Friday, December 21, 2012


Oh my God(zilla)! What a horrible day I've had!

The Apocalypse apparently happened today...and you are all dead.

Thankfully, human ghosts are directly connected to Japanese-made computers and the Internet, so we can still talk to each other online. But as the sole survivor of humanity (minus all the other lone survivors of humanity), it is my SkyNET given duty share my harrowing tale with you all!


I was sleeping comfortably in my unattended hospital bed for 28 days, when suddenly I was awaken by a bunch of futuristic soldiers, claiming that 'Blue Bugs' were coming in to kill me. That or the new biological weapon dubbed 'Italian Flue' - really I can't remember which one again.

While we were escaping the hospital, located on the poorly lit district of 7th Street, we were suddenly ambushed by zombies, including the ones that can't run OR walk slowly.

The soldiers were then eaten by the zombies...and when I mean eaten, I actually mean they disappeared into thin air - another byproduct of New Zealand's damn Project Flashlight experiments. No clue if they've been disintegrated, or been teleported to one of the inhabitable moons of Saturn...or Purgatory, as I can never tell with those ambiguous endings.

So I'm power-walking for my life from the zombies, when equally as sudden, vampires showed up to challenge the zombies, to see who get's to eat the last human alive on Earth (me of course). But before their battle commenced, I notice some old guy sobbing over his broken pair of glasses outside the public library. And I said to the vampires and zombies alike "Why don't you eat that guy over there, for clearly I am not the last human to feast upon?!?".

The vampire leader said "What are you, insensitive? That guy broke his glasses and really doesn't need more stress from the likes of us!"

So the vampires and zombies began to fight over me, when suddenly some really poorly designed and equally constructed robots came walking by, and took electronic mind-control over all the zombies and vampires, for reasons that were never revealed to me.

Just than, a big old triceratops puppet came after me, forcing me to kill a man-sized bat creature in order to use its corpse to fly away to safety from prehistoric beast. Eventually, my 'dead bat glider' landed me right into a cave, owned by extreme survivalist Ray Milland, who mistakes me for a dope addict.

Ray Milland then proceeds to open fire on me with his riffle, while constantly apologizing for doing so all at the same time!

I eventually escape to safety, and while wondering the barren country roads, a giant super-truck of Military design pulled up besides me. The 'Super Truck' was being driven by a telepathic dog, who offered me a ride. I gladly accepted his offer, but have-way into our pleasant road trip, two British police detectives in a broken car attached to a hot air balloon, started giving us the business. And proceeded to bombard us with satire, wit, and sacrificial thirty-year-olds from above.

And you know they were thirty-year-olds, because the diamonds in their hands had expired to blinking red.

I decided to leave the telepathic dog to fend for himself against the British police officers, and made my way to desert, which was being patrolled by blood-sucking android knights!

Thankfully, the blood-sucking android knights were too busy to bother with me, as they were all in bloody combat against an alpha male dragon of gigantic size...because apparently dragons are alive again now.

I personally lay the blame on those fairy tale goblins armed with World War II weaponry.
Days later, while wandering the cursed Earth, a huge floating stone face appeared before me, and tried to convince me to wear an unappealing bright orange Speedo-like outfit.

I said "No", but the twisted stone face insisted that I should, especially since he ran out of guns to give to murderous people hours ago. Annoyed, I continued walking, but the damn perverted, if not pretentious, hovering stone face wouldn't leave me alone, who then tried to sell me DVD copies of "Tank Girl" in place of questionable orange underwear.

It was then that I realized that the giant hovering stone face was an artificial fake, piloted by non-other than comedic character actor Wallace Shawn. I was like "Why are you piloting a giant hovering stone face and trying to sell me orange underwear and "Tank Girl" discs"?

From which Wallace Shawn replied "Because I've got nothing better to do...that, and I think I MIGHT be the Anti-Christ...Again, the keyword being 'think'".

Sadly, our conversation was ended abruptly by the blue mutant giant known as Devil Reverse, who quickly rode in upon the back of a far larger Ohmu (sort of an evolved mega-worm creature). With the swipe of his mighty hand, Devil Reverse knocked down Wallace Shawn and his giant stone gift shop in the sky to the ground. It exploded upon contact, and littering the cursed landscape with flaming underwear and unwanted digital discs!

As the demonic giant rode away, he said to me in a loud, booming voice "Beware the tree pollen!". And as quickly as he arrived, Devil Reverse and his Ohmu steed disappeared over the horizon.

I still have no idea what "Beware the tree pollen" even means!

Anyway, after several years serving as a postman on horseback, I now live in the deserted city of New York, with Harry Belafonte and his lady friend Inger Stevens, who both have affectionately dubbed me 'The Greatest Third-Wheel In Human History'.

