Monday, December 27, 2010

Teena Marie, 1956-2010

I was greatly saddened to see the news that R & B singer Teena Marie had passed away at age 54. She died on Sunday(12/26) at her Pasadena(CA) home. I've always been a fan of "Lady T" and her remarkable voice, a voice that was powerful, soulful and melodic all at once. Here's my favorite song by her, called If I Were A Bell:

May this beautiful woman rest in peace.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Godzilla

Monsterland Forums in 2010

Monsterland Forums, my internet message board, will be celebrating it's fifth "birthday" on January 29, 2011. I started up this message board on a used laptop computer back on January 29, 2006. I didn't know much of what I was doing. This board started out as an "Invisionfree" hosted site and made the changeover to "Zetaboards" two years ago in 2008. 2006 and 2007 were slow years for Monsterland Forums but 2008 and 2009 were both much better in terms of posting activity with the board generating well over 30,000 posts for each of these years. 2010 has seen a decline in posting activity while the board has continued to accumulate new member registrations: we have 39 new members in 2010.

The board itself has many secondary web page links by which members can view movie trailers(sci and horror, both classic, recent releases and upcoming films) and an "affiliates" web page. We also feature eight(8) custom themes(skins) with matching forum banners, a far cry from the early days when I used one theme(skin) and an animated banner I made myself and looked, well like crap. I also work to maintain a "calendar" of important sci-fi/horror updates on the main board as well(as clickable links).

I don't anticipate many changes for Monsterland Forums in 2011. I am going to try and work at improving the posting activity in slow(er) forums and also seek some feedback from Zetaboards over what I can to improve the overall appeal of the board itself. 

Anyone wanting to give Monsterland Forums a look can do by clicking the title of this blog.

The Legend of Hell House (1973) Trailer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kaiju Galaxy is six years old!

Kaiju Galaxy is six years old today! This internet message board, started by Donny Winter back on November 16, 2004 celebrates its sixth anniversary. This kaiju themed board is a marvelous site for viewing kaiju and other themed fan art and fan fiction(short stories). To see Donny Winter's Kaiju Galaxy board click the link:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

...All The Marbles(1981)

Usually I post a blog entry about a DVD I already own. In this case I'm going to blurb a little about a DVD-R I'm getting ready to buy, an "on demand" release and older film that seemed for the longest time to be destined for VHS release only. I'm referring to ...All The Marbles, an action comedy film produced by MGM and directed by Robert Aldrich(it would be his last movie in the director's chair). The movie chronicles the efforts of a wisecracking manager named Harry Sears(played by Peter Falk) and his two sexy female wrestlers, Iris and Molly(played by Vicki Frederick and Laurene Landon, respectively) to gain a championship tag team match in Las Vegas, NV with the champion "Toledo Tigers", a pair of rough and tough black women(played by Tracy Reed and Ursaline Bryant-King) who are in no hurry to lose their tag team championship belts. Harry Sears and his two beautiful wrestlers Iris and Molly travel from one venue to another, mostly small arenas and local auditoriums and for pedestrian paydays. The two women even managed to get talked into a mud wrestling match at a Youngstown(OH) amusement park show. Eventually the grind pays off and Harry's "California Dolls" get their championship with the "Toledo Tigers". (no other spoilers)

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I use to own the VHS tape of this film and was delighted to see that Warner Brothers has decided to offer ...All The Marbles(1981) as an "on demand" DVD-R release. Basically, you order the disc and WB burns it, then ships it to you. I've seen a brief clip illustrating the video quality of this DVD-R release and it looks very good. The DVD-R can be ordered direct by clicking this link:,default,pd.html?cgid=ZARCHIVEALL

The trailer for ...All The Marbles(1981):

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Godzilla!

