In 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah , Japan has a new enemy: a new creature that has evolved to live on the pollutants of our modern society. Not only that, but it is producing deadly pollution itself, incapacitating and humans that may get close. This is a disaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Godzilla doesn’t like to see other monsters on it’s own turf. Yeah, Godzilla and Hedorah are heading for a showdown. I pity the Japanese that get caught in the middle!
So, this is a time when the Godzilla character was transitioning from a bad guy who seemed to get kicks from beating the crap out of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, to a protector of the Japanese people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured or killed if you get too close: Godzilla is a Big Picture kind of monster, and may stomp the occasional person or building on the sidelines. Heck – you might even get drowned in a big piece of polluted monster if you are not careful – should have stayed away from Godzilla, idiot…
Godzilla Vs Hedorah is actually one of my favourite Godzilla movies, and I really like the three stage design of the Hedorah – pretty cool, and add a neat, cheezy transition effect between the stages and you’ve got gold. Add to that the hippiness of the movie – lots of trippy music and psychedelic gels, and some trippy animated series really reminds you of when this movie was made – and that in my opinion is a very good and neat thing. Without a doubt, I would say that this is the most unique Godzilla movie that I have watched (so far, at least). Should you watch it? You should watch ALL Godzilla movies (with the exception of the Mathew Broderick version), but you should especially watch this Godzilla movie.
Check out the trailer below:
1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla is a movie that I saw as a very young child and I tell you, it stuck with me through the years. Heck, I thought this movie was in black and white – turns out I watched it on a black and white TV back in the day! Well, this movie is in glorious colour.
So, a Godzilla has escaped from a frozen chunk of an iceberg, and recently King Kong has been discovered to be a real thing. Okay, he’s a bit of a lush (or junkie), having become addicted to a narcotic berry juice that the locals on the the south Pacific island that Kong calls home. Back to Godzilla: Of course Godzilla is bent of some big time Japanese destruction. From their previous encounters with Godzilla, the Japanese know they are in trouble. Why not play Godzilla off against Kong and maybe the two monsters will destroy each other and Japan can go back to it’s daily normal schedule? Well that is just what is done, in this epic meeting of two iconic movie monsters.
King Kong Versus Godzilla is a fun monster mash of Japanese destruction, tied together with and interesting concept: The action is being described and reported (between scenes), by what appear to be reporters working for the United Nations. Fun stuff!
So, check out this amazing monster movie!
Here is the trailer:
You read that right: This week of movie watching is dedicated to everybody’s favourite, reptilian destroyer of Japanese cities, Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira).
Why Godzilla? Well, it started after watching Dragonslayer – I was talking to my buddy and thought that perhaps a week dedicated to movies about Dragons might be a cool idea… Until I started searching out movies about Dragons – there aren’t many, and for the most part, the ones that do exist I am not interested in. Except one thing: I consider Godzilla to be a Dragon, and there are a lot of Godzilla movies to choose from, and I just happen to like Godzilla. I think this is what is known as a Win/Win situation folks. Over the next week I will write up the Godzilla movies I watch and share them with you, as usual. But take note: I will not be watching the travesty of a Godzilla movie that starred Mathew Broderick – to me that is not a true Godzilla movie.
So… Welcome to Godzilla Week my Internet friends!
When we finished Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie, Kill Bill Volume 1, Bill (played by David Caradine) was still alive… This pretty much guaranteed us a Volume 2.
