My brain diarrhea somehow wound up on the Blu-ray case for Howl From Beyond the Fog!!!?! Cool!!
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!
First 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!
Look, I realize that’s probably the worst review title I’ve ever cooked up, but when your review style is “R-rated, kaiju-obsessed Gene Shalit” things like this happen.
Also, I came up with the review title before actually watching Howl From Beyond the Fog! Now that I’ve seen it, I can say with certainty that the review title is an amazingly bad fit. Now that it’s there though, I can’t think of a better one. ANYWAYS
I helped Kickstart this bad boy! Keizo Murase, the designer of the original Varan suit (and special effects whiz for The H-Man, Mighty Peking Man, and more) was tapped to create Howl’s GORGEOUS monster suit. Frankly that was enough to get some buck-a-roos from me, but Howl’s also an ambitious short film that takes place in rural Japan in 1909–a refreshing change of scenery from the usual modern day city smash-em-ups.
ALSO IT’S A PUPPET MOVIE?!
How does that work? Does it work? Read on my babies!
All 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!
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!
Monsters Conquer the World Podcast is here with a spooktacular new episode! Just in time for Halloween, we’re taking on the classic Mexican ghost story La Llorona and its 2019 film adaptation, The Curse of La Llorona! We’ve got a super special guest to guide us through the wild and woolly world of the weeping woman, our good friend Richard (inventor of the Monsters Conquer the World signature cocktail!)! Richard grew up hearing tales of La Llorona, so we were super excited to get his perspective on the movie and of course dive into the deep folkloric roots of this iconic ghoul!
We weigh in on jump scares and anti jump scares, Mexico’s horrifying(?) Hairy Hand, the real-life historical figure that (may have) inspired La Llorona, Steve Urkel, and so much more!
We also get some bonus ghost stories–enough to fill up the adjoining Shadow Episode, which I super duper recommend checking out! Come for La Lechuza, Mexico’s terrifying owl witch, and stay for Richard’s run in with a Curandero! Plus Ralph and Richard discuss the nature of ghost stories and superstitions and what they mean not only in Mexican folklore, but the human experience at large. Shit is dope, friendos.
Monsters Conquer the World Podcast is available everywhere you pick up your favorite casted pods, but you can also just clack on this lonk if you wunt: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/monsters-conquer-the-world
I hope you enjoy the episode (and Shadow Episode)–due to life stuff I had to be more hands-off this time, but Ralph and Richard totally crushed it–this is absolutely one of my favorite episodes we’ve done. That said, between my work schedule (which will continue to be crazy through the end of the year), the hectic insanity of the holiday season, and just needing to make sure our personal lives don’t fall apart, Ralph and I have decided that Monsters Conquer the World Podcast will be on hiatus at least through November and December. We don’t have an exact return time locked in yet, but we’re aiming for January or February. We’ve still got a bunch of episode ideas that we’re psyched about, so hopefully life will have chilled out enough by then so we can actually make those episodes. Of course Patreon will be on hold while we’re gone, but monthly(-ish) blog posts won’t be effected–my review of the 1976 King Kong should be ready to drop (at least in part) before All Hallow’s Eve. Our Discord channel, Facebook, and Twitter will keep functioning as normal too!
Thanks to Ariccio, one of our dashing and charming Patrons, Ralph and Matt bite into 2016’s Colossal for this rip-roaring episode of Monsters Conquer the World Podcast! Colossal has got the goods gang, and Ralph and Matt unpack it all: alcoholism, the nature of empathy, toxic relationships, emotional manipulation, Doritos flavor scientists… Colossal doesn’t fuck around and dives straight into some pretty heavy shit! Oh and there’s rad monster crap too!
Spoilers ahoy, so make sure you watch the flick over on Hulu first if you’ve never seen it! It’s pretty damn cool!
You can grab the episode wherever you get your finely podded casts, or mush this big ol’ link: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/monsters-conquer-the-world
As with all Patrons who attain Godzilla status and pick an episode topic, Ariccio has a dedication he’d like to share. I swear he wrote this, not me:
I can safely say that Monsters Conquer the World has reached a golden standard when it comes to its outlet and community. If it wasn’t for Matt and Ralph, a lot of difficult weeks would go by without an apt wall to bounce off of. Thank you for putting our nerdy passions on a pedestal unlike any other site and for introducing me to a wide variety of movies, including classic kaiju films, which are now some of my favorite pieces of cinema of all time. My admiration for Ultraman and Minya would probably flounder in comparison to what it’s evolved to today (for better or worse). For nearly 3 years this has been the case, and the charm hasn’t diminished even a tad. This all feels very authentic and passionate and I’m so glad to be a part of this Super Apartment Friendship… Now get to reviewing the movie you fuccin jabronies 🙂
Monsters 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:
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!
Holy 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!
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!