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King Kong meets Godzilla - as a moth
(Reviewing the Japanese version as seen on the Eureka Blu-Ray release)
Mothra is a kaiju film by Ishiro Honda, director of the original 1954 Godzilla. Special effects director Eiji Tsubaraya also returned. The film takes notes from both King Kong and Godzilla, referencing atomic bomb testing and featuring a storyline condemning the consumerist exploitation of foreign natural beings. The story centres around two fairy-like twins from the mysterious Infant Island, which was previously thought to be uninhabited. The twins are kidnapped and used in a stage performance. Secretly, they are calling for their protector Mothra to come and save them. Originally released in 1961, this film marked the first appearance of Mothra in either of its forms. Unfortunately in the UK, it took until 2020 for the film to see a proper release, meaning that most people will have seen Mothra, either from pop culture or the other Godzilla films it would later go on to appear in. It's due to this that you will likely know exactly what to expect before going into this film, though there is still a lot left to marvel at. The anti-exploitation storyline is engaging and the occasional humour is appropriately placed. The special effects are great and often still impressive to this day. It doesn't quite top the original Godzilla but I'd still consider it one of the gold standard kaiju films, rightfully deserving of its place in the Eureka Masters of Cinema collection.