Posts tagged "Akira Kubo"

Destroy All Monsters (Review)

Destroy All Monsters

aka Attack of the Marching Monsters aka Kaiju soshingeki

1968

Directed by Ishiro Honda

Godzilla before that first morning coffee.

When I was but a wee lad first learning about the Godzilla experience, catching Super Scary Saturday showings of G-flicks, buying Godzilla films on VHS that weren’t showing up on tv, recording films airing on the local UHF station, I was also reading up on every monster movie related book I could read. My favorites were by a guy named Daniel Cohen*, who wrote such books as Super-Monsters and Science Fiction’s Greatest Monsters, well-read copies of which still lie somewhere in my mom’s attic. There was also another set of books at the library that were neon orange with a book each for Dracula, the Mummy, King Kong, Godzilla, and a few other monsters. The thing was, every library in the area did NOT have the Godzilla book! I was so angry! Imagine 8 year old Tars so mad he purposefully murdered his entire Oregon Trail travel party. Some say I went too far, but they say so only via their gravestone markers…

Manda and Godzilla set up their slot car racers!

But is there a point to that rambling first paragraph? Yes! You see, of the Godzilla flicks and lore of Godzilla flicks, knowledge of a movie containing all sorts of Toho monsters was spread. This mythical, magical movie, had like all sorts of monsters, including monsters I had never heard of, beat the tar out of each other and aliens attack. It was Destroy All Monsters. And it never aired on TV anywhere near me. So sad! It also wasn’t at any video store. Destroy All Monsters became a mocking ghost, forever out of reach. Until one day in college suddenly it was on VHS tape. I was like “HELL YEAH!” and bought me some Destroy All Monsters, watched it, loved it, and now don’t know where the tape is because a DVD version was released shortly thereafter. So yeah. And now I have this cool version, which has the AIP dub merged with a widescreen format custom made by some guy on the internet. Because I’m awesome like that.

Check out this curve, ladies!

Was Destroy All Monsters worth the 14 years of questing to find? Damn straight it was! Though it isn’t perfect, it is entertaining. It’s got alien invasions, an awesome monster fight finale, Akira Kubo, alien chicks in silver hoodies and capes, 1960s astromen costumes in bright primary colors, attempts to make rocket propulsion scientifically accurate, lasers, and Minya! The only thing missing from this film is Don Frye, but he pops up in another flick years later to make it all right.

Gah this water’s too cold! Back to the blanket for me!

Captain Katsuo Yamabe (Akira Kubo) – Captain of the Moonlight SY-3 spaceship along with first officer Okata. Is the designated hero of planet Earth, because he saves the day again and again and again. His sister is Kyoko.
Kyoko Yamabe (Yukiko Kobayashi) – Katsuo’s sister who has just started her new job on Monsterland the day it is invaded by aliens. What awful timing. Spends most of the film under alien control via earrings. Yukiko Kobayashi is an artist now, if I’m using Google correctly and it isn’t a different Yukiko Kobayashi.
Dr. Yoshita (Jun Tazaki) –The old UN science guy who seems to be in charge of the entire world, as he takes command of everything when the aliens invade. Jun Tazaki is in such G films as King Kong vs. Godzilla, Atragon, Godzilla vs. the Thing, Frankenstein Conquers the World, War of the Gargantuas, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster.
Kilaak Queen (Kyoko Ai) – The Queen of the Kilaaks and the Queen of Fashion. This Space Lady wants to conquer the Earth and make all humans part of the Kilaak tribe. Why? Because!
Dr. Otani (Yoshio Tsuchiya) – Dr. Otani is head of research at Monsterland and is a cool guy. Until he’s mind controlled by the Kilaaks and turns evil! Then he goes all Peter Pan out a window, except he doesn’t have magic fairy dust, so he has a tragic ending. Yoshio Tsuchiya has been seen here before in Son of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, and Gigantis the Fire Monster.
I save the whales….for dessert!

Monster Roll Call!

