Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Having grown weary of going out and getting drunk at New Years Eve parties many years ago I now celebrate the passing of each year into next by watching Godzilla movies. I'll polish off a pint of Jack Daniels as I usually do while watching my favorite monster in action. Happy new year to all my friends at Monsterland Forums and Kaiju Galaxy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

ZOMBIE DAWN-low budget horror coming in 2012

I've always marveled at what movie producers and directors can do on a low budget. $2000 seems like a meager sum for making a movie but Christian Toledo and Lucio Rojas have done just that with Zombie Dawn, previously titled "Blind Death", a Spanish language zombie horror film made in Chile this year. Look for its release in 2012 by Eagle One Media. Check out the trailer below which includes English subtitles:

To access the official website for this film click the link:

"FINDING BIGFOOT" - new episodes

Friday, December 23, 2011

TREEVENGE(2008) - short horror film

...I knew there was a reason I switched to using an artificial Christmas tree many years ago.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monsterland Forums

The year is fast winding down and with it the fifth year on the web of my message board, MONSTERLAND FORUMS. Check out what I feel is one of the best horror/sci-fi & kaiju themed message boards on the internet by clicking the below image or link:
Monsterland Forums

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You axed for it: BUNYAN(2012) trailer

There are a lot of movies I'm looking forward to watching on DVD next year in 2012. Many of them are anticipated summer blockbusters. There are always more obscure, lesser known indie films that catch my eye as well and Bunyan, directed by Gary Jones is one of them. This movie, a dark and violent take on the "Paul Bunyan" character and which features former "Grizzly Adams" TV series star Dan Haggerty, is currently in post production and should be completely finished by the spring of 2012 for what will hopefully(and presumably) be a straight-to-video DVD release. Check out the just released official trailer for this film below:

For more info on this movie go to the official website for this film:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Internet forum spotlight: HYBRID NATION

I don't post at many internet message boards anymore. I don't have the time. Still, besides my own board, Kaiju Galaxy, CHFB and TAF, I do like to participate in a relatively young, growing message board called Hybrid Nation. Check out this great online discussion board by clicking the below image or the title of this blog entry:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Classic Horror Film Board Forums

One of my favorite internet message boards and one I highly recommend for movie fans of ANY genre is the CHFB or Classic Horror Film Board. This board has been on the web for a quite some time and has some great forums for horror and science fiction films. Check out this great board by clicking the below link or the title of this blog entry.

Classic Horror Film Board Forums

[REC] 3 (2012) trailer (English subtitled)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two if by sea: GODZILLA VS MEGALON(1973)

What with the impending R1 DVD release of Godzilla Vs Megalon by Mediablasters(Tokyo Shock) I thought I'd revisit this 1973 Toho kaiju film again. Godzilla Vs Megalon is the most widely viewed Godzilla film on the planet: it has been released ad nauseam in the past as various VHS tapes and cheapie DVDs(Alpha Video comes to mind here). Most of these releases do the film no favor at all and look grainy, not to mention to the severe run time editing that turns this film into a feature barely over sixty minutes long. Back in 1977 NBC did exactly that turning this movie into an hour long broadcast hosted by comedian John Belushi, who used his talents at satire and physical comedy to lampoon the film, the (late) Belushi even donning a Godzilla costume during the broadcast.

I have seen the original Toho version of Godzilla Vs Megalon, the original version in a widescreen 2:35.1 aspect ratio and uncut. Madman Entertainment(out of Australia) has offered this movie on Region 4 DVD for some years now, the letterboxed and uncut Toho version. Internet vendors have also offered burns of the Region 2 Toho DVD with attached English subtitles(a "bootleg" Region 0 DVD-R) for some time as well but Godzilla fans have been waiting for a long time for someone to release this movie on quality Region 1 DVD, hence the excitement and anticipation when Mediablasters announced earlier this year that they were going to release Godzilla Vs Megalon(and "Detroy All Monsters") on Region 1 DVD, this release including the original uncut and widescreen Toho version.

