"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, April 14, 2011

Nakajima Goes Hollywood After Monsterpalooza


"They call me, MISTER Godzilla!" Photo: August Ragone

During his stint in Southern California, to appear as the Guest of Honor at the amazing Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank last weekend, our intrepid team was able to take Mr. Nakajima and his daughter to various sightseeing spots this past Monday — including the world-famous Hollywood sign. It was in-between shots being taken by our photographer, Chris Mirjahangir, that I was able to catch this awesome candid of the man who played Godzilla, wearing an authentic Cowboy Hat (given to him by Texan, Brad Thompson)!

"Pimp" does not even begin to describe how cool Mr. Nakajima is!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Godzilla Actor Crashes Event This Weekend


Exclusive 11x17 Event Poster: "The Man of a Thousand Monsters"

Finally, Godzilla is coming to town! This weekend, the man who played the original Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, will stomp into Burbank for the third annual Monsterpalooza horror film celebration at the Marriott Convention Center, April 8, 9 & 10, 2011! The "Man of a Thousand Monsters" will be signing autographs all three days, and will also be on stage for two presentations over the weekend, speaking about his experiences in bringing these characters to life — including the various accidents and injuries he sustained while taking on the roles of Rodan, Varan, Baragon, Green Gargantua, and many other titanic terrors, as — arguably — the world’s foremost monster suit actor.

Mr. Nakajima starred anonymously in one of the greatest movie franchises in history — from the somber allegories of the 1950s to the colorful monster mashes of the 1960s. For many westerners, these films stimulated an interest in Japan, with Godzilla serving as a surrogate cultural ambassador — largely thanks to his performances. Mr. Nakajima is a living legend, and bringing him to Monsterpalooza is an honor, and he’s looking forward to meeting American fans,” said August Ragone, author of Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters. This may be Mr. Nakajima's last visit to the US, and his first trip back to California since 2000, and this may be the opportunity of a lifetime for some fans — so don't miss this event!

Monsterpalooza, organized by Eliot Brodsky, has quickly become the premiere gathering of fans of creature features in the US. Having hosted scores of actors and filmmakers from classic films to today's latest shockers, including this year's guests: Julie Adams and Ricou Browning (The Creature from the Black Lagoon), Bert I. Gordon (The Amazing Colossal Man), Carla Laemmle (Dracula), Joe Dante (The Howling), Alan Ormsby (Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things), Bob Dix (Forbidden Planet), Jack Hill (Spider Baby), James Hong (Big Trouble In Little China), and many, many more! But, this will mark the event’s first guest from Japan — a great opportunity for monster mavens to meet the one-and-only Godzilla himself, Haruo Nakajima — truly making this Monsterpalooza an international event!

At Mr. Nakajima's booth, all weekend, there will be several event-exclusive items for sale and auction, with a large portion of the proceeds going directly to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund, including (see top image for a look at our exclusive 11x17 "The Man of a Thousand Monsters" poster), while supplies last:

Glossy Color 8x10: "Godzilla Conquers Monsterpalooza"

Glossy B&W 8x10: "King of the Suit Actors"

In addition, we will also be auctioning off a handful of incredible and limited-edition 20x25 giclée prints of "The Man of a Thousand Monsters" poster art at Monsterpalooza (see top image), signed and numbered by Mr. Nakajima and the artist, Jolyon B. Yates. The entire amount raised in the auction of these beautiful giclée prints will be donated in full to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.

For more information on this weekend's event, please visit the official Monsterpalooza website!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And Thus Spoke Media Blasters...

The following was taken from the official Media Blasters Facebook page on April 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM, PST:

Curiouser and curiouser...

(Please note that the poster of the initial inquiry to Media Blasters, makes an erroneous statement which asserts that MEGALON is slated for release "this year", and attributes that statement to me — and I never posted such a thing! To paraphrase Art Linkletter, "People say the darndest things!")

UPDATE: We've heard back from Media Blasters — now that the channels are open — and I'm asking for an official statement from them to clear the air once and for all. Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The MEGALON DVD Debacle Thickens...