And every Sunday afternoon, we all drive down to our local box canyon, and mess around with the three-eyed mutants that inhabit the region.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I was completely blind during this entire adventure.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Kaiju News Round-Up For 10/9/2012


Just some (many) gathered tidbits (all giant monster related) from across the internet.

"Godzilla vs. Biollante" Coming to American DVD
First we had "Ultra Seven" getting a Region 1 release, and now another long awaited kaiju title is coming to American DVD, also in December - the 1989 entry to the Godzilla film franchise "Godzilla vs. Biollante"! Toho Kingdom has more on the matter here.
Obscure, overlooked, and underrated, "Biollante" isn't a famous Godzilla movie, but in my humble opinion, is definitely among the best. This is largely due to its ambitious ideas, and surprisingly well-done execution. And hopefully it will find a new appreciation both within and beyond giant monster fan-base.
"Earth Defense Force 3" Live Action Promo
Short film for the third entry into the Japanese video game series, that is heavily inspired by the alien invasion and giant insects films of yesteryear.
The promo is directed by B-movie comedy director Minoru Kawasaki, whose works include the awesome "Calamari Wrestler", and the universally panned "Monster X Strikes Back".
Thankfully, this promo features some awesome destruction at the hands of giant rampaging ants puppets, though Minoru's knack for camp and bad 'Gaijin' (foreigner) acting remains. But it's still worth checking out in the following link.
Related Videos:
"Ultimate Edition Godzilla 1998 Soundtrack"
Don't get too excited, because this is the American Godzilla from 1998 we're talking about. On the bright side, the 3 disc set will nix all the pop songs of the original 1998 CD release (indifferent Puff Daddy included), focusing only on the movie's actual score.
Even more intriguing however, is that the previously unreleased 'Score Album', which will feature self contained, full length tracks of said score, not unlike the Japanese Godzilla movies and their respective soundtracks.
Related Links:
"Daimajin Kanon" Series Guide, Parts 1-2
Yes, I know...a lot of American fans hate this show, which is based on the "Daimajin" trilogy from 1966. And as such, barely any reliable information on this television re-imagining has been present online, if not viciously so.
Thankfully (for me at least), the fine folks over at Sci-Fi Japan has uploaded an extensive two-part series guide for "Daimajin Kanon".
Fair warning though, don't except too much giant monster action, as the series was made for the highly under-budgeted late night programing of Japan, no matter if the show itself was actually good or not:
Legendary Godzilla Updates
The following comes from the blog io9 and their near-daily Morning Spoilers articles.
"Monsters" director Gareth Edwards discusses his approach to the latest movie about the iconic monster, and he then offers an amusingly disgusting analogy for the state of the project's visual effects:
I've always been interested in Godzilla and the ideas around him. I really wanted to see another Godzilla film and jumped at the opportunity. My main idea was to imagine 'If this really happened, what would it be like?' I want to take a grounded, realistic approach to a Godzilla film...[On the visual effects] I've never worked this hard, this long and been this emotionally involved in something that's lasted only a few seconds since the time I lost my virginity! But the reaction has been amazing and I can't wait for the fans to see our final product.
Also, another writer has been attacked to the project, which you can read about over at Toho Kingdom.
"Space Sheriff Gavan the Movie" (2012)
Based on the character's renewed / rediscovered popularity from the movie "Pirate Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan", the alien police officer in the silver cyber-suit and a robotic dragon ship, is getting his own spin-off movie.
Related Links:
You'd think this would be a feature length documentary about the late, great European science fiction artist and concept designer...but nope, its the classic tale of "Moby Dick", but set in space, and with aliens.
Ironically, this isn't the first time such a thing has happened, as it was the subject for not one, but two animated shows - "Hakugei: Legend of the Moby Dick", and the "Futurama" episode "Mobius Dick". But now this time it's being done as a (hopefully) major motion picture.
More "Gila" Updates
The poster and the first real trailer for the upcoming remake of "The Giant Gila Monster" can be found here.
I do appreciate that this remake is indeed a period piece, taking place in the 1950's, with a matching soundtrack, and hot, busty actresses dressed in the appealing styles of the day. And although the CGI isn't  good, the Gila Monster himself is relatively (again, relatively) decent looking.
Unfortunately, it seems to suffer from the same-old-same-old violence and death count that you'd come expect from your typical Syfy Original.
And of course (simply for the sake of it), the trailer for the original 1959 film.
"The Giant Spider" (2012)
As if to balance out the already retro-mined "Gila!", comes this upcoming film, which is an obvious homage to "Tarantula" ('55) and "Earth vs the Spider" ('58) - complete with an actual, real arachnid being used in the effects footage.
The blog Undead Backbrain has more information here.
By-the-way, if you haven't seen the original "Tarantula", it's a pretty good monster movie, with some very effective special effects that arguably still holds up to this day. Especially the long shots of the title monster crawling across the desert, with excellent interaction between the super-imposed Tarantula and the real life backgrounds.
It's a real shame that "Tarantula" isn't readily available online for your viewing (*wink-wink*).
"Power Rangers Super Samurai" Returns October 13th
The cable network Nickelodeon is notorious for their mid-season breaks, and forced hiatuses for almost all their programs, which sometimes have been known to go well over a year in length. This practice even extends to their more popular or rating grabbing shows, of which "Power Rangers Super Samurai" was no exception.
Despite the embarrassment of foreign markets already airing the series in its entirety, the final batch of episodes are finally getting aired here in America, which you can read more about here.
Queen + Van Halen + Japanese Puppets AND Giant Robots = Yeeeeeaahhh...?
The original link from io9 doesn't work for the following article, so I'm re-posting it here, because I really need some second opinions on this oddball collaboration - I personally think it's awesome, but my musical tastes are dubious at best.
When it comes to matters science fictional, the band Queen is best known for their soundtrack to "Flash Gordon".
But back in 1983, Queen guitarist Brian May teamed up with Eddie Van Halen and members of REO Speedwagon and Alice Cooper's and Rod Stewart's bands for "The Star Fleet Project"; an EP whose most famous track was a cover of the theme song from the Japanese-British TV show "Star Fleet".
As Brian May recalled of these unvarnished jam sessions way back when:
There weren't any rehearsals, except that we played around at each other's houses a little bit, acoustically. I'd been to Edward's studio in his home, and I played a little with him — nothing very organized [...] I've been working very hard on making a video for "Star Fleet." The people who made the series, which originally was Japanese, have very kindly given me access to footage that I'm using. We're putting a whole little story together using the original shots of theirs. I'm also telling the story — a sort of figure who appears, a background narrator.
"Star Fleet" was a Japanese television series directly influenced by the Garry Anderson series "Thunderbirds Are Go!" and "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterions" - both of which were big budgeted British shows featuring puppetry, high-end miniature models, and lots of spectacular pyrotechnic explosions.
These British series became very popular in Japan, eventually leading to "Star Fleet" - a marionette space opera with character designs by famous / infamous manga author Go Naiga ( "Devilman", "Mazinger Z", and "Cutey Honey" ). And with some giant robot elements thrown in for good measure, as in the form of the heroes' transforming spaceship mecha Dai X.
In a very nice (if not awesome) reversal, the Japanese homage became popular in the United Kingdom soon after - hence the creation of this music album and its related music video, as seen in the following music video.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Brief History of the Godzilla Film Series