Godzilla – Godzilla rules monster island, and is then brain controlled and sent to destroy New York. After being set free, Godzilla figures out who the real bad guys are and blows up the alien base.
Minya – Godzilla’s son is here, proving once again why he is the awesome son. He even delivers the finishing blow to King Ghidorah. How many monsters can claim that?
Mothra – Mothra is only in larva form for Destroy All Monsters, probably because the rotting Mothra moth costume last seen in Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster had deteriorated into a big pile of moth goo.
Rodan – Rodan is a flying jerk who thinks the best way to save the whales is to save them for supper! Oh, and he helps save the Earth after he’s not mind controlled.
Anguirus – Anguirus shows how brave he is here by charging in full speed ahead to take on King Ghidorah. Hooray for Anguirus!
Manda – Manda takes a break from the land of Mu to hang out on Monsterland for a while. See this Manda in Ultra Q as well
Baragon – Baragon is around. Yep. It’s surprising Baragon is in this movie, as the suit was currently being hacked to pieces for use in Ultraman. But they managed to glue him back together for a small cameo.
Gorosaurus – Gorosaurus isn’t just a background monster, he trashes France and does some butt-kicking of King Ghidorah himself! A refugee from King Kong Escapes, Gorosaurus would disappear (except for stock footage) until showing up with a badly decaying monster suit on Ike! Godman, and then on Godzilla Island.
Speiga/Kumonga – Speiga has returned from the dead to be a spider and spit some web. So don’t be hatin’ this spider jerk, because for once he’s sort of good. But he still sucks, so screw ’em!
Varan – Varan flies around in the background of the big fight, then suddenly gets a huge closeup during the final flyby of the film. Oh, Varan, why are you so unbelievable? Varan’s solo other movie appearance has three different versions (Japanese, English, Japanese TV) so it’s like Varan was in four films!
King Ghidorah – King Ghidorah returns, once again under control of some crazy alien race, this time the Kilaaks. Oh, King Ghidorah, why do you keep whoring yourself out to the highest bidder? Have some respect for yourself, you’re a “king” for goodness sakes!
Fire Dragon – Hey, you ain’t a real monster! I want my money back…
Moonbase Mission Control stole it’s color scheme from TarsTarkas.NET!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 18, 2011 at 2:12 am

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Son of Godzilla (Review)

Son of Godzilla

aka Monster Island’s Decisive Battle: Godzilla’s Son aka Kaiju-shima no Kessen Gojira no Musuko

1967

Directed by Jun Fukuda

Hey, what the hell are you doing in my shower??

Son of Godzilla is a damn awesome film, but it is also a film that you pretty much need to see as a kid. Looking back on the film as an adult, there are plenty of things wrong, but there are plenty of things right. And as the waves of nostalgia wash over you, even the few problems you see melt away into the bliss of Minya. I can imagine people viewing this for the first times as adults, and much of the magic will be gone.

I still have the VHS tape of Son of Godzilla I bought with my own money as a small kid. I didn’t want to wait for the film to pop up on TBS’s Super Scary Saturday or the local station KLJB-TV which would sometimes show Godzilla movies during their Sunday “we gotta air SOMETHING!” programming. I watched that tape like crazy, it getting just as much play as Godzilla’s Revenge, Ghidrah, and a few other Godzilla flicks I watched religiously.

That’s right, baby. Not ten minutes old and chicks are lining up to serve me!

Minya was designed to appeal to kids, and it worked beautifully. He’s the ultimate lure to get kids even more excited to watch the monster films. It’s the same old gimmick as masked crimefighters having young kid sidekicks. Minya isn’t even the first monster kid, Kong had a son decades before Godzilla was even a reality. But Minya has stood the test of time and even survived a brief attempt to usurp him of his role as Godzilla’s son. Suck it, Godzilla Junior, you’re just a second rate extra from Dinosaurs!

Son of Godzilla features two other new monsters, Kumonga and Kamacuras, aka Speiga and Gimantis. Both are creepy bug monsters, preventing anyone becoming attached to them instead of Minya or Godzilla as the heroes. Sure, there are people who are into spiders and insects, and even Mothra is a hero, but the gut reaction of the bugs vs. the cute kid is obviously what they were going for.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

Just FYI, I’m calling them Minya, Speiga, and Gimantis through the plot section. None of that Minilla, Kumonga, or Kamacuras crap. That’s because these are the names I grew up with. And this is my review, so I can do what I want! Nyeh nyeh nyeh!

The remote island location with the small science crew allows for some lower budget action. They realize they need a character to have everything explained to, so in airdrops the standard reporter character. Godzilla films need reporter and scientist characters, it is the peanut butter and chocolate on the kaiju bread. Despite many of the characters getting no lines and just wandering around in the background, some of them are pretty heavy hitters.

