After a long and unplanned hiatus, I’m back! And yes, I’m back specifically to finish my long-delayed review of Gamera: Super Monster.
Yes, that Super Monster. Yes, I’m serious. Its purported badness draws me in like a Moth
ra to a flame, but I also really like how fucking weird and doofy (but still sweet!) this flick is. There’s enough unique, charming strangeness here to merit a deep dive.
If you haven’t already, be sure to give part 1 a read here. Or don’t? That might be an intriguing/hilarious social experiment! If you haven’t seen this movie and haven’t read part 1 of my review, go ahead and read this and see if anything that follows makes any fucking sense at all. If it does, congratulations, you’re either having a nervous breakdown or you’ve achieved total consciousness.
Even if you have seen the movie and/or read the first part of my review, it can still seem like a delightful fever dream: size-shifting Space Women sleep in an invulnerable lunchbox, they operate flying vans and dimensional portals with Casios and look upon Gamera as he relives his greatest Showa-era battles… who in turn sometimes looks upon random clips of anime… all while a Star Destroyer bombards them with threats and orbital laser strikes! Ready for more?! TOO BAD!
Ahhhh, Gamera: Super Monster, we meet at last! I had never seen the 1980 entry in the Gamera series until
this last month. Its reputation might lead you to believe I was avoiding it, but come on, you know me better than that! I was saving this heaping helping of stock-footage fueled weirdness for a rainy (or Michigan-humid) day!
This is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that I had a lot of fun finally cracking this nut–I basically gifted myself a ridiculous cinematic dessert. The bad thing is that by the time I snuggled in to watch Super Monster, I had already found out most of its best/strangest details. In case you’ve never seen this thing and want to ensure you have the maximum WTF experience, I won’t spoil it by listing out all the madness here. All you really need to know going in is that Super Monster was a blatantly desperate attempt to pump funds into the dying (now long-dead) Daiei studio and it was made on the shoestringiest of budgets (even by Gamera standards).
So fire up your electric organ, fly your magic van someplace safe, and start talkin’ to your watch, because we’re diving in to Gamera: Super Monster!
The June review is just getting later, buuuuuuuttt:
HOLY BALLS YOU GUYS! IT’S A KAIJULY MIRACLE! As promised, I’m gonna stream a whole MESS of kaiju stuff over on https://www.rabb.it/MonstersConquerTheWorld … starting
this Saturday evening (probably like 6-ish?)! in the afternoon on Sunday the 15th! Stay tuned for updates and feel free to throw suggestions at me!
Kaijuly is also stomping all over the Twitch stream I co-run, Super Apartment Friends! I’m going to (finally) give Super Godzilla another try tonight at 9, with more monsterrific gaming gauntlets throughout the month. KAIJULY FEVER: CATCH IT!
The KAIJULY 100 stream is just around the corner, so I’ve rounded up a big fat playlist of kaiju krunchies, monster munchies, and dino delites! There are deffo some oddballs and curveballs in there too, including some stuff that I’ve never watched before! Those could be FUCKING HORRIBLE for all I know, but it wouldn’t be fun without a little danger, right? Start time TBD, but it’s a school night so I’m aiming to start in the afternoon and wrap up in the evening. Be there or Ghidorah will zap your little fanny!
Reviewing more Ultraman episodes after a couple months of movie reviews (especially new zillion-dollar Hollywood movies) has weirdly started to feel like coming home. One of the benefits of Ultraman being a steadily episodic TV series instead of a more disjointed film series like Godzilla or Gamera is its charming and consistent human cast. I wasn’t so sure about these orange-clad action-scientists early on, but now I tune in for them almost (almost) as much as I do for the giant monster smackdowns!
This month’s duo of episodes load us up with demons, ghosts, and blood feuds that span time and the very barrier between life and death! If you haven’t read any of my Ultraman episode reviews, you’ll probably want to start from the beginning, or maybe just refresh yourself on the most recent round of reviews. Grab your time capsule and look both ways before crossing Route 87, because it’s time to get ULTRA!
We just GOTSTA have a little viewing party to celebrate! This Saturday at 2PM (Eastern) I’ll celebrate 75 likes on ye olde Tome of Faces with an Ultraseven….ty-five marathon! Drop in here: https://www.rabb.it/MonstersConquerTheWorld this Saturday if you can!
This month’s Ultraman review is still coming too, so keep an eye peeled! The last day of May is still May!
Another month, another Hollywood blockbuster about giant monsters going apeshit on urban population centers! If you told me 5+ years ago that Hollywood tentpole movies were going to veer off into kaiju country this consistently I would’ve told you “I wish!” But yet here we are!
Rampage the movie deviates from its inspiration (the 1986 arcade classic of the same name) in big, obvious ways. Gone are the cartoony monsters, replaced with more down-to-earth looking giant animals. The carnage and chaos are still there, but you won’t see Rampage’s big screen monsters eating people off of toilets or flapping their arms to stay airborne like their pixelated predecessors.
Even with these large-scale changes, Rampage the movie still takes the time to pay tribute to the beloved old kaiju-themed quarter muncher while delivering a satisfying and, no shit, surprisingly heartfelt monster mash. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it stars Dwayne The Rock Johnson, one of the most insanely watchable human beings to ever live and a big budget special effect in his own right. HOW does Rampage come out of nowhere and pull all this off? Stack up some quarters and keep reading!
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!
UPDATE (4/22/18, 9:25 PM)
Big ups to everyone who joined in on the festivities! We watched, enjoyed, riffed, and discussed:
- The giant mole scene from Arrested Development
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
- Gamera vs. Gaos
- Daigoro vs. Goliath (finally!)
- Godzilla (2014)
- The first two episodes of Ultraseven
Big marathons like this I’ll save for important anniversaries and stuff, but I definitely think there’s another Ultraseven viewing party in the not-to-distant future. Watch this space (or Twitter or Facebook or whatever) for news on that front.
Thanks for reading for the last four years! Here’s to another four… TRILLION
It’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!
(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.
Super nerd bonus round: The original storyboards for Ghostbusters had them wearing Science Patrol-style helmets with adjustable visors: