Archive for Toho

We can laugh about it now

Posted in FILM, Politics, Science with tags , , , on January 29, 2009 by dcairns


I seriously dig the use of the word “appealingly” in the opening text crawl. It’s in perfect English otherwise, so I’m envisaging some hapless, perspiring translator being forced to use this word by producers, even as he tries to persuade them it’s not, perhaps, the absolute best choice.

The sample (dubbed) dialogue is also inspiring, and the snappy exclamations superimposed over explosions. “This could happen to you,” is my favourite, although I doubt the Cukor reference is intentional.

I have no doubt that THE LAST WAR is a sincere attempt to raise awareness of a terrible threat while raising money for Toho. And there’s also a slight sense that by 1961, Godzilla had lost his edge slightly. “Our deterrent lacks credibility!” cried the execs. “Maybe we should try destroying cities and landmarks without a giant lizard? Could that work?”

Even the phrase “employing every vestige of our technical skill” somehow lacks confidence.

“We, Toho Pictures, are in a better position than any other production company to make a film such as this. We have a long and successful history of blowing shit up. ”

Many thanks to Glenn Erickson for pointing this one out via his great DVDSavant.

Baragon But Not Forgotten

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by dcairns

The film world was saddened today by the death of Baragon, the popular Japanese movie monster, or kaijin (literally, “strange beast”, which makes my cat a kaijin too). Baragon, the 100ft high tunnelling monster, made his screen debut in 1965, battling the Frankenstein Monster in FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, and was an instant hit with audiences. He seemed to combine the insouciance of Mothra with the versatility of King Ghidora and the raw animal physicality of a young Gregory Peck.

Although Baragon officially retired from acting in 1997, he was always happy to sign autographs for fans. Living quietly on Monster Island with his longtime partner Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, he would relax by playing golf or taking photographs. An exhibition of his nudes was a critical success in 2002.

Today, colleagues paid tribute to the giant fire-breathing dinosaur, remembering his humour, his charity work, and his ability to pound cities into dust. “He was always so powerful on the screen, but in real life, he was a sweet, gentle fellow, always considerate towards new talent,” said Hedora the smog monster.

A spokesman for Toho, the studio where Baragon spent his career, said, “Baragon was a great actor and a great kaijin. We should honour his memory by thinking of his contribution to motion picture history.”

Accordingly, here are some stills from Baragon’s 32-year career, with subtitles translating his dialogue, for the first time, from guttural roars into English.

“They call me MISTER Baragon!”

“Because I wanted him, do you hear me? Because I WANTED him!”

“We’ll always have Tokyo.”