Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Angillas, there's something funny going on around here...

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              We're kicking off a month of reviews of films that take the path less trampled, of course, I'm talking about the realm of the Japanese Kaiju movie, of which there happen to be several sub-genres to choose from, like kaiju eiga, kaijin, and daikaiju, translated roughly as monster movies, humanoid monsters, and giant monsters, respectively. I set out to focus on the latter, most recognizable category of giant monsters, as handled by studios like Toho and Daiei with their long running Godzilla and Gamera franchises, though I'm not ruling out any movies that fall solely into the former two categories. Why pigeonhole yerself, sez I. Regardless,  eager woprophiles can expect to see lots of intricate miniatures being tail-swiped and stomped over in slow motion by Japanese gents in rubber suits, stock footage of panicked citizens evacuating cities, ineffective military units being melted by hateful kaiju death-breath, self-aware Ultra-esque robots tag teaming with giant radioactive lizards to square off against giant beetles and space bird-cyborgs with belly buttons like a table saw, and much more all June long.

              My love for such movies dates back to the Little Wop days of yesteryear, when it wasn't uncommon for my old man to pile us into his '67 Chevy Impala on the weekend and drive us to one of the plethora of  area drive-in theaters that once proliferated this valley in the early to mid-1970s, for a drive-in double bill of destruction that usually featured a Godzilla movie or one of the Sinbad series that featured the legendary stop motion animation creature effects of wizard Ray Harryhausen. As you could imagine, I wouldn't trade my memories growing up for a canister of G-cells or the keys to my own Maser tank. Anyway, we haven't covered too many of these movies to date, so we've got a long list to choose from this month. I think we'll kick off the festivities with a little Daiei number you might find interesting. Remember, Jet Jaguar always has right of way.  Let's make it!

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A retro- Kaiju (14) eye view from the top of Big Wop. You ants... look just like ants down there. Skreeeeeooonkk!!!

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