It's hard to believe that Godzilla is fifty six years old today. Back on November 3, 1954 theatrical audiences in Japan were introduced to the giant monster in Gojira, produced by Toho and directed by Inoshiro Honda. This film proved wildly successful at the box office and spawned a sequel that hit theaters only six months later. More than that, Gojira has stood the test of time quite well as does the movie's "star", Godzilla himself. The monster has appeared in follow up films in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and even beyond 2000, his last appearance in the 50th anniversary film called Godzilla Final Wars(2004). Godzilla has appeared in scores of TV commercials, both in Japan and abroad and has a fan following that spans the globe. Godzilla and the first "Godzilla" film are one of the great passions I've enjoyed in life. It's one of the primary reasons I started my Monsterland Forums internet message board. I am also a dedicated collector of Godzilla merchandise as well.

Recently Legendary Pictures announced plans to make a Godzilla motion picture and every indication thus far is this movie will respect Toho's iconic monster. Here's hoping we continue to see Godzilla in films for another fifty years!
The trailer for the very first Godzilla film, Gojira:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Color me bad: Rebirth Of Mothra 2(1997)

So I decided, and totally at random, to sit down tonight and watch Rebirth Of Mothra 2, the second Heisei Mothra film originally released to theaters in Japan back in late 1997. Like its predecessor "Rebirth Of Mothra" this second installment is a vibrantly colorful film with special effects that, directed by Koichi Kawakita, are quite good at times. I didn't like the score as much as I did for the '96 ROM film but this score is suitable. The second installment also features children prominently in the storyline as we are introduced to a new enemy monster(Dagarah), an aquatic beast capable of polluting the entire planet with toxic, starfish shaped creatures called "barem". Of course it's up to the fairies(the good fairies that is) and Mothra to stop the monster. Unlike the '96 ROM movie there are a few sequences of city destruction. Some observations of this film, some positive and some negative:

What I liked:

1. the rendering of Dagarah: the aquatic monster is well designed and, generally reptilian in appearance, also possesses a menacing, guttural roar which has an almost bear-like quality to it.

2. the battles between Mothra and Dagarah: I believe there's overuse of beams(both kaiju employ a variety of them on each other) but there's also some limited physical battling as well. I also liked the manner in which Mothra attacked Dagarah under water in the final battle(no spoilers)

3. the skirmishes between Moll/Lora and Belvera: rather than find these sequences a distraction I actually believe the conflict between evil Belvera and her good sisters Moll and Lora adds a little tension to the film's story

4. the overall special effects: short of some shaky matte shots and water tank shots that looked too much like a water tank the overall effects are fairly decent. I spotted overhead wires only once while watching the DVD of this movie.

5. the scenes of city destruction were a welcome addition. These were absent from the '96 film where only acres of forest were incinerated(and one dam destroyed) as the monsters battled it out. The JSDF was curiously absent from Dagarah's landfall and brief rampage inland...which was probably a cost cutting measure by Toho.

What I didn't like:

1. the inclusion of the two bumbling thieves in the film's storyline. The trio of children were quite enough for me to tolerate watching this movie without having to also stomach the shenanigans of the pair of cowardly, nefarious buffoons who attempt to repeatedly steal the water spirit creature "Gogo" from the kids.

2. the rendering of the water spirit "Gogo": I wasn't expecting to see much here but I was expecting more than a furry, animatronic creature with no mouth and feet resembling those of a chicken. In the English dubbed version of this film the creature is referred to as "Gorgo", also something I'm not enamored with seeing that this is also the name of a giant monster in a 1961 King Brothers produced film.

2. the interior of the resurrected temple, which has risen up from the depths. The inside of this gigantic temple looked like the inside of a five star hotel with shiny floors and walls...odd considering it has been, according to the film's storyline, submerged for thousands of years.

Overall, well worth a DVD investment. I need to buy the Region 2 DVD(from Yesasia) of this movie. I'll likely do that in early 2011 or whenever money starts growing on trees...whichever is sooner.

