Godzilla Vs. Mothra (Japan 1964)

Rating: ***
Alternate Title: Godzilla Vs. The Thing
Review Date: 7/14/02

Godzilla's fourth feature film brings him up against one of Toho's lamest, and yet most popular monsters, Mothra. A massive hurricane unearths a giant egg on Mothra Island and it washes ashore somewhere in Japan. The egg's guardians are a pair of twelve inch tall girls known as The Peanuts or sometimes The Cosmos. They appeal to the humans to return Mothra's egg, but the greedy and insensitive businessmen would rather use the girls as a sideshow attraction. A stumbling Godzilla shows up out of nowhere and clumsily thrashes a town. It's not clear why he's having such a hard time, but it allows Mothra to soundly kick his ass. The military are as ineffective as always, although they do try some new strategies, like zapping Godzilla with lightning. The film climaxes as the old Mothra dies, and two Mothra grubs are hatched from the egg. The grubs manage to envelope Godzilla in a silk cocoon and he tumbles into the ocean. Definitely one of the better made Godzilla films, with excellent effects and miniature work. The film only falters in the monster fighting scenes because, let's face it, Mothra is just a silly monster. The film also cynically comments on the greed and cruelty of Man, the villainy of politicians, the unreliability of the law, and the ever-present danger of nuclear weapons testing. The monsters are ultimately Man's doing, and their rampages are retribution for Man's tinkering with Nature.