Archive for toho

FUN WITH GIFs: Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Posted in Fun with GIFs, Japan, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2014 by goregirl

In keeping with my current Kaiju obsession here are two gifs from Ishiro Honda’s 1976 film Terror of Mechagodzilla. Eyes and lasers! Look out!

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Katsura Mafune (Tomoko Ai) once a lovely human lady is transformed into a cyborg by the aliens.

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Mechagodzilla!

GODZILLA: THE ART OF SUIT ACTING/HARUO NAKAJIMA

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , on February 3, 2014 by goregirl

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I do love my special features; it is an aspect I missed desperately when I watch films online. It is amazing to me that a label like Something Weird Video who charges a mere $10 for a DVD can include so many goodies. Another label I have been impressed with is The Toho Masters Collection; like Something Weird it is also affordably priced. There isn’t a massive selection of features but they make it count with what they do include. I went on a real Japanese film splurge over the weekend. I watched Zero Woman Red Handcuffs, Female Prisoner Scorpion Jailhouse 41 (review pending) and two Toho selections; War of the Gargantuas (review pending) and Godzilla Raids Again. The Godzilla Raids Again DVD included a great little poster and lobby card gallery but even juicier was this mini-documentary; Godzilla: The Art of Suit Acting. Half of the fourteen minute long documentary was dedicated to Toho’s most prolific suit actor and the man who played Toho’s first monster Godzilla in 1954; Haruo Nakajima. Nakajima was featured in twenty-nine of Toho’s science fiction and horror classics with the vast majority of those being giant monster movies. He had no idea what he was getting into when he accepted the role. Toho had never made a monster movie before Godzilla and surely Nakajima did not envision “a stiff two-hundred pound dinosaur-shaped sweat box with virtually no visibility!” The dedicated actor took his lunch to the zoo daily so he could examine the movements of the larger animals! He learned to move quickly in the heavy suit which was later slowed down in the editing room to give the effect of a large laboring creature. Nakajima treated the job with the utmost respect and made himself indispensable; he never refused a request no matter how insane it was. He was buried alive, had explosives designated under his balls, neck and shoulders, set on fire and nearly drowned. Once when playing Rodan the wire supporting him broke and he went plunging unexpectedly into the water in the heavy suit. So indispensable was Nakajima that when he received an offer to do suit work in America; Toho asked him not to go. He had close contact with the suit makers not only to ensure the costume fit him correctly but to test the suit for movement and determine whether modifications were needed. Toho also relied on Nakajima to choreograph the monster battles and advise other suit actors on movement. Besides his work on the original Godzilla he felt his best work was Gaira the green Gargantua in The War of the Gargantuas; it was the only suit he donned where his own eyes could be seen. The suit partner he favored most Yû Sekida would play alongside him as Sanda the brown Gargantua. Early in the Toho days they did not like to reveal the identity of the men in the monster suits so Nakajima’s work was uncredited for years. The man who would labor under a couple hundred pounds of latex would work in anonymity for years. Nakajima portrayed Godzilla from 1954 until his retirement in 1972 along with several other characters including Rodan, Baran, Baragon and of course Gaira the Green Gargantua. Suit acting is dangerous and difficult work, not to mention underappreciated! Suit acting requires immense patience, strength and fortitude and Nakajima had those characteristics in spades! Below is Haruo Nakajima’s Toho Science Fiction and Horror resume along with several behind the scenes pictures of him on the various Toho sets.

Godzilla vs. Megalon (stock footage – uncredited) (1973), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971), Yog: Monster from Space (1970), Godzilla’s Revenge (1969), Latitude Zero (1969), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Son of Godzilla (1967), King Kong Escapes (1967), Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster (1966), The War of the Gargantuas (1966), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Matango (1963), Kingu Kongu tai Gojira (1962), Gorath (uncredited) (1962), Mothra (1961), The Human Vapor (1960), Daikaijû Baran (1958), The H-Man (1958), The Mysterians (1957), Rodan (1956), Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), Jû jin yuki otoko (1955), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), Tomei ningen (1954), Godzilla (1954)

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Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Part 1) – The Flaming Lips with a Toho Films slideshow!

Posted in Japan, movies with tags , , , on March 7, 2012 by goregirl


I had no Kaiju themes in my collection so I decided to use The Flaming Lips. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots? I just thought it worked here. Am I wrong? This is probably the newest piece of music I have ever used for one of my slideshows. Not that it is terribly new anymore, but it is from the past decade! All the films on this list were produced by Toho Company. I did take some liberities here including The Ring and Metropolis and a few others as they were actually produced by multiple companies. I did not include any films that were strictly distributed (and not produced) by Toho like Grave of the Fireflies etc. I tried to show a decent cross section of genres, but Toho made a shitload of monster movies so I could not really avoid putting a fair number in the mix. Besides which, I love em!

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Part 1) – The Flaming Lips with a Toho Films slideshow!

