Toho in the 80’s: Sayonara Jupiter (1984) & Gunhed (1989)

February 10, 2019

We are joined again by Kevin Derendorf (Maser Patrol blog, Kaiju For Hipsters) to discuss two futuristic sci-fi spectacles that Toho produced in the 1980s.  The first is Sayonara Jupiter, a futuristic space opera/disaster movie combo.  The second is the 1989 dystopian mech film, Gunhed.  We get into Sayonara Jupiter's long and troubled production history, Gunhed's genesis as a Godzilla script, manga adaptations and more!  These films bolstered huge budgets and international casts, but they've earned a reputation as two of the worst Toho science fiction films of all time.  Did we find that these movies lived up to their reputation?  Listen and find out!

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The Mysterians (1957) and Battle In Outer Space (1959)

January 27, 2019

Byrd, Matt, and Chris discuss Toho's alien invasion films of the 1950s, the Mysterians and Battle In Outer Space.  This pair of films show a huge growth period for Toho's genre films in the early days.  They've gone on to become influential classics of the time period.  How do these films hold up after 50 years?  We will dig into the history, the subtext, the good and the bad of both films.  We'll talk about why Battle In Outer Space is actually NOT a sequel to the Mysterians.  We'll also talk about the impact that these films had and their lasting influence.  Enjoy!

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Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)- Spoiler Discussion

January 12, 2019

At long last, Netflix has released the third entry in Toho's Godzilla anime trilogy for worldwide viewing.  After the collapse of Mecha-Godzilla City, the evil Exif aliens use religious manipulation to summon Godzilla's arch-rival, King Ghidorah.  So how does Godzilla: The Planet Eater compare to the previous two entries?  We are joined by our frequent guest host Tom to take a dive into the latest Godzilla film and dig right into the good, the bad, and the ugly!  Kick back and enjoy the conversation!

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The End of Evangelion (1997)

December 19, 2018

Byrd and Matt are once again joined by author/blogger Kevin Derendorf (Maser Patrol, Kaiju for Hipsters) for the second part in our look back at the original Neon Genesis Evangelion anime.  This time we dig into the 1997 conclusion film, The End of Evangelion.  When the original series ran out of funding, it forced the show to have an unconventional conclusion that drew the ire of many fans.  This film was made as a more proper conclusion to the original series, while retaining its ambiguity and surrealism.  Is the movie a more fitting end to the story?  Listen and find out!  We also have a discussion on the expanded universe of Evangelion in other media.  Enjoy!

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Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)

December 11, 2018

Byrd and Matt are joined by author/blogger Kevin Derendorf (Maser Patrol, Kaiju for Hipsters) to take a deep dive into the original Neon Genesis Evangelion anime TV series.  Hideaki Anno's colossally popular series was an inversion on classic mecha and tokusatsu, twisting the tropes of these genres into an abstract and existential examination of mental illness.  At this point, the show's reputation as a groundbreaking classic proceeds it.  Do we find the show worthy of its immense popularity?  Listen and find out!  But first, we talk about the early careers of Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi and their cohorts and the birth of Gainax! 

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The Giant Claw (1957) + Ishiro Honda on the CW!

November 22, 2018

On this special Thanksgiving episode of the podcast, Byrd and Matt take a look at the ultimate turkey of giant monster movies, 1957's The Giant Claw!  We'll get into the backstory of the movie and just why the titular creature looks so darn goofy.  But first we have a full review of the Thanksgiving episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow on the CW!  This episode was a full blown homage to kaiju eiga as the superhero team went back in time and met with Ishiro Honda himself.  How did the episode pan out?  Is the Giant Claw really as stupid as everyone says it is?  Listen and find out!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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King Kong on Broadway!

November 18, 2018

Byrd and Matt are joined by special guest Chris Oglio (Genesis 54 Inc.) to discuss the King Kong stage musical, now on Broadway!  While your gracious hosts were unable to attend, Chris is here to review the play for us!  Chris has a love of Broadway theater and went with a group of friends to check out the King of the Apes Broadway debut!  We talk about the history of the production, the cast, changes made to the original story, and of course, Kong himself.  The rest of Chris' group sent us their thoughts as well.  So what did Chris and his pals think?  Listen and find out!

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Kaneko’s House of Horrors!

October 31, 2018

For our Halloween special, Byrd, Matt and Tom discuss four horror films by kaiju-fan favorite director, Shusuke Kaneko.  On the chopping block today are the Toho vampire comedy My Soul Is Slashed (1991), the HP Lovecraft anthology Necronomicon (1993), Toho's sci-fi mutant film Pyrokinesis (2000), and the Kazuo Umezu manga adaptation God's Left Hand, The Devil's Right Hand (2006).  Kaneko is one of the few kaiju directors to have a vast and successful career outside of the genre, so we took a look at his horror output.  Can Kaneko be considered a master of horror?  Listen and find out!

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When Horror Came to Shochiku!

October 28, 2018

Byrd, Matt and Tom are back with another October horror special.  This time we will be talking about three horror films from Shochiku Studios; Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell, The Living Skeleton and Genocide.  Normally a studio known for family dramas and art house films, Shochiku made a run of genre films (also including their kaiju opus The X From Outer Space) to try and produce a hit in a time when the Japanese film industry was on life support.  How did this brief experiment go for the desperate studio?  Listen and find out!

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The Invisible Man: Daiei and Toho

October 25, 2018

Byrd, Matt and Tom are back with another October horror episode, this time talking about Japanese Invisible Man films!  We've discussed Japanese takes on Frankenstein and Dracula, so its time another classic Western monster gets the Japanese treatment.  We discuss two films from Daiei Studios, The Invisible Man Appears (1949) and Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly (1957).  Then we go to Toho for 1954's The Invisible Man (aka Invisible Avenger).  We talk about Eiji Tsuburaya's involvement in two of the films, the state of the studios at the time, and we even discuss our favorite Invisible Man films.  These films languished in obscurity for decades until finally making it onto the fansub circuit.  So how do these old school obscurities hold up?  Listen and find out!

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