Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Tohope And Change - The War Of The Gargantuas!
The War of the Gargantuas is one of my favorite kaiju movies. Another which I managed to see early in my life on television on those late-night showings which can so impress the memory. The movie has a top-notch cast and some of the most exciting kaiju action put on film by Honda and Tsuburaya. The Gargantuas are very human like and so fight with a vigor and suppleness not achievable by the more traditional suit-mation actors. This movie is also a sequel to Frankenstein Conquers the World, though you would never tell it by any of the dialogue. References to "Frankenstein" are removed and his back story is somewhat adjusted, but we have here the next installment in how a kaiju interacts with the human world. In many ways the Frankenstein kaiju movies are the most like the classic King Kong, the original monster movie which inspired the entire Toho kaiju tradition.
The movie is also the third and last of the collaborations between Toho and UPA. As such it has an American star tucked into his innards to help sell the story across the ocean. Unfortunately instead of the eager and vital Nick Adams we get the lugubrious Russ Tamblyn who by all reports was an absolute asshole on the production and even had clashes with with the universally respected Ishiro Honda. I recognized Tamblyn from his iconic role in West Side Story and that was a positive connection for me on this movie, so that worked. But when I read of his outrageous behavior I'm ashamed that I once rooted for him. His acting is leisurely and laconic and it's easy now to see his co-stars working hard to stay in the scene with him. It's unfortunate to say the least.
More to come tomorrow.