Posts tagged Monster Movies
Posts tagged Monster Movies
Holy god was this movie shit. I mean, even when you judge it in the super-lenient standards considering it’s a Kaiju film…it blows ass.
This movie was released just two years after the original masterpiece GOJIRA, and it is painfully evident. It’s almost exactly the same film, especially if you go by the american script.
“Man’s interference with nature awakens an ancient dinosaur that wreaks havok on Japans.”
It even uses some of the same music cues! And if THAT’S not enough, in the american film, they re-use stock footage from GOJIRA!!
Now, this is understandable considering GOJIRA’s success…and would be forgivable if VARAN was any good…but it’s not.
The entirety of the plot (ie human stuff) is resolved within the first 40 minutes of the movie…which means the rest of the 40 minutes consists of shot/ reverse-shot of VARAN swimming towards Japan and the military shooting at him.
I’m not even kidding…I fell asleep several times within the last 20 minutes and missed little, if anything. Every time I woke back up, he was still swimming and the military was still shooting at him. Little to no dialogue is exchanged during this time aside from “FIRE” and other such military nonsense that has nothing to do with figuring out a way of destroying the monster.
The monster himself is ok…the suit is kind of cheap looking, nowhere near the same level of quality as the Gojira suit not two years preceding it. Varan can fly…but he does it once through the entire film…once, and it’s ok looking, not nearly as impressive as the effects in RODAN. Oh, and Varan’s roar sounds like a combination of the Gojira and Rodan roar effects.
Everything about this movie is lazy and cheap. God only knows why it received enough demand that TOKYO SHOCK spent the money to bring it out of obscurity.
So far, TOHO kaiju films are not proving to be all that impressive outside their heavy hitters. With aforementioned exceptions. I only have a few more left in the library (LATITUDE ZERO, MYSTERIONS) to watch and already I can tell you that if you want to watch a Kaiju film that ISN’T Godzilla or GAMERA, your best bet is to grab a copy of WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS…and if you can get your hands on the two-pack including RODAN…do so. You won’t regret it.
The more I watch Kaiju films, the more I really want to try and get a Kaiju Film Festival up and running. Not necessarily on a huge level, hell, I’ll even settle for my friends piling over my house and watching a bunch of them with me while we drink bear and eat pizza or something.
But, I really want to enjoy these movies with someone other than myself, I need someone else to talk about them with. I must share the ludicrousness of the “giant octopus” ending of FRANKENSTEIN VS BARAGON (which on further investigation is only in the American release, not the original intended ending.) Someone else must suffer through the intolerably kiddy REBRITH OF MOTHRA series.
Sadly…I don’t know if I can get anyone behind this idea. If it were a plain old GODZILLA movie, sure, that’s not a problem. Everybody loves GODZILLA. But what about RODAN, or WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, or SPACE AMEOBA?
It’s times like this that dating doesn’t seem like a bad idea…assuming I can find a female who enjoys Japanese dudes running around in massive rubber suits and wailing on each other. I don’t know…perhaps the fact that this blog is being monitored by two of my friends will provoke some kind of favorable response to a KAIJU-THON *hint hint*
At any rate…just updated my Netflix queue. Coming to me on Wednesday: KING KONG ESCAPES!!! Wooo!! Mechano Kong lives!!
Ugh…good god, why the hell did they gear this series towards kids?? It had so much potential to be completely badass.
I mean…let’s face it, before these movies came out Mothra was kinda lame.
The concept was awesome, but all the stories were the same— Mothra’s Egg/Twins get kidnapped and Mothra gets pissed OR Godzilla/Ghidora threatens mankind and Mothra has to fight him— and he really didn’t seem like that much of a threat to anyone. I mean…for godssakes he was a giant Moth…he flew around, crashed into things and occasionally spread pixie dust all over the place. And yet somehow he managed to save the day. It never really made much sense.
Then these beauties came along. Oh man…Mothra is so much more powerful in these movies. He actually does things!! He has lightning, he can shoot lasers…apparently…he can split up into several tiny moths to swarm an opponent, and he can assume different Mothra forms! I mean…damn…that’s badass!
But…NOOOOOOOOOOO Toho just had to make it a Kid-centric movie series and ruin the whole thing.
