"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

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Monster of the Month
Doruge Demon: FRANKERUGE

ドルゲ魔人 フランケルゲ 「超人バロム・1」より

©Saito Productions/Toei Company

Height: 2.2 meters • Weight: 150 kilos • Origin: Abashiri, Hokkaido • Original Appearance: SUPERHUMAN BAROM-1 (1972) Episode 2 “Cursed Mutant: Frankeruge" • Design: Norio Maezawa • Fabricator: Keizo Murase • Voice Actor: Teiji Omiya

The evil Doruge facilitates the escape of a convicted murderer, Tetsu Kurosato, en route to prison, to convert him into a Dorugeman No. 2. Infected with the sinister Doruge Virus, spliced with the DNA of a Ligia oceanica (or Sea Slater), Kursato is mutated into the insidious Frankeruge. Carrying a police revolver stolen from Detective Kido in his escape, and his left arm alive with a one million-volt current, this grotesque agent of evil goes on a murderous rampage. Only Kentaro Shiratori and Takashi Kido, transforming into Barom-1, can stop the fiendish Frakeruge, whose only weakness is water.

Another of the bizarre "Agents of Evil" from BAROM-1, Frankeruge garnered his moniker from Mary Shelly's "Modern Prometheus"—the Frankenstein Monster—but save for their alchemic creation, the similarities end there. What really sells this monster for me is, not only Norio Maezawa's insane design, but also his human host, played by heavy Kyoichi Sato. A veteran of Toei's Yakuza eiga, Sato began his career as a bit player in several Toho films, including THE H-MAN (1958), but made his first notable appearance as a villain in Hideo Gosha's SWORD OF THE BEAST (1965).

But, at the end of the day, I don't know who's scarier, Frankeruge or Sato.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know I am posting on a really old post, but I really like these monster reveiws/statistics, I would love to see them return. :)