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yog2015-07-24-17h25m25s391Eiji Tsuburaya’s Death and the Changing Face of Kaiju Films

On January 25th in 1970, the landscape of kaiju films changed forever. Eiji Tsuburaya had started work on a new television series by this point, a horror anthology show known as The Unbalance Zone. The… [more]

Godzilla's Revenge2015-07-09-13h01m06s211Where the Kaiju Things Are: All Monsters Attack

After Destroy All Monsters, Toho took the Godzilla franchise in a controversial direction. The studio decided to throw their biggest director at their smallest film yet, birthing one of the least popular Godzilla movies ever.… [more]

Behind_Kaiju_Soshingeki_with_Gorosaurus_SoshingekiAngira_ShodaiMinira_and_SoshingekiGojiTsuburaya and Honda’s Last Charge: Destroy All Monsters

There was another big number coming down Toho’s pipe shortly after they’d celebrated their anniversary. Their next kaiju film would be the twentieth they had directed, something worthy of celebration. However the celebration was to… [more]

ScenethatneverwasMetal Monsters: Tsuburaya Returns to Kong

1967 was a big year for Toho. Not because of the introduction of Godzilla’s son, but because it was their thirty-fifth anniversary. Eiji Tsuburaya and Ishirō Honda reunited to work on their penultimate collaboration for… [more]

MinillaGiant Bugs, Children, and Hibernation: On Son of Godzilla

After Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Toho decided to task Jun Fukuda and his crew with making another Godzilla movie set in the South Pacific. This one would capitalize on the trendy location in a… [more]

fugitive2015-05-09-12h11m31s3A Vengeful Statue: Daiei’s Daimajin Trilogy

In the years after his death, the capital city was struck by heavy rain and lightning, and his chief Fujiwara adversary and Emperor Daigo’s crown prince died, while fires caused by lightning and floods destroyed many of residences. [more]

EHOTD_-_Man_Sees_Godzilla_and_Ebirah_BattleGodzilla’s Heartbeat: Sea Monsters, Chameleons, and a New Team for Toho

Cancer. The Crab is said to have been put among the stars by the favour of Hera, because, when Hercules had stood firm against the Lernaean Hydra, it had snapped at his foot from the swamp. Hercules, enraged at this, had killed it, and Hera put it among the constellations. [more]

Sanda_vs._GairaIf I Cannot Inspire Love, I Will Cause Fear: More Frankesteins and Flying Turtles

” The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.” [more]

Ghidorah2015-04-16-13h58m39s23The Last Hurrah: Frankenstein, Baragon, and King Ghidorah

Good men, do not be afraid! You should all single-mindedly recite the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. This Bodhisattva bestows fearlessness upon living beings. If you recite his name, you shall surely be saved from these robbers, and if upon hearing that, the merchants all cry out together, Namo Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, then they will immediately be saved because they recited his name. [more]

Ghidorah2015-04-02-19h13m16s129A Voice Like a Bell: Godzilla as a Hero and the Arrival of King Ghidorah

It was not long before awful Yamatano-orochi came. Soon, it noticed the smell of sake and struck its eight heads into each gate. It drank up the sake and began to sleep with a incredibly loud snore. Susanoo-no-mikoto cut its necks and tails one by one with his sword..The water color of the Hi-no-kawa river turned to red with its blood. [more]

MatangoThe Onslaught of the Mushrooms: Toho’s Serious and Silly Sixties

“I felt that I was now seeing plain, whereas ordinary vision gives us an imperfect view; I was seeing the archetypes, the Platonic ideas, that underlie the imperfect images of everyday life. The thought crossed my mind: could the divine mushrooms be the secret that lay behind the ancient Mysteries?” [more]

Kong vs gojira2015-03-22-17h36m51s130A Countless Number of Small Items: King Kong vs Godzilla and Akira Ifukube Pt. 2

