Blu-Ray Review: Mothra



Ever since we abandoned our caves, humans have apparently been fascinated by stories of exotic monsters and fantastic beasts. Whilst today, mass global travel and the internet means that these myths and legends have been roundly debunked, that doesn’t mean that enthusiasm for the unknown has waned. Stories of the Yeti, Nessie or Bigfoot still captivate those willing to believe. Monsters are still big in Japan. Although Godzilla is obviously king, Mothra is a leading contender to be queen.

Following the rescue of a group of survivors from an irradiated island after a typhoon, an expedition is organised to investigate. It is led by an evil capitalist, Nelson (Jerry Ito), and documented by Fukuda (Furankî Sakai), an undercover reporter.  They discover a community of indigenous islanders who still hold to primitive beliefs and, more mysteriously, two miniature women. When the megalomaniac secretly returns and kidnaps the pair, he unleashes an ancient god on the world.

Whilst Mothra might not be able to compete with the CGI behemoths of today in terms of fancy special effects, it’s certainly very creatively done. Director Ishirō Honda found his vision largely constrained by a meagre budget but still managed to produce a colourful and inventive monster movie. Mothra was her first outing, but she soon became a kaiju staple. The story itself is inventive and fantastical, fitting neatly into the general sci-fi craze of the era.

Special features:

  • Limited Edition Hardbound Slipcase [3000 copies]
  • Reversible poster featuring the film’s original US and Japanese poster artwork
  • Includes both Japanese and English versions of each film (101 mins & 90 mins respectively)
  • Original mono audio presentations (LPCM)
  • English subtitles (Japanese version) and English SDH (English version)
  • Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat
  • Audio commentary with authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
  • Kim Newman on ‘Mothra’ – an interview with film critic and author Kim Newman on the history and legacy of Mothra
  • Stills Galleries featuring rare archival stills and ephemera
  • PLUS: A LIMITED EDITION 60-PAGE collector’s booklet featuring essays by Christopher Stewardson and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye); a new interview with Scott Chambliss (production designer on 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters); an extract from Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski’s Ishirō Honda biography; and archival reviews and stills.[3000 copies]

Mothra is released on limited edition Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 16 November.

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1 Comment

  1. November 16, 2020
    Reply

    I’m familiar with Mothra from the Godzilla movies, but have never got around to watching her original debut. I’ll have to do it sometime, and maybe even watch Rodan also.

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