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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OMG GMK LOL BBQ DTF

Guys, I’m fucking pumped.  This month I’m reviewing one of my all-time favorite movies: godzilla-GMK-posterGodzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (or GMK for short). It’s a movie as rad as its title is long.  Directed by Gamera wunderkind Shūsuke Kaneko, this 2001 movie masterfully mashes together monsters, magic, and mystery.  It stars a deliciously evil Godzilla, bolstered by heady themes, spectacular visuals, engrossing human characters, and slam-bang oh-shit monster wrassling insanity.

Let’s pick apart what makes it so fucking awesome, find all the juicy little Easter egg-y nuggets, talk about how we almost got Godzilla vs. The Mutated Spaceman instead, and reveal which GMK star spent the 70s shredding in a funk band!  Kick over some little statues and absorb some souls, it’s time to All-Out Attack!

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Frankenstein Conquers the World… and Our Hearts

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The name of my blog is Monsters Conquer the World, and this month I’m reviewing Frankenstein Conquers the World.  You probably won’t drop your monocle into your brandy in astonishment when I say that Frankenstein Conquers the World is one of my favorite giant monster movies, and with Halloween right around the corner, what better time to talk about this delightfully insane monster mash?  That’s right, in Conquers the World, Toho’s Godzilla team gave The Modern Prometheus the full kaiju treatment: an atomic origin story, gigantic size, a city-wide rampage, and damn it, you better believe they found a way to make him fight a man-eating dinosaur at the end! That plot synopsis might sound like word salad, but director Ishiro Honda, suitmation and special effects guru Eiji Tsubaraya, and everybody else associated with the production play it mostly straight, and the whole thing amazingly comes together.  We’ll talk about that, the Frankenstein monster’s (sort of) lost battle with a gigantic land-octopus, and the movie’s long road from concept to completion, replete with traditional showbiz backstabbing! So dig up a radioactive monster heart to chow on and keep reading!

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