The following article was done as research notes for producer Dawn Green of High Noon Entertainment, and television personality Elyse Luray, for an upcoming series dealing with collectors of pop culture swag, and their related collections.

Now at the time of this blog post, however, the title for this new series has yet to be finalized, with the original working title being "Collection Intervention". But now it appears to have been changed to "Amazing Collectibles".

What you're about to read is a VERY basic introduction to the Godzilla film series, and in turn, giant Japanese movie monsters (Daikaiju) in general.

Now this will not be groundbreaking to veteran Godzilla nerds, but this would be a great link to send to people who are interested getting into the fandom, or just wanting a nonsensical introduction to it.

-Raf AKA Enshohma


A Brief History of the Godzilla Film Series

Inspired heavily by the recent box office successes of the 1952 re-release of "King Kong", and Warner Brothers' "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" (1953), producer Tomoyuki Tanaka convinced his superiors at Toho Company Ltd. that a Japanese monster movie would be a great high profile project to do - especially after a previously planned co-production with Indonesia had fallen through.

There was also the recent real-life incident involving a fishing boat dubbed Lucky Dragon no. 5, which it and its crew were accidentally exposed to America's Castle Bravo nuclear bomb tests on March 1st, 1954. The tragedy brought back harsh memories of the atomic bombings towards the end of World War II, and Tomoyuki, along with mindful director Ishiro Honda and imaginative special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya, teamed up to create a monster movie with some serious dramatic overtones. And to act as an allegory to the fears of an atomic Armageddon, which was on everyone's mind during the Cold War era.

Although not the first Japanese movie to feature fantasy elements (let alone monsters), "Gojira" (also known as "Godzilla") was a success with Japanese audiences, and herald an new age of science fiction and fantasy cinema in that country.

Toho decided to rush out a sequel, "Godzilla Raids Again", less then six months later in 1955. However, that sequel lacked the strength of its predecessor, and it looked like the character of Godzilla wouldn't make it to a third film.

Fortunately, Toho continued to make other science fiction and monster movies, which included the likes of "Rodan" (1956), "Mothra" (1961), "The Mysterians" (1957), "Battle In Outer Space" (1959), and "The H-Man" (1958). And all of which with the same creative team and extended crew behind the original 1954 Godzilla.

