Sunday, October 28, 2018

Idol Business!

Kazuki Omori. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today, I saw the movie Shoot! (1994) for the first time, and what better way to see it than in 35mm? The film is an idol drama that focuses on the trials and tribulations of a high school soccer team. It wasn't bad, but I'm afraid this type of movie isn't really my bag. Still, it was interesting to see the film in a screening room full of idol worshipers who cheered at everything their idols did.

The main reason for me to attend was to see the film's director, Kazuki Omori, again. He had quite a few interesting things to say about the film, but lacking a frame of reference for these idols, I wasn't interested enough to keep up. Still, I enjoyed seeing Omori-san again.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

ANGEL GUTS! Viewing a Rather Unusual Nikkatsu Flick!

Eri Kanuma. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today, I went to a screening of Angel Guts: Nami (1979), a Nikkatsu flick with some controversial content (to say the least). The movie was well made, but suffice it to say, it's not for all audiences. This kind of movie isn't usually my bag, but I always find it interesting to check out and explore new things.

The event was headlined by the film's star, Eri Kanuma. In the tokusatsu world, Kanuma-san plays 007/Yoko Kato in Himitsu Sentai Goranger (1975-77), as well as appearing in episodes of Kaiketsu Lion Maru (1972-73), Inazuman Flash (1974), Spider-Man (1978-79), Battle Fever J (1979-80), and Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan (1981-82). I'd met her before last April at an event and ran into her at Yumiko Tanaka's event last week. Speaking of...

Yumiko Tanaka. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Yumiko Tanaka was a surprise addition to the event. 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.

I had a chance to speak with Tanaka-san about Godzilla. Her scene was shot on Oshima Island, so I asked if all the Oshima Island scenes were shot at the same time. She confirmed that they were, and that they were all filmed in about a week. She also said that Koji Hashimoto was a very kind and easygoing director.

A great time was had by all. Even though I'd seen both ladies only a week before, it's great to see them any time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Halloween Is Ultra-Good!

While riding the Odakyu Line today, I noticed this interesting set up at a station along the train line. Naturally, I had to photograph it.

An Ultra-Happy Halloween from Ultraman and the Odakyu Line!

King Ghidorah at the Godzilla Store!

A new face has recently appeared at Shinjuku's Godzilla Store. This King Ghidorah head has replaced the Mechagodzilla head that had been on display for quite a while. It looks quite cool, and I suppose it's there to help promote Godzilla: The Planet Eater. Anyhow, here are the photos.

GODZILLA: PLANET EATER! Coming to Shinjuku!

Godzilla: The Planet Eater is opening in Japan in a few weeks, and its advertising is starting to gear up. Toho Cinemas Shinjuku is starting to get into the act. The photos contained in this blog were taken there today, except for the last two, which were taken at Shinjuku Wald 9.

Godzilla Sights in Shinjuku

 The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (left) stands next to the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building in Shinjuku. Photo by Brett Homenick.

While in Shinjuku today, I snapped some photos of the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Both buildings feature prominently in the Godzilla series, namely Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) and Godzilla 1985 (1984), respectively. The photos came out quite nicely. Enjoy!

Another Night of Jazz in Asakusa!

Shinichi Yanagisawa. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Tuesday, October 16, I paid another visit to the HUB in Asakusa for another great night of jazz with Shinichi Yanagisawa and His All-Stars. Although it seems like I'd just gotten done celebrating my third anniversary of attending each of these shows, this one marked my fourth anniversary. 

Yanagisawa-san was doing quite well and recently attended the world premiere in Kyoto of his most recent movie (which translates into English as "Brother Disappears"), which is essentially a Japanese retelling of The Whales of August (1987). The movie co-stars Choei (Lake of Dracula) Takahashi.

Not bad for an 85-year-old! Here's to many more!

TALKIN' TOEI! Toei Heroines Return to the Fight!

 With Yumiko Tanaka.

On Saturday, October 13, I attended a special event headlined by actress Yumiko Tanaka. Tanaka-san starred in Kamen Rider Super-1 (1980-81) as Harumi Kusanami and also appeared in Godzilla (1984). Here, she performed in a stage play and, in the second half of the show, did some singing (along with other performers).

She also gave me the present she'd been meaning to give me for the last few months: a really cool hand towel. It's a nice thing to add to my collection.

Lisa Komaki. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Lisa Komaki was also on hand. Komaki-san played Peggy Matsuyama on Himitsu Sentai Goranger (1975-77) and was the suit actor and voice for Miss America (as played by Diane Martin) on Battle Fever J (1979-80). It was great to see her after such a long time, too.

Many thanks for a fun night of Toei stars!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Atsuko Rome Interview at Vantage Point Interviews!

Atsuko Rome around the time of filming Body of the Prey. Photo © Atsuko Rome.

My interview with Atsuko Rome, the leading lady of The Revenge of Dr. X (a.k.a. Body of the Prey) has been posted at Vantage Point Interviews. It's a mid-1960s monster movie that was filmed in Japan and at least partially written by none other than Ed Wood (Plan 9 from Outer Space, Glen or Glenda?) himself. Ms. Rome has quite a few amusing anecdotes to share about this nearly forgotten curiosity, so check out Vantage Point Interviews for the scoop!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

THE WAR IN SPACE! Catching a Rare Screening of This '70s-Era Tokusatsu Extravaganza!

Teruyoshi Nakano blows out the candle on his birthday cake. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today was quite fun. I attended a slightly early birthday celebration for Toho SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano. The event featured a rare screening of a 35mm print of The War in Space (1977), which I'd never seen on the big screen before. While the print was a bit scratchy, the film looked incredible. The War in Space is not a great film by any means, but it's always fun to watch.

Teruyoshi Nakano and Takashi Naganuma examine the Gohten. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Following the screening, Nakano-san blew out the candle on his birthday cake, but before anyone could eat, it was time for the Q&A event with Nakano-san and Naganuma-san. Of course, The War in Space was a quick shoot, and this came across in their memories they shared. 

One funny story happened over dinner. I asked Nakano-san about whether the Space Beastman was influenced by Star Wars. Nakano-san joked that since The War in Space was released in Japan before Star Wars, it was actually Star Wars that copied the character. That got a big laugh from our table!

Happy birthday, Nakano-san!

BACK IN TOWN! Shinjuku Rocks the Night Away!

 Masamitsu Tayama in concert. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Friday, October 5, saw singer Masamitsu Tayama come "Back in Town" to Shinjuku for another live performance. It's hard to believe that I've been seeing Tayama-san play for more than four years, but time sure does fly!

During the show, I became acquainted with fellow Tayama-san fans, two of whom were quite good at speaking English. Following the show, I got to chat with Tayama-san a bit. I had to miss his last Tokyo performance in July, but I'm grateful to have had the chance to make up for it here.