Akira Takarada is ready for his first North American convention appearance at G-FEST XVII. Photo by totorom.
Godzilla fans have less than two months to wait until G-FEST XVII stomps its way into the Rosemont Hotel in Rosemont, IL, for a weekend of monsters and mayhem. From July 9 to 11, G-fans of all ages will converge on a brand-new location for G-FEST, as we all celebrate our favorite hobby.
The convention's guest of honor is Akira Takarada, the biggest star to attend any North American gathering of Godzilla fans. Mr. Takarada's first convention appearance in the United States was arranged primarily by totorom, who certainly embodies the true spirit of what it means to be a G-fan. Mr. Takarada, the star of such Toho classics as Godzilla (1954), Godzilla vs. the Thing (1964), Monster Zero (1965), Half Human (1955), The Last War (1961), King Kong Escapes (1967), and Latitude Zero (1969), is excited to appear at G-FEST and eager to share his memories of working with his famous co-star, The Big G. Mr. Takarada will receive the Mangled Skyscraper Award for his contributions to the genre.
Also in attendance will be Robert Scott Field, who starred as Android M11 in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), and also acted in episode #6 of Ultraman Neos (2000-01) and Red Shadow (2001). Scott will be translating for Mr. Takarada throughout the convention. A 20-year resident of Japan, Godzilla fans have no greater resource on traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun than Scott.
William Tsutsui, the author of Godzilla on My Mind and co-editor of In Godzilla's Footsteps, will host a presentation for the first time at G-FEST. The Japan Society is sponsoring Dr. Tsutsui's appearance.
David Kalat, author of A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series and J-Horror, returns to G-FEST for the second year in a row and will host a session entitled "Godzilla without Monsters: The Rising of the Sinking of Japan."
Damon Foster, editor of Oriental Cinema magazine since 1978, makes his triumphant return to G-FEST this July. Among other activities, Damon plans to host a presentation entitled "Beyond the Borders of Reality," which is guaranteed to live up to its name!
G-FEST once again will host a "double double feature" on Thursday, July 8, at the Pickwick Theater. The lineup includes:
- Son of Godzilla (1967) at 1:30
- Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) at 3:00
- Godzilla 2000 (1999) at 7:00
- Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000) at 8:30
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966) screens on Friday, July 9, at 10:30, and Godzilla (1954), which will be introduced by its star Akira Takarada, will play on Saturday, July 10, at 10:30.
But that's not all! Other surprises are in the works, but you'll have to show up to find out what they are!
G-FEST XVII is on track to become the biggest one yet. According to J.D., pre-registrations in April were already at the level they were in June last year. While this may be due to many factors, such as the new location, improved advertising and promotion, or the return of the "double double feature," Mr. Takarada's first-ever appearance in the U.S. is most assuredly the reason for the bump. What Godzilla fan wouldn't be excited to meet the series' biggest star?
See you (and about 1,500 others) this July!
For more information, visit G-FAN.com.