08.09.2017: Haruo Nakajima & Bin Furuya [Fear FestEvil in 2014]

Bonus episode: The late Haruo Nakajima, aka “Mr. Godzilla”, took part in a panel with Ultraman’s Bin Furuya in 2014 at Kirk Hammet’s Fear FestEvil. (Photo Credit: Loren Portillo)

It is with a very heavy heart that I must relay to you all that the actor who portrayed the original Godzilla (and other numerous kaiju), Haruo Nakajima has passed away at the age of 88.

Haruo Nakajima played Godzilla from 1954 through 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan. He was Toho’s primary kaiju actor and helped bring monsters like Rodan and Varan to life. In his later years he made many appearances at conventions around the world. I was lucky enough to see him at two of those shows.

I feel fortunate to have been able to interview Nakajima during 2014’s Fear FestEvil convention in San Francisco, California. If you’d like to hear that brief interview, it’s in episode #104 (and the interview starts around the 11½ minute mark).

At that same convention, a panel titled “Oh no! There goes Tokyo!” featured both Haruo Nakajima (the original Godzilla suit actor) and Bin Furuya (the original Ultraman suit actor) and was moderated by Jim Cirronella. The audio is not as great as I’d like, but I’ve always thought about releasing this as a special episode. This seems like the best time to do that since I won’t be able to produce any other episodes featuring this legend of the genre.

Rest In Peace, Nakajima-san

 

MOMENTS OF MONSTER MUSIC:
1. Ending (Godzilla March) by Susumu Ishikawa, Shinichi Sekizawa, Kunio Miyauchi from Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
2. Another ending by Akira Ifukube from Gojira (1954)

 

08.02.2017 Shin Godzilla director Shinji Higuchi

Kyle sits down with tokusatsu director Shinji Higuchi to discuss his career!

Yatta!!! This is big news for me on a personal level. The subject of this episode is a man who I have been admiring for just about 20 years.

In the late nineties, I remember renting Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996) from our local awesome video store and I was completely enamored with the amazing and updated effects. The preceding movie was great, but somehow in one year, it was as if the special effects were given time and space (and budget) to grow into something genre-changing. I’ve said is so, so, so many times before but if you haven’t seen the Heisei  Gamera trilogy, you are missing out!!! (stop procrastinating and go buy it)

Higuchi has been in the kaiju scene for a looooooooong tong time, starting back in 1983 as a storyboard artist for Toho, he did some work on Return of Godzilla (1984) and eventually became the tokusatsu director for the aforementioned Gamera series and has been steadily making movies in Japan since.

I was determined to interview Shinji Higuchi – the special effects wizard who I have been dying to speak with since I started the podcast. Big thanks to the G-Fest and the staff for helping arrange this interview, despite the universe’s attempts to defy us. Higuchi’s schedule was switched up at the last minute and the outlook was looking less awesome, but Tim Bean and Jeff Horne helped find a time that would work in the schedule. And Jeff even tracked down Mike Field, a fellow fan and attendee for his assistance — that’s right, even more kudos!

Of course as many of us know, Shin Godzilla (2016) defied the trends Godzilla faced in the early 2000s and was a massive success in Japan, and has been playing well all over the world. If you ask me, we are all very fortunate that he’s come back to Chicago for another G-Fest and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally have him on the podcast – maybe the stars will align and we can do this whole interview thing again in the future!

DIAGRAMMING:
During the interview, Higuchi was making some diagrams to illustrate his points. I didn’t get them all, but I have a couple of photos of those notes he was making.

SHIN TUNE-AGE:
1. EM20_Jerry_GZM by Shiro Sagisu from Shin Godzilla (2016)
2. Early Morning from Tokyo by Shiro Sagisu from Shin Godzilla (2016)

SPECIAL THANKS:
Unfortunately Shinji Higuchi had a little schedule mishap and had to leave G-Fest much earlier on Sunday – so there was a bit of a scramble on my part to find a time that would work for Higuchi’s updated and abbreviated schedule. Additionally, and almost just as important as having the director on hand, I needed to have an interpreter that could be there. I want to thank both Jeff Horne and Tim Bean for finding a time where I could steal Higuchi away. And I especially would like to give a major shout out to to my short notice translator, Mike Field….you are super awesome, sir!

CONTEST??
That’s right, we have a contest starting right now. Listen to the episode for details – the entry deadline is August 20th!

07.31.2017: Daigoro vs Goliath Daikaiju Discussion

Gretchen, Dave, Kyle & Clancy subject themselves to one of the kiddiest kaiju flicks ever made, Daigoro vs Goliath (1972)!

Where to begin for 1972’s Daigoro vs Goliath? This is absolutely, without a doubt, a film created for little kids. As such, things can get pretty nonsensical at times. Some people have called this the strangest kaiju film ever made… would they be wrong?

In addition to almost an hour long discussion on this 1970s gem of a film, we cover a 2500 Tons of Awesome news from the Godzillasphere.

