Wednesday, September 17, 2003


A Video Review of "Rebirth of Mothra" also known as "Mosura" (1996) or "Mothra" (1996)

This was the first in a series of Mothra films in the 1990s aimed at children with an ecological bent. That doesn’t mean it’s not infinitely watchable. It’s just not a Godzilla movie. It’s almost like Mothra has been rebooted as a chick flick.

The Godzilla franchise and cast of kaiju eiga characters are an important part of Toho’s financial success. When the time came to spin off one of their kaiju into a new series of movies they turned to the next most popular after the big G; Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Fans of the genre know the rap on Mothra. She’s the ‘god/goddess’ of an island people whose home, Infant Island, was ravaged by A-bomb tests. Her priestesses and representatives were twins, only about a half-meter tall who were telepathic and sang beautifully when they called to their goddess.

Did I mention Mothra is a giant moth? Don’t laugh. Remember she’s a giant moth. Her wings can simulate hurricane winds and her pollen is a deadly poison. And she’s whupped Godzilla’s ass.

She had fought Godzilla on several occasions to save the outside world much to the chagrin of her people who still held a grudge for that bomb thing. Mothra, it should be noted, is one of the big lizard’s only opponents to have beaten him.

The New Age Mothra has more than a few spins on her story. The twins, also known as the Fairies or the Cosmos or the Elias now have names; Mol and Lora. They also ride a Fairy Mothra and have an evil older sister Belvera who rides a fairy dragon named Desgaru.

There is also the kid factor. Mothra has been redesigned to be the new Gamera. There are children everywhere. The audience Toho is aiming for here is the "Pokemon" "Sailor Moon" generation and hoping they don’t alienate their old kaiju eiga fans. This may have been a miscalculation. Mothra is now considered children’s fair and adults don’t usually go see these flicks.

Mean old Belvera calls upon the ancient evil of Desughidora or Death Ghidorah to destroy the earth. Despite the name this is not the Ghidorah all us kaiju fans know and love. If anything, Desughidora is a meaner wingless cousin to our King Ghidorah.

Mothra battles Desughidora in both its larva and imago forms which is actually a treat. An homage to the death scene from the original 1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla falls flat but still works in the story. It’s a good battle, worth seeing for any kaiju fan. All in all, a good monster battle flick.

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