. In 1964 Godzilla met his latest nemesis in the form of a giant moth and a couple of caterpillars in arguably the best sequel in Big G’s history, Mothra Vs. Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. The Thing). Classic Media has unleashed yet another remastered and comprehensive DVD that you’ll be proud to add to your collection.
It’s all about greed, baby. The love of money has long been one of mankind’s downfalls, and nowhere is it more apparent then in Toho’s Mothra Vs. Godzilla. When a hurricane sends a giant egg floating into Japanese waters, a wealthy businessman sees an opportunity to generate lots of greenbacks by putting it on display. The natives of Infant Island (the place of the egg’s origin) send a pair of twin faeries to Tokyo to plead for the egg’s return. Despite warnings that if the egg hatches, the larva will wreck Japan in search of food, the faeries are largely ignored. In fact, said businessman sees the faeries as another means to rake in the dough and tries to kidnap them. Of course all of this doesn’t sit well with the egg layer, and before you know it, Mothra is airborne and to the rescue.
In the midst of all these incredible events, the land of the rising sun finds itself with another problem: the return of the city smashing badass known as Godzilla. Of course Mothra and Godzilla cross paths, and from there it’s game on! Unfortunately, the big old bug doesn’t fare very well against ‘Zilla’s testicular fortitude and burning hot breath. Mothra gets swatted like a fly. But what’s this!?! The egg is hatching! The larva are loose! Get ready for a web-slinging, fire-breathing showdown of epic monster movie proportions!
There are lots of things that contribute to making Mothra Vs. Godzilla so very memorable. Sometimes the planets align and all is right in the world. The script is good, the characters well drawn, and all the essential components are here! The director of the original Godzilla, Ishirô Honda, is back at the helm; composer Akira Ifukube is pounding out the wicked cool horn heavy Godzilla score; and best of all rubber suit icon Haruo Nakajima is back in his fire-breathing gear doing what he does best – wrecking shit in the most mean-spirited of fashions. Speaking of which, Mothra Vs. Godzilla marks the final time in the original series in which Godzilla is one of the bad guys. Personally, I prefer evil Godzilla over heroic Godzilla, and in this film he’s at his malevolent best. There’s really nothing here not to like.
Classic Media once again delivers the goods, giving us the choice to watch either the original Japanese version of the film or the American one. Don’t expect an extreme contrast here like the two versions of Godzilla Raids Again though. Honestly there’s not much difference at all. Each version has a couple of extra scenes to check out here and there, but essentially we get the same good movie. And I have to say, the print is friggin’ sweet. This movie has never looked or sounded better. Rock!
If there’s anywhere this package falls kind of short, it’s with regard to the extras. Other than the poster slide show we get a featurette focusing on the composer of the series, Akira Ifukube. I don’t know. Every time I watch a DVD extra about a film’s music, boredom sets in. Maybe it’s just not my bag. Another minor disappointment comes in the commentary by Kaiju enthusiasts Ed Godziszewski and Steve Ryfle. Godziszewski is the main guy doing the talking here, and while this is certainly not a bad listen as it is uber-informative, this audio track comes off feeling very rehearsed and by the numbers. Loosen up, guys! It’s a friggin’ Godzilla movie.
Despite some supplemental shortcomings this is without question the definitive version of this film. Take your old DVD and use it as a coaster. You’ll never miss it. Just don’t blame me if after you watch this that damned Mothra song sticks in your head for weeks.
ARGH! Somebody help!
Poster slide show
Akira Ifukube biography featurette
Original Japanese trailer
4 out of 5
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