In the spring of 1956, TransWorld Releasing Corp bought the American distribution rights to "Gojira", and edited together a new version, featuring sequences with then unknown actor Raymond Burr. This new edit, entitled "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" stayed fairly faithful to the original story-line, though with Mister Burr inserted as an visiting news reporter, caught up in the spectacular events.

The idea behind this was to create a story that would appeal to mainstream American audiences of the time, of whom Japanese films were still a relatively alien concept, especially ones released with subtitles, like the otherwise well received "Rashomon" from 1950. The gamble paid off, and "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" became a sleeper hit that year, while cementing Godzilla's status as a prominent movie monster and pop culture icon.

But it wouldn't be until 1962's "King Kong vs. Godzilla" did the film franchise really get going. And taking a cue from that film's crossover success, Toho continued the trend by having their rediscovered star Godzilla, face off against other giant monsters equal to him in either power or marketable popularity, as they did the 1964 follow-up "Mothra vs. Godzilla" (released state side as "Godzilla vs. The Thing").

The decade of the 1960's is considered the 'Golden Age' of Japanese movie monsters, or Kaiju Eiga as they're referred to in Japan. Toho was not only producing a Godzilla film a year, but also many other high-end productions in and out of the sciences fiction genre, though it would be their monster films that would be the big money makers overseas.

Other Japanese studios and even television companies tried to do their own giant monsters, in order to ape Godzilla's fame, but very few of these ever truly succeeded. The most notable winners in this regard included Daiei Film's Gamera; a giant fire-breathing turtle that was a brief, but steady box office rival to Godzilla. And the title superhero of of the TV series "Ultraman"; a silver alien giant on the side of humanity, created by Godzilla effects master Eiji Tsuburaya, for the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS).

And very much like Godzilla, both Ultraman and Gamera spawned franchises that continue to this day, despite some multi-year long resting lulls between projects.

Further more, one can compare the Godzilla films to that of the James Bond series, in the sense that they have both gone through their respective ups and downs, as well as rebooting the characters and related story concepts over the years. And like any successful film franchise, there has been spin-off material, like animated television shows, video games, comic books, toys, and many others.

The Showa-Era Series

This is the term used to describe the cycle of Godzilla films made from 1954-to-1975, and were more or less connected to one another, however loosely through each film's continuity, back when film audiences were probably less aware of such things.

As previously mentioned, the films from the 1960's are considered some of the best Toho Studios had to offer, with the following 1970's considered lesser in quality, and totally going into children's fair with Godzilla becoming a quasi-superhero. With that said, there was an earnest attempt to end the Showa-era with some dignity, with the more straight faced entry "Terror of MechaGodzilla" (1975).


The Heisei-Era Series

Refers to the Godzilla films made from 1984-to-1995. In order to return the character to his darker, more villainous origins, the first film in this cycle, "The Return of Godzilla", totally reboots the franchise, and ignores all the films made right after the 1954 original. The Heisei films are also much tighter in continuity between each film, despite some questionable plot holes brought up by the time-traveling centric entry "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" (1991).

The last film in the Heisei saga was "Godzilla vs. Destroyah" (1995), where Godzilla suffers an internal meltdown and even permanently dies, but not before taking on the title villain beast one last time.


The American Godzilla Film of 1998

One of the main reasons the Heisei era ended was because Toho wanted to accommodate Sony Pictures, who planned to restart the franchise as a big-budget American property. After many false starts and incomplete attempts, Sony finally made "Godzilla" in 1998, to good financial success, but mixed-to-negative reactions from audiences and critics alike.

And strangely enough, the weakened portrayal of Godzilla in the 1998 movie, made people yearned for the more powerful, fantastical creature of the original Japanese films. And thus, gave the Godzilla of the past films a brand new appreciation that had previously alluded him. There was an attempt to make a sequel to the 1998 "Godzilla", but nothing came of it, and Sony eventually lost the rights to the Godzilla property.


The Millennium Series

After the 1998 debacle, Toho began a third cycle of Godzilla movies, starting with 1999's "Godzilla 2000". The deliberate concept behind the Millennium series was to have each film totally separate from one another, and essentially creating a 'Godzilla anthology', with only two of these said films ending up as direct sequels to one another. Those two movies being "Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla" (2002) and "Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S." (2003).

The final film in the Millennium era, as well as the last Godzilla film to date, was 2004's "Godzilla: Final Wars" which was a big budget extravaganza featuring multiple monsters from the past, and was made to celebrate the franchises' 50th anniversary. A virtual birthday bash for the King of the Monsters basically.


Legendary Pictures' Godzilla For 2014

It was confirmed at this year's San Diego Comic Con, that Legendary Pictures, the Hollywood company behind the recent trilogy of Chris Nolan's Batman films, among other successful hits, will be doing a new American Godzilla for 2014.

