Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Overlooked Movies: Mothra vs Godzilla (Mosura tai Gojira)

"Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy, that is their tragedy."~ Ishiro Honda director of Mothra vs Godzilla

A greedy developer has placed huge machines to suck dry a part of the ocean near Tokyo so he can put luxury condos there. After a storm, a giant egg washes up on the beach nearby and is immediately put on public display. The developer's plans go awry when he disrupts Godzilla's rest and the monster goes stomping through Tokyo again. It's up to the elderly Mothra, and then to its two offspring, to save Tokyo from destruction.

Click here to watch the American trailer for Godzilla vs The Thing (in America Mothra was called The Thing)

Nothing Like This Ever On the Screen!
WHAT IS IT... How much terror can you stand?
SEE the armies of the world destroyed! SEE the BIRTH of the world's most terrifying monster! SEE the war of the GIANTS!

Fun Trivia:
The name "Godzilla" is said to be a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ) 'gorilla' and kujira (鯨, くじら) 'whale'. At one planning stage, the concept of Gojira was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale." The word alludes to the size, power and aquatic origin of Godzilla.

The lower lip on the Godzilla suit in this film has a slight wobble. This was originally an accident; in the filming of a scene where Godzilla smashes into the Nagoya Castle, the actor in the suit (Haruo Nakajima) fell, and the suit's head slammed into the castle, loosening the teeth. Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya liked this so much that he wanted to keep the suit like that for a while.

Another highlight of the film is the "Frontier Missile" sequence, where Godzilla was being attacked on a beach by American battle cruisers. This scene was featured in American International Pictures' United States version, Godzilla vs. the Thing. But this was actually a deleted scene in Japan (and not made exclusively for AIP, contrary to legend), and included only in prints outside Japan for international marketing. It was seen briefly in the original Japanese trailer. The reason for its deletion was that Japanese viewers, who were still sensitive after World War II, were supposedly offended by seeing American missiles hit Japanese ground.

Memorable Quote:
Reporter Jiro Nakamura: "I'm not as afraid of Godzilla as I am of the editor... he's meaner."

Why Godzilla would kick Mothra's Lepidopteran ass!:
Godzilla's signature weapon is his distinctive Atomic breath, and watch out when his dorsal fins glow ominously, he's about to let loose with a concentrated blast of radiation from his mouth. In addition to his deadly atomic breath, Godzilla can also emit atomic energy in all directions of his body in a large pulse, capable of both paralyzing and killing any enemy in close proximity. Godzilla's long tail is also a formidable weapon. It has been shown to be very flexible and powerful, able to lash out quickly and topple over buildings and enemy monsters.

Why Mothra will beat Godzilla black and blue!:
Mothra is obviously capable of flight for one. Her wing can also (and generally do) create gales that can tear apart buildings and send other kaiju flying. Her great bulk of a body is commonly used to her advantage in battle to slam into opponents, and her suprising levels of strength can help her to drag and even lift monsters like Godzilla. Her final strategy is to emit "scales", a yellow poisonous powder that can hopefully asphyxiate an enemy and...

...she has The Peanut Twins on her side. The beautiful and tiny twin fairies who had telepathic communication with Mothra. And they liked to sing! Check out the Mothra Song:

The original song, written in Malay went, as follows
Mosura ya Mosura
Dongan kasakuyan Indo muu
Rusuto uiraadoa
Hanba hanbamuyan
Randa banunradan Tounjukanraa
Kasaku yaanmu

And here it is in English:
Mothra O Mothra
If we were to call for help
Over time
Over sea
Like a wave you'd come
Our guardian angel!


Scurvy said...

Those teeny tiny twins are hella cool! I laughed my ass off the fist time I saw the Mecha-Streisand SOuth Park, and they kept singing whenever a new character was introduced... like Robert Smith...
This was definitely one of the more strange offerings from Toho.

Becca said...

They are so cool! I think this might actually be my favorite of the Godzilla movies.

And I have seen that Mecha-Streisand episode of South Park to many times to count! It's probably one of my top 10 episodes, Robert Smith and Sidney Poiter! Classic!

Dr. Zaius said...

This is fantastic! You have the trailer, the tiny Mothra twins, even the translation of their song! I love the picture of Mothra holding Godzilla's tail. "I will smite you with my mighty insect legs and Mothra wings!" A very nice treatment of this great film.

Becca said...

Isn't the Mothra holding Godzilla's tail is great! I want a giant poster of this.

dguzman said...

Those twins killed me. Friends and I used to get drunk while watching this, and then we'd start chanting with the twins, "Bring back the egg" until we were shouting each other down, "bring back the fucking egg!"

Good times.

Thanks for featuring this classic!