MONSTER MUSIC:
1. Crime Fiction by Ervin Jereb (1969)
2. GEED no Akashi by Kenji Kawai, Riku Asakura & Voyager from Ultraman Geed (2017)
3. Main Titles by Masato Shimon from Daigoro vs Goliath (1972)
4. Money Eating Knight by the Garamones from Garamones (2016)

SUGGESTED VIEWING (aka lookit alla dis newz!!!) :
Godzilla Anime Film Trilogy Gets Presentation at Annecy
Toho’s Press Notes for Godzilla Monster Planet
Godzilla Monster Planet (2017) Teaser released
Godzilla 2 Casting Call for the ATL
*LIGHT SPOILER WARNING* Kong Skull Island videos on Twitter hint and a monstrous history
Mothra teased at SDCC
Want to read an entire article written about a single tweet? You shouldn’t!
FYE/Suncoast exclusive for Kong Skull Island (2017) Bluray purchase
TOKU Announces Ultra titles: Neo Ultra Q (2013), Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster (2007) and Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle (2017)
Go straight to Toku HD
Winckler Productions to bring more Ultraman to US Theaters: Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy The Movie (2009), Ultraman Zero: The Revenge Of Belial (2010) & Ultraman Saga (2012)
Tsuburaya Productions legal battles escalate over unlicensed Chinese Ultraman film
more from ScifiJapan
Ultraman Geed has arrived!!
Curious as to why we won’t get Japanese live action Godzilla films until 2020?
UK Shin Godzilla appearance intensifies
Shin Godzilla & Ultraman receive honors at 48th Annual Seiun Awards
UK Listeners! Win a ticket to see Shin Godzilla in theaters!
Strange Beasts V: Shin Beasts Gallery show at the Guzu Gallery in Austin, TX
Win Shin Godzilla BluRay & Mini-poster from SciFi Japan!
Bandai to unleash the Gargantua brothers in October
Bandai Premium Website / English Portal

CATASTROPHIC EVENTS:
8/26 – 8/27 JAPAN WORLD HEROES in Pasadena, CA w/Bin Furuya, Noburo Kaneko, Renn Kiriyama, Hirofumi Fukuzawa, Michi Yamato, TJ Storm and Team Fujiyama Ichiban (and more!!)
9/8 – 9/10 ROSE CITY COMIC CON in Portland, OR w/no Japanese guests this year, but KAIJUCAST will be tabling with KODOJA!
10/20 – 10/22 GRAND RAPIDS COMIC CON in Grand Rapids, MI w/Haruo Nakajima & Tom Kitagawa

DAIKAIJU DISCUSSION:
How can anything with a VHS cover this cool be so…. whatever it actually is. I don’t know much about Attack of the Supermonsters (1982), but I will be doing some digging on this film for the discussion! If you don’t already own this film, it has been put onto Youtube — that’s IF you want to subject yourself to this monstrosity. You’ll need to submit your homework before August 24th to be included in the discussion.

 

 

[Bonus Episode] JAPAN WORLD HEROES Aug 26-27, 2017

Hey folks, in the interest of getting the word out and showing Japan’s tokusatsu heroes that their fans want them to come to the US, I wanted to help promote this upcoming convention in Pasadena, California. JAPAN WORLD HEROES is taking place in just about a month from now — August 25th, 26th & 27th at the Pasadena Convention Center.

I asked the showrunner of Japan World Heroes, fellow nerd and toy collector extraordinaire Scott Zillner to do a spot on the Kaijucast to help dish out the hype! Scott also helms two other popular indie show, RoboToyFest and Power Morphicon, so I can’t wait to see what he’s putting together for Japan World Heroes.  I am so very excited for this show and I hope to get involved with some more cool stuff during the convention.

Make sure you follow the links below for tickets and show details – including information about the guests, events, hotel and more!

TICKETS: Get your tickets through GrowTix here!

GUESTS (AKA THE HEROES!):
ULTRAMAN (1966) SUIT ACTOR  Bin Furuya
GAORANGER’S GAORED “KAKERU SHISHI” ACTOR Noboru Kaneko
KAMEN RIDER W’S “PHILIP”  Renn Kiriyama
GAMERA 3 SUIT ACTOR & RED ACTION CLUB AFFILIATE Hirofumi Fukuzawa
TOEI SUIT/STUNT ACTOR FOR ROBOT HACCHANA & SUPER SENTAI Michi Yamato
GODZILLA (2014) MOTION CAPTURE ACTOR &  TJ Storm
…Also Hollywood Tokusatsu group Team Fujiyama Ichiban will be appearing at the convention!

Artist Guests at the event
Matt Frank
Jeff Zornow
Peach Momoko
Sunny Seki
Shintaro Kago

EVENTS:
ATTENTION COSPLAYERS, JAPAN WORLD HEROES DOES HAVE A COSTUME CONTEST! Follow this link for more information.

HOTEL INFORMATION:
JAPAN WORLD HEROES has teamed up with the Pasadena Sheraton (located just behind the convention center) with a special rate for the convention. Follow this link for details.

And if you needed another reason to attend, I’ll be tabling in artists alley with (I’m sure) a number of other Kaiju and Tokusatsu influenced artists. I’ll have as many Kaijucast prints, patches, lanyards and stickers as I can take in my suitcases! While this episode was produced in exchange for a table at the show, I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this and I do hope to see you there! Here’s hoping I can secure interviews with some of the guests, too.

07.07.2017: G-Fest XXIV Anticipation Podcast!

Kyle & Clancy gear up for the annual Godzilla-centric convention in Chicago: G-FEST XXIV

Hey gang – are you going to G-Fest? You should! Because both Clancy and I will be running around the convention all weekend long and we are really looking forward to it! In fact, we’re so psyched about it, we decided to do this little pre-G-Fest chat.

In this episode, we basically showcase some of the upcoming awesomeness of G-Fest 24.

MUSIC:
1. Godzilla Lands/Godzilla X The Special Defense Forces by Michiru Oshima from Godzilla x Mechagodzilla (2002)

STUFF:
Check out the G-Fest XXIV schedule here.
And you can download the schedule in PDF format here!
Don’t miss the costume contest followed by the listener party on Saturday night!! [Listener Party Event on FB]

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