Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

The year 2009 certainly has come and gone fairly quickly. As I get older each year seems to go by a little faster. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year holiday and best wishes for the year 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Godzilla and friends!

Think Santa Claus will be delivering presents to kids all the over the world tonight? Absolutely! What you may not know about ole Saint Nick is that he once starred in his very own action/sci-fi film, defeating a group of would be invader Martians! The movie is called Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. See it by clicking the video below.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kaiju Galaxy: Five Years On The Web!

I'd like to offer a belated congratulations to Donny Winter, the site founder of Kaiju Galaxy, a message board community that Donny first started back in November, 2004. The board has over 430 members and has just surpassed 103,000 posts. The board contains some of the best kaiju fan fiction submissions and other creative writing submissions I've seen on the internet. If you like talking about giant monsters then check out Donny's board called Kaiju Galaxy. The board URL:

You can also access Donny's fabulous online community by clicking the title of this blog entry.

Donny's board also has a "parent" site, some web pages with even more info and features. The board URL for this site:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bat Out Of Hell: Gamera Vs Gyaos(1967)

I'm a huge fan of the classic Gamera films which were made by the Daiei Motion Picture Company back in the 60's. My favorite among these older Gamera movies is called Gamera Vs Gyaos, first released to theaters in Japan back in March of 1967. This movie, directed by Noriaki Yuasa and produced by Hidemasa Nagata, pits Gamera, a 200 foot tall fire breathing and flying turtle, against a giant and malevolent, people eating and winged monster called "Gyaos". Gyaos resembles an enormous bat that can emit a powerful sonic beam capable of cutting buildings in half. The winged monster antagonist has blood red eyes and a creepy roar: there is in fact a decided "horror" undercurrent to this movie due in large part to the film's score.

The Daiei Region 2 DVD of Gamera Vs Gyaos(1967), which presents the film in it's original (widescreen) 2:35.1 aspect ratio, has become hard to find on the internet. The film was released by AIP in the U.S. under the title "Return Of The Giant Monsters" and has been released twice on DVD under its Americanized title:

-by Image Entertainment in June, 2004 as a full screen(1:33.1 aspect ratio), Region 1(NTSC) release and paired with Toei's 1966 fantasy-kaiju epic The Magic Serpent

-by St. Clair Entertainment in March, 2005 in full screen, all region(NTSC) as part of a nine(9) film DVD set.

To see the Image Entertainment R1 DVD release of Gamera Vs Gyaos(1967)/The Magic Serpent(1966) and the 2005 St. Clair Entertainment Group nine movie DVD set release click on the above DVD cover art images.

The original Daiei trailer for Gamera Vs Gyaos(1967):

Friday, December 11, 2009

Red Menace: The War Of The Worlds(1953)

I was greatly saddened to see the news posted this morning at that long time TV and movie actor Gene Barry had passed away. The 90 year old actor died at a rest home in the Los Angeles(CA) suburb of Woodland Hills. I've always had the greatest respect for this handsome and charismatic actor. I haven't always followed the late actor's TV career but I will always cherish his performance as scientist "Dr. Clayton Forrester" in the classic science fiction film The War Of The Worlds(1953). This film has stood the test of time very well and features great visual effects(for the time) by George Pal. More than anything, this movie is a great and epic story that is character driven and also serves as a reminder that perhaps we aren't alone in the universe...

In the movie Earth is invaded by Martians, who use devastating and seemingly indestructible machines to lay waste to cities. A group of scientists, led by "Dr. Clayton Forrester", frantically try to find a weakness of some kind in the marauding Martian machines, all while the military's efforts to stop the machines fail utterly. (no other spoilers)

Image Hosted by
Gene Barry (1919-2009)

This film has been released on Region 1 "Special Edition" DVD and can be seen for sale at Amazon by clicking the DVD cover art image above.

The trailer for the film:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vegetable Matter: Matango(1963)

As a dedicated fan or horror films I spend considerable free time watching "Hammer" horror films and a great deal of horror movies from the 80's on DVD, raiding my DVD racks for "A Nightmare On Elm Street" and "Friday The 13th" films. Toho, which owns the rights to Godzilla, has made a lot of quality horror films as well. One of my favorites is Matango, originally released to Japanese theaters back in 1963, the film directed by Inoshiro Honda, produced by Tomuyuki Tanaka and based on a story called "The Voice In The Night" which was penned by William Hodgson.

The film's story: a group of affluent people aboard a yacht find themselves in harms way after their yacht is damaged during a storm at sea. The yacht runs aground on an island. The survivors of the ship wrecked yacht wade ashore and a short time later discover a rotting, seemingly abandoned derelict ship that is beached close by. An inspection of the derelict, mold covered and dilapidated vessel doesn't reveal much but left over documents on board the abandoned ship suggest some kind of scientific research was being conducted. A night time visit to the derelict vessel by an unknown intruder creates, along with the fog shrouded island and the rising tensions between the group members, an atmosphere of terror and suspense among the human cast of characters.

The group of survivors, when not making tentative forays farther into the island interior, subsist on canned food for a time: after their canned fare runs out they decide to try and find other food sources on the mysterious island. It quickly becomes apparent the island is teeming with mushrooms. Despite being warned by the yacht's captain not to consume them, the other survivors eat the mushrooms anyway, which sets in motion a series of events that may very well kill them all...(no other spoilers)

This moody, atmospheric and creepy horror movie was released to quality Region 1 DVD in March, 2005 by Mediablasters under their "Tokyo Shock" label. The DVD release presents the film in its original 2:35.1 aspect ratio and includes audio options and some great extras, including an audio commentary by cast member and veteran Toho actor Akira Kubo and some production stills.

The film was dubbed in English in 1965 by AIP(American International Pictures) and released as a TV movie with the title Attack Of The Mushroom People. There are a lot of bootlegged VHS tapes and DVD-Rs of the Americanized version around, both on the internet and in bargain bin video stores.

To see the Mediablasters R1 DVD for sale at Amazon click on the above DVD cover art image or click the title of this blog entry.

The Toho trailer for Matango(1963):