Posts

Showing posts from February, 2010

Tokyo Sky Tree Tower Is Reaching For The Sky

Image
Above, an artist's conception of what the finished Tokyo Sky Tree Tower will look like. Tokyo Sky Tree Tower Is Reaching For The Sky by Armand Vaquer A new tower is reaching for the sky in Tokyo, Japan. The new Tokyo tower, dubbed recently as the Tokyo Sky Tree , is currently under construction in the Sumida Ward of Tokyo (below). The new tower was made necessary due to the needs of digital broadcasting. The current Tokyo Tower just is too short to be sufficient for digital broadcasting. The Sky Tree will be double the size of Tokyo Tower . Below, is a comparison of the sizes of the Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower . The Sky Tree will stand at 610 meters (2,013 feet) (some sources say 634 meters). Over the past 49 years, starting with Mothra (1961), Tokyo Tower has been a favorite battleground for Japanese giant monsters. King Kong battled his mechanical counterpart atop it in King Kong Escapes , Gamera blasted it in Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (Gyaos built a

Raw Leiba To Be In Conan, Possibly Hercules, Luke Cage or Black Panther

Image
Written: Ken Hulsey Source: Anonymous Let me tell you that the casting of actor Raw Leiba in the upcoming "Conan" movie has been a real up-and-down, on-and-off affair. If I were writing this article yesterday, I would be reporting that Leiba was definitely out of the movie. In fact just this morning he contacted the production to tell them that he would have to pass up on the part of Ukafa because of two prior commitments. Well, things in the entertainment industry can change quickly, sometimes within a few hours. Now, I can report that Leiba will probably be in the "Conan" movie after all, though not as Ukafa, as first reported. Sources are indicating that he may play a yet unnamed character, who will appear at the very end of the film, as a set-up for a sequel. The film makers behind "Conan" really wanted Leiba at all costs, in fact his holdout actually caused the production to halted. They even went as far as to bring in screenwriter Sean Hood to r

Vancouver Sasquatch Photo The Real Deal Or Publicity Stunt?

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Pravda Don't you think that it is just a little fishy, that a Canadian crytozoologist was able to snap a photograph of a Sasquatch (Bigfoot) near Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics? As most of you probably know, Sasquatch is the official mascot of this years Olympics, so it was awful convenient that Randy Brisson, a well-known local cryptozoologist, was able to snap a picture of one at this particular time, at this particular location. Amazingly, Brisson didn't go to the Canadian press with his photograph, but instead sent it to fellow researchers Igor Burtsev and Dmitry Bayanov, the directors of the International Center for Hominology, in Russia. In the letter that accompanied the alleged Sasquatch photograph, Brisson told his Russian colleagues that he and his son Ray had discovered some Sasquatch footprints in the snow along a logging road. The prints reportedly were of a large adult and possibly a couple of younger children. Whil

Viz Brings 'Mobile Suit Gundam UC' And Other Japanese Movies To New People In San Francisco

Image
Source: MediaLab VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, has announced a variety of notable film screenings, festivals, lectures and other special events to be held throughout the month of March. Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films: Vol.1 YAKUZA NIGHT FEVER! New activities kick off on March 5th with Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films. Come celebrate the launch of Japanese pop culture critic and Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias’s new film/lecture series. Also sponsored by SEGA of America, the evening’s events begin at 6:00pm and will include a lecture on the history of Japanese yakuza (gangster) cinema and the debut of SEGA’s highly anticipated new video game, Yakuza 3, for the PlayStation 3. Tickets are only $10.00. NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival VIZ Cinema will present the NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival, a special collection of six insightful documentaries each profiling a unique Ja

Death Kappa Comes To US DVD On May 25th Thanks To Media Blasters

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Sources: Dread Central / Norman England / Fangoria / Avery Guerra Japanese monsters have always been able to hang some of their popularity on charisma. Godzilla, Gamera and all of their kin, are some pretty charming, and good looking monsters. Sure they rise out of the sea, or fall from space, and do a little urban renewal every once and a while, it's just what they do. But, you have admit, though they may have killed thousands of innocent people, they are lovable critters.....aren't they? Well as cuddly as Godzilla and Gigan are, Tomoo Haraguchi's latest creation "Death Kappa", is well.....ugly. Granted, maybe monsters really shouldn't be 'sexy', but you really have to admit that DK is one homely looking mofo. Okay, looks aren't everything, as long as "Death Kappa" delivers the goods, and wrecks a Japanese city or two, then everything will be just fine. Well, it looks like American fans of Japanese monsters w

Freida Pinto Set To Do 'War of the Gods'