Volume 2, released in early 2004, opens with a flash beck to Bill shooting Uma Thurman’s character, The Bride, and leaving her, presumably, for dead on the floor of a small church. Then we see The Bride herself, driving, recounting what happened in Volume 1, and then calmly letting us know that she is going to kill Bill. Soon we see Bill, speaking to his brother,Budd (played by Michael Madsen), himself a former Deadly Viper, warning him that The Bride is most likely on her way to kill him. Budd, who now spends his time working as a bouncer in a titty bar, explains that they all deserve any kind of vengeance that the Bride may bestow upon them, for what they did to her. Later, The Bride, expecting to ambush Budd, end up on the wrong side of a 12 gauge shotgun packed full of rock salt. Incapacitated, Budd buries her alive, in a cemetery, and calls fellow Viper, Elle Driver (played by Daryl Hannah), bragging of his deed, and offering up The Bride’s Hanzo sword to her for a cool million dollars – an offer she snaps at. Meanwhile, we flashback to The Bride…who flashes back to her martial arts training at the hands of a merciless master by the name of Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). We see a young Bride as she develops her techniques through repetition and the seeming heartlessness of her master. Eventually it is obvious that she has won his respect. Now we flashback to the present, with the Bride using one of the many techniques taught to her by Pai Mei to escape. Meanwhile, back at Budd’s trailer, Elle has shown up to get the sword. Providing Budd a suitcase full of cash (a million dollars, I presume), she inspects the weapon while Budd starts grabbing handfuls of cash out of the suitcase… Only to find a surprise – a deadly surprise, waits for him in all that cash. Now with Budd out of the way, The Bride has made her way back to Budd’s place to find Elle – which is good, because she too was on the Bride’s list of those that have to die… A great sword fight breaks out, and along the way we discover that Elle, who also was sent to learn under Pai Mei, had killed the old master by poisoning his meal. We also lean that the Master had plucked one of Ell’s eyes out during her training for being insubordinate to the old man. Enrages, The Bride takes instant justice by relieving Elle of her remaining eye…
Now on to Bill… The Bride, now referred to as Beatrix, has tracked Bill to Mexico. Meeting an elderly, dirt bag of a gentleman by the name of Esteban Vihaio, who tells her Bill’s location, because he believes Bill would want him to. Making it to Bill’s, she receives a shocks when she discovers some interesting personal info…and a dart of truth serum to the neck. More flashbacks and some serious talking, and then battle… awesome battle.
You know the name of the movies, so you figure out what the outcome is (watch the movies if you haven’t already). These two movies were meant to be released as a single movie, but the run time would be over 4 hours so they were broken into two. Watch both back to back for the original intended experience, The Kill Bill movies are fantastic and you should watch them.
Check out the trailer below:
Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie, Kill Bill Volume 1 tells the story of “The Bride” (played by Uma Thurman), a former member of an assassination team known as the Deadly Vipers, and her journey of revenge against her former fellow assassins, and Bill, her former master and leader of the Deadly Vipers, for attacking and massacring her wedding party and leaving her for dead during a wedding rehearsal.
Thurman’s character, in this iteration of the Kill Bill Saga is known simply as the Bride. Waking from a coma, four years after Bill left her for dead on the floor of a church, he Bride takes little time to start her path of vengeance… starting right there in the hospital,taking out the redneck that paid a greaseball orderly to have sex with her… Oh, and she takes out that orderly, quickly. also… and takes off with his ridiculous, bright yellow truck, labeled “The Pussy Wagon”. First stop. after the killing in the hospital is to the home of Vernita Green (played by Vivica A. Fox). The two do epic battle with a short break in the middle when Vernita’s young daughter comes home. Soon the action restarts, and ends with The Bride heading to her next destination/victim, O-Ren Ishii (played by Lucy Liu), a former Viper and now leader of a consortium of Yakuza families. A flashback shows us just how she won the respect and fear of the male dominated Yakuza families. When The Bride shows up in Japan, she defeats what seems to be an almost endless number of minions, known as the Crazy 88s. The scene ends with a very stylistically shot scene with The Bride and Oren in a samurai sword battle. Pretty evenly matched… but you know who is going to win, and she does so in a spectacular fashion. Upon leaving, she leaves one former member of the Deadly Vipers alive: Sophie Fatale, (played by Julie Dreyfus), is left alive, albeit minus one arm, to send the message that The Bride is coming for him. Mixed up in the story ids a sub story, where the Bride travels to the island of Okinawa, and convinces the esteemed, but now retired sword smith, Hattori Hanzō (played by the awesome Sonny Chiba), to craft her a samurai sword. At first he declines… that is until she tells him the sword is to be used to Kill Bill. Now he’s in…
Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a little disjointed. Like Tarantino’s other masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, it has a disjointed timeline – the scenes are just not in linear order. I believe this may be in homage to the cheezy B-Movies of the past where projectionists would sometimes play the reels out of order, either due to mis-labeling or just carelessness. Either way, I like it.
