Monsters Conquer the World Quadrennial Monsterthon!

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Monsters Conquer The World turns 4 tomorrow (holy shit)! To celebrate, I’m going to host a monsterrific marathon tomorrow starting at 1! Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, plus some oddballs and surprises! Drop in if you can!

https://www.rabb.it/MonstersConquerTheWorld

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It’s not Pacific Rim Surprising that I like Pacific Rim Uprising

DUPoyAKV4AEM5TrIt’s crazy to think that it’s been nearly five years since Pacific Rim debuted in theaters.  While it got a middling-to-positive-ish reaction from mainstream audiences and critics, it spawned a small diehard cult following and made a big ol’ splash overseas (mainly China).

As for me, I loved it (with the exception of Charlie Hunnam’s inexplicably lame performance) and eagerly kept up with news of a sequel (or really any kind of follow-up–I take it the proposed animated series was shit-canned?).  As the years wore on, the sequel (temporarily named “Maelstrom”) looked less and less likely to happen, and with the excitement for Godzilla 2014 (and its associated MonsterVerse) building, I wrote a second Pacific Rim off as a potentially cool movie that we just weren’t likely to get. Fucking Grown Ups 2 beat the original at the box office, after all.

But Wanda Group and John Boyega have cancelled the apocalpyse, snatched Pacific Rim Uprising from the gates of Development Hell, and launched it into theaters last week! But is a Pacific Rim without Guillermo del Toro in the director’s chair really a Pacific Rim at all?  Find somebody that’s drift compatible, initiate your neural handshake, and make sure you’re war ready, we’re re-opening the breach!

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Who ya gonna call? The Science Patrol!

(from MONSTERS CONQUER TUMBLR)

Watching through the classic Ultraman series continues to be a wildly entertaining ride, but one of my favorite aspects of the show has (surprisingly) been the Science Patrol.

This is because the Science Patrol are absolutely, unmistakably proto-Ghostbusters.  

And Ghostbusters is still my undisputed number one favorite movie of all time.

Don’t believe me?  Try and guess which team I’m describing:

They are plucky, lovable nerds that cruise around in a (potentially inappropriate for the job) vintage car decked out with their logo, wear iconic jumpsuits, utilize wacky new tech they invent on the fly, and shoot radical but insanely dangerous lightning-lasers at freaky-ass supernatural monsters in a modern setting.  Said supernatural monsters include man-sized undead horrors AND skyscraper-sized demigods.  Their HQ features a fireman’s pole.  They have an awesomely catchy/singable theme song.

GIVE UP? THAT IS BECAUSE I DESCRIBED BOTH TEAMS MY DUDE

If the Science Patrol are Ghostbusters, obviously Ultraman is Slimer.

Basically twins.

Super nerd bonus round: The original storyboards for Ghostbusters had them wearing Science Patrol-style helmets with adjustable visors:

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Yeah yeah Pygmon is probably a closer fit for Slimer than Ultraman, but it’s funnier to accuse Ultraman of being an ugly little spud.  A disgusting blob if you will. The ghost of John Belushi (Aykroyd’s words, not mine!) as it were.

This is a buddy comedy I would 100% watch though.

Ultraman Review Part 7: Episodes 16-18

ultraman_japanese_tv_series_title_cardWhoa I haven’t reviewed any Ultraman episodes all year! Time to fix that with a trio of titanic tales! If you’re new here or just need a refresher, be sure to hit up the six previous installments in my review series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Real talk: it’s a little disquieting to see that it’s been over a year since I started reviewing the original Ultraman series and I’m barely halfway done. A lot of that is because I take plenty of breaks–I don’t want MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD to become an all-Ultraman all the time blog–but still, damn.  Does it bug anybody, or are we all cool with my meandering pace? (For real, let me know in the comments) was cool with it until I started crunching the numbers… maybe I’m just impatient? There’s a lot of giant monster/kaiju content out there, and I wanna review as much of it as I can!

I might change how often I review Ultraman episodes, but I do NOT plan on lessening the depth I go into for each episode: this show is too influential and too iconic for a quick skim.