The Films of Ishirô Honda

Posted in Japan, movies with tags , , , on March 1, 2012 by goregirl


Fans of Japanese monster flicks already know the name Ishirô Honda. For those of you not familiar with Honda’s work I have included his impressive fifty strong list of directorial efforts. To the best of my knowledge, Honda worked with Toho his entire film career. So many of my favourite Toho flicks are on this list; Godzilla, Matango, Mothra, Rodan, and Destroy All Monsters. In fact, Destroy all Monsters will be my first film review for this feature. Not coincidentally, all of my aforementioned favourites were collaborations with special effects guru Eiji Tsuburaya. Fellow Toho director Akira Kurosawa also collaborated with Honda, who was chief assistant director on Kurosawa’s Stray Dog and Ran. Apparently the two were close friends; Kurosawa delivered the Eulogy at Ishirô Honda’s funeral in 1993. Honda died at the age of 81. Ishirô Honda was responsible for some of Toho’s best and most successful creature features and is a director worth celebrating!

The Films of Ishirô Honda

1990 Dreams (The Tunnel, Mount Fuji in Red, prologue & epilogue of The Weeping Demon – uncredited)
1977 Godzilla
1975 Terror of Mechagodzilla (Mekagojira no gyakushu)
1973 Mirâman
1970 Space Amoeba (Gezora, Ganime, Kameba: Kessen! Nankai no daikaijû)
1969 Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Oru kaijû daishingeki
1969 Atragon II (Ido zero daisakusen)

1968 Destroy All Monsters (Kaijû sôshingeki)
1968 The War of the Gargantuas (Furankenshutain no kaijû: Sanda tai Gaira)
1967 Come Marry Me (Oyome ni oide)
1967 King Kong Escapes (Kingu Kongu no gyakushû) (english language version)
1965 Invasion of Astro-Monster
1965 Frankenstein vs. Baragon
1964 Monster of Monsters: Ghidorah (San daikaijû: Chikyû saidai no kessen)
1964 Dagora, the Space Monster (Uchû daikaijû Dogora)
1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla
1963 Atoragon: Flying Supersub (Kaitei gunkan)

1963 Matango (Attack of the Mushroom People)
1962 Varan the Unbelievable (Japanese scenes – uncredited)
1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla (Kingu Kongu tai Gojira)
1962 Astronaut 1980 (Yôsei Gorasu)
1961 The Scarlet Man (Shinku no otoko)


1961 Mothra (Mosura)
1960 The Human Vapor (Gasu ningen dai ichigo)
1959 Battle in Outer Space (Uchû daisensô)
1959 Seniors, Juniors, Co-Workers (Uwayaku, shitayaku, godôyaku)
1959 Inao: Story of an Iron Arm (Tetsuwan toshu inao monogatari)
1959 An Echo Calls You (Kodama wa yonde iru)

1958 Varan the Unbelievable (Daikaijû Baran)
1958 Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman (Japanese scenes)
1958 Beauty and the Liquidman (Bijo to Ekitainingen)
1958 Song for a Bride (Hanayome sanjûsô)
1957 Defence Force of the Earth (Chikyû Bôeigun)
1957 A Farewell to the Woman Called My Sister (Wakare no chatsumi-uta shimai-hen: Oneesan to yonda hito)
1957 A Teapicker’s Song of Goodbye (Wakare no chatsumi-uta)
1957 A Rainbow Plays in My Heart (Waga mune ni niji wa kiezu)
1957 Be Happy, These Two Lovers (Kono futari ni sachi are)
1956 Rodan (Sora no daikaijû Radon)
1956 People of Tokyo, Goodbye (Tôkyô no hito sayônara)
1956 Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (Kaijû-ô Gojira)
1956 Yakan chûgaku
1956 Young Tree (Wakai ki)
1955 Beast Man Snow Man (Jû jin yuki otoko)
1955 Cry-Baby (Oen-san)
1955 Love Makeup (Koi-gesho)
1954 Godzilla (Gojira)

1954 Farewell Rabaul (Saraba Rabauru)
1953 Eagle of the Pacific (Taiheiyô no washi)
1953 Adolescence Part II (Zoku shishunki)
1952 The Man Who Came to Port (Minato e kita otoko)
1952 The Skin of the South
1951 The Blue Pearl (Aoi shinju)

Ishirô Honda

Toho March has arrived!

Posted in Japan, movies with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by goregirl

Toho March has arrived! I am celebrating Japanese studio Toho’s contributions to cinema all month long! I will not only be reviewing horror films either. In the queue are the films of Ishiro Honda, Mikio Naruse, Takashi Tsuboshima and Akira Kurosawa. Speaking of Ishiro Honda, he will be the subject of my first post, which I will be following up with a review of his monster extravaganza Destroy All Monsters! I will have my first post up shortly! TOHO RULES!


Now this is my kind of Christmas Tree!