Posts tagged "Super Scary Saturday"

Godzilla’s Revenge (Review)

Godzilla’s Revenge

aka All Monsters Attack aka Godzilla-Minya-Gabara: All Monsters Attack! aka Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Oru kaiju daishingeki

1969

Starring
Tomonori Yazaki as Ichiro Miki
Eisei Amamoto as Toy Consultant Shinpei Inami
Sachio Sakai as Bank Robber Senbayashi
Kazuo Suzuki as Bank Robber Okuda
Kenji Sahara as Ichiro’s Father
Machiko Naka as Ichiro’s Mother
Shigeki Ishida as The Landlord
Directed by Ishiro Honda

SUPER SCARY SATURDAY! BOOOoooOOOoooOOOooOOOOooOOO! Once again, Super Scary Saturday will be our guide through the world of Godzilla! This is the greatest Super Scary Saturday intro of them all! It’s only ironic that it’s on one of the worst Godzilla movies of them all! It’s got stock footage, more stock footage, annoying kids in short shorts, even more stock footage, even more annoying kids in short shorts, and oddly enough was one of my favorite G films as a kid, probably because this movie is marketed for kids (though I suspect the Super Scary Saturday intro also helped.) The stock shots of Godzilla are pulled from several films, so you see Godzilla’s head change shape a few times. We got our grubby paws on the Japanese version as well as the American TV dub, so we’ll be contrasting both as we go along. It’s the same storyline, but there are a few key differences, most notably, the kid in the Japanese version is about twenty times less annoying! He’s almost respectable! It’s amazing. Minya famously talks in this film, and shrinks down in size to have chats with little Ichiro, the Boy of Monster Island. Speaking of Monster Island, this film was the immediate follow-up to Destroy All Monsters, where all the monsters were living on Monsterland, but from this movie forward they all live on Monster Island. Also, Destroy All Monsters took place in the far off future of 1999, while this film is set back in 1969. So either Monster Island becomes Monsterland, or Monsterland is another name for Monster Island, possibly due to Monster Island being really a peninsula.


I hope I didn’t bore you off with that over-analysis there. It’s time to not care about technicalities anymore, as we’re going to be visiting the mind of an 11 year old boy, his monster playmates, a crazy toy inventor, two bumbling master thieves, and two bullies named Gabara! All of this hosted by Al Lewis, Grandpa Munster himself! It’s the last March of Godzilla film until the next March of Godzilla (ignore that this is May and we’re still putting up films) and the last Super Scary Saturday film I have on tape. So let’s Celebrate, Celebrate, Super Station TBS! And bring on Super Scary Saturday!

After the famous Super Scary Saturday commercial scares it’s way by again, we get the opening. “It’s Me, Grandpa!” we get our familiar greeting as Grandpa Munster awaits us sitting in the Super Scary Saturday theater. He’s excited to have us there: “Do I have a treat for you! This is better than having your own Red Cross Blood Bank franchise!” It sure is. Grandpa Munster rules! Grandpa continues: “You heard of Wrestlemania? Well, we have MONSTERmania!” It’s Godzilla vs. All Comers!

Grandpa then jumps to Crazed Grandpa Announcer Don King mode to promote the upcoming fight! Behind him at the podium are cartoons of Godzilla and Gabara, Godzilla in a wrestling suit giving his pointing finger, and Gabara doing his hair! We cut to Gabara for his view of the upcoming fight, and his Godzilla-taunting, which I will transcribe in it’s entirety for your reading pleasure: “Listen up you giant water lizard! I’m the prettiest monster and the meanest Godzilla. You’re going to get the shock of your life when you step on the Monster Island with me, Gabara, the giant cat from Monstermania! I’m the one, the only, the true world champion!”



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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 10, 2006 at 5:55 pm

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Godzilla vs. Mothra (Review)

Godzilla vs. Mothra

aka Godzilla vs. the Thing aka Mosura tai Gojira

1964

Starring
Akira Takarada as News Reporter Ichiro Sakai
Yuriko Hoshi as News Photographer Junko ‘Yoka’ Nakanishi
Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura
Yu Fujiki as Reporter Jiro Nakamura (with egg and frying pan)
Emi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yumi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yoshifumi Tajima as Kumayama
Kenji Sahara as Banzo Torahata

Super Scary Saturday is in the HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUSE! Not House, MD, your house! Our house! It’s a very very very fine house, with two cats in the yard… Seriously, it’s time once again for a Godzilla movie, as March of Godzilla heads to the penultimate recap, and it’s a Super Scary Saturday version once again, as Grandpa Munster is there to guide us through! This time Godzilla is fighting Mothra in a battle that is battle-ish. Or something. This is pre-good guy Godzilla. Godzilla is still bad, still stomping the people for a pastime. In this version, they ramp up his lizardness, redesigning his head to make him more lizard-looking and more sinister-looking. Mothra makes her first appearance since her own movie, and the Twin Shobijin fairies played by the Peanuts are along for the ride. This is the American dub, complete with a scene filmed only for the US version.



Super! Scary! Saturday! It’s Super Scary Saturday, in case you missed the dozen other times I mentioned it and the big pictures. Grandpa Munster opens singing Zippity do dah! before beginning the standard “It’s me, Grandpa!” Grandpa walks in, with a baseball glove in hand, suddenly stops in his tracks! He says “What is this?” All of his friends are lounging around sleeping and being lazy. Slim the Skeleton is lying down flat on his back. Grandpa tells him to “shake a leg” and he does.

