Cory's Birthday Movie Celebration: Godzilla vs. Mothra

1964 monster movie

Rating: 13/20 (Dylan: 2/20)

Plot: A big storm washes a giant multi-colored egg ashore. A greedy land developer purchases said egg and attempts to exploit it for profit. Creepy miniature twins come from an island to retrieve the egg which they tell everybody a hundred times is really important to the people of the island. The greedy guy refuses and ends up waking up Godzilla from his hibernation. He goes on his typical destructive rampage, and Tokyo has to depend on a giant moth and the contents of the egg to save them from making all the buildings fall down. Spoiler: Silly string or caterpillar ejaculate saves the day!

A warning from the Japanese against being greedy. Or a warning about nuclear weapons. Or maybe it's a warning about being greedy with nuclear weapons. At any rate, once you get to the part where you see what nuclear testing did to that island with that lame giant turtle puppet and the red people, you'll be convinced to get rid of your nuclear weapons immediately. This seems to be an especially colorful and weird entry in the Godzilla canon, and it left me with some questions. First, why dub in broken English? "Look out there! It's gigantic monster egg!" It makes all the dialogue ridiculous which, I'lll admit, is actually part of the fun. Second, why can Godzilla knock down giant concrete buildings with one or two paw swipes while he can barely do any damage at all to a greenhouse or an egg? Finally, where did the Japanese military get so many giant nets? I liked that, by the way--Plan A: Electrocute Godzilla; Plan B: Throw giant nets on Godzilla and then try to electrocute him. I like those creepy singing twins, by the way. With their first appearance, some characters hear their voices speaking in unison and decide that they're spies. What? Spies? They'd have to be like the loudest spies ever, wouldn't they? I also liked Godzilla's first appearance in this--undulating ground and a phallic tail thirty-two minutes into the movie. You also get a Japanese guy sporting a Hitler stache. But the quality of these Godzilla movies is probably based on the scenes of monster wrastlin' and architectural destruction. The big battle (not to be confused with the final battle) is a whole lot of weird close-ups and jittery camera work. Mothra perhaps isn't the most formidable foe for Godzilla. He's too fuzzy, and flapping-hard and expelling chalk dust didn't do much for me. Dig the close-up of Godzilla's pissed face when he first spots Mothra flying toward him though. The actual final battle is all perverse caterpillar flailing and attacks with silly string. Mothra was kicking Godzilla's ass for most of that first big fight but couldn't finish him off. And then he's done in by silly string? Dylan liked the music in this enough to give it a 2/20. The song that played during the giant net drop sounded really familiar to me.


Barry said...

I liked this one, as far as Godzilla movies go. Its one of the last of the original series of G films where Godzilla is a strict villain. There is no attempt made to make Godzilla approachable or sympathetic. He is a pissed of radioactive lizard, and Japan is in the way. I like the look of Godzilla in this one too...very feral, very evil.

As far as Godzilla movies go, this one is well above average. The miniature effects are really quite impressive. (The egg still haunts me to this day.) I never did understand how Godzilla "lost"....he had a sheet thrown over him and was dropped in the ocean. Big deal...the damn thing LIVES in the ocean, but again, entertaining.

As a Godzilla movie...its an 18

As a film that non Godzilla fans see and might enjoy...its a 14.

Barry said...

And yes...I did say "As far as Godzilla films go" at least twelve times in my review. I am too lazy to fix it, so just deal with it.

cory said...

Let me just say up front that I appreciate the birthday sentiment. Unfortunately, you picked one of my least favorite Godzilla films. The fact that our big-footed, radioactive-fire- breathing, symbol of rage gets his butt kicked by a bug is beneath humiliating. I do love the singing fairies (though if I ever go on a killing spree it will be because I hear them singing in my brain "Moootheraaaa, Moootheraaaa, Moootheraaaa"), but this is one Godzilla film I have tried to put out of my mind, for the sake of me, and for the big guy's honor. A 12.

Shane said...

Yeah, I knew I was picking one that was on a Barry list but not a Cory list...slim pickins on Netflix instant though. According to a book all about cult movies, this was supposed to be a really good one.

Not a sheet though! Silly string! Godzilla doesn't put up much fight in this one...Mothra was kicking his butt until he got his wing burned.