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Variety "Slumdog Millionaire" actress, Freida Pinto, is set to play Phaedra, an oracle priestess, in Relativity Media's upcoming fantasy film, "War of the Gods." The film follows the story of a Spartan general who leads his men in a battle alongside the Greek gods against the Titans to save Earth. "War of Gods" will be produced by Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton and Ryan Kavanaugh, part of the creative team behind "300". Relativity's Tucker Tooley and Craig Flores will also serve as executive producers. Relativity has had "War of the Gods" on the shelf for two years now, ever since they bought the script, written by Charley and Vlas Parlapanides. Recently, screenwriter Jason Keller was brought in to rework the story, and now the production company feels that they are ready to proceed. With "Clash of the Titans" about to be released, and "Conan" in the works, it seems that Rel

Got A Million Bucks To Buy A Comic Book?

Image
by Armand Vaquer Shades of Bill Gates! (Maybe he's the buyer?) The news media is abuzz over the recent sale of the first issue of Action Comics (No. 1) for one million dollars. It was sold at auction at Comic Connect. The reason the comic book sold for that amount is due to the fact it contains first appearance of Superman and it was graded as "very fine" condition. According to the New York Times : Stephen Fishler, the founder of Comic Connect, said that this copy of Action No. 1 was in very fine condition. Only 100 copies of this issue of Action No. 1 are believed to be in existence. Of that batch, only two of them are in very fine condition or better. The sale breaks the previous record of $317,200 from last March when Comic Connect sold another copy of Action No. 1, but in a lower-grade condition. It must be nice to have a million dollars to spend. But in this case, I'd say it is a good investment. The buyer is reportedly anonymous.

Retrospective: Original Music From Dark Shadows Volume 2

Image
Above, Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins. Retrospective: Original Music From Dark Shadows Volume 2 by Armand Vaquer One of the great things about the old spook opera Dark Shadows was its music. Composer Robert (Bob) Cobert put together some great tracks for the show during its run on ABC-TV. I've spent some of this evening listening to this album (the first time in years) and it is enjoyable. The music was also used in the two feature films, House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971). The show starred veteran actress Joan Bennett as family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins, Lara Parker as witch Angelique and David Selby, as Quentin Collins. Three volumes of music has been released, but I am concentrating on Original Music From Dark Shadows Volume 2 . Like Volume 1, Volume 2 starts with the opening theme of the show and then it takes the listener through the music from the early years (1966-1967) to the

Privateer Press Announces Voltron: Defender of the Universe Game Contents

Image
Source: Privateer Press Privateer Press has just released the official content list for its Voltron: Defender of the Universe battle miniatures game (PIP 50030). The game, which has an MSRP of $49.99, will contain 22 pre-painted plastic figures, including Voltron, 5 Voltron Lions, 5 Galaxy Garrison Cruisers, Lo-Tron, 1 Prince Lotor’s Command Ship, 4 Robeasts, and 5 Lo-Tron Force Skull Ships. The game will also include 1 double-sided play mat, 24 specialty dice, 4 status counters, and a full-color rulebook. “When we set out to create the first-ever Voltron tabletop miniatures game, we wanted to make sure everything about it drew the player right into the Voltron universe and thrust them front and center in the battle for control of the galaxy,” said Privateer Press Chief Creative Officer Matt Wilson. “This July, everyone who once dreamed of being part of the Voltron Force will finally have their chance to ‘form blazing sword’ and take control of the indomitable Defender of the Unive

Scheduling Problems May Keep Raw Leiba Out Of Conan

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Raw Leiba This past weekend I was contacted by actor Raw Leiba (Fable: Teeth of Beasts / The Ascension) about his reported connection to the upcoming "Conan" movie. It seems that both Raw and his brother Rolando are fans of Monster Island News, and have chosen this venue to release some information in regards to "Conan" and some other movie projects. As it stands right now, Raw has not yet signed on to play Ukafa alongside Jason Momoa (as Conan) due to some possible scheduling conflicts. At this time he is already signed on for two films, one "The Driver" which stars Heather Locklear (Melrose Place) and Abe Vigoda (Fish) and yet another unnamed film which may be shooting around the same time. Raw wanted everyone to know, that if these films won't conflict with the shooting schedule for "Conan" then he would like to sign on. The actor is very excited about the possibility of working with director Marcus Nisp

Rondo Awards: You Can Now Vote!

