Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mothra (1961)

A military expedition into the nuclear testing grounds of Infant Island reveal that the territory which was once thought to be uninhabitable is actually home to a tribe of natives that have somehow survived the blasts. When the outsiders kidnap two of the island's tiny priestesses, the Infant Island Twins, the tribe calls upon their elder goddess Mothra to rescue them, but Mothra's coming may signal the end of Japan! The Nuclear Era brings forth another towering force of nature in the form of the giant winged monster Mothra, Guardian of the Earth. Unlike Godzilla, Rodan, and many other monsters, Mothra is a gentle protector, and her attack on the city is the unfortunate result of an unconscious urge to free her people. Long-time collaborator Eiji Tsuburaya introduces some of his greatest work yet, from the incredible flood sequence to Mothra's raid through the streets of Tokyo. His highly ornate and meticulously designed miniatures are indistinguishable from their life-size inspirations, and Honda effortlessly combines them with the live-action shots to maximize their effect. Although Mothra commands the screen for much of the picture, the human element is just as engaging as the monster mayhem. Shinichi Sekizawa's engaging story provides a warmth of emotion and depth of character as well as plenty of lighthearted humor along the way. Jerry Ito is excellent as the suspicious Clark Nelson, playing against a charming and charismatic Hiroshi Koizumi as the linguist Dr. Chujo and Frankie Sakai as the jovial news reporter Senichiro Fukuda. They are joined by the beautiful Kyoko Kagawa as the photographer Michi Hanamura, and the three of them help Japan avoid total annihilation by freeing the Infant Island Twins and ending Mothra's search. MOTHRA soars high above many of the other films of its kind as one of Honda's most iconic monster movies!

Rating: 10/10.

If you liked MOTHRA, check out:
GOJIRA, RODAN, REBIRTH OF MOTHRA.

7 comments:

  1. HELL YEAH... if you did not give it a ten for ten i would have sent the twins after you... twins basil, twins...

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  2. It's really interesting to watch Mothra and Godzilla Vs. Mothra and see that the latter is really more or less a remake of the former, only with Godzilla thrown in for good measure. That is not to say it's a bad movie, because I actually do think it's superior, but I love how accepted it was by 60's audiences. People today would cry foul like crazy. I love both movies.

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  3. I never get tired of seeing this movie. One of my favorites since I was a kid.

    Cheers!

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  4. Not sure I'd quite go all the way to the mat with a 10, but I do rate it highly- it's absolutely a cut above the legion of similar films made during this era.

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  5. I was thinking the same when watching Miguel, those twins just cant seem to avoid kidnap! The rich characters and incredible effects kicked it up for me BL, all around excellent stuff!

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  6. I'm not much of a MOTHRA guy, but the ambitiousness is on screen in nearly every scene. This was one of the very first kaiju movies I saw as a kid. A really good review, Carl. Your love for these movies shines through here.

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  7. When I did my first walk through, I did it all wrong and got overzealous when the Heisei and Millennium films got here so I watched those first out of sequence and out of context. Now that I am more familiar with the genre and what makes them great, it is much easier to review and I can enjoy the camp in films like KING KONG ESCAPES! Between this, GMAOA, and GvM, I gotta say I am a huge Mothra fan now, although the REBIRTH films I'm still not huge on.

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