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLadies!

So I did my best with the cast list, several of the researchers don’t really get names or personalities, so I played mix and match.

Maki Goro (Akira Kubo) – Goro has a stomach for news! He also has a stomach for picking up hot island chicks and getting in the middle of giant monster fights. I’ve meet Akira Kubo in real life because I’m awesome like that. Akira Kubo was also in such classics as Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, Matango, and Gorath
Reiko/Saeko Matsumiya (Bibari/Beverly Maeda) – Island girl Reiko has been alone on the island since her father, archeologist Tadashi Matsumiya, died years ago. She instantly takes a liking to Goro and about five minutes later has moved from jungle girl clothes to wearing Hawaiian shirts, white pants, and even a cute mod-inspired snow suit. Reiko is the English dub name and Saeko is the Japanese dub name.
Professor Kusumi (Tadao Takashima) – Professor likes his pipe, which would get him an R-rating in modern film. Dr. Kusumi is working on a plan to control the weather to help in food production. Tadao Takashima also appeared in 1993’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Frankenstein Conquers the World, Atragon, and King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Dr. Fujisaki (Akihiko Hirata) – Dr. Fujisaki is 2nd in command and Professor Kusumi’s friend. He comes up with most of the escape plans and fixes the radio. Akihiko Hirata has a history with Godzilla films all the way back to being Dr. Serizawa in the original Gojira. See him here in Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, Ghidrah, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, and Cozzilla
Furukawa (Yoshio Tsuchiya) – Furukawa is an angry guy who hates the island they are on, hates the hot weather, and hates everything ever that ever was or will be. He’s grumpier than Grumpy Smurf. Furukawa is also mentally unstable due to all the heat and later fevers he gets, which makes it odd that he’s running around armed most of the time. Yoshio Tsuchiya can be seen here in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, and Gigantis the Fire Monster.
Morio (Kenji Sahara) – Scientist who usually wears sunglasses and sees some of the important monster developments in the film. You can see Kenji Sahara in G History all the way back to the original Gojira to Godzilla Final Wars. See him on TarsTarkas.NET in Godzilla vs. The Thing, Ultra Q, Godzilla’s Revenge, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla.
Ozawa (Kenichiro Maruyama) – Kenichiro Maruyama is barely there in several films, including brief appearances as an islander in Godzilla vs the Sea Monster and as a Moon base employee in Destroy All Monsters.
Tashiro (Seishiro Kuno) – Tashiro has a brown shirt and shines a light on Reiko. That’s about it for his character. Seishiro Kuno is so barely in Godzilla vs. The Thing, you would think I am lying to you. But I am not and he is in it. Somewhere…
Suzuki (Yasuhiko Saijo) – Suzuki is another island member who did little and said less. Yasuhiko Saijo was Ippei in Ultra Q, also a henchman in Godzilla vs. Gigan. Isn’t it weird how 2/3rd of Ultra Q is trapped on this island? I’m just going to declare that Ultra Q takes place in the Godzillaverse.

Kaiju Roll Call!

Godzilla (Haruo Nakajima and Seiji Onaka) – Godzilla is the king of all monsters and the king of parental responsibility. When he isn’t taking a nap. Haruo Nakajima, who played Godzilla for years, was Big G during the first scenes done in the water, but later taller actor Seiji Onaka took over so Godzilla would look bigger than his son.
Minya (“Little Man” Machan) – Minya is the son of Godzilla who counts, unlike that other guy who sucks and we’re not going to mention his name ever again. But you know who you are. Try as I might, I can’t find any pictures of “Little Man” Machan, a little person wrestler who played Minya in all three movie appearances.
Gimantis/Kamacuras – Giant mantis who is mutated to be even gianter. Picks fights with Minya, Godzilla, and Speiga. Gets sucked bone dry.
Speiga/Kumonga – Spider monster that spends most of the film sleeping, the rest trying to eat the other monsters and people. Eventually learns no one messes with Godzilla.
Gimantis 2/Kamacuras 2 – Second Gimantis added for completeness sake. Gets burnt to a crisp.
Gimantis 3/Kamacuras 3 – Third Gimantis added for completeness sake. Gets fried to ashes.
I’m totally gonna Serve you, Gimantis! I see some haters grillin’ I see some ladies chillin’ I see that girlie I’ve been plottin’ to get She can hop in the whip And we can Pump p p Pump Pump it up