Image
Rondo Awards: You Can Now Vote! by Armand Vaquer / Ken Hulsey It's that time of the year again! What time? It's Rondo Award time! The ballot for the 2009 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards is now up and ready for your votes! I noted that The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan received a nomination in the "Best Book" category. Unfortunately, while I am honored to have it nominated, it did not come out in 2009 and was only made available on January 13. The Guide is only now hitting mailboxes everywhere (I've yet to receive my orders). While it is nice to be nominated (and the nominating committee wanted to give it some publicity), I've asked David Colton (head honcho for the Rondo Awards) to remove it so that votes can properly go to those deserving books that did actually come out in 2009. If it is deemed worthy for a nomination for this year (the voting will take place next year), I would gladly accept a nomination then. At least by then, peopl

Movie Review: "The Wolfman" (2010)

Image
Above, Benicio Del Toro in the title role. Movie Review: "The Wolfman" (2010) by Armand Vaquer A "guys' night out" was held last night (most of the guys I was with are married) at Universal City Walk for dinner at Tony Roma's and a screening of the new version of The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot and Anthony Hopkins as John Talbot. From IMDB: Universal Studios resurrects the classic lycanthrope with this tale of an American who experiences an unsettling transformation after returning to his ancestral home in Victorian-era Great Britain and being attacked by a rampaging werewolf. His brother having recently vanished without a trace, haunted nobleman Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to his family estate to investigate. What he discovers upon reuniting with his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins), however, is a destiny far darker than his blackest nightmares. As a young boy, the untimely death of his mother caused Talbot to

The First Look At Roger Corman's 'Dinoshark'

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Sources: The Hollywood Reporter / Avery Guerra Isn't it wonderful that giant mutant monsters are popular again. After J.J. Abrams unleashed his giant monster movie, "Cloverfield", in theaters two years ago, there has been a non-stop parade of independent features where the motto, "bigger is better", has really been taken seriously. Last year, The Asylum, made a huge media splash with their film "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus". The film featured former 80s pop sensation, Debbie Gibson, playing second fiddle to a titanic shark and an equally gigantic octopus. Likewise, films of the same vein like, "Dinocroc vs. Supergator", "Megaconda," and even The Asylum's follow-up to "Mega Shark", called "Megapiranha", were all rushed into production by the end of 2009. Now it seems that the king of B movie monsters, Roger Corman, was feeling a little left-out by all of this, so he has developed his

Virginia Bigfoot Sightings On The Rise?

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: The McDowell News I seem to have stumbled upon a trend. When I started covering more stories about cryptozoology in the later part of 2009, I expected to find numerous reports of Bigfoot sightings from the Pacific Northwest, the region of North America that has had the most sightings of the elusive creature for over two hundred years, but, to my amazement, no stories have been coming from there, at all. Instead, there have been sightings reported in other regions of the country, like the East Coast and deep South. It seems that, like his human counterparts, Bigfoot and his relatives have become fed up with West Coast living, maybe because of California's high taxes, and moved to places like Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia. In fact, it has been the woods of Virginia where a new wave of sightings of Bigfoot have been reported over the past six months. The latest report to surface, comes from Grayson County in the southwest corner

Its Werewolves vs Bigfoot In Clint Romag's 'Revenge Of The Werewolves'

Image
Source: Marketwire (Press Release) Clint Romag, author of the Bigfoot Horror series "The Sasquatch Encounters," has released his new novel "Revenge of the Werewolves." After the destruction on Ellesmere Island, Brennan, lord of the dark pack, leads the surviving werewolves on a rampage to hunt down and destroy Cameron Rossin. Cameron will have to fight for his life to save his friends, family and himself, while trying desperately to not give into the curse. The action starts when dozens of wolves are unleashed into the streets of Portland, Oregon slaughtering anyone nearby. Cameron will have to return to his hometown of Longview, Washington and confront Brennan in the very place where James Langley cursed him as a werewolf years before. But in doing so, Cameron is in danger of turning into the monster he has fought so long not to become. "This is the fourth book in the series and the darkest one yet," Clint Romag said. "As in the first book, most

Voting Starts Sunday Night For 2009 Rondo Awards!

Image
Voting Starts Sunday Night For 2009 Rondo Awards! by Armand Vaquer The eighth annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards voting will begin this coming Sunday, February 21. According to the Rondo Award website : WE'VE HAD SOME DELAYS, BUT ON SUNDAY, FEB. 21, WE'LL PUBLISH THE BALLOT FOR THE 8TH ANNUAL RONDO AWARDS. VOTING WILL CONTINUE THROUGH SATURDAY., APRIL 3, 2010. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE DELAY (changing host sites is never easy), AND HOPE YOU'LL HELP HONOR THE BEST OF 2009 BY VOTING! SEE YOU SUNDAY NIGHT! Nominations are still being accepted. Also, voters are allowed to write-in their choice(s) on the ballot. Generally, a voter will need to copy and paste the ballot and email it to the tabulators. Directions on voting will be provided on the ballot website. Remember, vote early and often! Note : The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan was mentioned as a possible nominee by David Colton, one of the Rondo Award execs. But I pointed out to him that The Gu

