More Like Afterbirth of Mothra ;( (Part 2 of 2)

OIP

2020 still sucks boiling hot dogshit through a straw made out of electrified razor blades and barbed wire, so let’s ignore it for a little while longer and finish off our deep dive into 1996’s delightfully doofy Rebirth of Mothra!  If you missed part 1 of the review you can rub your eyeballs all over it here.

There is SO MUCH more monster moth mayhem to unpack and I can’t wait.  I will say this before we pick up the recap where we left off (Desghidorah’s grand entrance): I think this is one of my favorite Heisei-era Toho monster flicks.  This movie is way the fuck more solid than it gets credit for.  It doesn’t have the earnest sci-fi seriousness of Return of Godzilla, it doesn’t have the astonishingly good practical effects of Godzilla vs. Biollante, and it’s not hilariously, mind-bendingly weird like Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, but it’s got it’s own, different set of goals and nails ’em! More on that and a whole bunch more after the jump!

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More Like Re-Girth of Mothra ;) (Part 1 of 2)

rebirth_of_mothra_poster_1996_02First and foremost, Black Lives Matter, Arrest the Cops that Murdered Breonna Taylor, Defund the Police. Furthermore, Trans Rights, Love is Love, No Human is Illegal. Also, wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance–it doesn’t matter if you’re not at risk for COVID-19, doing those things will save the folks that are.

So uh, everybody having an extremely cool, normal time here in the year or our lord two-thousand and twenty?  I’ve been struggling (and failing) to get back on the monthly review train, and living in the middle of a hell shit nightmare garbage world isn’t really helping. BUT some slick new hardware (my very own first ever laptop!) should help me turn that around going forward!

But let’s not dwell on the fact that every time you make the grave error of accidentally paying attention to the news it’s a firehose spraying four hundred quadrillion gallons of boiling hot diarrhea directly into your open eyes, nose and mouth.  How?  BY REVIEWING A GOOFY-ASS, FEEL-GOOD, KID-FRIENDLY, VERY 90s MONSTER MOVIE MY FRIENDS.

I’m finally digging into the Rebirth of Mothra (or just Mothra in Japan) trilogy here on MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD! Reasonably enough I’m starting with the first entry in the trilogy, 1996’s Rebirth of Mothra.  I’ve seen all three entries, but it’s been at least 10  years now (probably closer to 15?).  Something about these left a… not-awesome taste in my mouth. The taste was so not-awesome that I knew I’d really need to work up some chutzpah to revisit and write at length about these films.

EXCEPT THAT SHIT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT APPLY TO THE FIRST MOVIE.  What happened?  Did I change?  Did the movie change?  Is some other movie to blame for this trilogy’s dookie-riffic reputation (HMMM?)?  Can Mothra save us from the relentless dogshit hell nightmare reality of 2020?  Read on and find out!

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King Kong vs. The Dude Part Two’d

b1356f20e3bbfb3996633be04296a825All right mother humpers, time to make like machine gunfire from a helicopter and finish off King Kong (1976)!  That joke made me sad as I was typing it!  But this is a classic, tragic beauty and the beast tale, just like its 1933 grandpappy and its 2005… un-pappy? Anti-pappy?  Reverse pappy?…

ANYWAY you can click here to read part 1 of the review if you missed it or if you just can’t get enough of that totally gnar-gnar, flavor-blasted MCTW content.

In part 1 we set the stage, took a peek at the creative team behind the movie, and stopped just as King Kong met Jessica Lange Dwan! Can King Kong and Dwan save the midtown youth center by putting on a funky-fresh talent show with all their hip inner-city friends, or will the evil real estate tycoon bulldoze it to make way for a subdivision of ugly McMansions?? Don’t believe me that that’s totally the actual, real plot of the movie?  Better read on to make sure!

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King Kong vs. The Dude (Part 1 of 2)

KongPoster

Pretty fuckin’ ballsy to call your obvious  remake an “original motion picture event” 🤣

As a monster movie fan I’ve seen all the Godzillas, all the Gameras… but only most of the Kings Kong.  This month I am one step closer to Kongpletion, because I finally saw the 1976 remake, King Kong!  We got Jessica Lange, we got Jeff Bridges, we got Charles Grodin, we got the guy who played Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, we got some tasty American suitmation, and it’s all in a lavish, mid-70s Dino De Laurentiis super-production!

So what the fuck took me so long? For one thing, Kong ’76 has always had sort of a mixed reception… for another thing, they took out the dinosaurs.  And the expedition to Skull Island (only they make sure to NOT call it Skull Island) switched from an ambitious-but-doomed movie shoot to an ill-advised oil survey (because it’s the 70s, so you gotsta get those gas crisis references in!) These are all really minor, nitpicky things, but in my brain they all pointed to the distinct possibility that this was a King Kong movie that was embarrassed to be a King Kong movie, and I wasn’t exactly champing at the bit for another one of those.