I visited temples in Rehe and saw numerous Buddha statues embedded all over the wall. Even though each statue was humble, seeing all of them together on the wall impressed me greatly. [more]

Kong vs gojira2015-03-22-17h53m53s111A Countless Number of Small Items: King Kong vs Godzilla and Akira Ifukube

Be done with rote learning and its attendant vexations; for is there distinction of a “yes” from a “yea” comparable now to the gulf between evil and good? What all men fear, I too must fear… how barren and pointless a thought! [more]

varan2015-03-19-17h21m06s157Such Beautiful Miniatures: Yasuyuki Inoue and a New Age for Toho

Earth Defence Force is the start of an important transition in Ishirō Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya’s techniques, a transition that wouldn’t reach its peak until a new decade arrived. The bright and colourful space film required Eiji Tsuburaya to focus more on optical effects then he had to date. [more]

treasure2015-03-09-17h59m46s61The First Kaiju Fight: Godzilla Raids Again

As Nakajima himself put it, “I had to stand in the middle of the set while a huge amount of crushed ice came tumbling down on me.” The weight of the ice, coupled with the weight of the GyakushuGoji suit, broke the platform Nakajima and a cable operator were situated on. [more]

rodan2015-03-11-19h05m05s79Tsuburaya Does Colour: Rodan

Rodan presented the special effects mastermind with a unique opportunity. Not only was Eiji Tsuburaya shooting in colour for only the second time but also he was allotted an unprecedented 60 percent of the film’s budget [more]

gojiraBaptized in the Fires of the H-Bomb: Eiji Tsuburaya, Godzilla, and the Birth of Kaiju

With my eleven Gamera movies watched and reviewed and the last outlier on its way I decided it was time to delve into more kaiju films, specifically as many of them, in chronological order, as… [more]

iris2015-02-20-13h34m51s242The End of Gamera

So not only is this the last of Kaneko’s trilogy it’s the last Daiei Gamera movie and the last Gamera movie distributed by Toho, all of which is sort of a big deal. So even if this isn’t the last Gamera movie I’ll review it’s still a bit of a milestone. [more]

legion2015-02-17-19h07m28s131Gamera 2: Advent of Legion: The Best Gamera Movie?

The creatures plan to spread their species to other planets by launching the pod in the centre of the flower. Gamera, genetically designed Atlantean guardian of the world that he is, isn’t having any of this. [more]

GAMERA-INTENSIFIESThe Movie With a Million Titles: Gamera vs. Jiger

Validate me, watch along and let me know what you thought:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yISxIM1EJZs My least favourite Gamera movie was Gamera vs. Barugon. The second Gamera movie ever made and the first to feature an opposing kaiju.… [more]

Guiron_InsidesSpace Cannibals and Guillermo del Toro: On Gamera vs. Guiron

The influence behind Knifehead. And a whole bunch of nonsense in this surprisingly violent entry in the Gamera series. [more]

viras2014-10-01-13h34m26s85Boy Scouts and Tentacles: Gamera vs. the Space Monster Viras

Pointy squids. Giant turtles. Precocious Boy Scouts. A complete lack of budget. Way to much recycled footage. This movie is an experience. [more]

sword of doom2014-09-20-14h28m03s0Rubber on Planes: Gamera vs. Gyaos

Aerial battles you guys! Because flying turtles are cool looking. Right? Right?! This is actually a solid and enjoyable kaiju film with a cool villain. [more]

gamera2014-09-17-12h12m35s126Terrible Monster Design and Boring People: Gamera vs. Barugon

Japanese people in blackface, coincidence ridden jungle adventures, and the worst Kaiju fight scenes I’ve seen. Ugh. [more]

Gamera_originalFire-Breathing Turtles and Rubber Suits: On Gamera

In which I talk about a movie with a fire-breathing, flying turtle. I’m also wildly insecure and ask for you, the reader, to pitch in on future reviews… But mainly fire-breathing turtles. [more]