"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monster of the Month
Drill Devil-Beast: DORILLING

ドリル魔獣ドリリング 「サンダーマスク」より

©Toyo Agency/Hiromi Productions

Height: 56 meters • Weight: 4,200 metric tonnes • Origin: Japan Alps • Original Appearance: THUNDER MASK (1972-73) Episode 9 “Bore Through the Earth!" • Design: Makiho Narita • Fabricator: Ekisu Productions

Bemking, the self-proclaimed "Ruler of the Universe," created this cybernetic colossus at his base on the surface of the Moon. Activated in the Japan Alps, Dorilling's mission is to bore massive tunnels to collapse major urban centers and plunge the human order into chaos. The monster's razor-sharp claws can smash solid rock, his drill trail can be weaponized, and his three 100,000 horse-power, head-mounted drills, can bore through five meters of solid steel in five seconds. These powerful drills can also be launched as guided missiles, which return to its housing after striking. Dorilling's deadly Nitroglycerine-spewing flame thrower, located in his mouth, can easily demolish buildings in a single strike.

Imagined by Makiho Narita, a former illustrator who worked for the "God of Manga," Osamu Tezuka, the artificially-engineered Devil-Beasts featured in THUNDER MASK are some of the weirdest and evocative creatures to ever grace Japanese television. Seriously. Produced during the peak of the "Henshin Boom" of the early 1970s, THUNDER MASK was among sixty superhero shows that aired between 1971 and 1979. This series has never been released on home video, and thus is virtually unknown outside of Japan because of the tangled web of ownership issues between the investors. It's a shame, because cool monsters like Dorilling, with his "Rocket Punch"-like drill missiles, must be seen to be believed.


Bunche (pop culture ronin) said...

Hey, August-

would you have a shot of the giant extracted tooth-man from DENJIMAN? I have no idea what his name is...

August Ragone said...

Yes, I do... His name is Hamigakira. I'm planning on profiling some of the DENZIMAN mutants as well. Thanks for asking!


X7 said...

great stuff once again!