Random Film of the Week: Shin Godzilla

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They’re going to have a meeting about having a meeting, most likely.

shin gojira

Sometimes, a kick to the Shin works.

Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Godzilla is, for all intents and purposes, more of a grand live action anime because it translates much of its visual style and energy rather successfully from some of both of its creators’ previous well-known animated works. It’s also a sly poke at Japanese government bureaucracy where every decision has to go up a few ladders and lengthy meetings are constantly being held even as a horrific, mutating monster makes its radioactive presence known.

As a reboot of the classic franchise it works excellently in delivering a new and more terrifying Godzilla that mutates from a googly-eyed giant, arm-less gilled beast that flops and slides along because its body can’t hold it up, to a 400-foot tall nuclear blasting fiend that requires a lengthy cooldown after it uses its powers. This isn’t a Godzilla who’s a kid-friendly lizard who punches other monsters in the face and goofs around. Nope, the film takes it back to the more horror-laced 1954 original in terms of tone, laying on a modern plot where every decision made needs discussion and division heads and other leaders change into fancy jumpsuit ensembles just to look official while executive orders are issued.

(Thanks, Funimation!)

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Criterion’s Upcoming Godzilla Box May Make Me Sell an Organ

Holy Crap

My exact expression when I found out Criterion was making a dream box set of mine come true.

Wow. My wallet just jumped out the window when I saw that Criterion is issuing its 1000th set in glorious style with Godzilla: The Showa Era Films (1954-1975). The funny thing is, last month, all these flicks popped up on a cable channel and I caught most of them while wondering at one point if they were going to be fully remastered and *BOOM* – along comes this news and my wallet taking a dive onto the pavement.  *Sigh*… it looks as if it’s time for another DAF game collection fire sale, as this one’s bound to sell out fast on the pre-order front and nope, I’m neither paying some ebay scalper way too much money nor holding out for the cheap knockoffs that will pack that site and fool a few folks thinking they scored a deal from some “clueless” reseller from overseas.

Color me and me inner eight-year old thrilled. Yours too, I’d bet.

Marty and the boys

“Hey, Marty! Whatcha doin’ tonight?”


Godzilla Resurgence: Oh, He’s Just Mad About His Skinny Dino-Arms

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Gojira sez: “Aw, COME ON NOW! Why’d you guys gimme these scrawny back-scratchers? WHYYYYYYYY!”


Hmmm, either someone’s been watching Cloverfield and taking notes… or it’s a Godzilla flick from Japan that might actually be worth taking a plane trip to see. It seems that Toho Studios wasn’t all that fond of that Americanized Godzilla reboot from 2014. That or they’re clearly shown that they can do the legendary character more justice by taking him back to his roots, making him about ten times more hideous (and man, does that work out well, scrawny back-scratchers aside) and setting him loose in Japanese cinemas on July 29, 2016. While there’s no word of an English localization, I’m betting the fact that there just so happen to be TWO versions of the poster might mean something. Maybe? Hopefully?

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Meanwhile, back at the trailer park:

This longer look at the film shows the meaner, uglier, Hideous Sun Demon-like Godzilla strutting his stuff in full CG and what looks like actual rubber suit form and looking mighty tough. Put this on your radar and hope that Toho is getting some decent voice actors as this isn’t a comedy coming your way for sure.

Ph, and you really wanna know why he’s SO damn mad? He can’t even scratch his back with those short arms. That and just LOOK at that skin of his?  Those claws of his have ripped it up pretty badly already.  I’d be pissed off too, Graaaaar!


Random Film of the Week: HOUSE (1977)

(thanks, tubesoda!) 

HOUSE MP JapanOne of the most unusual “mainstream” horror films you’ll ever see, Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 film HOUSE is one of those inventively crazy movies that will stick in your head for a long while after those end credits roll.

Paradoxically, it’s tricky to talk about the film in detail and not give a lot away. But on the other hand, you could go in knowing the entire story and what happens to every character in the film before you see it and still have your mind completely blown by the bizarre visual effects and how the tone switches from comic to horror (and back and forth at that) at the drop of a hat.

Or drop of the head, in this case… Continue reading

The Ultimate Godzilla Collection: Destroy All Mondays? Sony Pictures & Toho Would Probably Appreciate That…

TGC_May 2014Sony Pictures Entertainment has released the latest in its Toho Godzilla Collection Blu-Ray collection, this time featuring two more films with everyone’s favorite ticked off giant radioactive lizard: Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah and Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus. You can grab yours at your nearest Wal-Mart or Best Buy location or if you’re an online shopper, Amazon.com is most likely your poison.

Of course, you’ll probably want a few more of the films from this monstrous set and I’d bet each of these retailers can help you out on that front. As you already know, that new Godzilla opens up May 16th here in North America, so if you want to go through every single Godzilla flick before then, now is a good time to start. Granted, that new film is a totally different bird – a re-imagining/reboot, if you please. But I know that canon-crazed fans out there will be looking for all sorts of Easter eggs and nods to their favorite films in this well-aged franchise…

It’s Evacuation Day! What The Heck Are YOU Doing At Work, America?