Godzilla Ve Megalon has been routinely blasted by both casual and hard core fans of the giant monster movie genre. I sympathize with detractors of this 1973 movie: it's loaded with stock footage and there is an abysmally low amount of high speed filming used to render the movements of the monsters(and Jet Jaguar) slower and more realistic looking. The generally unpopular "quacking" Godzilla theme music also is used for the first time here. Still, I believe this movie is unfairly slammed. Godzilla Vs Megalon is directed by Jun Fukuda, produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka and was originally released to theaters in Japan back in March, 1973.

I am not now, nor will I ever in the future, try to convince anyone that this movie is a terrific Godzilla film because I don't think it is. Still, over the years this movie has grown on me and I now watch my Region 4 DVD of this movie every year.

DVD cover art for the R1 Mediablasters DVD release

The film's story: a subterranean race called the "Seatopians", fed up with mankind's atomic bomb testing and the adverse effects on their civilization these explosive devices are having, decide to open up a can of whoop ass on humanity. To effect their hostilities on human-kind the Seatopians dispatch a huge, beetle like, winged monster named Megalon to wage a rampage of destruction on Earth's surface. The Seatopians, despite their superior technology, cannot effectively navigate their insect-like monster on the Earth's surface and consequently send agents to abduct a special robot, named Jet Jaguar, from an inventor named "Goro Ibuki". Ibuki, understandably opposed to losing his prized robot, fights back, aided by his friend "Jinko"(Jinkawa) and his kid brother "Rakuro". The trio regain control of Jet Jaguar from the Seatopian agents, and Jet Jaguar flies to Monster Island to ask Godzilla for help in dealing with Megalon. Jet Jaguar returns and, morphing into a 50 meter tall giant, battles Megalon. The Seatopians secure the services of the space monster Gigan: together with Megalon the two monsters quickly overwhelm Jet Jaguar. Just when Jet Jaguar appears to be done in by the two monsters Godzilla arrives to help "JJ"...(no other spoilers)

Observations, some good and some not so good:

Thumbs up:

-the rendering of Jet Jaguar in the film. I've seen this robot described as "an Ultraman rip off". Perhaps. I still like the design overall and the dash of color in JJ's design.

-many special effects shots in this film are marvelous, including the "dam" scene, the sequence where Megalon destroys the bridge, blasting the structure apart with its drill like appendage, and the lake draining out(near the beginning of the film)

-the pyrotechnic effects are quite good, no surprise here with Teruyoshi Nakano handling the SPFX for this movie: the movie's opening sequence starts off with a bang, literally, as there are lots of explosions and other various blasts leading into the movie's opening title credits. These explosion effects do not IMO make up for other effects shortcomings in this film but they do make it, at least for me, somewhat easier to overlook while watching this movie.

-the fight scenes and car chase scene: both added a nice bit of human action to the film, despite my disdain for the choreography of the fights, which I thought were sub par, limited to sloppy hand strikes and basic scuffling

-the rendering of Megalon: I liked the monster's overall appearance and it's beam firing horn, and exploding rocks launched from its mandibles.

Thumbs down:

-the "Seatopian" attire worn by "Emperor Antonio"(played by Robert Dunham), which looked like something out of the Broadway play for I Claudius.

-the stock footage is abundant in this film and used to horrendous excess

-the movements of Megalon during the scenes where the monster leaps. The creature's movements during the "leaping" sequences appear sloppy and awkward

-the ineptitude of the Seatopians in this film. This race possessed superior technology, as was boasted by one of their agents to "Jinko", yet their plans were completely thwarted by an inventor, his friend, a young boy and a resourceful robot, neither of these characters apparently needing much of any help from the JSDF

-the often lack of high speed filming in the kaiju battles

Godzilla Vs Megalon(1973), as I previously mentioned, has seen a wide variety of releases on VHS. In 1976 this film was released by Cinemashares to American theaters in English dubbed language. The television broadcast on NBC in 1977 of this movie is laughable, the broadcast hosted by a Godzilla suited, up and coming comedian named John Belushi, the movie butchered down to an hour run time.