James Nguyen's Own Low Budget Hitchcock - Birdemic: Shock And Terror

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Chris Macowski Just about everyone has heard about Alfred Hitchcock's cinema masterpiece, "The Birds", a film that centered around a small northern California town that is ravaged by a flock of killer fowl. The 1963 movie, which starred Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy, and Tippi Hedren, is considered to be one of the greatest thrillers of all-time. If you aren't just a little afraid of birds, you will be after seeing this movie. But, that's not the movie I'm talking about today. No, instead I'm writing about a brand-new film, that just so happens to be a clone of "The Birds", called "Birdemic: Shock and Terror". The film, which is the brain-child of film maker James Nguyen, who both wrote and directed "Birdemic", as you may have guessed, is about a gigantic flock of hawks and eagles that ravages a northern California town......complete with a guest cameo by Tippi Hedren. Nguyen

Steven Spielberg To Bring Dinosaurs To Fox

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Variety Fox is hoping that Steven Spielberg can recreate some of his "Jurassic Park" magic for television. The network has recruited Spielberg and Peter Chernin to helm a very ambitious new television series called, "Terra Nova," which will follow the exploits of a family from 100 years in the future, that travels back in time to the age of dinosaurs. Reportedly Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Rice is so enamoured with "Terra Nova" that he is ready to give the series the green-light without even shooting a pilot. The series, which will be co-written by Craig Silverstein and British scribe Kelly Marcel, had been shopped around the UK for some time before Rice got wind of it from Aaron Kaplan, the former chief of WMA TV. It isn't too surprising that networks in the UK turned their noses up at an effects heavy series with dinosaurs, with ITV having trouble keeping the expensive, yet very successful, "Primeval&quo

Bygone Behemoth Explores What Happens When Monsters Retire

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Sources: Avery Guerra / Undead Backbrain One day it will happen to all of us, we will be forced to retire. Everyone has to deal with the fact that they will one day outlive there usefulness to society and be pushed aside by the younger generation. This time in life can be exceptionally hard for celebrities. What is there to live for when nobody wants your autograph anymore and you can waltz into Walmart without a security escort and not be mobbed.....or even noticed? Just imagine how hard this must be for a movie monster? Oh, back in the day people used to go running when you would come into town and the army and air force would always be there to greet you. Now you can't even find a decent place to park and teenagers scare you. Writer/director Harry Chaskin has decided to tackle the topic of movie monster retirement in his short feature, "Bygone Behemoth", the story of "It", a stop-motion monster who is having a hard time trying to

Shout! Factory To Release Gamera DVD

Image
Shout! Factory To Release Gamera DVD by Armand Vaquer For years, fans of the Showa Gamera series have been waiting for a quality DVD to be released in the United States. They needn't wait anymore! Kaiju fandom is abuzz over the news that Shout! Factory is going to release a Gamera DVD May 18th. Shout! Factory's news release is as follows: From Japan – the country that brought us such mythical movie monsters as Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah – storms Gamera, the titanic terrapin feared by adults and loved by children. On May 18, 2010, Shout! Factory will unleash Gamera, The Giant Monster – Special Edition on DVD for the first time in its unedited original version, with English subtitles — in anamorphic widescreen from an all-new HD master. The DVD includes a 12-page booklet with an essay by director Noriaki Yuasa, a photo gallery, trailers and more. The collectible Gamera, The Giant Monster Special Edition DVD is priced to own at $19.93. Like all classic m

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan: Contents

Image
The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan: Contents by Armand Vaquer The Monster Movie Fan's Guide to Japan is divided into four sections: General Information , Hokkaido , Honshu and Kyushu . The locations used in the movies are placed at the Japanese island where they can be found. For example: Sapporo was used in Gamera 2 and is located on the island of Hokkaido. The same goes for kaiju-related or attractions of interest to the monster fan traveler. Each location or attraction will indicate what movie it was used, how to get there and, if available, where to stay. Recommendations on where to stay will be included after a history of the location and how to get there. Source(s) for finding a hotel or ryokan are provided. If I had stayed at a hotel or ryokan at any of these places, I will indicate such and make a recommendation. The Table of Contents (below) shows which island each location or attaction is located. To order, go here . The retail price is $

