Posts tagged "kaiju"

Footage of Pacific Rim's wrecked Japan!

The mysterious giant monster film Pacific Rim has managed to stay relatively leak free, but somehow there is a giant news story about how they turned part of Toronto into a wrecked Japan! Guillermo del Toro directs and Idris Elba stars, but that’s about all we know. The rumor mill mentions giant monsters and maybe giant robots designed to fight the monsters, but that could just be fake information made up by people looking to make things up. In any event, enjoy some shots of fake destruction, because that’s better than real destruction any day!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , ,

Terror of Mechagodzilla (Review)

Terror of Mechagodzilla

aka Mekagojira no gyakushu aka メカゴジラの逆襲

March of Godzilla 2012
Written by Yukiko Takayama
Directed by Ishiro Honda

Titanosaurus, DirectTV pioneer

Terror of Mechagodzilla is a direct followup to the previous film, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. It’s also the final film of the Showa era, one of the few films to show direct continuity that would be used more in the Heisei films, and the final Godzilla work of some G-legends, Ishiro Honda and Akihiko Hirata. It also bombed horribly, helping lead to a decade-long absence of Godzilla in film form. Overall, Terror of Mechagodzilla is a mixed bag. The action sequences are some of the most violent and explosive of the older films, but they’re obviously trying to compensate from the lower budget (many scenes suddenly end up in the countryside) and the hectic explosions loose their danger after the 1 millionth giant boom.

Being a little mermaid sure is boring…

Ishiro Honda doesn’t sleep on the job, making up for the lower filming budget with some neat visual stylizing. A flashback to Professor Mafune’s descent into madness is shown via sepia-toned photographs while narration explains. Katsura’s lament that Titanosaurus is to be used as a murderous weapon is juxtaposed with other alien-controlled kaiju from prior films played on a quad-screen shot. Godzilla’s first appearance is one of the better introduction scenes in his history.

The alien command center is in some Trekker guy’s basement?

While Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla showed a trend towards more serious, Terror of Mechagodzilla straddled the edge of serious and silly. The action sequences were more destructive, but the alien villains were more comic book. The cyborg daughter is played for tragedy, but it is obvious from the beginning that it will end in a downer and we’re just running through the steps until the final act. I am willing to accept that some of the sillier aspects are unintentional, such as the alien helmets or the complete lack of concern for hunting down the aliens by Interpol even after they’ve been spotted multiple times in the same area. But I can’t deny that I feel it is there, and it clouds Terror of Mechagodzilla in a way that the prior film did not have.

Titanosaurus was tragically hit by a meteor during the filming of this scene…

メカゴジラの逆襲 (translation: Counterattack of Mechagodzilla) was first released in the US in theaters in 1978 under the title The Terror of Godzilla. The US rights were held by Henry Saperstein, who sold Bob Conn Enterprises the film rights, but also released the movie itself on TV in 1978 as Terror of Mechagodzilla. This cut is credited to UPA Productions of America, and features an additional six minutes of scenes taken from other Godzilla films and narrated to serve as an introduction to Godzilla (this sequence is detailed below), the only think cut was a brief shot of Katsura’s fake breasts during a surgery scene. By the mid-1980s, there was a new cut on tv that featured many of the violent scenes cut down, as well as not having the opening narration. There are some that say this was the theatrical cut, though I don’t know why the theater cut would have removed the violence when that seems more of a tv cut thing to do. That cut was the most widely available for decades, including the original version I saw before I got a tape of the original cut. I have still not seen the restored DVD, hence the screenshots are either from the old VHS tape or the earlier DVD.

For some reason, the humans won’t take us serious!

And as March of Godzilla 2012 continues, let’s get us to the Roll Call!

