"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

Friday, February 7, 2014

Suit Acting Legends Appear at Fear FestEvil!

Mr. ゴジラ 中島とウルトラマン古谷 、サンフランシスコに上陸!

Recent photo of Mr. Nakajima and Mr. Furuya by Godzilla Museum.

Legendary men-in-suit actors, Haruo "Mr. Godzilla" Nakajima and Satoshi "Ultraman" Furuya will appear this weekend at Kirk von Hammett's Fear FestEvil, a full-blown horror convention and metal concert, held at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco — February 7th & 8th. Flying in from Japan, this dynamic duo will be signing autographs and taking photographs with fans — as well as appearing together on-stage for an hour long talk about their long careers in the kaiju business on Saturday, February 8th at 3:30 - 4:15 pm. You don't want to miss this show and meet these historic giants of monsterdom — as well as the other fangtastic guests, vendors, special events, and music!

Here are their bios from the event website:

Nakajima taking a break during GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH (1971).

FEAR FESTEviL is pleased to welcome legendary monster suit actor HARUO NAKAJIMA! Mr. Nakajima is known the world over for having portrayed the screen’s most famous monster, GODZILLA — a role which he pioneered throughout the first 12 films of Toho’s long‐running science fiction series. It was following the performance of a dangerous fire stunt as a fighter pilot in Ishiro Honda’s EAGLE OF THE PACIFIC (1953) that Nakajima was recommended to play Godzilla in the original 1954 film, since donning the heavy costume beneath sweltering studio lights required an unusual amount of strength and endurance.

Special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya was so impressed by Nakajima’s skill as a stunt performer and choreographer that he featured the actor in nearly every science fiction, horror and fantasy film produced throughout his own illustrious career. In addition to Godzilla, Nakajima would also embody an unprecedented number of notable movie monsters including RODAN (1956), Mogera in THE MYSTERIANS (1957), VARAN (1958), MOTHRA (1960), MATANGO (1963), Baragon in FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (1965), Gaira in THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (1966) and even King Kong in KING KONG ESCAPES (1967).

His impressive body of film work also includes appearances in Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI (1954) and THE HIDDEN FORTRESS (1958). In 1966, Tsuburaya once again tapped Nakajima’s talents when the effects director first brought his monsters to television in the ground‐breaking series ULTRA Q and ULTRAMAN. Nakajima finally retired as the reigning champion of monster suit actors with 1972’s GODZILLA VS. GIGAN. Beginning in 1996, Nakajima made guest appearances at various sci‐fi & horror conventions throughout the United States, Japan, and most recently Germany, where thousands of adoring fans have flocked to meet him.

Satoshi Furuya and his Ultra-ego from a 1967 magazine interview.

Joining us next on the guest list is SATOSHI "BIN" FURUYA! Mr. Furuya portrayed one of the world’s most enduring superheroes in Tsuburaya Productions' 1966 sci-fi action television series ULTRAMAN. In 39 half-hour episodes, audiences thrilled to the colossal silver and red alien’s battles with large monsters in the imaginative program that spawned dozens of sequels. Those sequels continue to this day on both the small and big screens. No stranger to acting sans mask, Furuya had a regular role as Ultra Guard Agent Amagi in all 49 episodes of the extremely popular series ULTRA SEVEN (1967). Though he retired from acting during the 1970s, he has made appearances in several genre films, including the kaiju comedy MONSTER X STRIKES BACK: ATTACK THE G-8 SUMMIT (2008).

For more information, please visit the official Fear FestEvil website!

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