Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

mothra vs godzilla poster 1964 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Love Mothra and the Shobijin

Takes too long for Mothra and Godzilla to get involved

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mothra vs. Godzilla

Studio:  Toho

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  April 29, 1964

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

mothra-vs-godzilla-mothra-and-egg

One proud mama!

A hurricane washes a giant egg up on the coast and a legal battle quickly begins when the egg is purchased by Kumayama (Yoshifumi Tajima) who is secretly backed by Shiro Torahata (Kenji Sahara) of Happy Enterprises.  When the Shobijin (Emi and Yumi Ito) show up to reveal that the egg is the spawn of Mothra, their request for the egg is rejected.  When Godzilla is revealed to be washed up in the hurricane, the people of Japan turn to Mothra to help stop him.

Directed by Ishiro Honda, Mothra vs. Godzilla was called Mosura tai Gojira in Japan (which translates to Godzilla Against Mothra) and Godzilla vs. the Thing in the United States.  It followed King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962.  The film was included by the Criterion Collection as part of Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 boxset (Criterion #1000).

mothra-vs-godzilla-castle

I’m thinking Godzilla-1 Castle-0

The movie barely has Godzilla and is more of a Mothra movie.  Mothra first appeared in the 1961 film Mothra and this is her second venture (Mothra’s generally considered a she).  I have to say I love Mothra and her Shobijin.  The idea of the threat of a giant moth is humorous (I liked at the end when the “dust” was Mothra’s dying defense).  The Shobijin are fun and the special effects are actually decent on them.  Through the green screen and scale models, the Shobijin are probably the best effects of the movie.  Plus, I can’t get enough of the Mothra song.

Godzilla and Mothra take way too long to show up in the movie.  The legal wrangling over the egg is not very interesting.  Fortunately the Shobijin are there, but I wish they had brought Mothra or Godzilla in earlier.  I do like that Godzilla was just hidden under the dirt and no one really noticed.  I also like that humans are pretty much the bad guys in the movie.  They refuse to return Mothra’s egg then give Mothra’s people the guilt trip about helping them.

mothra-vs-godzilla-sobijin

Mothra…Mothra…Mothra…

Mothra vs. Godzilla is a fun monster movie.  It is goofy fun like most of the Godzilla movies, but Godzilla is more of a sidenote when compared to Mothra’s involvement.  Both characters are fun, but at this point, the makers of Godzilla movies have started to realize their moneymaking potential and really began pumping them out.  This is the last time that Godzilla plays an out-and-out “villain”.  Mothra vs. Godzilla was followed by Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (in which both Godzilla and Mothra return…plus Rodan and Ghidorah) later in 1964.

Preceded By:

King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Followed By:

Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)

 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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