This time around however, they hope to remain true to the original spirit of the classic character. A proof-of-concept teaser was shown at Comic Con, and as a far cry from the more lighthearted 1998 film, the 'Legendary Godzilla' is presented as a nightmarish beast, hoarding over a devastated city, littered with humans victims and fallen enemy monsters alike.

Legendary Pictures will also be releasing another giant monster related epic, "Pacific Rim", before then in summer of 2013, though this film, and their future Godzilla remake, are otherwise unconnected.


Character Bullet Points:

Mecha-Godzilla (AKA Kiryu) is a giant robot made in the image / likeness of Godzilla himself, and has been portrayed as both an extraterrestrial villain, AND as a man-made weapon for good, throughout its various film appearances. Despite the varying story incarnations however, Mechagodzilla has largely remained an adversary to Godzilla.

Mothra (Moth-Rah) is a giant moth from Infant Island, and unlike most movie monsters, she is a magical agent for justice, born of equally mystical origins. Often accompanied by the twin fairies dubbed The Shobijin (Sho-Be-Jin, literally means 'Tiny Beauties'), who serve as her ambassadors, Mothra helps mankind against more menacing monsters (including Godzilla on occasion), while also sometimes uniting the monsters of Earth (Godzilla too) for a greater good, like defending their world against alien invasion.

Both Mechagodzilla and Mothra are hugely marketable characters, and have made numerous film appearances within and without the Godzilla film series.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ensho's OCs: Mistress Mephistia

The Most Recent Drawing of Mistress Mephistia, Done Earlier In 2012

OCs is an abbreviation for Original Characters...or Orange County...But amongst us artists (AKA me), it's the former and please deal with it from this point onward.
Plus, I did promise more regular updates to this site, and I have untold numbers of such creations laying around for showcasing - even if the related images I have done are nothing more than pencil sketches, colored by computer.
And for those of whom that have catch on by now, yes, these articles are directly inspired by my friend Hawanja's "Freaks, Mutants, and Monsters" blog-site.
Let's start with everyone's favorite subject - top-heavy demon women!
I've been doing these kind of creations for a long time (from twelve-years-old to present), and there have been an equal mix of good guys (fictional demons don't have to be all evil, you know), and bad guys. But for this first entry, let's start with one of the villains - Mistress Mephistia.
Older Art Possibly Done in 2007, And Colored in 2012 (Notice the Smaller Bust?)
An ancient succubus, originally born on Earth, Mistress Mephistia has since become the lead sorceress for the intergalactic conqueror Ceronus. Her personal knowledge of magic is impressive, but Mephistia prefers to take related spell books with her in battle, which serve as additional shields that produce their own invisible, defensive barrier. Or at least strengthens any ones that Mistress Mephistia creates on her own.
Being a succubus of the cruelest order, Mephistia has claimed the life-forces of almost all of her lovers, minus a small handful throughout her long lived existence. Though with that said, it is unknown if the father of her half-human daughter Pike, was among said survivors.

Pike, Mephistia's Half-Human Daughter.

Unlike her mother, Pike is fairly young by demon standards, and has adopted a warrior-type persona over her mother Mephistia's sorceress ways. This is probably due to her half-breed nature, which doesn't allow for a natural talent for magic. And thus Pike compensates this flaw with fighting skills, inhuman physical strength, and handheld weapons.
Pike serves as her mother's bodyguard, as well as a field general for Ceronus' forces. But outside their working relationship, there isn't much closeness between mother and daughter, which is largely Mephistia's doing.
Mistress Mephistia is a stanch believer in demon superiority over that of lowly humans, and although she's not ashamed of Pike, she's not exactly Mephistia's preferred progeny or heir either.
Despite her 'demonic chauvinism', Mistress Mephistia is still quite the charmer and seductress, and this would be true even if she wasn't born a succubus. This may explained how she's managed to obtain such a high position within Ceronus' ranks, as the Space Giant (literally, a fairy-tale-style Titan from deep space) enjoys the beautiful ladies immensely. And the Mistress was a much need addition to his more male-oriented armies.
Mistress Mephistia also has a pair of large bat-like wings, as all succubus women do, but keeps them physically hidden within her own back until need be. This too is quite rare, for the sorceress is rather lazy when it comes to travel, included being teleported by her own magical incantations. And instead, prefers being transported by vehicles, driven by chauffeurs.
Unfortunately for Pike, she did not inherit her own pair of wings from her mother's side of the family. And thus she uses alien technology from Ceronus' other minions for temporary levitation, while in combat.
-Raf AKA Enshohma

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Look Everyone! I'm Acting!

I finally appeared in one of my brother's YouTube shorts, and in this case "Something Strange"; a live action series of 'micro-stories' inspired by silent films and similar-era cartoons. Particularly those from Fleischer Studios (Betty Boop), and Walt Disney's earliest black-and-white output.