The film's original trailer(in Japanese language only):

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coming loose at the seams: Prophecies Of Nostradamus(1974) aka "The Last Days Of Planet Earth"

Yesterday I retrieved a DVD-R off one of my DVD racks, a Toho produced disaster film called Prophecies Of Nostradamus(1974), also known by its American title as The Last Days Of Planet Earth. My DVD-R is the UPA, English dubbed version in full screen(1:33.1). I could swear that I've seen this relatively obscure Toho made disaster movie make the rounds on AMC(as the UPA version) but obviously not recently. I bought a DVD-R of this movie about six years ago. It has a haunting score and includes some marvelous special effects work by Teruyoshi Nakano, including giant bats and slugs, irradiated humanoid mutants, weird atmospheric disturbances and plenty of explosions. The movie is dreary in tone, as I would imagine it should be. The acting is serviceable though I believe Tetsuro Tamba's performance stands out. Any fan of Toho sci-fi and sci-fi in general should try and get their hands on this film(by VHS or DVD-R) as it's absolutely worth a look!

Here's a trailer I found on YouTube:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The creatures walk among us: Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: All Out Monsters Attack(2001) re-visited

I recently decided to re-watch all the Godzilla films that have been made thus far. This evening I sat down and watched Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: All Out Monsters Attack(2001), a movie originally released theatrically in Japan back in December, 2001 and directed by Shusuke Kaneko, who also directed the trilogy of "Gamera" films released between 1995-1999.

This movie is easily my favorite of the "Millennium" Godzilla films, that is those made between 1999 and 2004. As always I submit these observations, some made previously and perhaps some that haven't, for the inspection(and dissection) of the members of this online community -

What I liked:

-Chiharu Niiyama, who played BS Digital Q reporter "Yuri Tachibana". She took a lot of chances in this film in her pursuit(often literally) to cover Godzilla's rampage and the monster's subsequent battles with the guardian monsters. She's brave to the point of insanity and is IMO perhaps the most beautiful Japanese actress I've ever seen not named Yumiko Shaku

-Commander Tachibana, Yuri's father: a tough, no-nonsense type who shows phenomenal bravery near the end of the film in using the mini-sub to try and stop Godzilla

-the special effects and overall pyrotechnic effects in GMK are marvelous. They aren't perfect: some matte shots and CGI look a little too much like, well matte shots and CGI but are minor quibbles for me. The effects used during the monster battles and the destruction caused by the monsters look terrific overall

-Godzilla's appearance: with bulky legs, a thick neck, jaws full of sharp teeth and milky white, pupil-less eyes, Godzilla's look in this movie suits his role as lumbering, malevolent and unstoppable juggernaut quite effectively

-there were several one liners in the English subtitled version of the film I thought were amusing, particularly one from a soldier on the ground who, first observing Mothra flying overhead remarks, "That's one hell of a bug!"

-the black irony and humor in this film: the sequence where the man, relieving himself at the urinal, opens the nearby window to discover he's about to be trampled by Godzilla. In the other scene the injured woman in the hospital who believes she has dodged death again at the hands of the monster...only to be proven wrong a moment later.

-a movie such as this always needs IMO at least one scene of comic relief and we get it courtesy of the police officer who, seeing Baragon out of the ground for the first time by the police station, and believing his revolver might somehow scare the monster back below the ground, opens fire with his pea shooter at the huge creature

-Baragon: though I didn't care much for the monster's new roar, I did like the look of the creature and give it credit for attacking Godzilla in earnest despite the fact it was about half the size of Godzilla...and possessed no special weapon of any kind(beam or otherwise)

What I didn't like:

-the sequence(s) where Yuri Tachibana tracks Godzilla's movements while on a bicycle. I doubt even Lance Armstrong could keep up with the movements of the monster by bike and being asked to believe that a female reporter could do likewise is IMO assinine

-the young hoodlum on the motorcycle who decides to take it upon himself to drown the dog near the beginning of the movie. Thankfully the dog survived

-the absence of Baragon from the final battle: I still would have liked seeing all the guardian monsters in an all out battle against Godzilla

It remains my supreme hope that when Toho decides to do another Godzilla film Shusuke Kaneko is in the director's chair.

A short trailer for the film:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Monsterland Forums -steady as she goes

Monsterland Forums continues to gain new members and the posting activity at the site, despite a drop off from 2008 and 2009, remains on pace to exceed 22,000 posts for this year. I have taken a "less is more" approach with my message board this year and have spent a lot less time advertising it around the internet. My job requires me to work many more hours so I cannot put in the time I have previously posting updates and such. I would like to thank "Avery Guerra" for continuing to post updates from Ken Hulsey's "Monster Island News" blog and also the "Undead Backbrain" blog at my board: these are both great blogs filled with lots of great info on upcoming horror and sci-fi films, both domestic and international.

