Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Manster's Terri Zimmern Passes Away at 89

Terri Zimmern in the cult classic The Manster.

Actress Terri Zimmern (whose legal name was Therese Seetai Crane) passed away on April 13 at 10:03 a.m., according to her family. She was 89. While a specific cause of death was not disclosed by the family, it was not COVID-related.

According to public resource, Ms. Zimmern's was born on July 3, 1930.

Ms. Zimmern portrayed Tara, the beautiful lab assistant who worked for Dr. Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura) in the 1959 cult classic The Manster. It was her only movie role. I was privileged to interview Ms. Zimmern in a Q&A about The Manster that was published last year. The interview can be read here.

RIP, Terri Zimmern.

UPDATE (5/17): Other records show her birth name as Therese Zimmern Silva. She married director Kenneth G. Crane on August 29, 1959.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ultraman Delivers the Goods!

Look what came in the mail today, totally unsolicited. It seems that news of the country's tissue paper shortage has reached M78, and our red-and-silver superhero decided to do something about it. When the chips are down, we can always count on Ultraman!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Traveling Back to the 23 Century!

An escalator in MOA Museum of Art, featured in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Photo by Brett Homenick.

One of the filming locations used for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) is rather surprising. The long escalator seen in MOTHER (the Futurians' ship) was actually filmed at MOA Museum of Art in Atami. In the film, the staircase in between the two escalators was removed and replaced by something you'd more likely see in a 23rd-century time machine. So at MOA Museum of Art, aside from seeing great art exhibits, you can also travel through time!

Atami Castle!

Atami Castle. Photo by Brett Homenick.

One spot I was interesting in photographing while in Atami today was Atami Castle, featured prominently in the climactic battle in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) between the two legendary monsters. The castle itself was closed, but here are some photos from an angle (more or less) seen in the film.

The Air Up There in Atami!

 A great view of the city of Atami. Photo by Brett Homenick.

While visiting Atami today, I went up the ropeway to a great viewing spot that overlooks the city as well as the ocean. I snapped a few photos, and here they are. Enjoy!

Toho Cinemas Round-Up!

With George Chakiris in March 2011.

The night before Prime Minister Abe's emergency declaration went into effect, I went to Toho Cinemas in Roppongi to catch a screening of the Academy Award-winning classic West Side Story (1961), which I'd seen on DVD but never on the big screen. Suffice it to say, it was quite entertaining.

I was fortunate enough to meet George Chakiris (who played Bernardo to perfection) several times in Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011, before moving to Japan. It was great finally to see his performance on the big screen.

Last week, I went to the same theater to catch my sixth (!) screening of Joker (2019), my favorite movie of the last decade. With all the new movies being postponed, the upside was that Toho Cinemas began screening a lot of classics. I just wish I had the opportunity to see even more.

Now Toho Cinemas have closed across Tokyo, so it will be quite a while before I'm able to to the movies again. That said, I'm thankful I got to see the above-mentioned films (as well as two screenings of Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut) when I had the chance.