Akira Ichinose (Katsuhiko Sasaki) – Marine Biologist at the Ocean Exploitation Institute, which somehow qualifies him to have equal police rights as the rest of Interpol when he works with them to track down the mysterious dinosaur. Falls in love with a cyborg despite her repeated attempts to brush him off.
Katsura Mafune (Tomoko Ai) – Daughter of the famous Professor Mafune, who went mad. She covers for her father, telling the world he is dead. In reality, he is in league with the space aliens and is using his discovery, Titanosaurus, and his ability to control animals, against mankind for spurning him and his ideas. Katsura was rebuilt as a cyborg after she was injured in an experiment, and becomes more robotic the more the aliens due to her. Tomoko Ai went on to do a string of Nikkuatsu films.
Dr. Shinzo Mafune (Akihiko Hirata) – Akikhiko Hirata plays yet another mad scientist, except this one doesn’t have an eyepatch, he’s got crazy old man hair, mustache, and eyebrows. He hates mankind because they made fun of him. Good thing he doesn’t read YouTube comments, Dr. Mafune would explode with rage. Explode, I tell you! He teams with the aliens.
Interpol Agent Jiro Murakoshi (Katsumasa Uchida) – The main cop who is sort of in the film, though often the film forgets he’s there as it focuses more on Ichinose. But he occasionally shows up to save the day and to save Ichinose.
Alien Leader Mugal (Goro Mutsumi) – The new leader of the space aliens from the previous film. Mugal sounds like a name for a Gremlin or something. The greatest tragedy of Terror of Mechagodzilla is that the aliens never revert back to gorilla form.
Godzilla (Toru Kawai) – The biggest G of them all!
Mechagodzilla (Ise Mori) – Picked up from the ocean floor and rebuilt with human slaves, Mechagodzilla is back to fight his fleshy foe. And now he’s controlled by a cyborg lady! And he has some sort of head under his head! It’s all weird, but not enough to keep him from being turned into scrap metal.
Titanosaurus (Katsumi Nimiamoto) – Titanosaurus is a peaceful dinosaur used by an arrogant made scientist and aliens to attack humans, and is then brutally murdered by Godzilla for his crime of being brainwashed. Some people are really into Titanosaurus! If you are Japanese, you call him Chitanosaurusu. Rumor has it that Titanosaurus was originally supposed to be two smaller creatures called the Titans that fuse together to create Titanosaurus. This idea seems to have been recycled into Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
G is for Godzooky, that’s good enough for me!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 2:10 pm

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Godzilla battles the Tricephalon Monster

March of Godzilla 2012
Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster
From HB Toys comes one of the awesomer older Godzilla toys, 1978’s Godzilla battles the Tricephalon Monster playset. Featuring Godzilla and a brand new monster, The Tricephalon Monster, who looks like some sort of illegitimate child of Mecha-King Ghidorah! This set came with a whole slew of toys and vehicles to make your giant monster battle in a city come alive! Just look at this list:

The Tricephalon Monster
18 Soldiers
18 Civilians
2 Jeeps
2 Tanks
3 Civilian Vehicles
2 Jet Fighters
1 Ambulance
1 Automobile
1 Police Car
1 Shell Firing Battleship
1 22″ x 28″ Diorama
1 30′ x 30″ vinyl playsheet
1 Bridge
Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster
Yes, this is a set that has fleeing civilians! In fact, this is the only monster related bunch of toys that I know of that features civilians and victims besides the B-Movie Victims toys set from a few years ago. Godzilla is free to stomp on everything and beat up that Tricephalon guy, because, he just should! Take that, Tricephalon! As far as I know, Tricephalon Monster hasn’t been used again in anything, probably because he belongs to HB Toys, who probably didn’t get the rights for King Ghidorah as Toho likes to charge buckets of money for each monster. Other one-shot monsters show up in both the Marvel comics for Godzilla and the Godzilla cartoon where Godzooky was allowed to run free. Damn you, Godzooky!
Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster
Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster
Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster
Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster

HG Toys also made a set of Godzilla puzzles featuring the same artwork as on the Godzilla vs the Tricephalon Monster box.
Godzilla HB Toys Puzzles
Godzilla HB Toys Puzzles

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 15 – Chinbotsu! Gojira-yo Tokyo-wo Sukue

Zone Fighter Episode 15 – Chinbotsu! Gojira-yo Tokyo-wo Sukue

aka Submersion! Godzilla, Save Tokyo! aka It’s Sinking! Godzilla, Save Tokyo

March of Godzilla 2012
Written by Kohei Oguri & Norio Komata
Directed by Kengo Furusawa

Zone Fighter stumbles through another episode, where hundreds of people die due to the Garoga menace, but the Zone Family still doesn’t tell anyone in positions of authority on Earth about the alien invaders. Sorry, innocent people, I guess your lives just don’t matter. At least Godzilla shows up again. I was getting sick of these non-Godzilla episodes with giant chickens and exploding birthday cakes. So now that Godzilla is here we’ll have something awesome happen, right? Maybe? At least Godzilla seems to care more about everyone dying than the Zones, as Godzilla shows up out of nowhere to fight the Terror-Beast Zandora who is responsible for the chaos. Either that, or Godzilla is upset that Zandora looks like a giant wang. Either way, his appearance here is greatly appreciated!

