Friday, July 3, 2020
Kaiju Watch: Godzila and Mothra - The Battle for Earth (1992)
Viewing: First (somehow)
Director: Takao Okawara
Do you like pointless Indiana Jones rip-offs? Confusing plot twists that come out of nowhere? Psychics? and our friends, the Twins/ Fairies/ Cosmos? Sad Japanese people talking about how we're all boned anyway, because we're destroying our own environment? Disappearing mullets? Plot threads that begin, are very important, and left unresolved? Most of all - do you like MOTHRA?
Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992) is here to deliver the goods.
Part of the 1990's Godzilla continuity that gave us psychic Miki Saegusa, this film is, simply, all over the place. There's probably a pro-wrestling analogy for what happens here as we try to sort out heroes and heels, but what you need to know is that The Cosmos are here, and they are going to sing the Mothra song every five minutes (this is a feature, not a bug).
A meteor lands on Earth near Infant Island, which is more or less described as being in Thailand. For some reason the Japanese government is involved? And send a known criminal/ tomb-raider with a mullet (on the recommendation of his ex-wife?) to go find it. You see, everyone is already very upset about global warming and ecological disaster, but they plan to do fuck all about it because it would be rude to suggest to do anything. That meteor is accelerating all of the ocean warming, plates moving around beneath the sea, etc...
They discover a huge egg (spoiler: containing Mothra) and The Cosmos (in this film)/ Twins/ Faeries. Somehow the egg is loaded onto a boat and they head back to Japan. But not before learning the legend of Battra, the Evil Moth that fought Mothra 10,000 years ago. Seems like one to file away.
Well, Godzilla was napping near Infant Island and, as monsters do, takes exception to the egg for unknown reasons and attacks. Mothra (in larval form) hops out and fights G. Battra is a giant, rad looking caterpillar who shows up, and fights. It's very confusing.
Most confusing is that Battra is set up as a standard G villain, and acts like one, terrorizing Mothra and Tokyo. But suddenly is a good guy and Godzilla, who kicked the shit out of him, is cast as the bad guy? I never understood that. The meteor was either Battra's egg all along, or just gets ignored in the back half of the film. A stone faced businessman who set all of this in motion via his jackassery cries on the floor like my nephew did when he was 3.
Anyway. I could not keep up, but every few minutes those tiny ladies would appear and sing Mothra's song and something rad would happen.
Like a lot of these movies, the set up never really goes anywhere as the characters watch from the sidelines as giant analogies fight it out where people used to live til five minutes ago. The Indiana Jones bit is particularly confusing, as they (a) do not need that guy at all and (b) he has a mullet in the opening sequences and he cuts it as the action really gets underway, which tells me maybe someone realized it was 1991 and mullets were strictly now for guys in North Houston.
If I have a problem with the movie, it's that Godzilla is suddenly cast as a villain *just for being there*. Like, he was *helping* Mothra, until Mothra attacked him. Be nice, Mothra. That's some mean-girl stuff Godzilla does not need.