Let’s see if we got this right: An Ultraman film debuted in American theaters back in 1987. It starred (among others) Adrienne Barbeau and actually ran on the big screen in Japan two years later as “Ultraman USA.” Oh, and it was made by… Hanna-Barbera. Right. Now, I will point out that Tsuburaya was heavily […]Read more "Ultraman: The Adventure Begins (1987)"
This is probably the best serial Sam Katzman made during his time at Columbia. Okay, that isn’t saying much, but as cheap as it may look to us, his other serials looked even cheaper. The plot is a bit less meandering than usual, we don’t have the usual criminal gang thrown in to complicate things […]Read more "Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere (1951)"
The biggest claim to fame of The Flying Ghost Ship is that Hayao Miyazaki served as one of the key animators and designed the giant, city-trampling robot. Its opening sequence reminds me a lot of the original Scooby Doo: Where Are You?: it starts with Hayato and his family out for a cruise in their […]Read more "Sora tobu yûreisen [The Flying Ghost Ship] (1969)"
When my brother was in Kindergarten, Ultraman was his favorite TV show. While he doesn’t remember that after all these years, his sons are now full-fledged addicts and have eagerly devoured the original series and anything else by Tsuburaya they can get their hands on. Ultraman has been around now for over Fifty years, and […]Read more "Daikaijû Batoru: Urutora Ginga Densetsu – The Movie [Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends – The Movie] (2009)"
(aka Gigantis the Fire Monster, Godzilla’s Counter Attack) Somehow, it comes as no surprise to me that Toho managed to get this film into the theaters six months after the original Godzilla. It is without question the least of all the Godzilla films. Not the worst. No Godzilla film has ever been as bad as Godzilla […]Read more "Gojira no gyakushû [Godzilla Raids Again] (1955)"
It’s a bad sign when a film suddenly appears from nowhere. Particularly when it is the first film in a beloved franchise in 27 years. A very bad sign. And frankly, one has no trouble seeing why this one came out of nowhere, or why it premiered only days before its DVD/VOD release. To say […]Read more "Critters Attack! (2019)"
(aka The Monsters’ Desperate Battle–Daigoro vs. Goliath) This is perhaps the most obscure Kaiju Eiga film Toho made. I said “perhaps” because that puts it in company with a handful of films that most American audiences haven’t seen — like Orochi the Eight-Headed Dragon or The Three Treasures — and a few more whose “eiga” status […]Read more "Kaijû daifunsen: Daigorou tai Goriasu [Daigoro vs. Goliath] (1972)"
I”m not a big fan of Soviet era animation. Now I’ll admit I haven’t seen much of it. And one does have to make exceptions for films like Fantastic Planet, which a French director made in Czechoslovakia because it was cheap. And, of course, there is The Fabulous World of Jules Verne and all the other incredible […]Read more "Uzniki Yamagiri-Maru [Prisoners of Yamagiri-Maru] (1988)"
As I noted in my review of Dr. Who and the Daleks, the first of the two theatrical Doctor Who films made by Amicus back in the Sixties, I was rather surprised to find that I enjoyed it far more than I had in the past and, in fact, found it a far more interesting version […]Read more "Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)"
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re in that classic Toho space-aliens-attack-the-Earth movie, Battle in Outer Space: all the important leaders are gathered, making their plans to fight the aliens… And a bunch of children come rushing into the room. Okay, this is a children’s film about an alien invasion, and we are given some justification for […]Read more "Invasion of the Neptune Men [Uchu Kaisoku-sen] (1961)"