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MOTHRA (1961)
aka Mosura
Article 2205 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-30-2007
Posting Date: 8-26-2007
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Featuring Frankie Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyoko Kagawa


When survivors of a shipwreck are discovered on an island used in nuclear testing, authorities are amazed to find out that they were not affected by radiation because they drank a fluid prepared by the inhabitants. When the island is investigated, two twin fairies are discovered, and they are kidnapped by a greedy and brutal businessman intent on making money off of them. However, this puts the world in peril, as the twin fairies are in telepathic contact with the god of the island, a giant insect known as Mothra.

Toho took a different tack on this kaiju; the monster Mothra is sympathetic from the outset, the twin fairies (played by Emi and Yumi Ito, a singing group known as the Peanuts) are an inspired creation (and they would pop up in most of the movies that featured Mothra), and there is a colorful fairy-tale touch to the proceedings. Though Mothra's destructive abilities are similar to Rodan's (the monster's wings cause hurricane-like winds), it's a pretty unique creation, especially in that it has two forms - the caterpillar form and the full-grown moth form. The social ill that serves as the enemy this time is entrepreneurial greed; the greedy businessman (Jerry Ito, who shares the same last name as the women playing the twins, which makes me wonder if they're related) massacres a group of natives and manhandles a small boy during the length of the proceedings. Frankie Sakai is fun as a chubby and likeable reporter who turns out to be quite effective during a fight, and the movie features other memorable faces from kaiju movies such as Takashi Shimura and Akihiko Hirata. Mothra would next take on Godzilla himself in GODZILLA VS THE THING .

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