When I was about four years old I watched a fair amount of Godzilla with my father. Starting with the original 1954 Gojira, we made our way through most of the Shōwa period of monster goodness (that being 1954 to 1975; let’s not talk about the later movies, especially that one with Matthew Broderick). What can I say, I’ve always been a sucker for mutated dinosaurs, hydrogen bomb analogies, and tiny Jiminy Cricket-esque Japanese women.
Of all of these epic movies and characters, apparently Mothra vs. Godzilla made the greatest impression on my developing Jell-oish young brain.
I was slumbering peacefully one evening when Mothra invaded my happy dream world. Let me set the scene for you: It was a beautiful summer day and I had been strolling along a narrow cobblestone street– actually the same Boston neighborhood where I had spent several years of daycare– hand-in-hand with my father. “Street” is sort of a misnomer; I guess you might call it an alley but without the creepy connotations. The only thing weird about this was the fact that it was completely silent and devoid of life (aside from me n’ my pops, that is), which anyone from Boston can tell you is as likely as finding an old Japanese insect monster.
Suddenly, the sun was blotted out by a giant pair of wings. Who should descend from the sky behind us but Mothra! My father and I turned to watch Mothra flapping like, well, a huge freakish moth (because that’s what Mothra is. Obviously). As she got closer I saw an oversized red toilet plunger gripped in her huge freakish insect arms. Still holding my hand, my father began to run away.
No sooner had we run a few feet then BAM! Mothra shot my poor pops in the back with the toilet plunger. Don’t ask me how (I assume due to suction) but it remained attached to his back as he toppled forward. With a great war cry, Mothra flapped her huge freakish wings and flew off as suddenly as she had appeared.
I fell to my knees before my fallen father, shaking him and yelling, “Get up! Don’t lie there! Did you not see the giant fucking moth? Do you really want to still be here if it comes back?!” or something to that effect. But no, my father was dead. Mothra had murdered him with a toilet plunger. She had stabbed him in the back. The coward!
I woke up crying and ran to my father’s room, and woke him from the sleep he was probably desperately in need of (to this day we’re both chronic insomniacs) to tell him that Mothra had shanghai-ed us and killed him with a plumbing implement. Unfathomably, he thought this was hilarious. He still thinks it’s funny to this day, actually, though I fail to see the humor in it.
But if Mothra ever dares to show her ass (thorax?) again, I’ll be ready for her.
So just curious about what’s wrong with the later movies. As someone less familiar with the genre…I’m dying to know what made that era THE era.
Curious to know more about what made that 1954 to 1975 era so perfect–and what’s wrong with the later films … you know moths (in native folklore) teach how to be still, rest and listen and balance your being…they’re said to aid in the metamorphosis of your being, so maybe that dream was the beginning of a metamorphosis.
It’s just that the Showa years are classics. Stop motion animation, the iconic Godzilla rawr, ridiculous characters, the fact that I grew up on them… and I did not know that about the moth! There’s a drawing on the way, also.
This has to keep coming! You are amazing!
Thanks, boo, you’re the sweetest! No worries, there are plenty more weird ideas in my brain 🙂