Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Robert Hood / Avery Guerra
Many people thought that once Toho put Godzilla on hiatus that the giant monster genre in Japan would have gone on hiatus along with him. That, however, was not the case. In the past six years since Godzilla was given a well deserved vacation, the genre has actually experienced the kind of boom not seen since the 1960s. It seems that many Japanese monster movie makers were simply waiting for 'The King' to step aside for a while so that they could have their moment to showcase other monstrous creations.
And it's not just Japanese cinema that has caught 'monster fever' over the past half-decade, there have been several great monster series produced for Japanese television as well. This, of course, leads me to today's subject matter, a one-off TV special (25 minutes in length) called "The Man Who Summons Kaiju" (Kaijû wo yobu otoko) which is set to debut this Friday (December 10th).
The short film, or episode actually, is the creation of director Daisuke Andô and stars veteran Japanese monster movie actor, and anime voice actor, Tetsu Watanabe (Godzilla vs Mothra, Godzilla x MechaGodzilla, The Ring, Princess Mononoke) as well as Nao Nagasawa (Daimajin Kanon) and Gen Hoshino who plays a Japanese movie maker who's quest to produce a monster film takes an unexpected turn, when a real monster shows up.
I know what your thinking, it's been done before. A 'real' monster shows up while someone is trying to film a monster flick. How 'Scooby Doo' right?
Well, yes the idea may not bee too original, but we are talking about a giant monster program here, so we can cut Ando and company a little slack.
Here is the synopsis:
Kouta Soejima (Gen Hoshino) works for the Saga Film Commission. One day, approached by an old school friend now working in the film industry, Kouta is given the opportunity to make a monster movie and eagerly takes up the challenge. He begins scouting for locations, seeking the perfect shoot location — which turns out to be the hometown he had left years before. As elements of his past start to catch up with him, he finds that something else — something big — is about make an appearance…
The folks over at NHK were quick to point out that the monster would be seen in the episode, and that the production company opted to forgo the traditional 'man in a suit' style effects for computer generated ones.
The spokes person for the project also had this to say about the monster, "As for the daikaiju that is in the film, its appearance is based on a fish known as “Odontamblyopus lacepedii”, which looks a little like H.R. Giger’s Alien design."
What is a Odontamblyopus lacepedii you may ask? Besides being something that is a pain in the ass to spell, it is a form of eel that lives off the coast of China, Korea, and Japan ...... and is really, really ugly.
Actually kinda looks like the monster that popped out of the wall in "Big Trouble in Little China."
"What? What will never come out again!?"
Anyway, here is the trailer, plus some stills and behind-the-scenes shots from "The Man Who Summons Kaiju". It should be noted that the second pic is of a cute little toy monster that has been produced as a publicity tool for the show, not the actual monster from the episode.
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