Mothra Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were protected by a special juice that was given to them by the island’s residents. A joint expedition of Rolisican and Japanese scientists explores Beiru and discovers many curious things, including two women only one foot (30 centimeters) high. Unscrupulous expedition leader Clark Nelson abducts the women and puts them in a vaudeville show. But their sweet singing contains a telepathic cry for help to Mothra, a gigantic moth that is worshiped as a deity by the island people. The giant monster heeds the call of the women and heads to Tokyo, wreaking destruction in its path. MIGHTY WINGED MONSTER ravishes Earth in search of the tiniest women in the world…2 feet tall!
This is the first Mothra movie, a story where a corrupted businessman kidnaps tiny twin priestesses on radiated Infant Island to exploit them for profit gain. This angers the island’s guardian goddess named Mothra, who awakens and goes in search for the kidnapped twins, threatening to leave a wake of destruction along the way.
For this movie, there is a great screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa, imaginable effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, good directing by Ishiro Honda and a beautiful music score (though not by Akira Ifukube, Yuji Koseki composed an equally superb music score). This movie has the usual elements in any “kaiju” movie: military, city destruction, tropical islands, scientists, reporters, natives and villains.
We get to see the very first appearance of Mothra’s tiny twin priestesses, played here by the “Peanuts,” a popular Japanese singing-duo. Their serene and bewitching Mothra’s Song is first sung here, and is an enchanting listening experience. A few more songs follow, and they’re also sung beautifully. They take center stage in this story, singing as a plea for help from Mothra to rescue them from the greedy show-biz celebrity. Along the way, a reporter, photographer and a scientist team up in attempt to save the fairies to return them to their home before Mothra attacks! The male lead, played by Frankie Sakai, was hilarious and provided most of the comic relief in this action-packed monster flick.
The natives’ rituals and chants to awaken Mothra are spellbinding and enchanting, some of the greatest piece of cinema work I’ve seen.
Overall, this film is a great introduction to Mothra, who would go on to appear in many other monster movies, most notably alongside Godzilla in his many sequels, produced by Toho.