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 13, 2011 at 12:14 am

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Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (Review)

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

aka Monster Zero aka Kaiju daisenso

1965

Starring
Nick Adams as Astronaut Glenn
Akira Takarada as Astronaut K. Fuji
Jun Tazaki as Dr. Sakurai
Akira Kubo as Tetsuo Teri
Kumi Mizuno as Miss Namikawa
Keiko Sawai as Haruno Fuji
Yoshio Tsuchiya as Controller of Planet X
Directed by Ishiro Honda


Celebrate! Celebrate! Super Station TBS! Duh duh DUH! It’s…..SUPER SCARY SATURDAY!!! Yes, once again, we got a blast from the past, a dust off of the Old School, to educate the New School of what was cool. Grandpa Munster is here to host us another Super Scary Saturday Edition of a TarsTarkas.NET review of a Godzilla movie for our March of Godzilla spectacular that’s in it’s second month. Previously, we had Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster as Grandpa hosted it for us. Now, the sequel is here, and Grandpa Munster is still there to guide us through. This hosting has a plot, several longer host segments, and doesn’t mention the movie by name. This could mean it was used on multiple movies, or for last minute changed movies, as the other Super Scary Saturday movies I have (or at least the other two I remember) both have skits involving the specific movie.

The main feature is Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, aka Monster Zero, aka Kaiju daisenso. The television version is full screen, and calls it GvMZ, while a DVD version I have is widescreen, and under the title of just Monster Zero. Try to guess which screenshots are from the TV and which the DVD, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Monster Zero was the first direct nod to the international appeal of Godzilla, where they just stuck an American in the middle of the film from the beginning, instead of waiting for the international distributors to do it for them. Said American is Nick Adams, or NICK ADAMS as he has a gigantic credit before the opening title. Nick Adams (born Nicholas Aloysius Adamschock — seriously!) went on to…drink himself to death! I mean he died of a drug overdose. Well, he was a big name, getting an Oscar nomination for Twilight of Honor, and spent a ton of money trying to advertise that he should win it, and was robbed. Then, he went to Japan to make some Toho films, and began an illicit affair with costar Kumi Mizuno, who later dropped him. And then he died, showing that Kumi Mizuno is that good of a woman. Oh, he was married at the time, and still married when he died. We’ll talk about the rest of the stars when they pop up in the film, as well as more Nick Adams information. What Nick Adams represents was paving the way for more Western actors in Godzilla films. It’s also interesting to see how he’s portrayed, giving you a glimpse of 1965 Japan’s impression of Americans.

So let’s sit right back and we’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. It started on this wacky island, aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty American, the Skipper, brave but Japanese. Two Monsters were passengers later for a two hour movie, a two hour movie. The space-weather started getting rough, and the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of Godzilla, King Ghidrah would return, King Ghidrah would return.

Okay, sorry about that. Let’s get it on, Super Scary Saturday-style!

The monsters roar, the wolves howl, the aliens zap, and the lady screams…it’s the Super Scary Saturday logo commercial! It’s our introduction, and we start right away, with…Grandpa Munster! “It’s me, Grandpa!” I love Grandpa Munster. Grandpa is spraying his castle for bugs “I’m nothing if not thorough!” Grandpa asks Igor for the mail (Igor is the rubber bat on a string seen in several episodes) and Igor drops a whole pile of mail on Grandpa like tribbles raining down on Captain Kirk. “You’d think that just once he’d place it in my hand” Grandpa mutters. The first piece Grandpa opens is…a paper fan! Yes…it’s Fan Mail!!! HAHahahahahahaha!! The second piece Grandpa stumbles across is a letter from one of his “dearly departed wives,” it’s an invitation to a party. A party Tonight! “Igor! This is postmarked 100 years ago!” It seems Igor was using it as a coaster, “That Igor is going to drive me batty!”

Grandpa RSVPs via a cobweb covered phone. His departed wife is named Emma Baumy and she tells him it’s a costume party. Grandpa says he’d “love to drop in for a bite!” Grandpa knows what he’ll go as…the perfect man! But he needs help from his magic spellbook, so while he looks at that, we “look at this.” (No movie title given.) So we jump right in to..


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 18, 2006 at 3:46 am

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,