Category Archives: Godzilla

>It’s News to Me!

>While browsing through Comcast’s OnDemand service, I discovered that the “Preferred Collection” menu (found in both the “Free Movies” and “Premium Channels” sections) contains free movies that aren’t listed in any of the other movie categories. If you want to see films like Curse of the Demon and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, I highly recommend it!

Thanks to laughingsquid on Twitter, I found out that somebody made a fire-breathing Godzilla snow sculpture.

In other Godzilla news, IDW Publishing has worked out a deal with Toho to publish a comic book called Godzilla: Monster World. The comic, which will be released next month, will also feature appearances by other monsters from the Godzilla franchise! Licensing issues prevented that from happening in the Marvel and Dark Horse Godzilla comic book series, although this will not be the first time an original American comic book will feature other Toho monsters. That honor goes to Trendmasters’ one-shot comic book, although it would have happened sooner if Atlas Comics’ proposed Godzilla series had ever been realized. Hardcore fans will note that the promotional Godzilla vs. Megalon comic doesn’t count since it was a loose film adaptation rather than an all-new adventure.

Your dreams have come true…there is an Alien Pez dispenser.

The Warner Archive has released an official DVD-R of the rare Rankin-Bass/Tsuburaya Productions giant turtle movie, The Bermuda Depths. It’s right up there with Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Legends of the Super Heroes in terms of highly sought after video rarities released by the Archive.

Someone is actually making a sequel to The Killer Shrews. I hope they either call it “Shrew Fast Shrew Furious” or The Killer Shrews: The Squeakquel.

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, best known to readers of this site as the makers of The Shadow Over Innsmouth audio drama and the “Scary Solstice” CD series, have announced that their film adaptation of “Whisperer in the Darkness” will premiere at this year’s H.P. Lovecraft film festival. Those booking a room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to attend the festival should use the code “HPL” before checkout in order to get a nifty discount. For more information, please visit its official Facebook group and/or the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society Facebook group. Oddly enough, that last group posted a picture of a fungi-infected spider that nicely illustrates the sort of head structure Lovecraft intended for the Mi-Go of the story the film is based on.

Also on the Lovecraft front, Bang! Productions Ltd. and Colin Edwards have completed an audio movie version of Lovecraft story “The Dunwich Horror.” Although the concept of audio movies predates this adaptation, it does seem to be the first drama-style audio movie that is in 5.1 sound and plays in theaters (as opposed to “direct to CD/MP3” release). For more information, please visit the official website.

Finally, I’d like to announce that we have some updates coming to the site this year. Gravedigger’s Local 16 is in the process of being redesigned and moved to a new server. We’re also in the process of adding images to older articles. Although we originally only intended to add cover scans to old reviews, we’ve also been toying with the idea of putting pictures in other articles. Please let us know what you think of this, or anything else you would like to see here, by contacting the Front Office. While you’re writing, please feel free to discuss your favorite podcasts, as we’re in the process of creating an official Gravedigger’s Local 16 podcast with music, stories and more! More will be posted about this as it develops…

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For He’s A Jolly Good Kaiju…

…which nobody can deny!

That’s right, it was on this very day that the first Godzilla was released in Japan. So what better way to celebrate the first Godzilla movie than by watching Godzilla movies? Thankfully, Crackle has a bunch of streaming Godzilla films available online and they’re all legit.

If you want more streaming tokusatsu fun (albeit not Godzilla or Toho-related), head on over to Hulu to watch episodes of Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot and Ultraman Towards The Future (known as Ultraman Great in Japan). But parents should keep in mind that level of violence might be an issue in Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot and that a character swears in the 5th episode of Ultraman Towards The Future.

Finally, here’s a cool Godzilla blog that you should check out.

Happy Birthday Godzilla!

Toho vs. Zilla

Despite authorizing the changes made to the character in the American Godzilla movie from 1998, Toho has never been shy about indulging the majority of Godzilla fandom’s desire to see the original Godzilla battle (and destroy) the American version. That same year, Toho’s video game division released Godzilla Trading Battle for the original PlayStation. Despite the game featuring most of the studio’s stable of giant monsters (including several created just for the game), the game’s cover focused instead on the battle between the two Godzillas. I’m not 100% sure of what the gameplay is like, but the title makes me suspect that card games are involved somehow.

In what may or may not be a coincidence, the next year’s release of Godzilla 2000 featured a scene where a character notes that the monster Orga is trying to become a “Godzilla clone” by assimilating Godzilla’s DNA. Immediately after this is said, there’s a scene where the mutating creature’s face bears a strong resemblance to the star of Tristar’s movie. In 2001, there was a definite jab at the movie in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. During a conversation about giant monster attacks, there’s a reference to a monster attacking New York in 1998 that Americans claimed was Godzilla. The tone of the speaker makes it very clear that they doubt it was really the Japanese Godzilla.

