Monday, August 31, 2009

Horan the Unbelievable

Your humble blog-meister meets SFX film star Kathy Horan for the first time. (Photo was originally published in G-FAN #84.)

In July 2007, I was able to meet Kathy Horan, who appeared in several Japanese science fiction films in the 1960s (Goke Body Snatcher from Hell, War of the Insects, The Green Slime, etc.). I interviewed her over the telephone in 2006 about her various genre roles, but we didn't discuss meeting until I learned something very interesting...

Several months after the interview, I learned that Ms. Horan was friends with my stepmother. They'd known each other since the '70s and '80s when they were both flight attendants for Braniff Airlines. All these years, my stepmother knew a star of tokusatsu films, and I was totally unaware!

When I visited family in Colorado in '07, I was able to meet Ms. Horan. I gave her a copy of Weekly World News (then edited by Jeff Rovin) in which her name appears in an ad promoting G-FAN. Suffice it to say, she was very friendly, and she had more stories for me about her time in Japan.

All in all, a very cool experience. I guess this is a small world after all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Godzilla Tree

Talk about a room with a view.

This is a shot of my cousin's old backyard from the mid-1990s. We dubbed the tree in question "The Godzilla Tree" for reasons that should be obvious. (But, strangely, the fact that the tree resembles Godzilla isn't one of them.)

In any case, they don't make trees like that anymore.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Noel Bloom, Jr.'s back!

And this time he's out for revenge!

Okay, so maybe nothing that exciting is happening, but I'm so glad somebody posted this to YouTube.

If you're my age (late 20s), this is probably how you saw Gamera movies growing up. Celebrity Home Entertainment (Just for Kids!) released the Sandy Frank versions of the original Gamera films in the late '80s, and the tapes were hosted by a youngster named Noel Bloom, Jr. (who, it turns out, is the son of Celebrity Home Entertainment's owner).

Be sure to pay close attention at the 2:04 mark. It's always sounded to me like Noel says, "I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I didn't." (Could Noel have been taking subtle digs at Gamera all these years?) While we're on the subject, at 7:13, doesn't it sound like he says, "And the ugly kid, who's the host, isn't bad, if I must say so myself"?! Regardless, it's fun to see that Seabert's nibbling on Noel's hair on the box cover of the Sampler Collection.

UPDATE (8/27): I re-read my original post, and it may come across as harsher than I intended. I'd really like to point out that I look back on the Celebrity Home Entertainment Gamera releases with a lot of nostalgia. They were fun, and in my original post I simply wanted to mention some of the things we (my brother, my cousin, and I) picked up on as kids. Just didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brett and the real Lois Lane

Brett meets Margot Kidder at Monsterpalooza 2009.

I attended Monsterpalooza in Burbank last May and had the pleasure of meeting Margot Kidder. While she has starred in countless movie and television roles, her best-known part was that of Lois Lane in Superman (1978). While other actresses have played the part before and since, none could capture the spirit Ms. Kidder brought to the role.

A close-up look at the autograph.

All in all, Monsterpalooza was a great event. In fact, hypothetically speaking, if you were to come up to me and ask, "You came all the way out here for this?!" I'd happily answer, "You betcha!" I hope to attend next year.

Sharing a mini pizza with Kenji Sahara

Kenji Sahara at Wrigley Field. Photo by Brett Homenick.

During G-FEST this past July, my friend totorom and I took care of Mr. Sahara during his stay in Chicago. One of the most memorable events for me was when we took Mr. Sahara to a Chicago Cubs game at legendary Wrigley Field. Martin and Pam Arlt drove us to the stadium and also took in the game.

At one point, totorom brought back a mini pizza from the concession stands for me and Mr. Sahara to share. We each took two slices and enjoyed it immensely. I also joined the crowd in singing parts of "YMCA" and "Livin' on a Prayer" during breaks in the game, which was quite fun.

We left before the end of the game, but it didn't matter. A fun time was had by all, and Mr. Sahara was especially impressed. He had been to Chicago previously for G-CON '97, but he never left the hotel, and he returned to Japan thinking that Chicago was a small town. But, after seeing the city in all its glory in 2009, he told us that he now realizes just how big Chicago is!

More Kenji Sahara memories to come...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Akira Takarada stars as Red Beard!

Celebrating his 55th year as an actor, Mr. Akira Takarada recently starred in a stage adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's Akahige, a.k.a. Red Beard. As you can see, Mr. Takarada easily fills the role that Toshiro Mifune made famous.

For more information (in Japanese) about this production, click

Special thanks to totorom for the heads-up.

Fist of Fear, Touch of Death

Aaron Banks gets Bruce Lee's endorsement ... seven years after his death!

How is this possible? Through the magic of editing, dubbing, and Bruceploitation. The film is Fist of Fear, Touch of Death, released in 1980 by Aquarius Releasing, and it sinks to levels that Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave couldn't reach.

What's it all about? Kung Fu Cinema gives you the full story, but Fist of Fear, Touch of Death must be seen to be believed. The YouTube video at the top of the post boils the 90-minute film down to its essence. If you have the stomach for it, you should see the whole film.

That's whether you're Harry Belafonte or Fred Williamson.