(thanks DestructionMode!) 
Okay, so only a handful of states actually celebrate this now obscure holiday, but I find it amusing that more states and workers aren’t using this to get that one more day off in a week where pretty much nothing gets done save for people gear up to get the hell out of Dodge and go driving tens to hundreds of miles just to stuff themselves full of food that will make them sleepy before they get back IN those vehicles to head out and spend all their money shopping for a lot of people they really don’t like all that much (i.e. family members). OK, so I’m a little and intentionally cynical during this time of the year up to THAT time of the year. But that’s because it’s when you see what I like to call “hypocrisy inaction” where people rant about the old ways being trampled while they themselves can’t force themselves to pass up on that nineteen dollar boombox or two buck sandwich maker that will burn up anything that’s placed between it.

There are a few other things that bug me about this time of year, but I won’t “rant” about them here because I think nearly everyone has their own holiday horrors or knows people that become a bit TOO cheery to be around as if they’re in some Bizarro world where teddy bears, lousy sweaters, fruit cakes and happy-happy joy-joy greetings 24-7 are their marching orders. And. They. Just. Won’t. STOP. Hmmm… that’s practically a Doctor Who episode if it hasn’t been done already. Alright, shutting up now – just ignore me and get back to buying that Butterball and reading up on the pre-pre-pre Black Friday deals you’ll be pissed off at because as soon as you buy something, the price drops elsewhere and you feel like a sucker. Again…

More Apologies: My Split Seconds in 16 Seconds of Fame…

OK, I didn’t expect this, but oh well… I’m slightly (well, OK… well, not really) “famous” again. Those of you who know me will want to look closely, as I’m in this 16 second teaser for Toho’s upcoming 謝罪の王様 (King of Gomen Nasai or The Apology King) in two spots. It’s not the first time I’ve been in a TV commercial, but it’s my first Japanese ad. Um… I think. I also went to a preview for a film about a ywar and a half back that was filmed, but I never checked to see if an ad came from that one. Anyway, if you happen to be IN Japan (and I know a few folks who are), feel free to see this funny flick that opens on September 28, 2013 there. Here’s another bit from the film (I’m not in this one, so watch it this time!):

By the way, my droogies… I have not a single solitary clue if Toho is looking at US distribution, but I think they should as it’s quite a hilarious slice of Japanese culture and packs a few nice surprises along the way.

More Apologies Are in Order (But At Least I Stayed Out of Trouble This Time)…

AK_screeningSo, yeah… here I am last week making an absolutely terrific fool of myself (whee!) next to two of the stars of the hilarious and soon to be released in Japan comedy from Toho Studios’ King of Gomen Nasai (The Apology King). I need to remind myself to not sit in the front row at these screenings so this stuff doesn’t happen, but I survived doing this hastily choreographed routine (about 90% wrong, but I got the ending part mostly OK).

As for the film itself, it’s great fun and pretty surprising on a few fronts, but I don’t think it’s getting a North American release any time soon. That’s too bad, as it would be nice to see more films like this pop up on cable after their theatrical runs are over and done with. Oh well – the best I can hope for is a Blu-Ray or DVD once that’s out in Japan or another territory I can import an English subtitled  version from. Oh yeah, sorry for exposing you to this blackmail photo that now CAN’T be uses to blackmail me!

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Apologies Are In Order (And Quite Fitting, Today, At That)…

Ha and double ha. Apologies for the slowness of posts lately. Actually, today is just dopey because I had some computer issues that took a wee bit too long to figure out what was wrong, but that’s been taken care of. Amusingly enough, I have a film screening to attend in about 3 hours for Toho’s King of Gomen Nasai (The Apology King), and yes, it’s a comedy if you haven’t gathered by the trailer above and that goofy Ringu-inspired video below in this post. I’ll most likely whip out a review of this one afterward, as it’s too weird to ignore. Back in a bit. I may be back before Pumpkin Hour, in which case, I’ll have a new post or two up then.

Random Film of the Week (Double Feature II): The Mysterians & Destroy All Monsters!


Yep, two more films that influenced Japanese developer Sandlot in their creation of the fan favorite Earth Defense Force series. The former flick can be seem as the main jumping off point for the series, as the Japanese title, Chikyu Boueigun literally translates as “Earth Defense Force”, although there aren’t any giant insects to be found here. Those came primarily from yesterday’s double feature. The aliens do happen to have plenty of advanced weaponry and a giant mole-like robot called Mogera to shake things up for a bit. The film was actually the first part of a trilogy of sci-fi flicks with Battle in Outer Space and Gorath making up the other two parts. I haven’t seen either of those two in decades, so I’ll have to track them down one of these days to check out.


As for Destroy All Monsters! (or Kaijū Sōshingeki), it was probably every kid of the 60’s or early 70’s favorite sci-fi flick of the pre Star Wars era thanks to plenty of TV airings at assorted times of the day. Packing in nearly every Toho kaiju monster (it’s more than a simple Godzilla picture, that’s for sure), loads of action and an epic plot, the film is memorable for its wall to wall special effects and not a dull moment from start to finish. I need to dig this one up on DVD one of these days as it’s also been quite a while since I’ve seen it. And yes, it’s part of the inspiration for the name of this little site, but that whole story is a longer and funnier one I’ll get around to telling one of these days. Anyway, go check these films out and prepare to take a step back into some incredible (and campy by today’s standards) sci-fi films that may be ancient, but still pack a punch in terms of being pure nostalgic enjoyment…