I’m psyched to be wrong though! Kong ’76 is a mixed bag, but it’s a beautiful mixed bag! Most importantly, it IS 110% an honest-to-Godzilla King Kong movie! There’s also a shitload of BUCK NUTTY behind-the-scenes stories about Kong ’76’s conception and creation. Plus it’s fascinating seeing how this movie clearly laid some (unintentional?) groundwork for 2017’s terrific Kong: Skull Island.  So hit pause on Deep Throat, grab your pet rocks Petrox, and get ready to feel feelings about the Twin Towers all over again, because we’re setting sail for (definitely not) Skull Island!

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MCTW Podcast: Shin Godzilla (feat. Zachary Bergman)!

516vgGSwt-LMonsters Conquer the World Podcast crashes its bullet trains into Shin Godzilla! We’re joined by special guest Zach Bergman (aka Sour Gout)! Zach’s got a deep understanding of Shin director and Neon Genesis Evangelion mastermind Hideaki Anno; his career, his history in anime, and Japanese culture at large.  All pertinent stuff when you’re discussing a movie that’s got Anno’s ripe, powerful MUSK all over it like Shin G!

Matt and Ralph weigh in on the movie too of course, and we all pretty much have a grand old time yakking about this one-of-a-kind monster movie milestone. Plus we shine a searing purple laser on the (faux) Prince connection, Shin Godzilla’s roots in the 3/11 disaster(s), post-war Japan, otaku culture, hopes and dreams for the upcoming Shin Ultraman, Corporate Ralph, and of course, everyone’s favorite floppy bug-eyed baby boy, 2016’s brightest star, the precious and inimitable, Kamata Kun:

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Hello my darling son. My perfect, wiggly boy. How is your neck-blood today?

It’s out on your favorite podcast catcher! Or you can hit up this lil’ link-a-rino too: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/monsters-conquer-the-world. Hope you dig it and have a fun-tastic Labor Day weekend!

Ultraman Review Part 9: Episodes 21 & 22

ultraman-logoHoly balls it’s been over a year since I’ve done an Ultraman round-up?!  Happy to say the wait is finally over! I’ve got a pair of Ultra-sodes ready and rarin’ to be recapped, reviewed and reminisced over! This time we got a smoke monster (eat your heart out Lost!) and we got a burrowing worm monster!

Whether you’re new to Ultramania or it’s just, you know, been over a year since I’ve reviewed this stuff, you can start from the beginning here or brush up on the last pair of episodes here!

The more Ultraman I see the more I dig it.  And not just the original series (which I recently finished for the first time)! I’ve made some headway into the next series, Ultraseven… and I’ve watched all of Ultraman X, Ultraman Orb, Ultraman Geed, and both seasons of Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle! Plus we watched Ultraman the Next on the Kaijuly movie marathon stream, and guess what? That shit ruled too.  Basically, if you enjoy Godzilla, Gamera, et al. enough to read this site and/or listen to our podcast, you GOTTA give Ultraman a shot. I am like, eternally grateful it was forced on me that one fateful G-Fest.  Let’s jump into these episodes!

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MCTW Podcast: Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster!

A1mC2faIfpL._SY679_Holy shit!  A full-blown, for-realsies podcast episode! I (a monster movie fanatic) yak with Ralph (a kaiju-curious new guy) about Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster! I’ve got the trivia nugs and industry secrets, but Ralph’s fresh eyes see a thoughtful, deeper meaning in the mayhem! Plus we frame the subs vs. dubs debate with the timeless classic Hercules in New York, reflect on the heart-wrenching father-son drama of A Goofy Movie, channel the wandering spirit of Don Knotts, get FUCKING PSYCHED about Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and more! Open the link below, slap that play button and join us!

https://monstersconquer.podbean.com/e/ghidrah-the-three-headed-monster/

Like it? If so, SICK! We’re gonna do more! You can find us pretty much anywhere you get podcasts (the iTunes store, Spotify, Stitcher, and coming soon to the Google Play Store). Bon appetit!… for your ears?!?!

Don’t be a Gamera: Pooper Monster Check Out Gamera: Super Monster! (Part 2 of 2)

hqdefaultAfter 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 Mothra 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!

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Don’t be a Gamera: Pooper Monster, Check Out Gamera: Super Monster! (Part 1 of 2)

tumblr_ofl2y8k4wl1rwn81uo1_1280Ahhhh, 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!

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Ultraman Review Part 8: Episodes 19 & 20

d17b65bc3cd82d6ba08157d1422ea621Reviewing 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!

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