Villain Monster Flies Away, Human Heroes Reflect on What They’ve Learned, Good Monster Wades off into the Sunset… Until Next Time

“I AM OFFICIALLY STOPPING MY BLOG”, he said, stupidly.  

“For sure nobody cares and it’s way weirder that you’re talking about it,” everyone said, correctly but also kind of meanly.  

I don’t know, how else do I open this? I’m stepping away from the blog, but I don’t want to leave it on a cliffhanger. I am okay. I’m not trying to be dramatic or anything weird.  I’m just ready to move on. 

Not from kaiju, of course.  I’m still fucking obsessed.  I’m currently watching Zyuranger, Mirrorman and Ultraman Trigger. Zyuranger is my favorite of the three, and I like it a fartload more than I ever liked Power Rangers.  I know that’s spicy, but I could never get into PR’s Saved by the Bell-ish stories.  And their re-contextualizations of the monsters were lame.  There’s a micro review for ya! Zyuranger FUCKIN’ SHREDDDDS, MAN.

Hahaha okay, so yeah, I’m not moving on from kaiju, but I am moving on from writing reviews of kaiju media (beyond the occasional tweet).  I don’t feel that burning drive to do it anymore, and there are a ton of folks out there covering it faster and more in-depth than I ever could (looking atchoo, Gormaru Island). It’s time to close up shop.  I fell hilariously short of my preposterous goals, but I feel good about it anyway.  It was fun, I made some friends, and I found even more big beautiful beasts to go batty for.  OH HEY A NEW GODZILLA SHORT FILM CAME OUT TODAY

As an out-and-proud Final Wars Fanatic and a Hedorah-ing Hedonist, I am of course overwhelmed with joy. It’s a fun, silly little blast.  I made sure to calmly and maturely let Toho know how I felt about the short:

Capture

So I’m stopping the blog, but I’ve got some unfinished writing I want to share. Just for fun, I guess.  My notes for the Ultraman episode “My Home is Earth” are a scant few interesting nuggets I mined from IMDB and Wikipedia (and other ‘pedias), but they capture the harrowing, somber spirit of the episode.  After that is my partial intro for a Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) review.  I’ve got one more post in me that will be coming soon–the first 75% of a Godzilla vs Kong review plus some closing thoughts.  This stuff’s all incomplete–broken links, missing images, unfinished thoughts, placeholder text, all the blood n’ guts–but I’m a bit of a gorehound, so maybe you are too.  No matter what, thanks for reading.  

Ultraman 10

Episode 23
My Home is Earth

Trivia:

  • Teruo Aragaki plays Jamila
  • Jamila’s roar is actually a baby’s crying very low-pitch
  • The plaque reads:

ICI DORT C E GUERRIER QUI QUI S’EST SACRIFIÉ EN QUÊTE D’IDEAL POUR L’HUMANITÉ AINSI QUE POUR LE PROGRÈS SCIENTIFIQUE

Which when translated becomes:

HERE SLEEPS THE WARRIOR WHO WAS SACRIFICED FOR HUMANITY’S DREAMS AND THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

Mechagodzilla is out to Wreck-a-Godzilla!61GbwFLzZZL._AC_

This ol’ blog o’ mine’s been lurching around for almost 7 years, and somehow I am only just now covering the silver screen debut of one of the biggest, baddest, most outrageous and iconic Godzilla foes: MECHAGODZILLA. 

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla has it all! James Bond-ian international intrigue! Ancient prophecies and arcane mysticism! High-tech space invaders! Secret identities and double-crosses! Green ape-men! Hanging out on a cruise ship! Death by space-sauna! A total of four different monsters going apeshit on each other! It’s easy to see why this late-Showa entry is a fan-favorite: Mechagodzilla is a non-stop blast of popcorny fun that finds a clever and deliciously bonkers way to give audiences both Godzilla the villainous destroyer AND Godzilla the grouchy-but-compassionate superhero.

Grab your Shisa statue and screw your space-titanium bong pipe back together, because we gotta check-a-Godzilla with Shrekagodzilla Mechagodzilla!

Trailer talk goes here

YT Links here

How about that wild-ass score though?! Big brassy horns with some serious swing-style flair and funk! It’s a huge departure from the apocalyptic, orchestral bombast you might typically associate with kaiju fare, and it’s even a few steps away from the triumphant, heroic themes you’ve heard in other late-Showa Godzilla movies or giant hero shows like Ultraman. This dynamic and unusual score comes to us from Masaru Sato, an insanely prolific film composer with over 300(!!!) film scores to his name! He worked often with Akira Kurosawa, creating music for classics like Throne of Blood, Yojimbo and Red Beard. More relevant to our little corner of movie-world, Sato scored Ishiro Honda’s horror flicks Half-Human and The H-Man, plus previous Godzilla flicks Godzilla Raids AgainEbirah, Horror of the Deep, and Son of Godzilla. The score for Son in particular sticks in my mind as another absolute banger and hints at the wild places Sato would confidently take monster movie music. Take a taste below!

