Saturday, September 28, 2013
Tonight on Svengoolie! "The Leech Woman".
I picked up the Toho Collection, with "Mothra", "The H Man", and "Battle in Outer Space". Greatly fun stuff! It has both Japanese and English releases, and for "Mothra" and "Space" there is a commentary track. Faboo!
OK.I may have to give Roddenberry his due. The retconners have long said that the Great Bird's motivation in creating "Star Trek" was to help mankind with the evolution of the species to an altruistic, non-capitalistic society. My take has been that he wrote a concept to sell, which was bought, and which helped the evolution of his bank account. Ishiro Honda made his sci-fi movies with an eye toward world peace, and nuclear non-proliferation, at least that's the story from the commentators. I do have more faith in that angle, than the burbling about the altruism of Star Trek and its progeny. The Japanese post-War psyche was a tad ticklish as regards The Bomb, and every opportunity to decry it was utilised agin' it. This continues into the anime age today.
The anti-nuke drumbeat is understandable, and provides the rhythm for the three movies. "Mothra's" "Infant Island" is first revealed as a Bomb-blasted atoll, with a jungle surprise farther inland. "The H-Man" involves fallout-induced spooging, with people exposed turning to suspiciously "Blob"-like gel. "Battle in Outer Space"is less obvious about the nuke thing, but is a paean to peace.
The films are visually excellent. I have only seen the dubbed versions, as I watch them while I print shirts, and cannot take the time and attention to read subtitles. "H-Man" is a treat, with Paul Frees providing several different voices. I saw part of "Battle" in the '60s on a Dillon High School band trip featuring none other than Ben Bernanke his own self. I remembered the saucers firing their rays, and had wondered what the movie was. Well, now I know. Great stuff!
Now we have Star Trek "Operation-Annihilate" on, one of my favorite episodes. It is loaded with extended phaser effects. Very nice. The plastic puke puppet master aliens are effectively creepy, and Spock's battle with the pain of the creature trying to subsume his will is an exercise in stolid Vulcanity.
"The Leech Woman". Dreadful. (The link is spoiler-filled.)