With that said, the character that I played in the short, simply billed as 'The Brute' - an eye-patch wearing villain who pursues the narrator Gonzo, is very much the kind of over-the-top heavy you'd find in such animated fair.

The Brute was mainly inspired by Peg Leg Pete from "Steamboat Willie" (1928), and Bluto, the nemesis (and sometimes friend) of "Popeye the Sailor" (Fleischer era, 1933 - 1942).

The following was a lot of fun to make, and it was finally nice to play a full-blown character (literally and figuratively) affront of the camera. The video featured below is safe for public viewing:

And while on the subject of "Something Strange" , here's an older episode, featuring my other younger brother Gabe as 'The Grandson From The Future':

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Understanding the Cosmos, Episodes 8-12

Five new episodes for the fake educational science program "Understanding the Cosmos", with your just-plain-crazy-jerk of a host, Professor Gonzo.


Professor Gonzo does a physical demonstration of the immense cosmic explosions known as Super Novas. By-the-way, I was the one who got to throw the bucket of water at the end, which was most fun I might add! Safe for Public Viewing.


The rings of Saturn are discussed...with Hula Hoops. Includes foul language.


In this very special episode, Professor Gonzo welcomes his longtime idol and scientific hero, Dr. Reginald Scott. Includes foul language and crude humor.


The obligatory Uranus episode...and no, it's not what you expect either. Fairly safe for public viewing.


The proverbial Pandora's Box is ripped wide opened in this episode, when Professor Gonzo decides to answer some viewer e-mail. Includes foul language and related text.

And one last side-note; I will try to keep this blog updated on a regular basis from now on, even if it's only one small article every two weeks. This includes more work-in-progress previews of my artwork, and hopefully extensive movie reviews - giant monster related and otherwise.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Ballad of Elizabeth Lee

More from my siblings fake space series "Understanding the Cosmos", and a two-parter no less!

This time around, the nefarious Professor Gonzo is smitten with an astrophysicist named Elizabeth Lee (played by Shelly Berg). Unfortunately, Miss Lee doesn't feel the same way for Professor Gonzo, hich leads to a total celebrity-style breakdown in the follow-up episode.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Aquabats! Super Show!

I'd thought I do a less-than-quick shout out towards one of the more pleasant entertainment surprises of 2012 thus far.

The California-based band dubbed The Aquabats have been a musical mainstay of mine since the early 1990's, when this bizarre but enjoyable group of mock super-heroes hosted the (long canceled) local music video show "Ar-Oh-Vee". I did not buy many CDs back when I was a pre-teen, but recorded multiple music videos off from television instead, back when such things were readily available on multiple channels and time slots. Not like today's music television, with its limited run of pop flavors of the moment that you might (MIGHT) find at the early morning hours.

Here's one such segment from the "Ar-Oh-Vee", featuring the silver suited villain Powder Milk Man.

Thankfully, the Aquabats have greatly improved upon their comedy and showmanship since these extremely rough early days, but even back then, it was apparent that their humorous personas were heavily inspired by Japanese Tokusatsu (live action super-hero) shows, despite the super-hero conceit being a universal gimmick amongst the American public. This is especially apparent with the following 1999 demo pilot entitled "The Aquabats! In Color!", which also features music and stock footage from "Ultraman", "Kamen Rider", and "Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot":

See, a lot better than Powder Milk Man, right?

Unfortunately, the wackiness of the Aquabats for the longest time has been an acquired taste (much like my other musical favorite Polysics), and because of which, they have struggled throughout their career - complete with multiple changing amounts of band members, and related uphill battles.

In 2005, the Aquabats came close to disbanding permanently, but not before one last album, the appropriately titled "Charge!!", where the band lessened themselves from their previous ska-style, and into a stronger focus on new wave and energetic 'pop-punk rock'. What could have been the Aquabats' last release, turned out to be a steady success with sales and critics alike. And is indeed their strongest, if now most rewarding effort musically thus far (though admittedly I have yet to listen to their most recent 2011 album "Hi-Five Soup!").

The positive outcome of "Charge!!" rejuvenated the band, and they've kept at it with a respectable audience ever since. Some would say cult following, but that would apply that the Aquabats are either inactive, or long gone, yet fondly remembered.

Another project the Aquabats has been trying to get off the ground, and for over a decade I might add, has been a television series aimed towards children and offbeat comedy lovers alike. But as you'll see from this Comic Con presentation video, that has been one of their most strenuous endeavors:

True, they have a show on the air NOW, but seriously, almost fourteen years of near missies and sudden surprise failures that would have destroyed lesser (more sane?) creative minds...myself included!

Beyond the pilot attempts, the Aquabats' front man, Christian Jacobs (alias the MC Bat Commander), was the co-creator of the hugely successful children's program "Yo Gabba Gabba", which itself seems to take minor cues from Japanese tokusatsu, as well as the live action flavor of nostalgic American kid shows like "The Banana Splits Show" and the works of Sid and Marty Kroft.