Monsterland Forums should reach 100,000 posts by this fall. We have 218 members in our online community thus far and that number is growing with every month. To access my message board click the title of this blog entry!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Godzilla salute home made video

I came across this four minute salute to Godzilla video made by a young fan of Toho's legendary monster.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stomping ground: Abominable(2005)

There are many poorly made "Sasquatch" films that litter the cinematic landscape. Abominable, a 2005 horror film directed by Ryan Schifrin(son of famed movie composer Lalo Schifrin), isn't one of them.

The film features some solid acting, an interesting story line that borrows from Alfred Hitchcock's film "Rear Window" and all the shocks, gore and monster mayhem that we horror movie fans have come to expect(and appreciate).

Anchor Bay released this film to DVD in 2006. The DVD is packaged nicely and has some cool extras and features. Check out the trailer:

Monday, May 31, 2010

That's A Wrap: The Mummy(1959)

One of my great failings over the years as a fan of horror movies has been a lack of appreciation for films that feature mummies. Admittedly it has taken me a lot longer to warm up to them as opposed to werewolves, Dr. Frankenstein's various laboratory monstrosities, the "Gill Man" and other cinema terrors, both human and inhuman.

My favorite "mummy" film to date is The Mummy(1959), a Hammer Films production starring Christopher Lee in the title role. Lee has no speaking part and wanders about while carrying out a methodical, murderous rampage against the unfortunate victims of this movie. Despite no spoken word Christopher Lee is marvelous as the menacing mummy and is terrific at conveying the mummy's intentions through body language and posture.

The film's trailer:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Godzilla(1998) - A Revisit

I sat down today and, as I do each year, watched [i]Godzilla[/i], a film produced by Dean Devlin, directed by Roland Emmerich and making its original theatrical debut back on May 20, 1998. Like other films I watch I have, over frequent viewings, tried to re-examine this movie from the inside out, paying close(r) attention to particular scenes and the human cast of characters. Many of the following observations from me regarding this film have been mentioned before...and perhaps some haven't.

Let me say before beginning that I like this film as a giant monster action movie: it has some humor, occasionally decent special effects, at least one interesting human character and what I consider to be an above average quality soundtrack. I DO NOT really consider this movie to be inclusive with the entire canon of Toho Godzilla movies sine the creature's appearance is so different from Toho's various Godzilla incarnations.

Thumbs up:

1. the character of Nick Tatopolous, played very decently IMO by Matthew Broderick. Tatopolous manages to keeps his wits and calm, steady demeanor despite repeated mispronunciations of his name, the general chaos around him among the others, both military and civilian, who are tasked with dealing with the monster's landfall and repeated rampages in New York City and what is no doubt an emotional reunion with his former college sweetheart Audrey Timmonds(played by Maria Pitillo)

2.French agent Philippe Roache(played by Jean Reno): wry witted, gruff and a man clearly motivated to serve his home country(France), the latter something I can absolutely respect.

3. Victor "Animal Palotti(played by Hank Azaria), a quasi goofball photographer with some serious guts, as evidenced by his pursuit of Godzilla, all to capture the monster on film, as the creature makes its first landfall in NYC

4. various effects shots which I thought were cool including:

-Godzilla's underwater surge towards the old man at the small dock

-the pyrotechnics effects looked good when Madison Square Garden was obliterated by the jet launched laser guided bombs(I also liked the effects when the Chrysler building was hit by the rockets)

-the sequence where the crew members on the Japanese cannery ship are blown backwards into the pilothouse bulkhead by the tail of Godzilla(the remainder of the monster unseen in this shot)

-the three trawlers that are pulled completely under by the creature(still unseen at this point)

5. the various points of humor in the movie courtesy of some often animated and testy exchanges between the human cast of characters, including:

-the NYC mayor(Mayor Ebert) vs his spineless, milquetoast assistant, especially over the mayor's candy

