|The Giant Japanese Monster
This series also screens at the Aero Theatre (July 1 - 3, 2005).
What is it about watching actors in rubber monster suits
kick the living daylights out of a plaster-and-paint model of Tokyo and each other, that
seems so, well, satisfying? We cant say for sure
WE JUST KNOW WE LOVE
IT!! For those of you who didnt get enough city-stomping, radioactive
-fire-breathing action at last years 50th Birthday Tribute to Godzilla,
were back with more classics and rarities of the Japanese kaiju ("giant
monster") genre including the Los Angeles Theatrical Premieres of the latest
Ultraman adventure, the spectacular ULTRAMAN THE NEXT, and the newest installment
in the Godzilla series, the highly acclaimed GODZILLA FINAL WARS - !! Other
highlights include a special program of material from the secret vaults of Tsuburaya
Productions in Japan, including episodes of the never-before-seen- in-America TV series "MIRROR
MAN" and "FIREMAN" from the early 1970s; the
rarely-screened Rankin/Bass collaboration with Toho, KING KONG ESCAPES (1968)
featuring two giant Kongs (!); and arguably the most sought-after of all Japanese
monster movies, the long-lost MATANGO (ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE), and much
more!! Plus vendors including Anime Jungle &
Hollywood Book & Poster, prizes and more!
Friday, June 24 7:30 PM
GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA
(a.k.a. GODZILLA VS. THE COSMIC MONSTER), 1974, Toho, 80 min. Dir. Jun Fukuda.
An ancient prophecy predicting destruction by monsters
the discovery of space
Godzilla thrashing Angilas and a gigantic ancient temple dog named King
Seesar re-awakened on Okinawa what does it all mean? Why, fiendishly intelligent
ape aliens from the Black Hole Galaxy have arrived with their secret weapon to destroy
Godzilla and conquer the Earth! And what, you may ask, is their dreaded super secret
weapon? A counterfeit, mechanized Godzilla (Mechagodzilla for short) that will prove to be
one of the big Gs most formidable foes. Originally advertised as Godzillas 20th
Anniversary film, theres plenty of great city-stomping fun to be had by all. With Akihiro
Hirata, Shin Kishida, Masaaki Daimon.
TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA,
1975, Toho, 83 min. This was the fifteenth (and for a long time, final) film in the
original Godzilla series until 1984s GODZILLA. It was not only maestro Ishiro
Hondas final Godzilla film, it was also Hondas last credited picture as
director. The great Akihiro Hirata (eyepatch-wearing Dr. Serizawa in the first 1954
film) is a mad scientist with a cyborg daughter who not only controls mega-destructive
amphibious dinosaur, Titanosaurus, hes also helping aliens refurbish Mechagodzilla
to destroy the big G! One of the darkest, most fast-moving entries in the original series,
with more great effects from Teruyoshi Nakano and one of Akira Ifukubes
most beautiful Godzilla scores.
Features preceded by an ultra-rare episode of the Japanese TV series
"SPECTREMAN" (1971, 25 min.), where a super-cyborg from outer space
defends earth against pollution monsters!
[This program is presented in English dubbed versions] An
Saturday, June 25 5:00 PM
"ULTRAMAN and More: Rarities from Tsuburaya Productions!"
(approx. 2 hours total) Founded in 1966 by Eiji Tsuburaya, the visual F/X genius
behind the original Godzilla and practically all of the best Japanese giant monster films
of the late 50s and early 60s, Tsuburaya Productions quickly established
itself as a force to be reckoned with through the success of its TV series "Ultra
Q" and the classic "Ultraman," which featured a giant,
silver-and-red "space policeman" who bonds with a member of the Science Patrol,
Haiyata, to combat evil monsters. Since then, "ULTRAMAN" has spawned countless
sequels, spin-offs and theatrical features, including the latest feature ULTRAMAN THE
NEXT (screening later this same night.) In this program, well be screening a
selection of these, rescued from deep within the secret vaults of Tsuburaya Productions in
Tokyo (and elsewhere), including episodes of the very Ultraman-esque "Mirror
Man" (1971, 25 min.) and "Fireman" (1973, 25 min.), both in
Japanese with English subtitles and shown for the very first time ever in the U.S. at this
show!! Plus, more rarities from the Tsuburaya Archives (we cant tell you what,
youll have to come and find out for yourself
) An Egyptian Exclusive!
Saturday, June 25 8:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere!!
THE NEXT, 2004, Tsuburaya Prod., 97 min. Dir. Kazuya Konaka. Ultraman
fans rejoice!! The latest feature-length installment in the series is arguably the best
ever: an adrenaline-fueled, F/X-filled action-fest thats easily on par with the
recent Godzilla and Gamera features! Just as he is about to turn in his uniform to devote
more time to his hospitalized young son, Maki, a jet pilot with the Japan Self Defense
Forces, is ordered to identify or destroy a strange UFO that has been sighted on course
for Tokyo. The two collide mid-air, and, incredibly, Maki survives with no memory of the
crash. But he soon learns that a week earlier, another pilot who had had a similar
experience with a UFO, had mutated into a huge monster that is now on the loose. Once the
two finally meet, Maki, also, is transformed into a bizarre creature, but very different
from the reptilian beast. Will Maki prevail or will the reptilian monster destroy him? And
even if Maki does win, can he retain his humanity and avoid ending up becoming a dangerous
monster just like the reptilian creature? With Tetsuya Bessho, Kenya Osumi , Kyoko Toyama.
[In Japanese with English subtitles] Preceded by a Live
Ultraman Stage Show with your favorite characters in person!!
