Sources: Avery Guerra / Robert Hood
Ohio based Mitch Teemley and the folks over at Moriah Media are about to lampoon one of the largest movie franchises ever, a iconic movie series that the great Mel Brooks never had the stones to take on himself. I am, of course, talking about the "King of Monsters" ...... Godzilla.
Okay, I know what your thinking. "Wow! Hold on lawyer alert! Legal team ready......ATTACK!!!!
Over the past several years Toho has shown that they are more than happy, and willing, to sue anyone that produces anything that remotely resembles their beloved monster. This time, surprisingly, the famed Japanese movie company has given their blessing at having "Big G" parodied by an American film company ..... more on that in a moment.
Teemly has a script at the ready for "Notzilla: Duke of the Monsters" a script that has already gained a lot of attention when it made it into the final round of the Worldfest Contest, one of the largest screenplay competitions in the world.
After the screenplay was so widely praised Teemly actually stuck it under the nose of Toho to see if they had any interest in developing it into a film.
The film maker explains, "Actually I offered the project to Toho not long after I wrote it. They weren’t interested in spoofing their own films, but wished us well. Parodies are not plagiarism; if they were, Saturday Night Live would have been shut down 35 years ago! Notzilla will not feature any footage from Toho films, nor will the monster be a visual copy of Godzilla."
Understanding why Toho may not want to lampoon their own monster Teemly then set his sights on making the film here in America with a big budget and with any luck a major studio behind him.
He adds, "Notzilla is intended for mainstream release (we have serious interest from both the majors and large indie distributors), and Moriah Media is for-profit company, by the way. A Fox Searchlight analyst estimated a $40 million North American box office gross; international box office is expected to exceed that. We are actively seeking completion funding!"
That's a lot of greenbacks!
Teemly knew that if he wanted to get a studio to take him seriously he would have to produce something visual to go along with his beloved screenplay. A teaser trailer was in order!
Check out the great clip that Moriah Media produced!
But wait .... that's not all!
Teemly then set out to get some "star power" for his "Notzilla" film and landed Patrick Warburton, who you may remember from the spoof superhero series, "The Tick". Just like when Franklin J. Schaffner landed Charlton Heston for a "talking monkey movie" no one was interested in called "Planet of the Apes"Teemly hopes the presence of Warburton will add credibility to his production and ultimately aide in getting the backing he needs.
The film maker notes, "Patrick Warburton is attached to star. I wrote the lead role of the “brilliant young American scientist”, Dr Dick Harvard (who’s actually not very brilliant nor very young) for him. All of the other leads are Japanese.
"Notzilla" has not yet been filmed. We are in the midst of capitalization and are using the teaser to generate investor interest. I appeared as a guest at G-Fest in Chicago last year and read segments of the screenplay to a very enthusiastic crowd. We’ve lined up some crack crew heads: Production Designer Robert Harbour designed sets for Heroes and X-Files; multi-Emmy winning Director of Photography Jeff Barklage shot the teaser; Oscar-nominated producer Melissa Godoy is also attached to oversee production."
Here is the story:
In the future (1975), “brilliant young American scientist” Dr Dick Harvard (played by not-so-brilliant and not-so-young Raymond L. Suave) leads a team of crack scientists in atomic testing (no one knows why) near Yomama Bay. The unexpected result (these scientists don’t watch enough B-pictures): a prehistoric egg is shaken loose, after being exposed to massive amounts of radiation. Of course.
Dick’s mentor, “brilliant old Japanese scientist”, Dr Nissan Toyota, succeeds in hatching a dinosaur! But then it escapes, and begins growing at an alarming rate. Of course.
Dr Toyota wants to save the creature. But Dick is certain it will attack Tokyo. “Because that’s what always happens”. The two split up. Dick goes off to build his atomic molecule blaster, which he admits will leave a radioactive cloud over Tokyo for fifty years (“but after that you’ll never even know it was there”), while Toyota seeks a gentler alternative that will keep the monster alive.
Notzilla attacks Tokyo. Sort of. Actually he’s on a lark, playing with the miniature city, reversing toy trains, eating plastic soldiers, running a touchdown with a blimp under his arm. He parties hard while thousands of people run screaming in the streets (actually a couple dozen of the same people run screaming over and over again).
The army, led by General Buzz Kurosawa (George Takei—Star Trek, Heroes), is powerless to stop the monster (though Kurosawa, an amateur filmmaker, does get some great footage). Dick completes his controversial molecule blaster. He’s about to use it when Dr. Toyota shows up with his alternative device. In a rage, Dick accidentally turns the blaster on himself, resulting in his own over-the-top death scene—which schlock actor Raymond L. Suave had hoped would result in an Oscar nomination. It didn’t.
Toyota’s device stops Notzilla, but does not kill him, leaving the creature free to defend Tokyo from other latex monsters in the future!
- also -
"Notzilla" purports to be a restored print of a 1966 Japanese film, a long-lost classic of the genre. It begins with a special “anniversary release” prologue in which Rudy McBernstein, president of Great Big Impressive Pictures International, introduces viewers to the 1966 masterpiece, "Notzilla, the Duke of Monsters", the last film ever to feature American TV star Raymond L. Suave (Patrick Warburton).
How can you not love that?!
Teemly adds, "Notzilla is a classic monster movie spoof with heart—it makes a gently teasing statement about cultural arrogance. Also … reversing the trend toward raunchy, R-rated parodies, Notzilla is a family-friendly PG film with positive values. It’s clean enough for grandparents to take their grandkids to … and hip enough for college guys to drag their girlfriends to. Everyone will love Notzilla!"
Everyone should .... and if they don't they should be taken out in the desert and ...... wait ..... I got a little worked up there .... sorry.
Here are some bullet points that Teemly wants everyone to know:
- The expected budget is $1.5 million. There’s a complete package (Investors Memorandum and Business Plan) available for any potential investors out there. It’s a great opportunity; they expect return on investment in the 1,000 to 2,000% range.
- They’re looking at a 2012 shoot and a 2013 release.
- No, there are no other daikaiju, aliens, or creatures. Notzilla is basically a spoof of the original one-monster flicks (Godzilla/Gojira, Mothra, Rodan, Gamera, etc.), rather than the “versus” films. It’s in colour, of course, widescreen, and utilizes a single Anglo-American actor in a lead role as did a number of the Toho films.
- All f/x will be suitmation and miniatures, since Notzilla purports to be a film made in the pre-CGI era. Other vintage f/x will include rear-screen projection, robotics, and cheezy practicals—shaking the camera, for example, to indicate an explosion.