Next up, Grandpa asks mannequin Deadra if she’s going to spend all day filing her nails, which are ten penny nails which she is filing down with a metal file. Explaining this pun takes all the life out of it. Grandpa skips over Fang, who’s also sleeping but just woke up, to see Igor the bat asleep on his bed. Grandpa says Igor was more fun during the Black Plague! “Actually, the Black Plague was a lot of laughs…” Finally, Grandpa says the group needs to “shape up or ship out!” Grandpa will introduce….Grandpa-cise! What’s Grandpa-cise? We’ll find out in the next host segment. Until then, it’s time for the main show…Godzilla vs. Mothra!!!


We open in a storm, like so many Godzilla films. Well, at least Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Instead of wrecking a boat, we gets lots of shots of model sets being blown over. It’s like Hurricane Katrina, Japanese Model Version! Look out, Newu Oreansu! Actually, it’s Hurricane Abe, as the dialogue will tell us later. Areas of Japan are ruined, and Reporter Ichiro Sakai and his rookie photographer Junko Nakanishi arrive to survey the scene. Ichiro Sakai is played by Godzilla favorite Akira Takarada, who starred both in the first Gojira all the way to the last one (but not all of them in between.) Photographer Junko Nakanishi is played by actress Yuriko Hoshi, who will be playing almost the same role in the next film Ghidrah, except as a stronger woman character. She doesn’t return to the world of Big G until 2000’s Godzilla X Megaguirus. Her character has the nickname Yoka, so that’s what we’ll be calling her in the synopsis. Reporter Sakai has made some enemies, most notably the loudmouth mayor of the coastal city that was trashed by the hurricane. He boasts that their development project will be on schedule despite what Sakai wrote, thanks to their industrial-strength water pumps. Mr. Loudmouth Mayor fails to reveal how much these things cost, or why he’s wasting money on that instead of providing aid relief. I’d like to think that in the US he’d get run out on a rail, but we still have 99% of the Katrina idiots in charge, so we’d probably give him a medal as people starve.



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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 28, 2006 at 3:26 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

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Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (Review)

Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster

aka San daikaiju: Chikyu saidai no kessen

1964

Starring
Yosuke Natsuki as Detective Shindo
Yuriko Hoshi as Naoko Shindo
Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura
Akiko Wakabayashi as Mas Selina Salno, Princess of Sergina
Emi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yumi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Takashi Shimura as Dr. Tsukamoto
Akihiko Hirata as Chief Detective Okita
Hisaya Ito as Malmess, Chief Assassin
Ikio Sawamura as Honest Fisherman
Kenji Sahara as Editor in Chief Kanamaki
Directed by Ishiro Honda

It’s a Special Edition of Ghidrah – The Three-headed Monster! From the depths of the 1980’s comes a flash from the past, TBS Superstation’s Super Scary Saturday! Yes! Back when TBS would show monster movies every Saturday morning, hosted by none other than Grandpa Al Lewis, from The Munsters! Several select movies from the Godzilla series still survive with the Grandpa Al Lewis hosting on VHS tapes of mine. As they were part of the experience when I saw some of these for the first time as a tyke, I am including them in the recaps for March of Godzilla so you, too, can join in the experience. This is the first one of the series to be on TarsTarkas.NET, so it will get the most introduction.


The actual film is Ghidrah – The Three-headed Monster, a classic in the Godzilla series. This film introduced the most notable monster villain in the history of the G-series. It also features the first monster team-up against a greater monster force, as well as Rodan and Godzilla’s first meeting, and the introduction to the theme Godzilla saving Earth from greater threats. Mothra, Rodan, and Godzilla were Toho’s big three, and this star-powered film set a large standard for films that later entries in the series couldn’t match. Films directly following this one still came off great, but by the Showa-series’ later years, the Godzilla formula had gotten pretty stale. In keeping with theme, we’ll call those the “Jet Jaguar years.”


The Super Scary Saturday Logo Commercial plays, with graphics of various monsters, aliens, and ugly people flying by as the words “Super”, “Scary”, and “Saturday” float by in red. Finally, after a buzz by the 1950’s War of the Worlds‘s Martian craft, we get a scream, followed by the conclusion “Super Scary Saturday” graphic, as the TBS theme plays. This jumps us right into Grandpa, who opens with his line “It’s me, Grandpa!” which he seemed to say every week. This week, it’s light on the skits, as Grandpa digs through dusty old film reels, searching for this week’s film. We get some lame jokes on the caliber of “Heaven Can Wait. Believe me, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait!” We get to our film, promised as “One of the monstrous tag team battles of all time!” and “This creature is living proof three heads are better than one!” Grandpa rattles off all the monsters that will soon be stomping across the screen, then remarks “If I had a dollar for every monster in this film, I’d have more money than Transylvania T&T!”

I love Grandpa.

Grandpa sits in his movie set, the one next to him always empty (only two seats) because it’s the seat for you, the viewer at home. “Roll it, Igor!” he shouts, to the often unseen Igor (I can’t remember if he ever shows up, but I have some more of these on tape, so maybe he does pop in on one.) and the movie begins…


Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 7, 2006 at 11:57 pm

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