The solid work and revenue from "Yo Gabba Gabba" resulted in a stronger full-length television pilot for the now titled "The Aquabats! Super Show!", which alongside the main live action narrative, also featured this hilarious animated segment.

See, a HELL of a lot better than Powder Milk Man, RIGHT?

As the Comic Con presentation noted (abet censored), the recently established cable channel The Hub has taken the Aquabats into their already impressive line-up of quality made kid shows and family friendly classics of yesteryear. And whereas Nickelodeon, Fox Family Channel, and Cartoon Network didn't really know what to do with this unorthodox group, The Hub has opened their arms to their weirdness. But than again, what else do you expect from the same cable channel that proudly airs the 1960's Adam West camp "Batman" alongside the much praised and serious minded early 1990's "Batman The Animated Series".

And speaking of campy "Batman"...

"The Aquabats! Super Show!" takes a lot from the aforementioned series, although to much more extreme levels of absurd comedy. The end result is something that appears to be outright silly nonsense at first, but compared to some of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon's recent offerings, far better executed, and thus quite hip than a lot of other humorist series on television these days. Some critics have compared "Super Show!" to the live action offerings from The Adult Swim line-up, and although that's an understandable comparison ("Saul of the Mole Men" heavily comes to mind), it's also a tad unfair, seeing how this is a program of some obvious effort, and more appealing in its content matter.

Even if you're not at all a fan of the Aquabat's music, the new show is still worth checking out.

It's also awesome to get a kid show with some great monsters, created through obviously fake, but still lively and enjoyable physical effects work. And is a fantastic contrast to the stiff, unexpressive monster suits of "Power Rangers Samurai", or much, much worse, the overpriced-yet-barely-seen computer generated creatures of Nickelodeon's "The Troop" or Cartoon Network's "Level Up".

And yes, I know both those latter shows also have some live action monsters and villains, but those are so terribly simplistic that they're just a step above an expensive Halloween costume from Party City. Needless to say, the monsters and villains of "The Aquabats! Super Show!" are in a great league of their own.

I think the best way to sum up "The Aquabats! Super Show!" is by repeating a nifty bit of dialog from the 1972 film "Godzilla vs. Gigan", in which the leader of a secret alien invasion gives his honest assessment of the movie's unlikely hero - struggling comic book artist Gengo Kotaka...

'Stupid, but Cunning'.


EPISODE 01: "ManAnt!"
(Original Air Date: March 3rd, 2012)

The Aquabats' birthday party gig is interrupted by the sudden explosion of the Burrito Brothers' Burger Hut. Upon further investigating, the musical heroes discover it is the work of ManAnt; a half-man / half-ant genius with an axe to grind with band member Crash McLarson.

In addition to the live action creature effects, we get some much welcomed stop-motion model animation through ManAnt's trio of enlarged monster ants.

EPISODE 02: "The Mysterious Egg!"
(Original Air Date: March 10th, 2012)

Slightly more somber than its predecessor (and no less ridiculous), is this adventure where Jimmy the Robot tries to prove to his fellow band-mates that he can be a caring android, and not just a monster obliterating killing machine, when they come across and incubate a giant egg.

The creature hatched from within, nicknamed Jimmy Jr, is quite funny in its grotesque cuteness, and dinosaur-like viciousness.

Related Links:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Understanding The Cosmos: Episodes 1-5

Look everybody! An article that has absolutely nothing to do with giant monsters what-so-ever!
"Understanding The Cosmos" is a series of web-shorts started by my two younger siblings, Gonzo and Gabe, which spoofs the kind of educational science programs that you barely see on television anymore. Namely The History Channel fodder that does NOT feature paranormal or apocalyptic shenanigans.
Of course the big joke about "Cosmos" is that the science is distantly minor compared to the insanity / stupidity of its lead character and host, Professor Gonzo (played by you know who). Not to mention its equally eccentric and thereby unfortunate guest characters, like Astronaut Gabe (incredible effort on those names, siblings of mine).
The following are the five episodes made thus far, which I had limited involvement with, but will share with you all regardless.
To call this a pilot would be an understatement, because Gabe and Gonzo really had no intentions on making this an ongoing series, beyond this one-shot gag. Hence the use of their real names (at least Gonzo's), and just the overall rough nature of it all. The questionable position of Pluto as a planet is the backdrop for this episode.
Professor Gonzo does a demonstration of the solar son, and its gravitational relationship with our very own Earth. I helped in the filming of this one, and make a small off-camera cameo as 'The Meek Fact Checker'.
Professor Gonzo welcomes special guest Professor Funky Fresh, to discuss the phenomenon of Black Holes. Gonzo really doesn't care about foul language, and freely spouts it whenever he can. I however, DO care about such harsh language, and hence why I'm warning you all about this entry, and its latter dialog. Though with that said, it's still quite funny.
Professor Gonzo's hated arch rival Professor Zoso attempts to steal his thunder! I have to admit, this is the strongest of the web-series production wise, complete with a great use of outside musical beats.
Whereas episode four is the strongest production wise, this one has its strengths in the simple scenario and humor behind it. This largely thanks to Gabe being the unofficial writer of it, along with Gonzo's performance. Astronaut Gabe returns to the program, to discuss meteorites with Professor Gonzo.
I'll share more episodes in the future, as they're made and uploaded onto YouTube of course.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When Giant Monsters Fall In Love

