Thursday, September 15, 2011

Godzillapalooza #19: Godzilla vs Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)

Godzilla vs. Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)
Monster Profile:


-LENGTH: 239 feet (590 foot wingspan)
-MASS: 33,000 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: Battra can fly at Mach 3 and even travel through space. Chief among his powers are the Prism Beams he shoots from his eyes.
-BACKGROUND: Battra is essentially the evil version of Mothra. He represents chaos and turmoil in the world, but he is not inherently evil if that makes any sense. Battra is the Earth's defender and when something (like pollution) threatens the Earth, he comes to it's defense and kicks ass. While Battra is the Earth's defender, Mothra is mankind's, so they are not exactly enemies, but have fought in the past. Battra is awakened in this movie by untold amounts of human pollution and proceeds to throw a fit. However, Mothra convinces him that Godzilla is the true threat, so the two team up to fight the Monster King.


-LENGTH: 295 feet
-MASS: 22,000 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: Battra's larval stage is like a supernatural tank. It's an armored caterpillar with superior burrowing and swimming ability. In this form Battra can also shoot Prism beams from not only its eyes, but its horn as well.


  • MOTHRA (see movie #4)

The film begins like a sort of Japanese Indiana Jones... Tokyo Jones? Anyway, the guy's name is Takuya and his ex-wife and a corporate big-wig convince him to go on an expedition to Infant Island. Meanwhile, a meteor strikes earth, wakes up Godzilla, and starts a storm that unearths Mothra's egg on Infant. So Takuya, his ex-wife Masako, and Andoh from the Marutomo Corp. head out to explore Infant Island. While they're there they discover Mothra's giant egg, some ancient cave paintings, and meet the good ole' twin fairies, who are called the "Cosmos" in this movie. The Cosmos keep the world in balance, so they know all about ancient history, Mothra, and Battra and enlighten the explorers. In spite of logical impending doom, the explorers take Mothra's egg and the fairies toward Japan on a boat and are swiftly attacked by Godzilla. The Egg hatches and Battra also shows up to join the brawl. An underwater eruption engulfs Godzilla and Battra, while Mothra pursues Andoh who has decided to take the Cosmos to his boss to make up for losing the egg. Sound familiar? Mothra destroys a lot of stuff in Tokyo before Andoh comes to his senses and allows Takuya, Masako, and their daughter to reunite the twins and Mothra. But at the worst possible time the military shows up and Mothra turns into a cocoon around the capital building. Before you know it Mothra hatches into an adult and the adult Battra and Godzilla show up for a battle royal. Eventually Mothra convinces Battra that Godzilla is the true threat to the Earth and the two unite to defeat him. Battra and Godzilla are both sent to the ocean depths and it's up to Mothra to fly to space and save the Earth from an asteroid that Battra was originally going to stop. Thank you Mothra!

This film has everything you'd expect from a Mothra movie and is very well done and a nice addition to the series. While the plot's a little different than the original Mothras, it works and is very intriguing and puts a cooler face on the "Save the Earth" message. The concept of Battra as the yin to Mothra's yang is also a cool one and is well executed. And also of course, it wouldn't be a great G-movie without Ifukube's masterful score. The old-school Mothra song even makes a comeback in this movie which is nostalgic and cool.

 The upgrade to Mothra is very good as well. Mothra is more vibrant and colorful and has a host of cool new powers. Overall I feel like this movie is very colorful, and the special effects, monster battles, and city destruction looks great. And as always, the Heisei Godzilla looks awesome. I also like that the final battle takes place in a sort of amusement park, which is different and...well amusing. It's like "Godzilla vs Gigan" but WAY WAY better. Definitely worth a look for any fan of Godzilla or Mothra. In fact, I'd reccomend it to any fan of sci-fi. There's a lot to like about one of the most popular films of the series.

Best Part:
There's plenty of good comic relief in this movie. I really like the whole scene where the three explorers are trekking through the jungle looking for the egg. In fact, much of the comic relief in this part reminds me a lot of anime comedy. But I digress. All of the monster battles are top notch in this film and, like all Heisei movies, are very creative. You've also got to love the city destruction. But things really get good when Mothra and Battra are in their adult stages. Thus, I've got to say the final battle is my favorite part. It's colorful, exciting, dramatic. It's an awesome Godzilla fight. What you would have wished was possible special effects-wise for the original "Mothra vs Godzilla".

My Ranking: #14

Up next, yet another classic Godzilla foe gets re-made with an oh-so-good makeover. It's another of my all-time faves... "Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla II"

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