Big in Japan

This struck both Fiona and I as very, very funny. The singer’s ebullient performance, the song (which I presume is actually entitled, “Stuck in my Throat.” Best. Song title. Ever.) and her eventual fate, all achieve a kind of cock-eyed perfection.

Movie: WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS. Not that good otherwise. A sort of dishonest sequel to FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, which has lying flashbacks showing Frankenstein as a sort of chimp-boy, raised by special occidental guest star Russ Tamblyn. Yes, Russ frickin Tamblyn. Also, it has genuinely unpleasant, strenuous and scary soundtrack, more disturbing than anything I’ve heard in any other kaiju. I’m making it sound too good, aren’t I?

OK then, I’ll just add that the bad monster looks not unlike the late Cameron Mitchell.  Does that help?

19 Responses to “Big in Japan”

  1. It was halfway through when we started realizing that… it must actually… be CALLED “Stuck in my Throat.” Which is an AWESOME song title.

  2. Russ Frickin’ Tamblyn!

  3. Oh, this is hilarious, the lyrics are just about a perfect match to the way she sings it. I’ve got a friend who sings no better and isn’t self-aware enough to know it. I may have to learn it, then teach him this song without telling him how funny he’ll be doing it.

  4. Go for it!

    Tamblyn is a demi-god! As a kid, Fiona found him very cute in Tom Thumb.

  5. Devo does a killer cover:

  6. Oh, man, I haven’t seen this in forever, but it was a perennial family favorite in my childhood. My father would often follow up this scene – after the chanteuse dies and the gargantua goes on a further killing spree – by singing, “The bones get stuck in my throat…”

    Also, the Frankenstein Conquers the World/Gargantuas connection exists, but is virtually impossible to understand.

  7. I think Gargantuas is the alternate universe sequel — it follows a continuity related to, but quite distinct from, that in the previous film.

    Good old Devo.

  8. Jenny Eardley Says:

    I bet I wasn’t the only one shouting “Go on! Get stuck in HIS throat!”

  9. Christopher Says:

    LOL..Me and My cousin always make fun of this song..!..Gargantua LOVE Theme!!!

  10. Obviously, this was watched as part of “See Reptilicus and Die”. Now there’s only one giant Japanese monster left unviewed, and that’s Gamera Vs Jiger.

  11. Tim Burton cited GARGANTUAS as one of his top five desert island flicks at a discussion event here in Melbourne earlier this year. The reasoning? His daughter is, apparently, obsessed with it, and even forces her younger brother to play Gargantuas with her. (She always assumes the role of brown Gargantua, naturally.)

  12. He should build them a miniature city to rampage in.

  13. And interesting way to cue applause: just peter out. This post was made doubly weird for me by the fact that I’ve just started rewatching series 3 of Mad Men, where the following clip features pretty prominently. SURELY an influence, no?

  14. Similar warble! Fan-tas-tic color combo there.

  15. Peter Kenneally Says:

    Well it is quite something, but I was all revved up for a clip of Bill Drummond’s Big in Japan Liverpool post-punk garage band….this is a whole culture I have missed out on.

  16. …why am I more impressed by these physical live action effects than today’s CGI visuals – except the helicopter bits!

  17. Well, because it’s physically solid? CGI scores when it either shows us something we never imagined, or when it achieves the simulacrum of solidity. I guess man-in-suit monsters charge the imagination in a different way, also, because you think about how crazy it must feel to be shooting that stuff. Thinking about a team of animators at computers isn’t quite as inspiring.

    Although, here’s a nice image to think about when you next see a CGI monster emote: somewhere, an animator is snarling into a mirror and noting how the muscles move in their face.

  18. yes, CGI’s attention to human expression is spot on sometimes…I think they can simulate reality, but go no deeper than that…

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