Sunday, December 26, 2010

Giftmas Rundown: "Leave those tiny women alone, you fool!"

If I learned anything this Giftmas, it is that I am now a worshiper of Mothra. Mothra's religion is quite simple. There are two major tenets:
  1. Don't fuck with me, and I won't fuck with you.
  2. Stop fucking with me, and I'll stop fucking with you.
So simple and elegant. Not quite the Golden Rule, but not quite an eye for an eye either. It is a, "I don't take any shit but don't hold a grudge" philosophy that suits me well, and I could stand to learn a thing or two from Her.

So, back to Giftmas. One of the numerous discs I got was the three film collection, Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection, which has three films by Inoshiro Honda; The H-Man (1958), Battle in Outer Space (1959), and Mothra (1961). At this point I have only watched Mothra, as I can only subject Lady Whiteplume to so much Kaiju at a time. It is a very good transfer and has the Japanese and American release versions.

Mothra, like Godzilla, deals with man's imbalance with nature, particularly where nuclear weaponry is concerned. Shipwreck survivors are found on an island previously used for atomic testing, but are unharmed by the presumed radiation there. A joint scientific expedition between the Japanese and "Rolithicans" (read "Americans") travel to the island where they discover weird plants, natives, and some Barbie doll sized girls. One of the Rolithicans returns to the island an captures the girls, putting them on show, a la King Kong. This brings the anger of the natives, which in turn angers their goddess, Mothra. Mothra makes her way to Japan, but the evil doer has taken the girls to Rolithica, which looks an awful lot like San Fransisco.

Though Inoshiro Honda created Godzilla as well, Mothra is not as "professional wrestling" as the lizard king. There is less screeching and rubber suited battles, and more human activity (to my limited Kaiju experience, that is). It is a fun and fairly exciting movie, despite being a little laughable at times... Obviously, much of the special effects look cheesy, but are not bad when compared to similar movies from the time, like Fantastic Voyage or Hammer's sci-fi efforts. If you like Kaiju classics, or are a grown up Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan, you probably like Mothra. The wife, who likes neither, when asked if she liked Mothra responded, "it was alright." So, a "Meh+" for normal viewers ;-)


Kal said...

BIG fan of the moth and those little bee girls he had with her Did Motha and Gamera ever team up because I always thought that that turtle was all right.

Have you ever seen Big Man Japan? THAT is some messed up Japanese monster movie stuff but totally mezmerizing.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I don't know if there has been a Mothra/Gamera run-in, but I do like Gamera.

Have not heard of Big Man Japan. Must look into it. Thanks

Donald G said...

Unfortunately, Mothra and Gamera have never had a run-in as their films are made by two different studios.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Hi Donald, I should have realized Gamera and Godzilla were competitors :-)

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