Watch Kill Bill Volume 1… and if you’ve seen it, watch it again.
Check out the trailer below:
Written, directed and starring James Hong, a venerable actor that seems t have been in everything from the TV show MASH to Kung Fu Panda (the voice of the Master) and almost everything in between. It’s just too bad that this was the movie that he decided to make.
The Vineyard tells the tale of a Winemaker, Dr. Elson Po who invites a group of young aspiring actors and friends to his island vineyard under the pretence that he wants to make a movie. Well, things are not really as they seem and neither is Dr. Po.
Dr. Po is ancient and stays young(ish) and healthy by way of a secret potion that requires the blood (or some other vital fluid) from young people. He has kept himself alive for centuries like this, and that is the real reason this group has been brought to this island: so Po can harvest more of whatever to stay young. One bonus? One of the girls, (a hottie played by Karen Lorrie), seems to be his “chosen”” one with whom he plans to marry.
So… bad stuff happens to them, there’s a rescue attempt. There’s some Zombie like creatures. We see Po’s even more ancient mother… there’s some late 80s boobs. And the movie sucks.
Want to watch a bad, cheezy movie? Even if you do, you can watch something other than this. Hell – I like bad movies and this couldn’t keep my interest. This is a seriously boring attempt at a horror movie and doesn’t even have that “so bad that you have to see it” type cachet.
Here’s the trailer if you are interested, and as noted, it’s available on Netflix.
I don’t think I’ve said this on the blog before, but I generally don’t like torture horror. You know those movies where a guy is tied to a chair or something for most of the movie while he gets the crap beat out of him for what ever twisted reason. Well, Sushi Girl is one of these types of movies, and I really liked it.
What’s the movie about? Well, six years ago a group of 5 crooks pulled off a diamond heist that went bad at the last minute when their get away van was involved in a vehicle crash. Four of the five escape, with the new guy (and the guy responsible for the bag of stolen diamond), Fish (played by Noah Hathaway) getting caught. Fish ends up spending six years behind bars for the crime, never spilling the beans on his fellow crooks.
Now the six years have passed and Fish is being let out early for good behaviour and is met at the prison gates by a driver in a black limo. The limo delivers him to an ornate Chinese themed building where Duke (played by Tony Todd, the organizer of the diamond heist, has gathered together the original team. Duke, seemingly obsessed with Japanese culture and symbolism, has had an elaborate Sushi dinner prepared for the group, served on the body of a living but still “Sushi Girl.” Duke’s plan is to have the group eat the sushi, starting with the mild stuff on the outside, working their way to the center ending with Fugu – a dangerous piece of sushi created by a toxic puffer fish that when prepared properly, causes some numbness and a sense of elation, but when done incorrectly causes death. Duke wants the group to eat the meal while they all discuss an important matter: where are the diamonds from the heist? You see, they’re all wondering what happened to the diamonds, as the police reported that the bag that the diamonds were in was empty. Believing Fish had stashed the diamonds before being caught, the crew now wants their cut, despite Fish’s insistence that he never had a chance to stash them. Fish, not wanting to beat around the bush, and not wanting to play any games is very adamant that he did not have the diamonds, and that he did the group a favour by doing his time and keeping his mouth shut. The others are not convinced, and Fish soon finds himself tied to a chair while the goons take their turns attempting to torture a confession, all the while with Fish refusing to tell them what happened to the diamonds, other than he didn’t have them.
The movie shows the original heist in fits, when fish occasionally loses consciousness and lapses in to his memories of the event. It’s an interesting way to fill in the back story and each flashback shows another key part of the original heist. Fish get’s brutally beaten over and over again, each time worse than the last.
The movie goes on like this for quite a while, and there is an amazing performance by Mark Hamill as Crow, an over the top, flamboyantly gay, sadistic fellow crook – he really stole the show with his portrayal of this character. The end of the movie is a twist that I did not see coming – I know that there was going to be a big twist – I just hadn’t figured out exactly what that twist was. Although I thought this movie was great, I have to say it is definitely not for everyone. I mean for most of the movie a guy is brutally beaten while tied to a chair. That said, if you can stomach that, then I say watch this movie, even if only to see Mark Hamill in a performance that just may be the best of his career.
Check out the trailer below: