Monday, July 28, 2008

Kaiju Sessions 9-11

KAIJU-9: Versus (’00)

d.d. tinzeroes: After Session 8, there passed a pretty long hiatus as Christmas and stuff went by. I was a little disappointed in this film the first-time around (the old ‘expecting too much’ thing). I’ve come to like it a lot more lately. I think its because it so freely spoofs/mimics so many other films, namely the Matrix’s fight scenes. Once you realize that it has no qualms about ripping that stuff off, you can appreciate what it does bring to the table.

Ultratom(!): DUDE!!! Mobsters, a Jailbreak, and ZOMBIES?!?!?! 'Versus' rocks it, HARD! lower budget, fairly simple plot, but a whole lot of fun. D.D. wasn't as into it as I was, but hey Zombies who can use guns... lets face it, that RULES!!!

KAIJU-10.: Daimajin (’66); Godzilla vs. Ebirah (’66)

d.d. tinzeroes: Daimajin is one of my favorite movies overall. I made the call to pair it with ‘Ebirah’ since they came out in the same year and that seemed like a good pairing. Both films are cool, but Ultratom(!) kept falling asleep during Daimajin, and ‘Ebirah’ represents, in my opinion, the lesser of the late-Showa Gojira films, since it sorta straddles the later, sillier stuff, and the earlier, cooler stuff. As a result, it sorta sits uncomfortable betwixt and between the two.

Ultratom(!): I did not fall asleep during 'Daimjin' I did however nod off During 'Ebirah'. 'Daimajin' exceeded expectations, I was super impressed with the special effects (considering the year it was made). it was just a great cinematic build up, with a bad ass pay off, and unlike most films that follow that formula, 'Daimajin' did not feel like it was dragging... 'Ebirah' was great, seeing Ebirah and Godzilla playing catch with boulders, I love it.

KAIJU-11: Gamera vs. Gaos (’67); Godzilla’s Revenge (’69)

d.d. tinzeroes: Gamara vs. Gaos was pretty cool. Note to self: all future Gamera films should be the dubbed versions. I sincerely think little is lost. However, there is a chance footage is cut in dubbed versions. Will have to have a vote on this. Same goes for Godzilla’s revenge and other late-Showa Godzilla stuff. Good times, nonetheless. Good times.

Ultratom(!): 'Gamera VS. Gaos' was great, they had some of the best ideas of how to try to catch Gaos ever. I may use some of those ideas if I ever have a rodent infestation... 'Godzilla's Revenge' brought back memories of saturday mornings, neighborhood bullies, and the time I kicked Minya's ass. Werd up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kaiju Sessions 3-5

KAIJU-3: UltramanZearth (’96); KingKong vs. Godzilla (’64)

D.D. Tinzeroes: Seeing as the previous three Sessions had been dictated by merely watching the Gamera Trilogy in sequence, this was a crucial Session. As it turned out, it was probably the best one to date, and would prove to be best-of-all for some time. Ultraman Zearth, being both a parody of
the Ultraman series as well as running at a trim 50-minutes or so, turned out to be a perfect match to KingKong vs. Godzilla, which has quite a bit of intentional humor in it as well.

'Ultraman Zearth' is nothing short of brilliant. An Ultraman character who is mysophobic(afraid of dirt), Transforms using an electric toothbrush, and can't shoot his 'Speshusshula Ray' straight. A comedy with action, Saturday morning cartoon style soundtrack and plot. D.D.was hitting my arm every couple of minutes and pointing out characters from the original 'Ultraman' series. 'King Kong vs. Godzilla' was also a great film. King Kong was rockin, making his loud monkey
noises, looking down to see a building in his way, and almost as an after thought punches the top corner causeing half the building to fall, then goes back to making his monkey noises. Godzilla was doin his thang, kickin ass, and causing property damage. Great night.

KAIJU-4: UltramanZearth2 (’97); Destroy All Monsters (’68)

D.D. Tinzeroes: I guess for every ying there must be a yang. Hey, UltramanZearth was so good, how could part II be bad, right? Wrong! As tired and clich├ęd sequel as there could be. The plot is pretty much directly recycled from the original, except it runs a length 90-minutes or so, and the jokes collapse under the combined weight of a flimsy concept to begin with and the added weirdness of actually being somewhat serious in tone. Destroy All Monsters was decent, but I fail to see what all the hub-bub is about it. I mean, everyone makes it sound like this is the Best Ever. But the battle, although pretty cool, is kinda cluttered. I dunno. Maybe Zearth2 just spoiled the evening.

Ultratom(!): 'Destroy All Monsters' was pretty good, lots of action, butseemed to just kind of run on and on. I don't know what D.D. is talking about. 'Zearth 2'? They never made a sequel to 'Ultraman Zearth', why would they? It would obviously suck terribly. It's probably for the best that it was never made, I mean if they had it probably would have included a non-sensical Anime about an 'Ultra-Cat' at the end of it, that would be awful, just plain awful.

KAIJU-5: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidora: Giant Monsters All Out Attack! (’01)

D.D. Tinzeroes: We’d been highly anticipating this one. Directed by Shusuke Kaneko. I was disappointed. Ultratom(!) was happy. Jury’s still out on this one. Looks like a front-runner for KAIJU-14. [editor's note: not sure what this reference to KAIJU-14 means... - Rensey]

Ultratom(!): 'GMK' was alright, it was fine until the end battle scene, but it definetly did not live up to the hype that surrounds it. It did have Mothra in it which is always a plus.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kaiju Sessions 0-2

[Editor's Note, an Introduction to the Kaiju Sessions: Although Tinzeroes' acquisition of IDEA injected the flailing rag with fresh content, the 'zine continued to be plagued by an inconsistent publishing schedule and a lack of content consistency. It is largely granted that this stemmed from the nature of the contributors themselves. The very flower of the DI revolution, IDEA's writers were prone to long periods of lollygagging and procrastination (always billed as "field research") followed by short, super-nova intense bursts of production and composition ("the rare flash of sobriety" joked DDT, once). Some issues were just 6 or 8 pages long, mostly an inflammatory letter from publisher DDT, a randomly submitted piece from Collision, Dickstain, and the like. Perhaps a bar review. An occasional crudely rendered comic, poorly lit photograph, or cryptic word jumble. Many issues were never published at all, as DDT & Co. would lose interest and begin work on the "new" issue before the current one was even completed.

However, Tinzeroes did manage a surprisingly regular movie capsule review piece with techno-musician/skater Ultratom(!). Not a member or adherent of DI, even by the loosest of definitions (hence his absence from Clenniden's listing), Ultratom(!) association with D.D. Tinzeroes stemmed from when the two were in high school.

Individually, the capsule reviews don't amount to much, but I believe that as a whole they chart an interesting course. DDT's submissions become longer and more in depth as the feature progresses, which ran counter to the direction of IDEA was headed generally (more fragmentary, incomplete, the garbage can).

Since few of these Sessions merit an entry of thier own, they will be published in small batches.

KAIJU-0: Gamera (‘95).

D.D. Tinzeroes: All good things have humble beginnings. In late July or early August of 2002, I was living in the Clinton street vicinity, and Ultratom(!) and myself arranged for a play-date. The plan was to go and see the ‘Master of the Flying Guillotine’ at Clinton Street Theater. However, one or both of us (but probably Ultratom(!)) screwed up and we got there a day early, basically. Some stupid movie about DIY culture was showing instead. Rather crestfallen, we retreated to Clinton Street Video, and after wandering around for a few minutes, I said: you’ve got to see this, and grabbed the ADV’s dubbed version of 1995’s Gamera. Ultratom(!) really liked it. I had been devouring kaiju films already. The seed was planted.

Ultratom(!): I was all pumped up to see 'Master of the Flying Guillotine (vs. the One Armed Boxer)', however both D.D. and myself had misread the schedule and faced a troublesome decission; Watch a film about DIY culture starring Ian MacKaye, GWAR, JG Thirwell (one of our mutual
heroes), and bunch of people we never heard of. - or - See what kind of entertainment we could find at the Clinton Street Video. D.D. had told me of his new found fascination with [dai]Kaiju films, but I had not had much exposure to these films, save for when I was 10 and had seen
'Rodan', 'Godzilla's Revenge', and I believe a Mothra film, all of which were hosted by Elvira (oh yeah and I saw 'Godzilla 2000' in the theater) 'Gamera Guardian of the Universe' had been staring at me since I walked into the store, after walking around for a while we decided that
'Gamera' would be a good choice for the evening, even though D.D. had seen it before... I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In retrospect when the girl at the checkout counter told D.D. he had a free rental accumulated from "all those Godzilla films", I should have suspected something. 'Gamera' was thoroughly enjoyable.

KAIJU-1: Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla (’93); Gamera2 (’96)

D.D. Tinzeroes: By this time (late August, early September), I had moved to my new digs off Morrison, by the cemetary. Ultratom(!) wanted to see Gamera2: Advent of Legion, so I figured, ‘hey, lets make it a party and grab another movie, too.’ The nineties version of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was, well, I guess its better than most of the fare for the nineties Gojira films. Ultratom(!) liked Gamera2 and was totally psyched for Part 3. We first experience the error(s) of (A) Kaiju Sessions on a Wednesday night, as well as (B) the dangers of doing the double feature, especially with anything post-1990,
Where Japanese films tend to run in the two hour range as par for course.

Ultratom(!): After seeing the 'Gamera: Guardian of the Universe', I went online and started looking for more information on 'Gamera' I ended up downloading a bunch of trailers for 'Gamera 2', and some for 'Gamera 3'. 'Gamera 2' lived up to my expectations and got me totally excited for 'Gamera 3'. I really enjoyed 'Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla' ('93). The quality of the tape wasn't that great, but it was still a lot of fun. however by the end of the evening I was pretty tired, and had to drag myself to work the next day as well. Atleast I slept well, with images of giant monsters in my head.

KAIJU-2: Gamera3 (’99)

D.D. Tinzeroes: This time we were a bit smarter. We moved the Session to Thursday, and padded out our viewing time by watching one or two old ‘Ultraman’ TV episodes before firing up Gamera3.

Ultratom(!): My new Hero is a giant jet powered turtle.