>> Also screening at The Aero on July 2.
Sunday, June 26 5:00 PM
KING KONG ESCAPES, 1967,
Universal, 96 min. Dir. Ishiro Honda. A delightfully entertaining guilty pleasure
as wicked, caped Dr. Who (everyones-fave-Toho -villain, Eisei Amamoto) uses
his especially constructed Mechani-Kong to mine plutonium at the North Pole. When his
giant robot cant quite cut the mustard, the madman, with the help of Madame X (Mie
Hama of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE), kidnaps the real King Kong, hypnotizing him to assist!
Good guys Rhodes Reason, Akira Takarada and Linda Miller (on whom the
real Kong develops a mean crush), do their best to put a stop to the evil-doing,
culminating in a battle between Kong and Mechani-Kong on the Tokyo Tower. [Original
English language version]
GODZILLA VS. MEGALON,
1976, Toho, 80 min. Dir. Jun Fukuda. Katsuhiko Sasaki plays the inventor of robot
superhero, Jet Jaguar (showing some Ultraman influence) who, aided by good-guy Godzilla,
must go up against titanic roach, Megalon, and mechanized bird monster, Gigan (he with the
buzzsaw in his belly), creatures manipulated by the underwater kingdom of Seatopia to
attack land-based civilization. Probably the most-maligned Godzilla film of the original
series, this still has a splendidly goofy charm all its own. More kids-oriented than most
of the Godzilla films and loads of fun. [English dubbed version.]
Features preceded by another thrilling and monster-packed episode of
the Japanese TV series "SPECTREMAN" (1971, 25 min.) [English dubbed
version] An Egyptian Exclusive!
American Cinematheque Members Only FilmMingler Sponsored by Lickity
Split Frozen Custard
Join us for a cool frozen custard (a type of ice
cream) cone courtesy of our new tenant in the Egyptian Theatre Courtyard.
With Japanese Giant Monsters Experts: Keith
Aiken, Steve Ryfle, Oki Miyano, and Brad Warner of Tsuburaya Productions (producers of
"Ultraman")! And special Godzilla prizes for all attendees! All members who
purchase tickets to tonight's program (6/26) are invited to attend this free reception
with one guest (if you're bringing more than one child, let us know!) Reception at 3:30
PM. RSVP to 323.461.2020, ext. 122.
Wednesday, June 29 7:30 PM
New 35 mm. Print!!
MATANGO (ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE), 1963, Toho Co. Ltd.,
89 min. Long unavailable in the U.S., MATANGO recently resurfaced on DVD here courtesy of
Media Blasters, and proves to be one of the most original sci-fi pictures Toho produced in
the 1960s. Director Ishiro Honda spins a surprisingly adult yarn about a shipload
of supposedly happy-go-lucky friends (Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Kenji Sahara, et. al.) who
are in reality anything but. When theyre shipwrecked on a mist-shrouded,
fungi-encrusted island, they soon turn on each other when the food runs out. To make
matters worse, they find that theyre not alone: a previous ship wrecks
survivors didnt die they slowly changed into walking fungi after eating the
isles delicious, addictive mushrooms! Atmospheric and creepy, the last half hour
especially achieves an eerie, dreamlike quality that will send shivers up your spine.
[English dubbed version]
THE H-MAN, 1958, Columbia, 79 min.
Special Effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. After her gangster boyfriend mysteriously
disappears, a beautiful nightclub singer draws the attention of police, mobsters, a young
scientist and the Liquid People strange, radioactive creatures dwelling in Tokyo's
sewer system!! Director Ishiro Honda, working from a screenplay by Takeshi Kimura
(RODAN, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS), creates a more adult (by 1950s standards) film than
the usual Toho monster movie. A great combination of the popular sci-fi, horror and crime
genres, THE H-MAN features a bit of everything sure to please moviegoers monsters,
cops, gangsters, the stars of RODAN, a haunted ship and musical numbers topped off
by an amazing score by composer Masaru Sato (Akira Kurosawa's HIGH AND LOW and
YOJIMBO). With Yumi Shirakawa, Kenji Sahara and Akihiko Hirata. [English dubbed version] An Egyptian Exclusive!
July 1 3 2005
Exclusive Los Angeles Theatrical
GODZILLA FINAL WARS, 2004,
Toho Co. Ltd., 124 min. Dir. Ryuhei Kitamura. Starring Masahiro Matsuoka, Rei
Kikukawa, Done Frye, Kazuki Kitamura, Kane Kosugi and Miki Mizuno. Were happy to
report that the latest and possibly the last (!) in the 50-year old saga of
the Big G is also one of the very best in the series, courtesy of bad boy director Ryuhei
Kitamura (VERSUS, ALIVE), a bevy of astounding monsters from past Godzilla epics, and
some astounding, state-of-the-art F/X but most of all, because its
GODZILLA!!! Sometime in the future, more than 10 terrible monsters appear all over the
world at once. The United Nations wages a "final war" against the creatures
combining the power of all of the Earth Defense Forces to save mankind. While the intense
fighting continues, suddenly an enormous UFO appears and extinguishes the monsters with a
beam in a matter of seconds. And then, the aliens, who call themselves
"Xiliens," propose a peace treaty with the Earth. Meanwhile, deep beneath the
Antarctic ice, Godzilla begins to awaken from his slumber
Friday, July 1 7:00 PM & 9:30 PM
Saturday, July 2 6:00 PM & 8:45 PM
Sunday, July 3 4:00 PM & 6:45 PM
An Egyptian Exclusive!