Before we begin, there's two things that you all should know about me.

The FIRST of which is my unfathomable knack for incredibly bad timing, especially when it comes to corresponding dates and releases of films or television shows worthy of mentioning. For example, I upload an article discussing an art project that I'm personally proud of, and then suddenly, Godzilla decides to return from movie retirement, overshadowing my aforementioned post.

The SECOND is something that's most certainly my willing fault, and its my disliking (sometimes dreading) of Holidays in general, and my attempts to ignore or avoid them outright. And I've been doing this for so long (mixed with my own bad timing), that I've often forget the majority of their yearly arrival times.

I really don't mind, if not care, about this at all, because for me personally, Holidays are like mandatory company picnics; you're forced to have fun with a relatively unimportant event, that eats up into both your own free time, and more important matters in real life as well.

Although to be fair, if you refuse to enjoy a Holiday, you'll usually get called a 'Scrooge' or a 'Grinch' before you even have the chance to explain yourself. But at a company picnic, where a similar situation happens, you run the very real chance of getting fired for not participating with the troublesome event 'one-hundred-and-ten-percent'. So I guess holidays is the lesser evil, BUT that still doesn't mean I want to put up with either of these two torture sessions.

And needless to say, this includes my own birthday, which I know doesn't technically count as a holiday...but its still just a bothersome, and as such, ends up being a holiday (bother) for me overall.


So with all that said, I do find myself sometimes, JUST SOMETIMES, getting into the spirit of some of these blasted holidays, because it really is infectious at times (i.e. Halloween). But again, mixed with my own bad timing, I often find myself doing such activities way too late.

The following portion is such an example of all the previously mentioned, and was originally uploaded at my DeviantART group dubbed Kaijuden. And it was my friend Mark Rivers who suggested this would have made better fodder for my official blog. And of course, me not giving a damn about holidays and proper scheduling, I'm presenting it here as my weekly update, as a good 45-minutes worth of online entertainment for all of you.

It's (late) Valentine's Day! And what better way to celebrate than to take a quick look back at bizarre moments in giant monster history, when the air was thick with romance.

"Inhumanoids: Primal Passions"

The 1980's cartoon (loosely inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft), was a fairly straight-faced affair when it came to its main villains, the subterranean beasts which included the demonic tyrant Metlar, the prehistoric zombie D.Compose, and the destructive plant being Tendril. But as with all cartoon shows from this decade, even the Inhumanoids had their silly moments, with this as a particularly infamous episode!

A failed chemical experiment puts our three main villains...well...'in the mood', who then seek out worthy mates for each of them. Though to be honest, only D.Compose ends up somewhat successful, by re-mutating, and then re-hooking up with the human heroine Sandra Shore. You can watch this surreal entry in the following link:

Godzilla's Dr. Pepper Commercials

In an early example of painfully overt movie product tie-ins, the US distributor of "Godzilla 1985", New World Pictures, teamed up with Dr. Pepper for mutual exposure. And resulted in some truly awkward product placement in the American version, while Godzilla stared in some surprisingly decent comedy ads on television.

The second of which featured a brand new monster called 'Newzilla' (AKA 'Mrs. Godzilla'), of whom the King of the Monsters becomes instantly smitten to (must be those blue ultra-bright spotlight eyes of her's). Warning, the following videos have low audio.

"Godzilla the Series: End of the Line"

Of course you can't talk about Newzilla without mentioning this far more beloved suitor to the King of the Monsters...or at least the animated American incarnation, that fans can tolerate better than the 1998 live action disappointment that spawned it.

Komodithrax is a mutated Komodo Dragon who is discovered on an isolated arctic oasis, heated by geothermic features. And because Komodithrax is somewhat similar to the mutant iguana version of Godzilla (or Zilla), the two fall in love, with the American Godzilla becoming a surrogate father to the female monster's unhatched egg. Unfortunately, both a trigger happy US military, and a Giant Arctic Turtle, threatens this makeshift monster family.

There are of course many other giant monster items beyond these three examples, but this post is going on way too long as it is, and may save those for next year's Valentine's Day...Or maybe not.