It’s that magical time of year: Kaijuly! Artists are churning out daily kaiju pieces (as always I’m getting a big kick out of Lisa Naffziger’s work), lucky Chicago-bound lil’ stinkers will be hitting up G-Fest this weekend, and today is fricking Ultraman Day! Monsters Conquer the World and Super Apartment Friends are joining in the monster mayhem too! Ralph and I just recorded a Monsters Conquer the World Podcast episode about Gamera vs. Jiger! That’ll be popping up in your favorite podcatcher soon! It was really, really fun watching this with someone who had no idea what they were getting into.
I can earnestly say the episode will be worth a listen for Ralph’s monster impersonations alone.
But wait, there’s even more Kaijuly coolness! Czech it:
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!
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!
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
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:
Whoa I haven’t reviewed any Ultraman episodes all year! Time to fix that with a trio of titanic tales! If you’re new here or just need a refresher, be sure to hit up the six previous installments in my review series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Real talk: it’s a little disquieting to see that it’s been over a year since I started reviewing the original Ultraman series and I’m barely halfway done. A lot of that is because I take plenty of breaks–I don’t want MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD to become an all-Ultraman all the time blog–but still, damn. Does it bug anybody, or are we all cool with my meandering pace? (For real, let me know in the comments) I was cool with it until I started crunching the numbers… maybe I’m just impatient? There’s a lot of giant monster/kaiju content out there, and I wanna review as much of it as I can!
I might change how often I review Ultraman episodes, but I do NOT plan on lessening the depth I go into for each episode: this show is too influential and too iconic for a quick skim.
Speaking of episodes, we got three winners on the docket for this month! They’re all kinda spooky-creepy too! It’s an exciting change of pace considering the last two I reviewed skewed a little lighter and goofier. The show in general feels like it’s getting more confident, telling bolder and stranger stories as it goes on. This month we get a gaslighting asshole from outer space, mind-melting fourth dimensional fuckery, and the return of Ultraman’s most sinister villains! Strap in Science Patrollers, shit’s gettin’ EERIE!
After a couple months off it’s time to get Ultra once again! As always here are links to the previous installments if you need a refresher: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
This month’s pair of titanic tales gives us sea monster shenanigans, the subversive power of kids’ imaginations, Ultraman’s new face, the show’s most cheekily meta conversation yet, ULTRAMAN SPEAKS, and more! This show keeps getting radder and radder, so chow on a fistful of pearls, finish your chalk drawings, and click on through to get UIltra as hell, buddy.
Haruo Nakajima, the man inside the original Godzilla (and many other classic monsters like Mothra, Rodan, King 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!
Let’s get Ultra, fools! I have no concept of how long it’s gonna take, but I’m determined to review every last episode of this show and after a couple months off I’m jazzed to dive back in.
If you haven’t checked out the previous installments or want a refresher, hit up Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4!
This month we get some of the (intentionally) funniest monster action I’ve ever seen, our creepiest antagonist since Baltan, and a fresh, funky formula shake-up! Pour yourself a nice tall glass of oil because shit’s gettin’ ULTRA in here!
Happy Kaijuly everybody! If you’re wondering what the fuck Kaijuly is, wonder no longer! (or do, it’s a free country)
Kaijuly is one of those weird internet holidays like May the Fourth or Zelda Month, except you know, about kaiju instead of space aliens or forest-dwelling adventurers.
Obviously The Legend of Zelda (above left) is about eerie interplanetary beings, and Star Wars (above right) revolves around cute woodland dwellers.
From what I can tell, Kaijuly got its start over on Tumblr as an art challenge: create and share an original kaiju (or fan-art of an existing one) for every day in July! It’s been broadening every year since, including month-long discussion challenges (I’m doing one! Just posted for days 1-3!), and El Rey Network (the coolest channel almost no one gets) has run a “Kaijuly Roarth” Godzilla marathon for the last couple years!