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Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - MOTHRA

mothra review
A look at Mill Creek's blu-ray of the Kaiju classic.


Review by Mike Vaughn

Directed by: Ishiro Honda

Starring: Hiroshi Koizumi, KyΓ΄ko Kagawa, YΓ»mi ItΓ΄, Emi ItΓ΄, Ken Uehara, Jerry Ito

mothra blu-ray

It’s a great time to be a fan of Kaiju films, with the recent release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters stomping onto the big screen and the long-waited Kong/Zilla match reportedly on track for a 2020 release. If you still cannot get your monster fix, Mill Creek Entertainment has your back, unleashing Mothra (1961).

Mothra was directed by Ishiro Honda, who seven years earlier changed the face of cinema with Godzilla (1954). If you still haven’t seen this film, now is the perfect time.

mothra review

After being captured by a sinister sideshow owner, a pair of two foot tall twins summon an ancient being known as Mothra to aid them in their rescue. In typical Kaiju fashion, said monster rampages Japan.

In terms of big Japanese monster movies, Godzilla is the gold standard, however Mothra still ranks as a fan favorite over 50 years since its release. Having said that, I feel like only huge Kaiju fans or devotees of campy '60s fare will be able to truly appreciate the film and gloss over some of its glaring issues, one of which is pacing. While the movie's plot is always moving forward, we don’t actually get to the titular monster until nearly over an hour into its runtime.

mothra review

The other issue is the mostly pretty laughable special effects throughout. As a monster fan I can see past all this and enjoy the film for what it is, a fun giant monster flick whose ambition and vision far outweighs its technical merits. The characters are more fleshed out than your typical movie of this kind and things never get boring, despite taking its time getting into full moth-rampage mode. I personally like Godzilla more in terms of concept and execution, but this film is on par with some of the best of the sequels and spin-offs.

Extras:

Mill Creek Entertainment have really been stepping up their game lately and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. First off, the Blu-Ray itself is presented in a nice collectors' Steelbook that is very eye catching. Secondly, it features an array of extras, including both the original Japanese and American versions of the film, the latter of which is dubbed and cuts 11 minutes from the original hour and 41 minute runtime. Also included is a well-done commentary by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, as well as a trailer and photo gallery. If you're like me and are a huge Godzilla/monster movie fan, this is a must own. Not only do you get a great film, in a nice package but a nice array of extras. Retailing for just under 15 bucks on Amazon, you really can’t beat the value.

Mothra is on blu-ray July 9th from Mill Creek Entertainment.



Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”


His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @castle_anger.




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