Thursday, July 11, 2019

Blu-ray Review - MOTHRA Steelbook

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
Long before MOTHRA appeared in this year's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the giant moth made its debut in 1961's MOTHRA Japanese feature film. It was distributed by Toho Studios in Japan and was released the following year in United States by Columbia Pictures. Like most Toho films released in U.S., MOTHRA's running time was shorten to 90 minutes, which is 11-minutes shorter than the Japanese version. And, of course, the USA version featured an English dub.

Mill Creek Entertainment will be releasing MOTHRA on Blu-ray (Not Rated; $24.98) for the very first time in the United States. And it's not just a standard release either! It's a Steelbook release featuring both the original 101-minute Japanese classic and the 90-minute English version.

Directed by Ishirō Honda, the film centers around an expedition to Infant Island, a supposedly deserted atomic bomb test site. After a typhoon destroyed a ship, the four surviving sailors take refuge on Infant Island. Infected by radiation, the island natives saved them with a juice.

Upon returning home, the survivors tell their story to the media. The Rolisican Embassy quickly assembles an expedition to Infant Island, where they discover two tiny female fairies called "Shobijin" who guard a scared egg. The fairies (played by Emi and Yumi Itō) are kidnapped and sent to Tokyo to perform in the Secret Fairies Show.

The Infant Island natives performs a ceremony that hatches the egg and unleashes a huge caterpillar named MOTHRA. The caterpillar swims across the Pacific Ocean, builds a cocoon, and becomes a giant moth that is hellbent on destroying Tokyo.

Special Features include:
  • U.S. Version
  • Japanese Version (11-minutes longer)
  • Trailer
  • Audio Commentaries with Authors and Japanese Sci-Fi Historians Steve Ryfle & Ed Godziszewski (U.S. Version Only)
  • Photo Gallery

Final Thoughts

I grew up watching countless "Godzilla" marathons on TNT during the early '90s. However, at the time I wasn't aware these were the U.S. edited versions which dumbed down the plots and changed the dialogue for the English dubs. Like most Kaiju fans, I prefer the original Japanese versions, so I guess you can say I was excited when I learned MOTHRA was being released on Blu-ray featuring both the Japanese and U.S. versions.

The Steelbook is absolutely gorgeous! The front of the slipcover is clear with the tagline "Mightiest Monster In All Creation!" at the tiptop, two jets firing missiles, and the "Shobijin" are located near the bottom. For the back of the slipcover, only about 1/4 of the top is clear and the rest of the area features the movie's description and Blu-ray details. The artwork on the front of the Steelbook resembles the 1962 U.S. poster and the back is more of a collage featuring different stages of MOTHRA.

The picture and sound quality are excellent on the Blu-ray. The audio commentary is only available on the U.S. version. There is an English subtitles option on the disc.

Overall, I had a blast watching MOTHRA in its original version. It's an entertaining monster movie with plenty of mayhem.All monster fans are going to love the MOTHRA Blu-ray Steelbook!

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