Merry Minyamas!

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What a blessed time of year it is, friends!  The Prince of the Monsters turns 50 in just a few short days! I’m going to celebrate later this month with a nice long review of Godzilla’s Revenge (aka All Monsters Attack), perhaps the funniest, strangest, sweetest, and Minya-est movie in the Godzilla canon.  It’s a personal favorite that I’ve been saving for a special occasion, and I can’t think of anything more special than the 50th anniversary of this wonderful goofball nerd monster sweetheart gracing the Earth with his presence.

I officially bit off more than I could chew in concocting the “12 Days of Minyamas” over on the Monsters Conquer the World Tumblr.  Intended as a 12-day celebration of Minya that would end on his special day (Dec. 16, the original release date of Son of Godzilla), I quickly and sadly realized I don’t have 12 days worth of new Minya content to provide, but there was a bonus review I was hoping to put together:

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Minya vs. The Aztec Mummy

If you’re reading this you might already know about the episode of Go! Greenman (no, not that Greenman) where Toho’s titular TV hero battles an evil clone of our main man Minya.  It seemed like a perfectly weird piece of apocrypha to spotlight as a special Minyamas gift to the world, but I sadly can’t find video of it to watch and review (I could only find a handful of seemingly random episodes and clips).  There’s not a lot about Greenman online in general (or at least in English).  Wikizilla has a wall-o text describing the episode, and it sounds like good wacky fun: Minya sucks on a pacifier, drinks from a baby bottle and throws a tantrum. Though they trade blows for a while, Greenman doesn’t even bother to finish off the titanic toddler, and instead busts a gut when the villains bitch at each other for making such a ridiculous kaiju. It’s not a lot, but here’s a clip from their battle!

Evil clone or not, it is satisfying to see “Minya” just beat the shit out of somebody bigger and ostensibly “cooler” than him.  This Minya’s taller stature and lumpy, muscular(???) build make it easy to imagine this is troubled teen Minya acting out.

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Pacifier and beefy biceps is a weird combo.

If anybody has a hook-up on how to watch this thing, please hit me up! It would truly be a Minyamas miracle!  Until then, enjoy some more images from the episode:

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Merry Minyamas friends!

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Crystal Galgameth (Part 1 of 2)

tumblr_lqu9xhyiJt1qjpaqno1_500For the majority of the year, I cover movies and shows from Japan and Hollywood.  That’s just where most kaiju and giant monster films and TV comes from.  But every once in a great while a different country steps up and says “Hey man, we got a monster too!” and I love that shit.  It’s exciting to get entries in the genre from somewhere besides Hollywood and Japan, and the results vary from complete schlock to low-key modern classic.

This month I’m reviewing 1996’s Galgameth (aka The Legend of Galgameth or The Adventures of Galgameth), a Romanian/US co-production that lands right about in the middle of the schlock/classic spectrum.  It’s a loose remake of North Korea’s Pulgasari, giving it yet another layer of… internationality (holy shit that’s actually a word?!)  So what happens when the story of Pulgasari gets remade in the mid-90s, filtered through a couple more cultures and directed by the renowned auteur that mounted 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain? Read on to find out!

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Ultraman Review Part 6: Episodes 14 & 15

Ultra Man - American Version OpeningAfter a couple months off it’s time to get Ultra once again! As always here are links to the previous installments if you need a refresher: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

This month’s pair of titanic tales gives us sea monster shenanigans, the subversive power of kids’ imaginations, Ultraman’s new face, the show’s most cheekily meta conversation yet, ULTRAMAN SPEAKS, and more! This show keeps getting radder and radder, so chow on a fistful of pearls, finish your chalk drawings, and click on through to get UIltra as hell, buddy.

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I bet The Amazing Colossal Man has Amazing Colossal Glands

The_Amazing_Colossal_ManJapanese films (and TV shows!) dominate this genre that I love so goddamn much, but it started here in the good ol’ US of A with King Kong, and filmmakers around the world have chipped in with their own unique contributions (like Norway’s excellent Troll Hunter!). But before Godzilla’s classic sequels and cross-over films rightfully solidified him as King of the Monsters, Hollyweird was cranking out all kinds of mega-monster movies! 1957’s The Amazing Colossal Man is one of ’em!