The ending battles to these two movies are pretty great and are almost worth the rest of the garbage you have to sit through to get to them…almost.
The kid stuff is just so annoying. Not even Gamera the Brave was this bad, in fact, it was actually quite tolerable in comparison.
Then there’s the whole environmental message thing…which just seems tacked onto the endings. Even then, it doesn’t make much sense. In the first one, after the forests are destroyed by DesGhidorah the adults are standing around saying “look what we did to the earth…we should be more earth conscious.” Umm…do you not remember the giant three-headed dragon that burned down half of rural Japan with it’s fire breath??? And in the second one, you see one or two pieces of trash floating in the water and that’s supposed to equate to the ocean is being polluted to such an extent that a water monster is brought back to life, feeding off the pollution to become more powerful. Yeah…uh-huh, whatever.
It’s quite a shame really, I was really looking forward to Mothra getting a chance to shine. I mean, his debut film is cool and all, but all he really does is trash a city by himself and doesn’t really get much action otherwise.
And yet…these movies get a lot of butt love in the fandom. But I guess that’s how the internet works…people cling to the oddest things and obsess over them for no apparent reason and beat it to death and then some. When you think about it, the internet is the new HOT TOPIC.
Oh, HOT TOPIC and your whiny, stupid, teenage customers (and I can say this because I was at one point a whiny, stupid, teenage HOT TOPIC customer)…you just about ruined Invader Zim for me…and came damn close to doing the same with Nightmare Before Christmas…
The internet is doing similar things with…oh, EVERY GODDAMN TV SHOW, VIDEO GAME, SHITTY ASS ANIME, BLAH BLAH, WHATEVER, IN EXISTENCE!! I swear to god…I love Community and 30 Rock as much as the next person but if I have to see another photoset of animated gifs on the subject about how awesome they are blood is going to start shooting out of my ears.
Anyways…where was I going with this? Oh yeah…just like anything else on the internet…leave the judgment for yourself. Just because people have a massive hard-on for something doesn’t make it the best fucking thing in the universe. These movies can only be considered good if you jam newly sharpened pencils in your eyeballs and ears for the first 80 minutes.
For that price…I’m kind of tempted to buy it, if only for the absurdity of watching Kong fight Robo-Kong
So, tonight when I opened my DVD cubes to check and see which movie was next on my Terror-Fest marathon…I was horrified to discover THE HAPPENING staring me in the face.
For a brief moment, I was filled with a feeling a dread that I might be forced to subject myself to a movie that I own only to watch it with the RIFFTRAX.
But then, I realized. I make the rules here. So guess what…I am skipping over that pile of trash and am moving on to JEEPERS CREEPERS.
I love this movie so much, and every time I watch it, I rediscover something new to love about it.
What really gets me giddy about this film is that it is nothing more than a popcorn-flick monster movie…an extremely well written popcorn-flick monster movie to be sure, but a popcorn-flick nonetheless.
And that’s why it succeeds I guess. It doesn’t try any harder than it needs to, it doesn’t even try to force unnecessary characters for the sake of a body count, it doesn’t try to explain what the hell the Creeper is because you really don’t care…nor do you really need to know to enjoy the movie.
The film also does dialogue extremely well, and manages to keep you entertained soley with banter between a brother and sister for the entire opening of the film. It reminds me of the beginning of CLOVERFIELD. You’re getting to know the characters through everyday, out of context, realistic dialogue. Conversations start, and don’t get finished, you get a glimpse into who these people are without having it forced into your face.
One thing that really got me giddy was the devotion to details to the characters. It’s established that the brother is bringing all his laundry home for their mother to do. A few scenes later, he uses a pair of his underwear to tie down the trunk when the Creeper rear-ends their car. If you look closely at the underwear, they are pink…as if he had tried to do laundry himself, but managed to leave in something red in the wash and turning everything pink. It’s details like that the show you just how much the filmmaker cares about the movie their making.
If you’re sucker for the classic monster-movie genre, or if you’re just looking for a fun horror movie that doesn’t at all attempt to be realistic or serious, JEEPERS CREEPERS should find it’s way into your DVD player, pronto!