ost links here

Jun Fukuda’s back in the director’s chair, having previously helmed Godzilla vs. Megalon. Fukuda’s legacy within the Godzilla series is one that’s been changing over the years. I remember when fans largely derided him as a hack that “ruined” the series, but as of late I’ve seen more and more of the fan community come around and appreciate the work he did keeping Godzilla fresh, fun, and alive when budgets where shrinking and Ultraman was stealing more and more of Godzilla’s viewership.  Fukuda’s body of work includes a whole bunch of my absolute favorite Godzilla flicks (this, Son of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Gigan, and Megalon) and one that I find fine but forgettable (sorry Ebirah! You should have been a King Kong movie![having just enjoyed a recent rewatch, it would still have been cooler as a Kong movie, but FUCK ME it whips ass like crazy]). His Godzilla output ranges from some of the best the series has to offer (this and Son) to hilariously weird, delightful nonsense (Megalon!) and of course everything in between. Plus he wrote and directed six episodes of Toho’s own Ultraman knock-off, Zone Fighter, as well as helming a whole mess of cool-ass sci-fi, horror, and fantasy films that have nothing to do with kaiju.  Jun Fukuda is a cool dude in my book.  

beer-900x600

This one’s for my man Jun! Thanks for all the fun, hun!

Jun co-wrote the screenplay with Hiroyasu Yamamura, based on a story treatment by Shinichi “The Loremaster” Sekizawa and Masami Fukushima.  I’ve gushed about Sekizawa on this blog plenty (the dude just GETS it), but Yamamura and Fukushima were new names for me. Yamamura wrote sci-fi, fantasy and horror for decades with credits on everything from Ultra Q and Ultraseven episodes, all the way up through writing Return of Godzilla in 1984.  

collage of different Yamamura works

Masami Fukushima is another exciting new name! A prolific sci-fi writer, critic and translator, Fukushima was nicknamed the “Demon of SF” and served as the first chief editor of Japan’s SF Magazine. Fukushima brought the works of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein to Japanese readers and is generally credited with popularizing sci-fi in his homeland. He didn’t write for film and TV nearly as much as Yamamura did, but in addition to Mechagodzilla he was a writer for 1963’s bleak, artful chiller Matango.  

matango poster – one of my favorite horror movies period

Teruyoshi Nakano is back directing special effects, and here he once again proves that he’s a master of doing a lot with a little (and that explosions are a good, cheap way to make a movie look fucking righteous).  Nakano doesn’t get the same adoration as Tsuburaya, but he’s got a hell of a resume stretching all the way back to the 1959 war film Submarine I-57 Will Not Surrender and all the way up to Princess on the Moon in 1987. More in our sphere of monster mashing matinees, his earlier works include King Kong vs. Godzilla and Gorath in 1962 up to 84’s Return of Godzilla.  

explosion picture this one’s for my man Teruyoshi, who loved to blow shi(t up)

So yeah, it’s another one with a dream team behind the wheel! It’s not that one dream team, but it’s a dream team nonetheless! Let’s dig DEEP into the movie they made!

care bears part 3 just kidding I don’t think they made that one

 

  1. Trailer (1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmlXRA9VGJ4, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4Fh9-9BbVs)
  2. Music (“G” vs A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5cnYJE2iCo, MG theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYWJDZdLORA)
  3. Crew: Writers(X), Director(X), SPFX director
  4. Recap: actor intros w/ character intro, observations and fun facts
  5. Review
  6. Other production notes, fun facts, weirdness
  7. Legacy and conclusion

GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA 1974
Also released as Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster (Universal Television threatened to sue Cinema Shares over the use of the name “Bionic” in the film’s title, as they owned the rights to The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman TV series.[5] The film title was quickly changed to Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster, which was also used for the 1977 U.K. theatrical release.) and later Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster 

Dir: Jun Fukuda

screenplay:

  • Hiroyasu Yamamura
  • Jun Fukuda

story:

Score: Masaru Sato
Prod: Tomoyuki Tanaka
SPFX: Teruyoshi Nakano

Cast:

  • Masaaki Daimon as Keisuke Shimizu (清水 敬介Shimizu Keisuke)
  • Kazuya Aoyama as Masahiko Shimizu (清水 正彦Shimizu Masahiko)
  • Akihiko Hirata as Professor Hideto Miyajima (宮島 秀人Miyajima Hideto)
  • Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Wagura (和倉 博士Wagura-hakase)
  • Reiko Tajima as Saeko Kanagusuku (金城 冴子Kanagusuku Saeko)
  • Hiromi Matsushita as Ikuko Miyajima (宮島 郁子Miyajima Ikuko)
  • Goro Mutsumi as Kuronuma, Black Hole Alien Leader
  • Shin Kishida as Nanbara, Interpol Agent
  • Takayasu Torii as Tamura, Interpol Agent
  • Beru-Bera Lin as Princess Nami, Azumi
  • Masao Imafuku as High Priest Azumi
  • Daigo Kusano as Yanagawa, Alien Agent #1
  • Kenji Sahara as Ship Captain
  • Isao Zushi as Godzilla[3]
  • Kazunari/Ise Mori as Mechagodzilla[3]
  • Kin’ichi Kusumi as Anguirus and King Caesar[3]

