In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

Akira Ifukube: Mothra Vs. Godzilla

Well, I hope everyone had a decent Independence Day. Mine was forgettable, because I spent my entire holiday weekend sick in bed. That’s okay, though; I might not have actually seen any fireworks, but I sure as hell heard them.

Speaking of explosions, today happens to be the birthday of one of my personal heroes, the great Eiji Tsubaraya, who delighted children all over the world (including myself) with his amazing Japanese kaiju films and TV shows. Tsuburaya was like the Stan Winston of Japan, and he created such memorable giant monster characters as Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Ultraman, and countless others. Say what you will about the man’s low budget special effects, but there probably isn’t a person in the world who saw these things as a kid and who didn’t totally buy that they were real, living creatures. I know I certainly did, and even now that I’m a grown man, Tsubaraya’s films and shows still have the power to turn my peepers into water faucets. There’s magic in them rubber suits, I tells ya!

Eiji Tsubaraya and his big pal Godzilla on the set for 1965’s Invasion of Astro-Monster

Eiji Tsubaraya would have been 114 years old today. I certainly hope he’s having lots of fun (and plenty of hot sake) up there with the ancestors. In his honor, here’s the entire soundtrack to the one film that features what is arguably his absolute best work. If you’ve never seen 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla vs. the Thing), check it out; I think it’s on both Netflix and Hulu. (It’s just the right thing to watch if you’re ever in the mood for a film that’s just as Shinto as it is science fiction.)

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