Friday, January 14, 2022

New Vantage Point Interviews Content!

The back cover of Godzillamania #7. Image courtesy of Damon Foster.

New content has just been posted on Vantage Point Interviews!

The 1970s were the heyday of fanzines, and one of the 'zines that doesn't get much attention these days from that era is Godzillamania (which started out as The Godzilla Fan Letter). Editor and publisher Richard Campbell is interviewed here about his kaiju fanzine.

Of course, not every interview on Vantage Point Interviews is about Godzilla or tokusatsu. This interview with screenwriter David O’Malley covers his work on the regional horror anthology Alien Zone (a.k.a. The House of the Dead, 1978), as well as the early ’80s cult classics Hangar 18 (1980) and The Boogens (1981). Mr. O’Malley also goes into detail about his work on the Carl Reiner spoof Fatal Instinct (1993). He even describes his discussions with a pre-Animal House John Landis about making a low-budget monster parody. 

Vantage Point Interviews is where content is king!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

'Escape from New York' in Tokyo!

On Tuesday, January 11, I had the privilege of seeing a great 2K transfer of John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) at Human Trust Cinema Yurakucho. I hadn't seen the movie in just over 20 years, so it was essentially like watching a new film. I enjoyed it more this time than the first time around.

On the way back to the subway, I saw this advertisement for What to Do With the Dead Kaiju? (2022). I'm very unsure about seeing this movie, but it was kind of cool to see this poster. Here you go!

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Godzilla Statue at Toho Cinemas Hibiya!

On January 7, I stopped by Toho Cinemas Hibiya, and, given that a snowstorm had just passed through Tokyo, the sky was completely devoid of clouds. I thought it made for a nice backdrop for the Godzilla statue, so I snapped some photos. Enjoy!

A New Year's Celebration with Tanaka-san!

Yumiko Tanaka. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Sunday, January 9, I attended a comedy performance by actress Yumiko Tanaka and her colleagues. The comedy was very, very broad, with a lot of shouting and hitting. But it was pretty enjoyable. The second half of the performance involved much more singing and dancing, which was actually more entertaining.

For those of you not in the know, Tanaka-san stars in Kamen Rider Super-1 (1980-81) as Harumi Kusanami and also appears in a small role toward the beginning of Godzilla (1984) in a scene with Ken Tanaka.

After the performance, a few of us lucky souls got invited to have dinner with Tanaka-san at a local Japanese eatery. The food was great, but getting to hang out with Tanaka-san was even better. It was a great way to kick off the New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2021

Wishing a Toho SFX Legend a Happy Birthday!

Sadao Iizuka. Photo by Brett Homenick.

December 26 marked Sadao Iizuka's 87th birthday, so I was quite privileged to be invited to attend a small gathering of Iizuka-san's friends and fans on the day. 

Iizuka-san is an SFX animator who created the beams for Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Ultraman in the 1960s. Follow the link to read the first of two lengthy interviews I conducted with him about his life and career. It will tell you a lot more about him than I could in this space!

Shigemitsu Taguchi. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Also on hand was Shigemitsu Taguchi. Taguchi-san is a television writer whose credits cover most of what made '70s TV as cool as it was. He wrote episodes of Return of Ultraman (1971-72), Mirrorman (1971-72), Ultraman Ace (1972-73), Jumborg Ace (1973), Ultraman Taro (1973-74), Ultraman Leo (1974-75), and many others. He attended because he wanted to meet Iizuka-san!

It was a great evening with two legends. It's just a shame that the temperature suddenly dropped that day! It sure made it hard on Iizuka-san, who took a couple of smoke breaks outside during the event.

Suffice it to say, Iizuka-san's 87th birthday party was a smashing success!

Christmas Day in Tokyo!

Yoko Takahashi. Photo by Brett Homenick.

This was an unusual Christmas for me, to say the least. I had to work that day (nothing unusual about that for me), but what was unusual was that I got to attend another special event with Yoko Takahashi and Rie Yokoyama.

I've met Takahashi-san several times (this year alone!). She was a prolific actress in the 1970s, with her best-known work in the West being the Oscar-nominated Sandakan 8 (1974). She also can be seen in Kon Ichikawa's The Devil's Ballad (1977).

Rie Yokoyama. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Yokoyama-san appears in Nagisa Oshima's Diary of a Shinjuku Burglar (1969), Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972), episode 10 of Horror Theater Unbalance (1973), Zatoichi's Conspiracy (1973), and Kinji Fukasaku's New Battles without Honor and Humanity: Last Days of the Boss (1976).

I especially enjoyed hanging out with Takahashi-san, who is always a blast. She told me about visiting New York several years ago and her interest in music. Even though she must have been exhausted by the end (I know I was!), she never let it show.

It was a fun way to spend Christmas!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

John Carpenter Retrospective 2022 in Tokyo!

Escape from New York comes to Tokyo in January. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The year 2022 will kick off with a fun start, as the John Carpenter Retrospective 2022 comes to several Tokyo theaters in January. Human Trust Cinema Yurakucho is among the lucky theaters that will bring these 4K restorations to Japan.

Escape from New York (1981) plays from January 7 through 13, They Live (1988) plays from January 14 through 20, and The Fog (1980) will screen from January 21 through 27. Of these three titles, I'm most familiar with The Fog, which I've seen a few times (but not for many years). I saw Escape once about 20 years ago, and I've never actually seen They Live. I hope to catch all three films while they are playing here. 

Here are some photos of I took at Human Trust Cinema Yurakucho promoting the retrospective. Enjoy!