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.

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