Favorite Non-Godzilla Toho Fantasy Films

Godzilla wasn't the only daikaiju to go stomping through Asia! From Rodan and Mothra to Yongarry and Gappa, discuss other JAPANESE/ASIAN kaiju films here!

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Postby zekend01 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:20 pm

Giganfan wrote:Having watched a few films over the past few months, I believe it's necessary to do a revised list. What the hell, why not, right?

The Mysterians
Mothra (1961)
Matango
Atragon
Rodan
Frankenstein Conquers The World
War of the Gargantuas
The H-Man
Battle In Outer Space
Dogora
King Kong Escapes
The Secret of the Telegian
Gorath
Yog The Monster From Space
Latitude Zero
Varan The Unbelievable
The War in Space

Truthfully, I like them all. Some are better than others, but they all have their good points.

EDIT: Just watched Mothra again. The U.S. version, for two reasons. First, I grew up on it. I've seen this movie tons of times over the years. Secondly, the only thing that's really bad about the new Sony disc is that the subtitles for the Japanese version are ATROCIOUS. The same goes for the other two discs. I know that they basically copied the scripts from the American versions, but come on!

Anyway, let me get to the point. Honestly, I think that Mothra may be the best film that Ishiro Honda ever directed. Not only that, I think it's probably the best sci-fi/fantasy/monster movie that Toho ever made. Even better than the original Godzilla. Now, I know that's a very heavy-handed statement to make around here, and I owe an explanation. However, I'm just going to lay back for a minute, and see if there is anyone out there that may possibly agree with me, or atleast understand why I would think such a thing.

...(crickets chirping).... :?: :?: :?:


I consider Mothra as the first perfect and premier example of what we'd all come to expect from the golden era of Toho film making. This movie shows Toho really getting its footing and striking a great balance all around with each element well represented in this flick's mix. Gojira, GRA, Rodan, Varan, Mysterians, H-man, Battle in Outer Space, etc... none of these got the formula right like Mothra did, and this is the same formula that showed up throughout the rest of the Showa era. The warmth and humanity of reconstructed post-war Japan shines out, the mystical elements entwined with pseudo-science, the "fun for the whole family" feel, well-rendered monster sequences juxtaposed with social awareness, old school AWE and wonder..... these are the elements that come to mind just off the top of my head.

How's that?
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Postby August » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:30 pm

Agree 1000%. MOTHRA was the fruitful culmination of everything Honda and Tsuburaya had been striving for. Brilliant.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:07 pm

Was Zeiram Toho? Regardless, I really like that film, again, I'm pretty sure I'm a minority in my appreciation for that film though
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Postby Green Dragon » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:45 pm

Every Showa non-Godzilla film is like a little gem, I love to get lost in the story-telling, the look of the movie, its unrivalled (anywhere or anytime) color/cinematography, the widescreen compositions, the music.... some shine brighter than others, and I'm pretty much in line with the what seems to be the general opinion here..... Frankenstein, Gargantuas, Mothra, Rodan, Mysterians, Gorath.....but I do love them all.

I would also arbitrarily add 1973's Submersion of Japan to the list, even though I have only ever seen the 1974 abortion Tidal Wave. What remained of the Japanese footage though, was pure Toho Showa, albeit early 70's (Japan's depression?) .....I'm currently trying to track it down.

I had a difficult time out the gate with many of the movies, such as King Kong Escapes....like others here, I was enchanted by it as a kid, in spite of my dad and brothers heckling the movie and me for watching it. Then that time came when I tried walking away from these movies, and now I just embrace the damn things like crazy.

:lol:

I even got my ex's nephew into them, and he's 23 now, and still loves them. :)
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Postby Mac » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:09 pm

none of these got the formula right like Mothra did, and this is the same formula that showed up throughout the rest of the Showa era. The warmth and humanity of reconstructed post-war Japan shines out, the mystical elements entwined with pseudo-science, the "fun for the whole family" feel, well-rendered monster sequences juxtaposed with social awareness, old school AWE and wonder.....


This is pretty spot on. Most of the 50's efforts, in my opinion, lack the wonder and pacing that is present in Mothra and other 60's flicks.
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Postby August » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:38 am

King_Ghidorah wrote:Was Zeiram Toho? Regardless, I really like that film, again, I'm pretty sure I'm a minority in my appreciation for that film though


ZEIRAM was an independent film, produced by Gaga Entertainment.
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