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Mothra vs. Godzilla (Collector's Edition) (1964)

Cast: Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, more...
Director: Ishiro Honda
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Studio: Sony Wonder (Video)
Genre: Classics, Foreign, Science Fiction , Japan, Classic Sci Fi/Fantasy, Mad Science
Running Time: 89 min.

Ishiro Honda directed this fourth Godzilla film (the second for Mothra), which is bogged down at the start by an uninteresting set-up involving corporate intrigue and a pair of boring reporters. Godzilla's first appearance is not very impressive, as he rises from a sandy beach looking distinctly the worse for wear since his last outing in Kingukongu Tai Gojira (1963). The miniscule Peanut Sisters (Emi Ito, Yumi Ito) are around again, looking for one of the giant eggs which their moth goddess is always losing, and the usual heavy-handed moralizing about mankind's destructive nature is very much in evidence. Other than the peculiar set decoration on an irradiated island which looks as if it fell out of a 1930s adventure movie, the first 50 minutes or so are quite weak. After that, however, the toy tanks start firing, the natives start fleeing, the beasts start battling, and the film starts to be entertaining. The fight scenes are well-staged, given the clumsiness of the participants, and stand as some of the best such sequences of the 1960s. The eventual capture and electrocution of Godzilla in a giant net is nicely handled as well. This installment was followed by the much more interesting San Daikaiju: Chikyu Saidai No Kessen (1965), the first of the space-oriented entries in the series. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

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