It’s Sort of a Legend

Mothra Review

Next month marks the official theatrical release of the impressive new Godzilla reboot. With less than a month left, I figured now was a better time than any to catch up on all of the kaiju movies that I’ve missed over the years. There are many to be seen, but I thought the best place to start was with Ishiro Honda’s 1961 flick, Mothra.

After a crew is rescued from an island, which recently suffered an atomic blast, it is revealed that the island isn’t deserted, as was believed. A new team is chosen to return to the island and track down the natives who helped save the lost crew from radioactivity and certain death. What is found are two tiny twin sisters. One of the explorers who is attending this mission is a mean-spirited man, simply known as Nelson.

It is thought best by the entire group to leave the natives be and to not speak of what they’ve found on their journey. The entire group except for Nelson, that is. Nelson returns with his own team and kidnaps the native twins, only to bring them back to Tokyo to exploit them for his own profit. It is soon after, that it is learned that the fairy girls are being tracked down by their protector, a giant creature from back on Beiru Island. The creature will stop at nothing to rescue the girls, leaving a path of destruction in her way and Tokyo as a pile of ashes.

I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, as I unearth more of these great films — sci-fi creature movies are always the most fun. Not only do we have an entertaining film about a giant monster, but we are actually treated to two incarnations of said monster. Mothra is not only seen in her final moth form, terrorizing the city, but a lot of her destruction comes in the form of a caterpillar.

The special effects and design for both creature renditions are great and while they may not measure up to today’s monster standards, they are impressive, nonetheless. I love how the majority of the film is shot in broad daylight, straying away from night-time darkness or the cliché thunderstorm setting to cloak some of the mystique of the monster. The creature is seen in all of its glory, at all times!

The thought of a giant moth may seem comical and not very terrorizing to some, but once you see the destruction left in its wake, the idea is almost feasible. All of the vehicles being overturned and tossed around are clearly toy and model cars, but it still doesn’t take away from how great this film is. Given the time in which it was released and the budget the studio was given, I’m sure this film was still one of major scale.

Nearly 55 years after its original release, Mothra is still entertaining and I am glad I finally got to watch it. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the film, one option is to pick up the 4 movie Sci-Fi Creature classics DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment.

If you are looking for the right film to start getting in the kaiju and/or Godzilla mood, I highly recommend this one. I give Mothra 3.5 church bells out of 5.

One Response to It’s Sort of a Legend

  1. Mathijs Pluijmen says:

    Sounds like a creature feature I would definately enjoy. i agree that some of these old movies still have impressive special effect that make it very enjoyable to watch!

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