To capitalize of the success of Toho’s Godzilla series, film company Daiei created a giant monster of their own, Gamera. This series began in 1965, a good 11 years after the start of the Godzilla series. The early films, during the Showa era, were definitely geared more for kids as children would almost always be a big part of the storylines. With that in mind, these films also tended to be more violent, with injuries produced during the monster fights showing a lot of flowing blood. The budgets were always much lower than the Toho films and though this oftentimes showed, it did not detract from the overall enjoyment of these films.Continue reading “THE BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: Gamera The Complete Collection by Arrow Video”
The 1957 film NIGHT OF THE DEMON, or CURSE OF THE DEMON as it is known in the United States, is one of my favorite horror movies of the 1950s. The story is well-paced, the acting is excellent and the monster is one of the coolest ever put on screen, despite the fact that director Jacques Tourneur didn’t want an actual monster in his film (it was added later against his wishes). It is a British film produced by Hal E. Chester and Frank Bevis and starred Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins and Niall MacGinnis. It is based on a story called “Casting the Runes” by M.R. James from 1911.Continue reading “THE BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: Night Of The Demon (1957) by Powerhouse Films”
For anyone that reads this blog regularly, you know that I am a huge fan of the science fiction films of the 1950s. No other decade has produced more genre films that were all enjoyable, perhaps at times for the wrong reasons. The writing was very original. The special effects, though cheesy at times, worked and the artists were often very creative with the miniscule budgets they had. The pacing was also really good in these films as many of them ran eighty minutes or less, making the stories much tighter.
I have been a lover of Godzilla movies since the early 1970s, when I could watch them almost weekly on the various UHF stations that were available in my area. Over the years I have collected all of the movies on DVD, slowly replacing them with the blu-rays, as they became available. When Criterion announced the release of this collection I became very excited. Not only is Criterion known for releasing the best copies possible, but the entire Showa series was being released at once and I was very happy with their release of the original film, GODZILLA, in 2012.
In the 1960’s Japanese monster movies were being made at a rapid pace. The two largest producers of these films were Toho and Daei, who were releasing the extremely popular Godzilla and Gamera films respectively. On occasion, other smaller companies would try their hand at these films, hoping to cash in on these successes. Korea’s Toei company tried it in 1967 with Yongary, Monster of the Deep and that same year, Japanese company Nikkatsu released Gappa, the Triphibian Monster, also known as Monster from a Prehistoric Planet.