Sunday, February 14, 2016

A SPECIAL MONSTER ZERO EVENT COMES TO YOKOHAMA! MZ Vets Gather to Disucss This Popular Kaiju Romp!

Actress Keiko Sawai and assistant SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano host a panel discussion about Monster Zero (1965) following a screening of the film. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Sunday, February 14, was a memorable day for several reasons. First, it was Valentine's Day. Also, it was unseasonably warm. Seriously, it felt like late spring, and even though I dressed light today, it still felt hot. Third, and most important, today marked a special event in Yokohama that centered around the Toho classic Monster Zero (1965).

Actress Keiko Sawai, still as lovely as ever, smiles as the gathered fans take her picture. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Keiko Sawai (who played Haruna Fuji) made a rare appearance at the event, and even though she appeared rather shy at first, she seemed to warm up quickly to the fans in attendance. I'm happy to say that she seemed to show special interest in me. During a break, she was standing with her manager, but once we made eye contact, she approached me, and we began talking. I gave her a present I had prepared for her (a box of chocolates) since it was Valentine's Day. She was quite pleased to receive it.

Standing between Keiko Sawai and Teruoyoshi Nakano, following their panel discussion.

Teruyoshi Nakano was in attendance as well, and he adds liveliness to any event he attends. Besides, it's always a lot of fun whenever he says (in English), "Nice boy!"

Optical effects expert Sadao Iizuka helped bring King Ghidorah to life. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Sadao Iizuka also appeared, and given that he animated King Ghidorah's gravity ray, it was most appropriate. Iizuka-san is a kind gentleman and is always happy to meet his fans.

The 35mm print of Monster Zero was excellent. One detail I noticed for the first time was that, in Akira Kubo's bedroom scene toward the beginning of the film, there's a rolled-up poster for 007. Who knew there was a James Bond reference in the Showa series?

The event also gave me a chance to catch up with my fellow fans. There are some cool things in development, and naturally they'll be reported on this blog when they happen.

The event was another smashing success, and I cannot wait for the next one. Fortunately, the wait won't be a long one!

Two legends, Sadao Iizuka and Teruyoshi Nakano, share a laugh in Yokohama. Photo by Brett Homenick.

See you next time!

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