KAIJU KONNECTION: The Mysterians (1957)

Welcome to another edition of KAIJU KONNECTION. In this entry I will be discussing the 1957 movie THE MYSTERIANS (CHIKYU BOEIGUN in Japanese, translated to Earth Defense Force), that came out a year after RODAN on December 28, 1957. This was the first Toho movie to utilize the new widescreen format known as TohoScope. For this film director Ishiro Honda wanted to take a break from giant monsters and just do a science fiction film. The studio insisted that a kaiju be included though because of the popularity of both GODZILLA (1954) and RODAN (1956).

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KAIJU KONNECTION: Rodan (1956)

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I grew up on Godzilla and Gamera movies. I just could not get enough of them and would scour the weekly TV Guide, trying to find any listings for these movies to be shown the following week. This was prior to VCR’s, so if I wanted to see the movie, I would have to be available at the time of broadcast or be made to wait until the next time it was put into rotation. Ahhh…the growing pains of being a child in the 1970’s.

One of my favorites of the Toho movies is the 1956 film RODAN, or Sora no Daikaijū Radon as it was known by its original Japanese title. This film was released in Japan on December 26, 1956 and then later in the United States on August 6, 1957. Personally I prefer the Japanese versions over the United States’ dubs but thankfully, in the case of RODAN, care was taken to maintain its serious tone and some of the editing actually helped the pacing of the film.

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THE BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: “GODZILLA: THE SHOWA-ERA FILMS, 1954–1975 The Criterion Collection”

71Gc4Yf76gL._SL1500_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.

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THE BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: Gappa the Triphibian Monster (1967)

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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.

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THE BASEMENT BOOKSHELF: “Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of the Monsters”

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I cannot remember a time when I was not a Godzilla fan. I have vivid memories from a very early age watching Godzilla movies every weekend on the local UHF stations and enjoying week-long marathons during school vacation weeks. To this day I still love these films, not only for the nostalgic aspect of them but also because they are just very creative and fun movies to watch.

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THE BASEMENT TOY BOX: Mattel’s Rodan

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Growing up in the 70’s was such a fun time. I would look forward to every Saturday, not only for the Saturday morning cartoons but also for the Creature Double Feature that was on every afternoon at 1. Though this was on a UHF station (WLVI 56 out of Boston) and drawing it in was often a problem, I would still watch it week after week regardless of how snowy the picture was. I cannot describe my excitement when in 1979 a commercial came on during the Saturday morning cartoons for a new toy coming out by Mattel. It was a toy to go with their Shogun Warriors line featuring one of my all time favorite monsters, Rodan!

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FILM BOOK OF FEAR: The Thing From Another World! (1951)

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If you grew up in the 1950’s then you were a first-hand witness to probably the greatest decade of monster movies ever produced. It was during this ten-year period that so many classics were made. This is the decade that introduced us to Godzilla (1954), Rodan (1956), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), the reinvention of the classic Universal Monster movies, this time in color, by Hammer Studios and of course countless alien invasion films, many of which to this day are some of the best ever made. The subject of this review is one that has stood the test of time (67 years and counting at the time I am writing this) and remains one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made.

 

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