Then in 2004, Toho did something that the fans had never thought would ever happen: They put both Godzillas in the same film, Godzilla: Final Wars. However, the American creation was renamed “Zilla” (replacing fan-made names like “Fraudzilla” and “GINO”-Godzilla In Name Only) as it was felt that there was nothing “God”-like in the creature. First sent out to attack cities by invading aliens, Zilla is then sent after Godzilla with predictable results (with the alien leader making an amusing comment on the events). I won’t spoil things by telling exactly what happened, but I will say that it probably shocked the heck out of anyone who stumbled across the scene while channel-surfing and initially assumed it was from the Tristar film (or one of the Doritos commercials using stock footage from said movie)…

More Cool Cover Art

While browsing through the recent “Gravedigger’s Local 16 Flashback” entry, I couldn’t help but find myself drawn to the “Cool cover art” entry. Although the website noted in it (Critical Condition Online) is the undisputed king of online VHS cover art collections, I was inspired to see if there were any other sites devoted to cover art scans out there. I was not disappointed:

Itsonlyamovie.co.uk has a nice selection of British VHS covers from before the infamous “Video Nasties” crackdown.

Retro Slashers has a wonderful collection of the sort of slasher film box art that used to thrill us back in the day.

Both the Uranium Cafe and Friday the 13th: The Website have some cool pages devoted to VHS covers.

The Lightning Bug’s Lair has a cover gallery devoted solely to Christmas-themed horror movies.

Toho Kingdom has numerous pages devoted to both VHS and DVD covers.

Last but not least, the Horror Section offers a huge collection of covers from the best section of the video store, along with reviews and other goodies.

Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales

You can find horror anthologies devoted to just about every subject these days. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, Frankenstein’s monster, H.P. Lovecraft, slashers…the list goes on and on. But one subgenre was sadly neglected in the world of horror anthologies: good old fashioned giant monster attacks!

Thankfully, the fine folks at Agog! Press took notice and corrected this terrible oversight with a trilogy of books. Originally intended as a one-off release, the amount of submissions for Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales was so great that the extra material was split off into two other books: Daikaiju!2 Revenge of the Giant Monsters and Daikaiju!3 Giant Monsters Vs. the World. Although the cover art and contributing authors change from book to book, the fact that they’re edited by Robert Hood and Robin Pen remains the same throughout them all.

Thanks to Google Books, you can read lengthy previews of all three tomes. What awaits you? Complete stories and snippets, both serious and comical featuring original creations and, for all intents and purposes, famous daikaiju with their serial numbers scratched off (if you catch my drift). Some give their monstrous creations names and others opt to leave the creatures unnamed. I prefer stories that opt for the second method, as I feel it reflects the mysterious nature of the gigantic beasts that suddenly spring forth from the dark places of the Earth to trample cities while terrified citizens flee rather than concern themselves with naming something.

So please, give these books a try. I’ll think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the sheer number of ways there are to tell a story about giant monsters (not unlike my surprise when I found that the first book had a story featuring Frank Wu’s “Guidolon the Giant Space Chicken”). There’s radiation, magic and even a zombified Paul Bunyan!

Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales

Daikaiju!2 Revenge of the Giant Monsters

Daikaiju!3 Giant Monsters Vs. the World

If that isn’t enough, there’s Robert Hood’s companion website and another story collection which I suspect was inspired by this series.

Mothra Madness

Mothra is actually based on a serialized Japanese novel called The Luminous Fairies and Mothra.

Mothra was supposed to battle the unused monster Bagan in a never-realized 1990 film called Mothra vs Bagan. Elements of that script, along with the similarly never made Godzilla vs Gigamoth, were utilized in the 90’s version of Godzilla vs. Mothra.

Mothra is said to bear a resemblance to an European Peacock Butterfly.

During the DVD commentary for the South Park episode “Mecha-Streisand,” series co-creator Trey Parker revealed that his favorite Japanese monster movie is Mothra.

After finishing Gravity’s Rainbow, author Thomas Pynchon was rumored to have been working on a Mothra novel. However, this turned out to be untrue.

Wikipedia claims that Mothra’s distinctive chirp was created by speeding up Anguirus’ roar. That section also claims that Mothra was never realized by a person in a costume, which is disputed here.

In the movie Pok√©mon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Mothra’s chirp is used to create Giratina’s cry. The film was distributed by Toho (better known as the studio behind the Godzilla movies) in Japan…

In the American dub of The Magic Serpent, Mothra’s chirp is used as the voice of a giant bird. Similarly, the film’s dragon now has Godzilla’s roar and the giant toad uses Rodan’s cry.

The popularity of Mothra among women in Japan prompted Toho to make the 90’s version of Godzilla vs. Mothra.

When Mothra was released in America, the distributor suggested that theaters should display radioactive materials in their lobbies in order to build publicity for the film!

Eagle-eyed daikaiju fans might notice how the eyes of larval Mothra are red in her cinematic debut, yet they turn blue in Godzilla vs. Mothra(aka Godzilla vs. the Thing in America). In fact, they stay that way for the remainder of the old school Godzilla movies).

If you look at official reference guides, Mothra is much larger than Godzilla when she appeared in Mothra and had to be scaled down for her appearances in the Godzilla franchise.