Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back To The Egg: Godzilla Vs Mothra(1992)

I first watched Godzilla Vs Mothra on VHS back in 1995, in widescreen and with English subtitles. It was then, as it remains now, my third favorite Heisei Godzilla film, behind Godzilla Vs Biollante(1989) and Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah(1991). I have, with the passage of time, grown more fond of this movie, which originally debuted in Japanese theaters back in December of 1992. Godzilla Vs Mothra(1992) is directed by Takao Okawara, the special effects courtesy of Koichi Kawakita, and produced by both Shogo Tomiyama and Tomoyuki Tanaka, with the score provided by maestro Akira Ifukube.

Some observations and opinions of this movie, some positive and some not-

Thumbs up:

-The score. At times majestic and particularly pleasing to the ears during many of Mothra's scenes. The score of this film is easily my favorite of all the Heisei G movies.

-The underwater battle between Godzilla and Battra: frenetic and well choreographed. I especially liked the sound effects. There's plenty of action and we get to see Godzilla fire his oral beam underwater, and many times.

-Many of the effects shots in this film are marvelous, including larval Mothra's approach by sea and her engagement with the naval forces, including the sequence where the creature plows through the warship

-Takuya Fujita, the adventurer and thief, comes clean about his theft of "The Cosmos" fairies(to sell them) to his ex wife, presumably because he wants to start over again with her and his daughter: the man finally got his priorities right!

-Takuya Fujita Vs the Marutomo "secretary" Kenji Andoh on the ship: the skirmish actually appeared to be choreographed as a fight and not two grown men attempting to square dance. Both fellows grappled, threw each other around and Fujita landed a couple of solid rights to Andoh's jaw.

-Ken Satsuma, who wore the Godzilla suit in this film: IMO he did an excellent job at projecting Godzilla's menace and generally hostile disposition

-The final battle between Godzilla, Mothra and Battra. While I thought the two winged monsters looked a little stiff at times when flying the overall battle was well choreographed and the monster action was well paced.

Thumbs down:

1. members of the cast watching the final battle from a distance without much of any implied threat to their own safety...despite the fact three huge leviathan monsters are battling it out, and not terribly far away either.

2. Kenji Andoh's use of an alarm clock to ensure he didn't oversleep while on the early Infant Island expedition with Tetsuya Fujita and Fujita's ex wife Masako Tesuka: obviously Andoh couldn't rely on the trademark morning cackle of a rooster since this animal isn't exactly indigenous to a South Pacific island, but after seeing Andoh nervously clutch the alarm clock I half expected to see this fellow produce more gadgets out of his bag, like a small electric plate warmer or portable TV set.

3. the audio of Godzilla's beam sounded a bit too high pitched.

4. Battra's roar was a carbon copy of Rodan's roar. I would have liked seeing Toho employ a distinct and original roar for this monster, perhaps a derivative of Mothra's audio.

The 1998 Region 1 Columbia-Tri Star DVD release of Godzilla Vs Mothra pairs this film with 1991's Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah, both movies cropped to 1:33.1 "full screen" and with English 2.0 audio.

Godzilla Vs Mothra can also be purchased on Region 4/PAL format(Madman Entertainment) and Region 3(DDDHouse.com), both with English subtitles option, the movie in widescreen in both R4 and R3.

The trailer for Godzilla Vs Mothra(1992):
Trailer: Godzilla vs. Mothra -- 1992 - MyVideo