Agon the Atomic Dragon (Review)

Agon the Atomic Dragon

aka Maboroshi no Daikaiju Agon

Directed by Norio Mine and Fuminori Ohashi

Agon the Atomic Dragon began as a 1964 TV miniseries Maboroshi no Daikaiju Agon (Giant Phantom Monster Agon) produced by Nippon Denpa Eiga (Japan Radio Pictures), but a four year argument with the sponsors of the show delayed it airing until 1968. The four shows were combined into a movie in the 1990s, and that is where most Western audiences became familiar with it.

The four episodes are titled:
Agon Appears – Part 1
Agon Appears – Part 2
A Dangerous Situation – Part 1
A Dangerous Situation – Part 2

The Agon monster suit was created by Fuminori Ohashi, a protégé of Eiji Tsuburaya. The suit was modified with sabretooth fangs and resurfaced on the first episode of The Space Giants as Dinosaur, and was then brought back as Aron for episodes 13-16. And that is the end of Agon. More information here.

Agon was released on dvd in Japan, so swim to Japan and pick up a copy. Or order it from the internet. Or if you are in Japan, then just go to the local DVD store and head past the many many many aisles of anime porn until you reach the giant monster rows and it should be there. Somewhere.

Agon (Etsuji Higashi) – Agon is short for “Atomic Dragon” and looks suspiciously like another fire-breathing lizard. Giant Phantom Monster Agon is sort of a jerk, and he smashes up power stations and refuses to kill a little kid that is trapped on the boat that is in his mouth for hours. Why won’t you kill that kid, Agon? Agon then acts like a dog and gets distracted.
Goro Sumoto (Shinji Hirota) – Goro is a star reporter despite being late constantly. This should tell you the quality of journalism in Japan. Goro is the Gilligan of Japanese reporters, for he bumbles around and he wears a white hat a lot.
Detective Yamato (Asao Matsumoto) – Detective Yamato hangs out with his good buddy Goro all the time despite being a hard-boiled detective and Goro being a klutzy simpleton.
Professor Ukyo (Nobuhiko Shima) – Professor Ukyo not only names Agon, but he knows a lot of professor stuff and does work with nuclear power.
Satsuki Shizukawa (Akemi Sawa) – Professor Ukyo’s assistant and love interest to Goro. She owns a dog who likes to sit in the middle of the road and tease drivers. This dog is destined to be a pancake. Is one of those girls who falls down when running from monsters and gets trapped.
Monta (Yoshihiro Kobayashi) – This annoying kid is our stupid Kenny character. Nuke all Kennys from orbit and spit on their graves.

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Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America (Review)

Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America

Stacy Keach as Secretary Reed
Justina Machado as Nurse Alma
Joely Richardson as Dr. Iris Varnack
Scott Cohen as Virginia Governor Mike Newsome
Directed by Richard Pearce

OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!! RUN!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!! It’s the birds! Instead of killing us with their evil bird powers, they’re killing us with their evil bird diseases! The dastardly birds will not be stopped, as they give us a true-to-life Captain Tripps, the H5N1 Bird Flu mutated to human infectious! As the latest made for TV movie for ABC tells us, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!! There is no escape….from birds!!!

Starting out with the opening of all openings, a warining informing us that bird flu from the H5N1 has already been found in 48 countries and killed 125 people. The film is careful to tell us that this is a “What if” scenario. Because anyone just tuning in might think a badly acted TV movie is in reality a real-time TV show called Survivor: Flu or something. Instead of conjuring up such images such as “What if the Punisher became Captain America?” or “What if Spiderman joined the Fantastic Four?” we get instead “What if everything bad happened, then suddenly everything good, because we’re America, and then suddenly WE ALL DIED??” The opening credits show Canadian geese-looking birds flying around and getting picked up on radar. Why on radar? Probably because several of them have computer graphics indicating that they are carriers of H5N1, which large size is easily picked up on radar. Scramble the fighters and shoot them all down! Come on, Iceman! Cowboy and Maverick got your back. We can’t have Goose on this mission, because we’re killing geese, and he’s dead.

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