Chris Nolan Overseeing Batman and Superman Movies

Image
Above, George Reeves, television's first Superman in Phoenix, Arizona. Chris Nolan Overseeing Batman and Superman Movies by Armand Vaquer Big Hollywood is reporting that Chris Nolan is readying the third Batman movie (a follow-up to The Dark Knight ) and will oversee a re-boot of the Superman franchise. They report: Warner Bros is trying to ready its DC Comics stalwart Superman to soar again on the Big Screen, and the studio has turned to Chris Nolan to mentor development of the movie. Our insiders say that the brains behind rebooted Batman has been asked to play a “godfather” role and ensure The Man Of Steel gets off the ground after a 3 1/2-year hiatus. The last two Batman movies were critically acclaimed while Superman Returns bombed. The script for the Batman movie is now being written. Let's hope under Nolan's leadership the two super-heroes will soar with the critics and at the boxoffice. To read the full article, go here .

Peter H. Brothers's New Website

Image
Peter H. Brothers's New Website by Armand Vaquer Every writer should have a website. And a new website has just opened up. At long last, writer Peter H. Brothers has just set up a new website called Godzilla My Dreams . He's the author of the new book, Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda . Included is a guestbook, gallery and store. Eventually, he will have exhibitions of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy films. To check out Pete's site, go here .

The Third Issue Of Robot 13 Arrives Amidst Media Praise

Image
Source: Paul Castiglia (Press Release) 2009 was another memorable year for the comic book industry. When it came time for journalists to reflect on the year gone by, several mentioned R-13 as being one of the standout comic books of 2009. Among R-13’s many champions is MTV’s Rick Marshall, an editor of the station’s movie, pop culture and comic book news site, “The Splash Page.” Rick calls R-13 the “Best Under-the-Radar Comic Series” on the stands today. This March, readers will get another chance to discover what all the excitement is about with the release of R-13 #3 (aka Robot 13). The thrilling issue from Blacklist Studios concludes the “Colossus” storyline and will be simultaneously released in the digital format for the Apple and Google mobile markets via special arrangements with Robot Comics and Panelfly. The story of a skull-headed robot with an irresistible instinct to battle mythological creatures has captured the imaginations of comic book fans the world over. T

Emily Rose Joins The Cast Of SyFy's 'Haven'

Image
Source: NBC / Universal (Press Release) Emily Rose (Jericho, Brothers and Sisters, ER) has been cast in Syfy's new supernatural drama series Haven, based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King. Rose will play the lead role of Audrey Parker, the shrewd and confident FBI agent with a lost past who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine to solve the murder of a local ex-con. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are afflicted with a remarkable range of supernatural abilities. As the townspeople's dormant abilities begin to express themselves, Audrey helps keep these forces at bay while discovering the many secrets of Haven - including one surrounding her own surprising past in this extraordinary place. Production is expected to commence in Spring 2010, with an eye towards a Summer 2010 premiere. Haven, from E1 Entertainment and Pil

Dr. Peter Venkman Becomes A Ghost In Gostbusters 3!

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: WENN Bill Murray has just let one major plot point from the upcoming "Ghostbusters" sequel slip, his character, Dr. Peter Venkman, will be dead. That's right, Venkman is going to be a ghost in "Ghostbusters 3", and you want to know the funny part? It was Murray himself that insisted on it. The only way that the execs over at Sony could get Murray to join his fellow cast-mates, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, was to agree to let his character bite it in the films opening scene. Murray recently told reporters, "I’ll come back in Ghostbusters 3 only if I get to be a ghost. I said to them, 'I'll do it if you kill me off in the first reel.' So now they are going to have me as a ghost in the film.” This isn't the first big plot point to be revealed about the upcoming "Ghostbusters" sequel. Back in May of 2009, Dan Aykroyd let it be known that he intended for the film to launch an all-new s

'Island, Alone' - An Adventure With Monsters And A Sexy Jungle Girl In The Stylings Of Jules Verne

Image
Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Shawn Aldridge Slowly but surely, everything is going to the net. Movies, television, books and now comic books. As the technology changes and becomes better, and faster, the way that entertainment is presented to the masses is also changing. Magazines and newspapers are slowly going the way of the Dodo. People can just find the information they need online, for free, from literally thousands of sources. Is the comic book doomed to the same fate? That is for time to decide, but there is just something about holding a first edition Marvel or DC book in your hands. It's kinda magical. Enough about that. This past weekend I was turned on to a great online comic called, "Island, Alone", which should be right up the alley of Monster Island News readers. Aldridge has drawn upon inspiration from such notable works as the writings of Jules Verne, Lovercraft and other various Victorian Gothic literature plus classic EC comics, and old Ray Harry