-the NYC mayor vs Colonel Hicks 

- Philiipe Roache's disdain for American coffee, in particular American French roast coffee 

Thumbs down:

1. most of the effects shots during Godzilla's engagement with the military, which looked more like a video game than live action movie

2. Sergeant O'Neal(played by Doug Savant), the often bumbling, but hard working enlisted man who was constantly on the receiving end of Colonel Hick's outbursts: I would have liked seeing O'Neill be a little more assertive overall

3. the scenes where Godzilla flees the military 

4. the scene where the old man and survivor of the Japanese cannery ship says "Gojira" when Roache flicks the cigarette lighter - I still don't think this scene belongs in the film at all

5. the asexual reproductive quality given to Godzilla

6. the changes to Godzilla's overall appearance IMO deviate way too much from Toho's Godzilla, a sign that Dean Devlin DID NOT understand what Godzilla was

I thought the ending was serviceable and at least afforded Sony the opportunity to make a sequel. I had hoped a sequel might show Godzilla further mutated(his appearance more monster like) and also show Godzilla fighting another monster...but obviously that didn't happen.

Even now, nearly twelve years later, I feel some disgust and disappointment about Godzilla(1998). Sony was given an opportunity to show Toho it could make a great Godzilla film and IMO it absolutely failed.

I'll keep watching this movie once a year. I might even buy a "GINO" kaiju toy later this year. One thing I will never do is consider this movie a real "Godzilla" film.

The film's official trailer:

To see the standard DVD of this film for sale at Amazon click the DVD covert art image above.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ice breaker: The Thing(1982)

One of my absolute favorite science fiction-horror movies has, over the decades, developed quite a fan following. I'm referring to The Thing, directed by John Carpenter and a re-imagining of the 1951 film called The Thing From Another World which was directed by Howard Hawks and based on a story called "Who Goes There?".

In John Carpenter's film a group of American scientists in present day Antarctica discover the burned remains of a dead Norwegian(from a neighboring science research station) and bring it back to their own facilities for closer inspection. They'll wish they hadn't. The remains are actually an alien which was burned in mid absorption of the Norwegian crew person. Seems the alien absorbs those around it whether it be a man or an animal. Soon nobody knows who is human...or who is the alien. A few members of the American research facility venture out and find the alien's spaceship but the discovery does nothing to improve their rapidly deteriorating situation.

The American science research station becomes a den of terror as the scientists battle the creature and each other, their dilemma punctuated by the great acting of cast members Kurt Russell, Richard Dysart, Keith David and Richard Masur. The special "creature" effects and other gore effects are marvelous. As science fiction-horror crossover films go The Thing is top notch!

The original theatrical trailer:

The film has been released on Blu-Ray and also on standard DVD as a "Collector's Edition" release. To see this(and the BD) click on the DVD cover art image above.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Size Does Matter: War Of The Colossal Beast(1958)

Despite my disdain for what AMC(American Movie Classics) has become over the past ten years, there is one feature at AMC's website I like: "BMC" online, or B movies online. Those of us with broadband internet can watch famous low budget films as streaming videos. One of my favorites at AMC's B-movie page is War Of The Colossal Beast, a direct sequel to the Bert I. Gordon directed "The Amazing Colossal Man(1957)". In the sequel(also directed by Bert I. Gordon) Glenn Manning, a former military officer turned sixty foot giant courtesy of radiation exposure from an A bomb blast, reappears, his face hideously disfigured from his catastrophic fall at the dam in the original 1957 film. "War Of The Colossal Beast" gave me the creeps when I first saw it as a kid. Hearing the disfigured giant Manning yowl and shriek is still unsettling to my ears when I watch this old campy classic. Watch War Of The Colossal Beast  below as a streaming video:

War Of The Colossal Beast(1958) has been released to official Region 1 DVD, paired with 1958's Earth vs The Spider. The DVD can purchased at Amazon. To see this DVD listed click the link:

Turner Classic Movies: A Cut Above

As a movie buff I watch DVDs quite a bit. I also like to watch movies on television as well and there is no better place to do that than by tuning in to Turner Classic Movies. This marvelous channel always broadcasts featured films uncut and in their original aspect ratio(either 1:33.1 academy standard or in widescreen e.g. 2:35.1, 1:85.1 or 1:66.1 ratios). TCM's movie library is impressive and films are always shown without any commercial interruption. To access TCM's website, which includes a lot of features, TCM's movie schedule and trailers, click the title of this blog entry or copy and paste the following link into your browser's nav bar:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Charles Pierce, R.I.P.