Stop the world, I want to get off!

March of Godzilla 2012 is proud to bring yet another Godzilla Zone Fighter episode. If you are Zone Fighter ignorant, there is plenty of Zone Fighter information available on the Splash Page.

Godzilla and Zandora slow dance as Zone Fighter is buried under the ground

New opening credits? Holy Fratz! Instead of telling us the same boring story about Peaceland getting blown up each week, everything is now implied via effects shots as the Zone Fighter song plays. This opening is much better. Perhaps Zone Fighter is looking up!

When you build Warhammer maps on fault lines, things go bad…

There are earthquakes striking Tokyo. Instead of slight tremors, these are all like 9.5 Richter scale quakes! And since one single quake caused a huge tsunami and nuke meltdown and other problems in reality, the quakes shown briefly in the beginning would have destroyed Japan and half of Asia in real life!

Zone Fighter has a huge body count for a kids show.

Only Godzilla is awesome enough to headbutt a drill

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 13 – Senritsu! Tanjoubi-no Kyoufu

Zone Fighter Episode 13 – Senritsu! Tanjoubi-no Kyoufu

aka Absolute Terror: Birthday of Horror! aka Hair-Raising! The Birthday of Terror

March of Godzilla 2012
Written by Jun Fukuda
Directed by Ishiro Honda

Zone Fighter vs. Birthday Cake! Only Zone Fighter could fight such a dastardly enemy. All others pale before him, even Godzilla is too yellow to appear to fight the birthday cake! Or, more likely, Godzilla knows this week’s enemy is lame and didn’t bother to return the producer’s calls! Godzilla is also watching his weight these days, thus skipping out on eating that sweet sweet cake.

The Republican Presidential Debates continue…

March of Godzilla 2012 carries on with a Godzilla-free episode, but there is still something for everyone to learn. What we do learn is that Japanese people sing “Happy Birthday” and write things on cakes in English. Also that if you hook a car battery up to a Terror-Beast, the monster gets a red force field that doesn’t work that well.

Stop for me, it’s the CLAW!

If you are Zone Fighter confused, check out the Zone Fighter splash page and learn you some Zone!

It’s Hotaru’s 16th birthday! Her family breaking out the cake and singing, including the Happy Birthday song that now requires huge royalties despite the fact it should have been public domain decades ago. But that’s a rant for another review. Happy Birthday, Hotaru! I hope you enjoy your cake…your DEATH CAKE!!!

Forget Chocolate Rain, we got Orange Julius Rain

Baron Garoga calls via TV to mock them because the cake is a bomb! Granted, that is dumb, so now they know to toss the cake, and Hikaru does, throwing it off a cliff. Then it explodes, too late to do any damage with candle shrapnel. If Baron Garoga would have just shut the frak up for 1 more minute, the Zones would be dead! The series would be over, and I could get back to reviewing a different tokusatsu series that I’ll end up not liking, either.

I’m 70% Megalon!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 12 – Kyoujuu Kichi Chikyuu-e Shinnyuu!

Zone Fighter Episode 12 – Kyoujuu Kichi Chikyuu-e Shinnyuu!

aka Terrorbeast HQ: Invade the Earth! aka The Terror-Beast Base: Invade the Earth!

March of Godzilla 2012
Written by Norio Komata
Directed by Ishiro Honda

March of Godzilla 2012 is not dead, it was just resting as a TarsTarkas.NET got crushed beneath the weight of a trio of first run flicks and a lost film about a guy in a skeleton suit. But the train has been righted back on the track, and we can continue with our journey of Zone Fighter! Perhaps now you wish the train was flipped back onto its side. Well, too bad, so sad, Zone Fighter is here and he’s fighting a giant chicken while the producers might be committing horrible animal abuse. You just can’t be sure.

Rock ’em, Sock ’em Morons!

If you are Zone Fighter unaware, feel free to drop on by the Zone Fighter splash page, you’ll be glad you did! Now let’s get on with this show, before the chicken monster Barakidon crosses the road and I have to make even lamer jokes!

Troma’s Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead sequel was ambitious

The opening shows Zone Fighter killing many of the previous monsters, his horrible murder spree seared into the eyes and memories of the Garogas. So the Garogas have the ultimate plan to stop Zone Fighter’s brutal murder of monsters – a new monster!

Soon two tiny girls will be by demanding this egg…

Great plan, idiots! I hope Zone Fighter murders all of you.

Ha ha ha! Your hat is ridiculous!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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