Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mothra vs. Godzilla

Greetings Sporefans, welcome back. I've been reviewing the polls lately and it looks like you've been requesting more reviews about "freaky dead Asian girl movies like Ringu", and more "giant monster movie" reviews, so I checked through my collection and picked out some movies.

I have to admit that most of my Asian horror movies are actually not "B" movies but I have a couple of movies that are actually pretty bad, so I'm dusting them off and watching them again so I can review them. Its not that there aren't bad Asian horror movies out there, but they use some sort of "quality control" when they decide whether or not to port a movie over to the U.S. The nerve of some people!

I may be forced to review a couple of good Asian horror movies if I feel they merit an honorable mention, so keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time, enjoy this week's review of the 1964 movie "Mothra vs. Godzilla".

Way back when I first started writing I said (and I quote):

"Many of us have flipped through the cable channels at some late hour of night and had to pick the least of evils in desperation. Movies that most people wouldn't even consider reading about suddenly become palatable under these dire circumstances." -Me.

When I wrote that, I was specifically thinking of Toho's giant monster movies. As a young fungi, I frequently stayed awake late at night, or woke up early on Sunday mornings to watch Godzilla, Mothra and numerous other giant monsters who battled each other over and over through the years. There's just something about Kaiju (giant monsters) that dredges up feelings of nostalgia and lost Sunday mornings that no other relic of the past can.

For those of you who haven't seen this movie, its about a news reporter Ichiro Sakai (played by Akira Takarada) and Photographer Junko 'Yoka' Nakanishi (played by Yuriko Hoshi) covering the story of a giant monster egg which washes up on the shore of a small village in Japan. A businessman named Kumayama (Yoshifumi Tajima) buys the egg and plans to open an tourist attraction and charge people money to view the monster egg.

Akira Takarada and Yuriko Hoshi prepare to take a picture.

Kumayama's ambitions are hindered by two factors. The first is a pair of 9 inch tall Japanese girls who ask Kumayama to return the monster egg to their island. Kumiyama and his cohort, the sleazy CEO of "Happy Enterprises" Shiro Torahata (Kenji Sahara) refuse and try to capture the diminutive pair.

Emi and Yumi Ito play tiny twins with really silly hats.

The second factor hindering Kumayama's ambition is significantly harder to overcome, as it comes in the form of a 300 foot tall, radioactive, fire breathing lizard who punishes mankind for using nuclear weapons. No, its not famous actor Raymond Burr, its Godzilla.

At this point the American military tries to stop Godzilla using their new "frontier missiles". Unfortunately for them, they hired the laser gunner from Spaceballs.

The reporter, his photographer and Professor Miura (Hiroshi Koizumi) travel to Mothra Island to ask the natives for the help of their giant moth monster to defeat Godzilla. Meanwhile, the Japanese military prepares their predictably ineffective plans to try and stop Godzilla. To their credit, the military actually devises 3 plans, which look something like this:

Plan A: Shoot Godzilla with lightning from our special electrical towers.

Operation B: Using the latest advancements in "net technology", drop highly conductive "nets" onto Godzilla. Then shoot him with lightning again. Should this plan fail because of our Commander's hubris, move one to...

The latest in "Net Technology".

Plan C: Run away screaming like little girls.

Back on Mothra Island the heroic trio try to persuade a village of people with funny hats to ask their giant moth god to save them from Godzilla. The chief (who is easily distinguished by having the biggest and funniest hat) argues that his people should not help, as their island was subjected to atomic testing... except for that one spot where there's absolute paradise right smack in the middle of the island... but ignore that part.

King on the Island of silly hats!

Eventually the psychic girls convince Mothra to help save humanity. This kind of develops into a spin off, as Mothra movies from this point on depict Mothra as the savior of humainty who uses the power of love to protect the planet and other crap like that. Apparently there's something about poisonous star fish and King Ghidorah eating children or something.

Ever get drunk and wake up next to a strange egg? I know I have.

So in the end, big monster fight, Mothra dies, the egg hatches and 2 larvae come out and cover Godzilla with silly string. Godzilla gets all dizzy and falls into the ocean, defeating him once and for all!

An unintended bonus, in this scene we can actually see Godzilla catch fire. No actors were harmed in the making of this out take.

Oh, wait. That's not right. That's not right at all.

In any event, Mothra vs. Godzilla is chock full of awesomeness. Not just the awesomeness on screen, but a crap load of hidden awesomeness as well. For starters, most of the cast of this movie is still alive today... and working! Particularly awesome is Akira Takarada, who was not only the reporter in this movie, but the reporter in the original 1954 Godzilla movie and the U.N. Secretary General in the last Godzilla movie. That means that Akira Takarada has been in Godzilla movies for as long as there have been Godzilla movies.

While you cover the story of the giant egg, I'm going to eat eggs. In fact, I'm going to eat them all movie.

You may want to wait a while after I get out of the bathroom though.

Another interesting tidbit is that the tiny twins are not only twins, but they were actually a band called "The Peanuts". They retired in 1975, and can now be found somewhere in Japan and are probably slightly larger then they were in the movie.

If your up late and you happen to be flipping through the channels and this comes on, watch it. If you have kids, wake them up and watch it with them, and pass on the tradition. Long gone may be the rabbit ears on top of the TV that needed constant adjusting to see the movie clearly, but the fun is still there.

Get out of bed! Godzilla movies are on! Get up! Get up! Get up!

But if you watching on cable late at night you may want to just record the movie for the kids on tape. That way you can edit out all those late night phone sex ads that are on now before they watch it, lest you warp their precious little minds.

PS, have a video.


min said...

is this the one where godzilla wakes up with a terrible hangover, stumbles around alot, completely unaware he's being fired upon, and then sees mothra's egg and thinks "Breakfast!"? cause that one was a good one.

Spored_to_Death said...

Yeah, pretty much.