Emmy and her father, Robert Dunham. Property of Emiko Jade Frost

The MEGALON DVD plot thickens... In their story refuting my initial report, a separate inquiry to Emiko Jade Frost (the daughter of the late actor Robert Dunham, who was featured in GODZILLA VS. MEGALON) was used to contradict my "inside information" on a planned DVD release of MEGALON. Disgusted by the situation, and how it was being spun to make me look like the April's Fool, she has come out and identified herself as my source.

So, here she is in her own words — posted on my Facebook page this morning — those who still care, can draw their own conclusions (if this hasn't put you all to sleep, that is):

I am Robert Dunham's daughter and I am going to clear up the rumors, once and for all. About a month ago, I was told by someone that they were working on getting "Godzilla vs. Megalon" released on DVD. I had been asked if I wanted to include one of my father's un-released movies as a bonus feature. (I am not going to say who told me this.) Later, I received an email from Keith Aiken, stating that he had read on various forums, that "Godzilla vs Megalon" was going to be released. He asked me if I knew anything about it and if I was going to be adding anything to the movie. At the time, I told him that I didn't know anything about it. I wasn't sure what the nature of his relationship was, with the person who told me - so I kept my mouth shut.

Ever since I created my father's FB fan page, I have noticed a lot of "tension" between certain groups of "fandom" people. For some reason, one side has felt the need to tell me who to like and not like, due to some "differences" they have had in the past. I really don't give a shit, because I will "like" whomever I choose. But it seems all one sided, to me. The other group, the one who are always getting talked down about to me - have had nothing bad to say about this other group. I don't like to get in the middle of these things but it's the group that is doing the complaining, who have consistently shown to me, how childish they are.

Some of you saw what happened between me and [name omitted]. I personally think he's an asshole but hey, that's just me. He is one of the many, who sit there and talk about their OWN friends behind their backs to me and to other people ~ yet they go on trips to Japan with them. It doesn't make any fucking sense. I am sick of hearing about it and it's really fucking immature. What August has been saying, is true. Now, it's just a matter of what was told to me and IF that was true. It doesn't make any sense, why I would be asked to add a bonus feature to a movie, that isn't going to be released. (I was never told to keep this a secret, so when I heard the news, I told a few people.)

What kind of pisses me off, is that I was asked to add the bonus feature but then told, that I wouldn't receive any money for it. Now, why would I just give Media Blasters, one of my Dad's movies to add as a bonus feature for FREE? They'd be making a killing on the movie and I would get nothing? Fuck that! Later, I was told that I would get a little something, but not much. WHY?? So, I have decided NOT to give them the movie and release it myself. At least then, I would know I'd be getting the proceeds and not someone else. I hope I have cleared that up for everyone. Thank you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pie In My Eye? Or Much To Do About Nothing?

This is a story that truly stretches the Borders of Reality! @ Toho

Apparently, there is a contradictory report posted by another website about the previously entry concerning an upcoming GODZILLA VS. MEGALON DVD, alleging that was never happening in the first place. This is curious, because my source claims there were active inquiries asking for their participating in providing materials for a proposed set of special features, and that an audio commentary was mentioned. While I was asked to keep the identity of my source secret, I do have several e-mails which are contrary to these dismissals. I could have attempted to save face by saying, "I know I said that this wasn't an April's Fool joke, but it was — gotcha!", but that's not me.

Sure, I could have contacted Media Blasters or Toho for some kind of confirmation, but as is usually the case with private business dealings — before official announcements are made — if you're not involved on either the Licensor's or the Licensee's side, they will either blow you off or tell you to mind your own business. Or deny it altogether. So, was my source mistaken? Did those who were seeking my source's participation, lie? Was this an "elaborate hoax"? Or was this done to make me look silly? Or to "discredit" me? (Can you feel my eyes rolling into the back of my head?)

I certainly don't feel silly, nor angry, embarrassed, or remotely upset. Rather, I find this pretty insidiously funny, actually. "Sh*t happens", as they say. Now, whatever the case may be, I'm sure that it will "all come out in the wash". Surprisingly, this turgid soap opera actually has become far more interesting that the original subject of the story. Or is it? Again, I do have those e-mails from my source, which would open about a dozen can of worms... But, would that really be worth it? I leave that to the individual to decide. As for me, it looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines!

"Holy shit, Jet Jaguar! What will we do!?"

Friday, April 1, 2011