I was greatly saddened to see the news of the death of Charles Pierce today. He was 71 and passed away while residing in a Tennessee nursing home facility.

Pierce, a former used car salesman, borrowed $160,000 to produce and direct The Legend Of Boggy Creek(1972), a film that is part horror and part documentary and chronicles a legendary man-monster prowling the river bottoms of Fouke, Arkansas. Pierce employed many local citizens of Fouke(AR) in the production of this movie. I'll never forget the howl of the "Fouke monster" in this film, which I saw when it first aired in theaters back in 1972. I was a kid and this movie gave me the creeps! The Legend Of Boggy Creek would ultimately earn $25 million at the box office, an outstanding return on Pierce's investment and which would help him make other movies including The Town That Dreaded Sundown and a sequel "Boggy Creek" film called Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues(in 1985).

Here's the trailer for The Legend Of Boggy Creek: 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Sanctuary

As I do from time to time I'd like to promote a small(and growing) message board community created by a member of Monsterland Forums, my own message board. The site is called The Sanctuary. To access this small discussion message board click the title of this blog entry or paste the following URL into your browser's nav bar:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The hard shell: Gamera Guardian Of The Universe(1995)

My lifelong love of giant monster movies was renewed when I had the pleasure of first watching Gamera Guardian Of The Universe(1995), directed by Shusuke Kaneko. There are so many things that I like about this movie: the marvelous special effects, solid acting, brisk pace of the film and the elements of horror that creep into the movie's story line courtesy of the winged monsters called the "Gyaos". This film is, in my opinion, one of the greatest giant monster("Kaiju") films ever made. It was followed by two more films, in 1996 and 1999 that feature the giant turtle called "Gamera". ADV Films has released all three to Region 1 DVD.

The trailer for Gamera Guardian Of The Universe:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

In too deep: Crack In The World(1965)

Back in the day when AMC(American Movie Classics) showed films without commercial interruption one of my favorite AMC sci-fi movies was an underrated disaster movie originally released to theaters in 1965 called Crack In The World. To my knowledge there has been, regretfully, no official Region 1 DVD release of this movie. In the film a scientist(played by Dana Andrews) supervises efforts to harness the heat of the Earth's core by drilling into it, despite warnings from a colleague. An atomic bomb is detonated to access the planet's core with predictably disastrous results. The detonation causes a huge fracture in the Earth's mantle which spreads and threatens to literally split our planet in two (hence the movie's title). I have a DVD-R of Crack In The World and also found it at Video Google. Click the below image to watch this film as a streaming video.

The movie's trailer:

The X Factor: Xbotica Forums

As I like to do from time to time I'd like to give some props to a specific internet message board, in this case a graphics/video gaming site called Xbotica Forums, founded by a young fellow very talented at creating message board signatures and other graphics. His username is "Xstinct" and he has designed nearly all of the board banners used at my internet message board called Monsterland Forums. Good thing, too because I am flat out terrible at trying to make web graphics. Check out Xstinct's board at this URL:

You can also access this board by clicking the title of this blog entry. Xbotica Forums performs graphics on request (you have to register at this board before making the request) and I believe Xstinct's graphics are among the best I've ever seen.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Walking tall: The Mighty Peking Man(1977)

The 1976, Dino DeLaurentis "King Kong" film spawned a pair of copy cat films, one absolutely atrocious and one that is, well very decent I think. A*P*E(1976) is a laughably poor Korean film featuring a 36 foot tall primate and directed by Paul Leder. This movie has gained a considerable amount of notoriety, and not the good kind, because there's one sequence where the suit actor gives the cameraman "the finger". I have long considered this '76 Korean movie one of the worst kaiju(giant beast) films I've ever seen.