Speaking of episodes, we got three winners on the docket for this month! They’re all kinda spooky-creepy too! It’s an exciting change of pace considering the last two I reviewed skewed a little lighter and goofier.  The show in general feels like it’s getting more confident, telling bolder and stranger stories as it goes on.  This month we get a gaslighting asshole from outer space, mind-melting fourth dimensional fuckery, and the return of Ultraman’s most sinister villains! Strap in Science Patrollers, shit’s gettin’ EERIE!

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Godzilla vs. the Most Punchable Face in the Universe

300px-GODZILLA_Planet_of_the_Monsters_new_posterSince I’ve started MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD in 2014, something wonderful has happened: a new kaiju/giant monster boom in mainstream moviedom on both sides of the Pacific.  Maybe “boom” is too strong a word considering that superheroes still maintain their box office dominance, but since I’ve started the blog, mon-stars have come back in a (heh) big way.  There have now been three new Godzilla movies (the reviews for the other two are here and here), a new Kong flick, Ultraman is slamming out top-notch series, Pacific Rim did well enough to spawn an upcoming sequel, and we’re even getting “me-too” movies like Power RangersColossal and Rampage.  Maybe it’s not a full-on monster boom, but it’s certainly a hearty, bassy rumble.  (One that will include Gamera sometime soonish? Please!?!)

With all this monster money and kaiju kash pouring in it was a pleasant non-surprise when Toho announced they had more Godzilla films planned after Shin Godzilla.  What was a surprise is that said films are a trilogy of anime movies set 20,000 years in the future, starring a 1000 ft. tall, plant-based Godzilla & released straight to Netflix.  The first installment, Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters hit Netflix this month, so practice your best perma-scowl, hop into a robot suit, and get angsty as fuck, because we’re gonna watch some cartoons!

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Godzilla’s Revenge (of the Nerds)

godzillas_revenge_poster_01MERRY (belated) MINYAMAS EVERYONE! Minya, the Son of Godzilla, the Prince of the Monsters turned 50 last month!  I kicked off the celebration of this auspicious occasion here, but of course I knew that wouldn’t be enough!

Since I’ve already reviewed Minya’s debut film there was really only one choice for my MINYAMAS movie review: 1969’s Godzilla’s Revenge (or All Monsters Attack in Japan)!  Revenge is debatably an even Minya-er movie than Son of Godzilla and it has quite a reputation within the hardcore Godzilla fan community.

Which is to say, a lot of people hate it.  I’ve always disagreed with Revenge’s naysayers, but this most recent viewing has absolutely solidified it as one of my favorite entries in the entire series.  That’s not me being a contrarian wiener or pimping some clickbait bullshit, I just really love the sweet goofball soul of this incredibly unique little movie.

Round up all your vacuum tubes, get ready to fight your own battles, and force yourself to fall asleep, because we’re taking a psychedelic imagination-jet to Monster Island!

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Bleth thith Galgameth (Part 2 of 2)

MV5BM2YyZjI2NzItMWRkMy00YzY1LTk1NzktNThhZjQzNjg3MzRkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDUxNjc5NjY@._V1_Against all odds (and my best intentions), Galgameth is getting a two-part review. Like my previous two-part review for Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, it’s not that I have millions and millions of brilliant thoughts to share with you about the film, I just kinda… ran out of time last month.  It’s a little embarrassing, but my doctor says it’s perfectly normal and it happens to plenty of virile, healthy bloggers all the time and it doesn’t make me any less of a man!

If you missed part 1 or just need to relive my brain breaking over the seemingly endless connections Galgameth has to the 3 Ninjas cinematic universe, click here!

I’m excited to knock out the rest of this review because 1. the movie gets significantly better (but still not like, awesome) from where we left off and 2. so I can hurry up and dig into more MINYA content for MINYAMAS (get your first taste here if you haven’t already!).  If anything, Galgameth is a potent reminder that it’s very easy to accidentally make your “cute” mini-monster an irritating butthole.  If Minya is the endearingly derpy Santa (or, uh… Jesus?) at the heart of Minyamas, little Galgameth is the horrible Krampus terrorizing us before we get there! Crack open a wine barrel and grab some iron to munch on, we’re finishing off Galgameth!

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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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