It doesn’t have Eiji Tsuburaya‘s sprawling, meticulously crafted monster suits or miniatures, nor does it have Ray Harryhausen‘s astonishingly lifelike stop-motion animation.  So what’s it got?  Bert I. Gordon’s low budget ingenuity and a whole lotta elbow grease! Mr. B.I.G. (his actual nickname) never birthed the next Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, or even Them! but his oeuvre still left a mark on the 50’s monster moviescape. Nobody really talks that much about The Amazing Colossal Man, but it undoubtedly paved the way for the much more famous/beloved Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, was spoofed by Honey I Blew up the Kid, and was lovingly homaged (along with other atomic horror classics like The Fly) in the forgettable Monsters vs. Aliens. 

All that, plus no director has been MST3k’d as much as he has!  So uh… go him? AND it was his birthday last week!  Dude’s still alive!  Slap on your adjustable sarong and we’ll talk about his movie!

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Get out of your Gamera the Cave, it’s time for Gamera the Brave!

gamera-the-brave1The on-going experiment of reviewing the entire original Ultraman series has been an awesome ride, but it also has the weird side effect of pushing everything else back.  I didn’t even review a Godzilla movie until we were halfway through the year! When Godzilla gets pushed back, of course Gamera also gets pushed back.

But no more!  This month I’m checkin’ in with everybody’s favorite turtle titan by reviewing 2006’s overlooked Gamera the Brave.  It’s an incredibly heartfelt little monster movie that sidesteps the continuity of Shusuke Kaneko’s prior, terrific Gamera trilogy (I’ve reviewed parts 1 and 2!)… while still kind of paying homage to it!  It’s a fresh take on the character… that also feels like a spiritual successor to old school Gamera too!

We’ll dig into all that, plus GMK Godzilla’s secret presence in the film, Optimus Prime’s audio-only sorta-cameo, how it inadvertently spawned some obnoxious clickbait, and a whole bunch of other shit!  I hope you’re feeling (the) Brave friend, because it’s gonna be A BANG UP WORK (62)!

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Haruo Nakajima, 1929-2017

20663700_674725719385595_4713927030550513171_n.pngHaruo Nakajima, the man inside the original Godzilla (and many other classic monsters like Mothra, RodanKing Kong, and various Ultraman baddies) passed away on Monday August 7th, 2017. He was one of the best and bravest performers in film history, bringing to life one of the most iconic and beloved characters of the last century.

Nakajima was a founding figure in the genre, having played Godzilla for the first twelve consecutive films.  Nakajima imbued rubber suit monsters with an impossible amount of emotion, personality, and humanity.  He didn’t just endure the hellish conditions inside the kaiju suits (more often than not at risk of drowning, asphyxiation, and/or burns from pyrotechnics), he thrived, using his expertise to coach his fellow suit actors and choreograph the creature brawls that have thrilled audiences all over the world.  He was The Man of a Thousand Monsters, and he’s directly responsible for some of the coolest shit to ever happen in cinema.

Fans from all over the world have stepped up and shared their favorite Nakajima stories, pictures, and tributes online, so I’ve collected some personal favorites here. Click through to check them out!

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Ultraman Review Part 5: Episodes 11-13

tumblr_oiki9vLrt81vki3xpo8_500Let’s get Ultra, fools! I have no concept of how long it’s gonna take, but I’m determined to review every last episode of this show and after a couple months off I’m jazzed to dive back in.

If you haven’t checked out the previous installments or want a refresher, hit up Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4!

This month we get some of the (intentionally) funniest monster action I’ve ever seen, our creepiest antagonist since Baltan, and a fresh, funky formula shake-up! Pour yourself a nice tall glass of oil because shit’s gettin’ ULTRA in here!

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