TRIVIA-
Anguirus’ last apperance until Final Wars 30 YEARS later

The guardian monster King Shisa is based on the actual “shîsâ” lion-dog guardian statues in Okinawa. Originally from China, they are statues that ward off evil spirits. Another Japanese name for them is “komainu” (lion-dog).

The cavern in which the Third Planet Aliens have their secret base is the Gyokusen Cave, a real cave in Okinawa, and also a tourist attraction.

The film was widely criticized for its supposed lack of substance. However, some critics pointed out the actual historical context behind the plot. There had long been tension between Japan and the island Okinawa, and Okinawa was the home of American military bases at the time that brought the threat of the Cold War to the island. With the aliens controlling Mechagodzilla representing the outside invading force, Godzilla representing Japan and the mythical King Caesar standing in for Okinawa, the film proposes cooperation between the two nations, standing together against a common adversary.

[Hey wowie thanks for reading my funky, junky old notes and stuff! Here are the images I had saved for the review–this movie is pure visual joy.]

D_dmE3VXsAIwSKc6efe5c6759ed6567cfecba7ebf1f3a98tumblr_nwak8fXD2x1txs0f3o1_500tumblr_35f7741373367debd7b6822109f26729_489886ef_1280Real-25M74-back-originalMechagodzilla_1974_Behind_the_Scenes_04e4c03b7b85e9b120d60599d0b12815d3348e329e1ea29ae6d08533d4e11c95ectumblr_p72swoRjHn1wzw0ebo5_640tumblr_p2c8l1qcX21qigaa4o1_1280tumblr_oy8mejgDqL1twzku7o1_r1_500tumblr_8d34b00a98a28d5a6714168cff15c7b0_03d3858a_640tumblr_3c8944a87fa963f61cd43f52dab14362_51fa9464_640tumblr_1e9f020152d82bed1d042233a1c87b1c_df875e44_640tumblr_phvp8cS30f1wzw0ebo1_640tumblr_p72swoRjHn1wzw0ebo6_1280tumblr_p72swoRjHn1wzw0ebo2_1280tumblr_onu5x4jkkU1qaqx8xo1_500_1024x1024@2xtumblr_p72swoRjHn1wzw0ebo6_1280tumblr_p72swoRjHn1wzw0ebo2_1280tumblr_onu5x4jkkU1qaqx8xo1_500_1024x1024@2xtumblr_f75233b36682c98ff9bc41685e52370d_cb961a36_400tumblr_7149cddf9c1083c8e4fc7437bfb1e3f3_6439454b_400tumblr_68a2fb13d213df2569f0e243d19a2091_6dcff05f_540tumblr_6d5897ced787ff634f22e579427d98d7_8c236e42_540tumblr_3e217ce831cf9eff5e0034a8085b916a_819ee928_400tumblr_3e1bf4366b699efb8de54cdbff90d4fb_59bdf2e8_640GCMf1bc97beb1189c08ec1d4f8458153646de5b648834ad428ca1b58843d1e5317eb31ae6f81d351ca68ee4e73b944d5254_1d07d3c64d3213fe659fa0033c7ef21d1bb7cef967ecd9ab236eaa77e18afa2b3_1b5657d1ddfb69fcf3d220e7da140d4a65889175d002a7b445bc2539d86f68f59274261ea28cfabf72af01937a0fe5a7260ea301388cc14fbbadd725f8708e9462b9123b39220af2424bd4e1643ef4194WWwbGJ5TbgC6rYO13KsGGSCwqNklW_wJ7wlI1cZZK14

[Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla doesn’t have the bleak horror or poignant message of ’54 or Shin, but its such a complete delight. It effortlessly combines WILDLY unrelated concepts into a perfect sci-fantasy adventure that’s a pop culture landmark for damn good reason. Late-Showa rules.]

2 thoughts on “Villain Monster Flies Away, Human Heroes Reflect on What They’ve Learned, Good Monster Wades off into the Sunset… Until Next Time

  1. I’ve enjoyed your blog! All good things come to an end I suppose. My son became really interested in Godzilla a few years back, it was neat to watch a bunch of the old classics with him and good stuff like Pac Rim. But, alas, he is older and the interest has waned. Life has moved me along and lot so stuff left to do, but glad you decided to write during my kaiju renaissance.

    I hope life treats you well!

    Brian (aka Arthurdawg)

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