Much, much better I think is the Shaw Brothers produced The Mighty Peking Man(1977). The film stars HK action star Danny Lee and the lovely Evelyne Kraft and features a 100 foot tall ape like creature. The miniature effects are solid and at times look quite good. The suit rendering of the giant "Peking Man" is serviceable and Evelyne Kraft, a beautiful blonde, prances about the duration of the movie in a one piece thong. She's a sort of "jungle girl" in this film, discovered by Danny Lee's character, an adventurer searching for the mysterious "Peking Man". Like the "King Kong" film, the "Peking Man" is brought back to civilization(in this case Hong Kong) and put on display, in chains, for the local populace. The promoter who tries to profit from the giant creature is, predictably, a jackass who wastes little time trying to force himself on Evelyne Kraft's character. Bad career move. The giant ape like creature, enraged that his female friend is in danger, breaks free of his captivity and, after making mincemeat of the promoter, takes a destructive stroll through downtown Hong Kong which triggers the local military into action where they square off against the now angry giant. (no other spoilers)

To see the Region 1 DVD of this film click on the above DVD cover art image. 

The film's trailer:

"Journalism G2K" blog

One of the young members of my message board, Monsterland Forums, has been working diligently on his own Google blog. His name is Evan Brehany and his blogger is called Journalism G2K. Evan, a resident of Warner Robins, GA(about an hour south of Atlanta where I live), is a dedicated fan of Godzilla and Gamera. His blog site URL:

Check it out and "bookmark" it in your web browser!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Turn the page: Fahrenheit 451(1966)

Since first accessing the internet about four years ago I have found myself spending more time in front of my computer and less time doing what I used to do quite a bit in my free time: reading. There are books I've bought, and as recent as late 2009, that sit on my den bookshelves unread and gathering dust. I have seen some articles on the internet that touch on the decline in the number of active libraries. Some media experts have even gone so far as to suggest that there may come a day, in our future of ever changing, and constantly improving technology, when books may become obsolete and nothing more than nostalgic collector items, perhaps like the VHS tape, 8-track tape or VCR and audio cassette. Speaking for myself, I hope that day doesn't arrive in my lifetime. I cannot imagine a world without books. Author Ray Bradbury did. He wrote a book about it, published in 1951 and called "Fahrenheit 451". In this book Bradbury wrote of a dystopian society where books are banned. Those books discovered on a person, any person, are immediately burned. The "451" is a reference to the Fahrenheit temperature at which (book) paper ignites.

An interesting and thought provoking movie was eventually made, released theatrically in 1966. The film is called Fahrenheit 451, directed by French director Francois Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie and Anton Diffring.

In this film we meet Guy Montag(Oskar Werner), a fireman living in a sterilized society in which all books have been banned, books deemed by government to be a source of corrupting influence on society. Citizens are encouraged to be compliant and without emotion. The fire department is also tasked with searching out any persons in illegal possession of books: when these books are discovered by Montag and his fellow firefighters they are quickly and unceremoniously destroyed, incinerated by flame thrower. Montag is symbolic of the times: a deliberate, methodical and emotionally muted man who goes about his job without any ambition or afterthought...until he meets Clarisse(Julie Christie). Clarisse convinces Montag to actually read a book. He does and begins to question why books are banned. Problems arise for Montag when it is discovered he has been hiding books in his residence, which forces him to choose between his career as a fireman or a life with Clarisse and her underground group of friends who have defied the government's ban on books...(no other spoilers)

Fahrenheit 451 is an interesting study in contrasting characters: the stoic, methodical and compliant Guy Montag and his neighbor, the affable and extroverted Clarisse. Julie Christie actually plays both Montag's wife "Linda" and "Clarisse"(she wears her hair completely different for the respective roles). I also think this movie is effective at showing how and why people change, once they're presented with something that truly gives them pause.

There are two DVD releases of this film(Region 1), one release in 1998 and a second one in 2003. To see the 2003 DVD release for sale at Amazon click the DVD cover art image above or click on the title of this blog entry.

The trailer for Fahrenheit 451(1966):