Monday, November 5, 2012
GUNHED: Toho's High-Concept SFX Film Is Feted in Tokyo
November 3 may have been Godzilla's birthday, but the festivities were shared with another Big G from Toho Studios. Following the events of Godzilla's birthday celebration (which -- I promise! -- I will eventually get to), a bonus event celebrating Koichi Kawakita's upcoming Gunhed book (due out in January) took place at the Cine Pathos Theater in Ginza.
Prior to the screening of the film, a talk show featuring SFX director Makoto Kamiya, Gunhed composer Toshiyuki Honda, and Koichi Kawakita (who directed the special effects for Gunhed) was held. One thing I noticed that I certainly wasn't expecting was that the crowd for the Gunhed event was a bit larger than the one for Godzilla! The Big Guy just can't catch a break in Japan.
An interesting bit of Gunhed history was briefly on display. Honda-san brought with him the master tape of the Gunhed soundtrack, a picture of which is below.
The talk show lasted quite a while, which was followed by an autograph signing. By this time, I had already gone over-budget, so I didn't purchase any autographs. During this time, I went with my friend Yasushi to an Italian restaurant for some food before the film started.
Ultimately, I arrived back a bit late, so I missed the first few minutes. Overall, I was impressed by the SFX (they've held up very well over the years), I enjoyed the soundtrack, and Brenda Bakke did an excellent job as Sgt. Nim. That said, I still have no idea what the heck is going on in this movie! Granted, I did miss the beginning, but I've never been able to follow the story in any of the times I've seen it. If I'm not mistaken, I think this is the first time I've watched the movie in its entirety (more or less) since the late '90s. It's a very flawed film, but there is interesting stuff in there.