Reading about this movie I was interested to discover that Godzilla Vs Megalon has no major female character in it, the only Godzilla movie lacking a female lead of some kind. The movie itself was originally planned as a "Jet Jaguar Vs Megalon" feature but Toho eventually decided that Jet Jaguar wouldn't be able to carry the movie theatrically, so a new screenplay was hastily written to include Godzilla and Gigan. The movie, subsequent to this change, was filmed in all of three weeks!

Anyone who has not seen Godzilla Vs Megalon should watch this movie uncut, in its original widescreen(2:35.1) aspect ratio and in its original language(with English subtitles if possible).

Godzilla Vs Megalon(1973) is available on official Region 2/NTSC format DVD(no English subtitles) and on Region 4/PAL format DVD, the latter from Australia's "Madman Entertainment" website.

There has been a delay in the Region 1 DVD release of this film by Mediablasters: it was originally scheduled to be available at retailers on November 29th, 2011 but word now is the delay may push back the DVD release until late December, 2011 or sometime in January, 2012. The Mediablasters DVD is available for pre-order at Amazon, the site listing the official release date as December 18, 2011. To see the R1 Mediablasters DVD for sale at Amazon click the title of this blog entry or click this link: Godzilla Vs Megalon R1 DVD

The Toho trailer:

Internet forum spotlight: SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY WORLD

A member of my internet message board Monsterland Forums named "Jae", who is a huge fan of all things science fiction(sci-fi), has started up his own internet message board. This board is called Science Fiction And Fantasy World. Check it out by clicking the signature image below or this link: Jae's new board

You can also access Jae's sci-fi message board by clicking the title of this blog entry.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monster Island News: Ishiro Honda Family Suing For Godzilla Copyright

Monster Island News: Ishiro Honda Family Suing For Godzilla Copyright: by Armand Vaquer Above, yours truly with Toho's (or is it Honda's?) copyrighted Godzilla character. It has been reported that the family ...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grounded for life: PHANTOMS(1998)

What with all the sci-fi and horror movies that feature hostile aliens from space and sea monsters it's always a nice change of pace when I watch a creature feature film about something downright dangerous that lives right under my feet, deep underground. Such is the creature in the book Phantoms, penned by Dean Koontz. In January of 1998 a film was released based on this book, also called Phantoms, directed by Joe Chappelle. I consider the book marvelous. The film? Not so much but it's decent enough. It could have been a lot better but even now I still like to put the DVD of this movie in my DVD player every year or so and watch this movie.

In the film the entire population of Snowfield, Colorado, over four thousand people, has vanished and those remaining are discovered dead by two women, the corpses mottled looking. The two women who discover the corpses, a doctor and her younger sister, are soon joined by a local sheriff and his pair of deputies, the group wandering about the empty town, trying to figure out where everyone is. In the meantime a mysterious, unseen force stalks the group and thwarts every attempt the group makes to exit the eerily quiet, seemingly deserted town.

Eventually a local team of military personnel descend on the town along with an expert in the phenomena of "mass disappearances", tasked with finding out why over four thousand people have vanished. What they discover is an ancient, intelligent, malevolent and ectoplasmic creature, a shape shifting monster responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. This creature has apparently existed for millions of years in the deepest recesses of the Earth and makes periodic forays to the Earth's feed. (no other spoilers)

Dog gone: this creature infected canine is just one of the many creepy characters from the film PHANTOMS

This movie is sufficiently creepy, much of the suspense and sense of dread in the movie left to the imagination of the viewer during the initial half hour of the movie. There is an effective, well paced buildup of tension including some scenes of shock and gore. The final reveal of the creature's appearance is kind of a disappointment but I like the fact the monster is, in both the book and film, a highly intelligent creature that is not only malevolent in nature but also very sadistic.

The film stars Peter O'Toole, Ben Affleck, Joanna Going, Liev Schrieber and Rose McGowan. Directed by Joe Chappelle based on a screenplay written by Dean Koontz. I own the Dimension Films DVD(1998), the movie presented in a 1:85.1 widescreen aspect ratio. To see this DVD for sale at Amazon click the DVD cover art above or click the title of this blog entry.

The films' trailer: