Monday, February 28, 2011
The Events page over at the official Monsterpalooza website now includes this promo for my presentation at the show in April (click the image to see it full size):
The images are of the Wako Department Store in the Ginza section of Tokyo. The image on the left is from Godzilla (1954) and the one on the right was taken during my trip to Japan last December. The building was formerly known as the K. Hattori Building.
This and other locations are covered in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.
Kudos to Eliot Brodsky for an excellent job!
To see the full Events page, go here.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Above, Armand Vaquer at the Godzilla statue at Toho Studios.
My presentation at Monsterpalooza will be Friday, April 8 at 8:00 PM, following Peter H. Brothers. If there are any changes, they will be posted at this blog.
My presentation will consist of:
Ever wanted to travel to Japan to see the landmarks Godzilla and friends demolished? Armand Vaquer, author of "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan," will give a one-hour presentation on giant monster (kaiju) locations fans can visit in Japan. He will discuss what movie(s) the locations appeared in and what attractions are nearby. A slide show of the locations will be shown during his presentation. Attendees of the presentation will be given the opportunity to ask questions.
The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan will be available for sale before and after the presentation.
For more information on Monsterpalooza, go to www.rubberroom101.com.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Above, Miki Hayashi. Photo by Armand Vaquer
Fans of Japanese giant monster movies (daikaiju eiga) aren't the only beneficiaries of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan. There's also places of interest for fans of Ultraman contained in the travel guide.
Ultraman, produced by special effects pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya's Tsuburaya Productions, is a popular character (in various incarnations) in Japan. Featured in several television shows and movies, Ultraman battled giant monsters to the delight of audiences over the past five decades.
The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan has information on:
Fukushima Airport, where a statue of Ultraman stands in the terminal building.
Ultraman Shopping District in the Setagaya section of Tokyo where characters of the Ultraman Universe adorn storefronts and streetlamp posts.
Kumamoto's Ultramanland, a small amusement park on the island of Kyushu.
So if you are also an Ultraman fan, The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan has a little something for you too!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Above, Rina and Megumi Odaka with Robert Scott Field at Los Angeles International Airport, July 2000. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
Today's Robert Scott Field's birthday (although it is now February 21 in Japan, where Scott lives).
Above, Scott translating for Haruo Nakajima at G-Fest in 2008 during the awarding of Nakajima's "Mangled Skyscraper Award." Photo by Armand Vaquer.
He is best known amongst G-fans as android M-11 in 1991's Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. He also has served ably as a celebrity guest as well as translator for G-Fest's Japanese guests over the years.
Happy Birthday, Scott!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Above, Miki Hayashi with "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan." Photo by Armand Vaquer.
It's that time of year again!
The Ninth Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards ballot is now up and ready for your votes!
The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan has been nominated in the Best Book of The Year category. (Note: It was on last year's ballot, but since it didn't get published (or "go live") until January 2010, I requested that it be removed from the ballot so that people can fairly judge it a year later.) It is an honor just to have it nominated!
Also, Monster Island News has been nominated in the "Best Blog" category!
What is the Rondo Award? According to the official Rondo Awards website:
The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were created by David Colton and Kerry Gammill at the Classic Horror Film Boards in 2002. The awards are fan-based, and have no connection to any commercial sponsor. Anyone in fandom can vote or propose nominees.
The 'Rondo' award itself, shown at right, features a bust sculpted by illustrator Kerry Gammill, and cast by modeler Tim Lindsey.
The statuette is a miniature version of the bust of Hatton seen in the Universal film, HOUSE OF HORRORS (1946). The Rondos have been praised by recipients for their quiet beauty and evocation of classic horror.
Nominees for the Rondo are selected from suggestions by horror fans, pros and enthusiasts offered all year at the CHFB. Each year's nominees are finalized by classic horror fan David Colton (email@example.com), with the help of more than 20 classic horror fans from around the world, and with expertise in all parts of fandom.
Your votes for The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan and Monster Island News are very much appreciated, of course. But the most important thing for Japanese (and all) monster fans is to vote!
Just go here and copy and paste the ballot onto an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your votes.
After you've voted, then you can say...
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Sources: London Evening Standard / Shock Til You Drop
In a recent article I posed the question whether "Godzilla 3D" director Gareth Edwards was the right man to take on "The King of the Monsters" due to the fact that he had only one major film under his belt? I also pondered on whether or not the film maker was a Godzilla fan and if he knew the source material from the monsters 50-plus year movie career?
In a group of online interviews Edwards was asked about these very subjects and I want to let his own words speak for themselves:
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Edwards from the London Evening Standard
And then there'll be that attempt to reboot the Godzilla franchise after the disastrous 1998 offering.
"I am attached and we are just starting the process," he says.
Will his Godzilla be battling Mothra or another monster, as rumoured?
"Everyone involved knows what the film has to be," he says judiciously.
"What's important to me is that, as well as spectacle, you have to give a shit about what's happening and why."
Godzilla, like the Bekmambetov project, will have a big budget.
So what about the digital revolution? Edwards is sceptical about its imminence.
True, he says, anyone can pick up a camera and make a film tomorrow, and computers are gradually picking up speed to match the sophistication of the CGI software around.
But Avatar remains the most expensive and the most successful film ever, and therefore the paradigm for the movie business.
"But the gap between the $100 million movie and the hundred-grand movie is getting smaller," he concedes.
"What we need is a hundred-grand movie that looks like a $100 million movie and makes the kind of money that a $100 million movie makes. When that happens there will be a lot of head-scratching. Obviously Monsters isn't in that category. But I think it probably will come."
Edwards also had this to say to a writer for the Shock Til You Drop Website:
"I'm a big fan, I guess I will say I'm highly aware - and everyone involved is incredibly aware - of everyone's opinions on what this film has to do and what it has to be. And no one will do anything but the right thing. Without addressing anything specific, everyone knows how important is to get it right."
"My earliest memories was channel 4, they showed them (Godzilla movies) every Friday night. As a kid I wasn't quite sure about the dubbing, the English-dubbed versions. They threw me for a bit. I love science fiction and, well I call them B movies but they're not, but I love '60s and '70s sci-fi. But these would come on and be dubbed and it would take my kid brain to adjust to the dubbing. It took me some time to get through that."
Edwards also revealed to Shock that he will not be writing the script for "Godzilla 3D" as many people, including myself had speculated.
Okay, so Edwards is a fan of the Godzilla movie franchise and he seems to well aware of what all of us fans have been saying about what we expect from this film. That, at least on the outset, is very encouraging news. Now lets see how all of that translates into a movie.
Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.
Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."
"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.
Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.
Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.
In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.
"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."
Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."
Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.