Watch Gehara here, subtitles are below the link:
Scene 1: Ship Sinking In Japan Sea
Steering Fisherman: Hmmm, that’s weird.
Drunk Fisherman: What is it?
Steering Fisherman: The engines are not working.
Drunk Fisherman: Something must have stuck onto it.
[Drunk Fisherman Sees Gehara]
Drunk Fisherman: What is that? Hey, come look!
Steering Fisherman: What?
Both: Oh my God, it’s….. It’s HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scene 2: News Report
TV: Early this morning, a fishing boat exploded…
Wife: Come on Hideo! Don’t be lazy and help me out!
Hideo: Shut up. It is really important for us journalists to check out news programs like this.
TV: Fisherman Mr. Tasaki is currently missing. The Coastal Guard has been making a rescue effort since this morning…
Hideo: It looks like it was sunken by a hairy kaiju!
Wife: God, another "kaiju" story?
Mother: There isn’t anything like that in today’s world.
Hideo: Well, we are in the age of science. We have to uncover the truth.
Hideo: See you later!
Mother: Good luck!
Scene 3: Examination
Fisherman: Hair… Hair… Hair…
Doctor: His hair has strangely fallen out. He must have experienced something very terrifying.
Hideo: Mr. Murakami, what in the world did you experience?
Dr. Murakami: A sea-man could have doen this. Or, we can assume that a Keukegen might have caused it. Anyways, go ahead and go through all the materials we have and conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause…
Murakami: Ow! Ow! Ect.
Scene 4: Tribal Scene
Tori Shrine Name: "Geharha Shrine"
[tribal music scene till Hideo opens door]
Village Elder: Who is this?
Hideo: I heard you know about the Keukegen "Gehara", and there is something which you need to know.
Village Elder: You must not go! You will be cursed by the great Geharha!
[sees destroyed land]
Village elder: Oh, no… The seal has been broken! Nobody can stop the Great Gehara now.
Scene 5: Couple with Camera scene - Yase Clift, Noto Peninsula
Boy Friend: Let’s go further.
Girl Friend: It’s scary!
Boy Friend: Don’t worry. I got you.
Scene 6: News Reports
Japanese TV: A few minutes ago, there has been a huge blackout around the Ishikawa prefecture. The feeder line has been…
Indian News: Gehara
African News: Gehara
Japanese TV: The authorities affirmed that a monster is involved in this series of disasters…
Dr. Murakami: We even thought it was done by the Gods, the old rulers of the earth. Considering all the evidence, it must be a monster. There is no question that this is all because of a kaiju.
Japanese TV: According to the authorities, the monster - now named Gehara from ancient lore - has hit the shore of the Kanazawa region. The situation of the damage is still unknown, but it is confirmed that Gehara is now heading to an urban area. Local residents should stay calm
Scene 7: Ground Zero - Kanazawa capitol
Overhead Speaker: We designate that the target is "Gehara".
Mother: Where is Hideo?
Wife: I hope he’s safe.
LOCATION: MONSTER DISASTER HEADQUARTERS
Army Commander: Will our weapons work on Gehara?
Dr. Murakami: As long as he is a terrestrial being, his antibiotic must be the same as ours.
Female Soldier: Gehara has reached Kanazawa!
Female Reporter: The Monster Gehara seems to be heading this way, demolishing building on the way. We can even hear his footsteps.
[Gehara raises hell]
Female Reporter: Gehara is now visible. It is extremely dangerous here!
Male Speaker: What, what? Going on? Oh, oh, oh hell, Damn it, run for your lives!
[tanks come in]
Army Commander: Fire!
Dr. Murakami: Yes, he’s gargantuan but his skin cannot be as hard as steel.
Soldier: What is that smell?
Soldier: I cannot breath!
Overhead Speaker: He’s excreting gas!
Army Commander: Retreat! Retreat!
[back at the headquarters]
Female Soldier: Gehara is discharging gas from his fallen hair! Our personnel are incapacitated!
Male Soldier: We can’t keep the defense line!
Commander: If we hit, he discharges gas. Plus, the long hair cushions the damage.
Dr. Murakami: "A mud wall deads a cannon bullet"
American scientist: I have a good idea! Why don’t we used the machine we developed?
[machine comes in "Gas Vortical Device "Fujin"]
Overhead Speaker: Gas Vortical Device: Ready!
American: Fujin, ignition! Level Max!
Dr. Murakami: There’s his weak spot!
Army Commander: Fire!
[BACK AT BASE]
Commander: We did it!
America [in English]: We did it!
Dr. Murakami: After all, humans are the scariest.
Radio: Gehara is now escaping towards the mountains.
Man: He is coming this way!
Scene 8: Epilogue
[Gehara is bombed]
Army Commander: Is Gehara dead?
Dr. Murakami: More than likely, yes. Yet we have to remember that a second Gehara will appear soon unless we stop the environmental destruction.
Village Elder: It’s not Gehara’s fault! It’s humans who are harmful!
Hideo: Gehara is a victim as well.
Scene 9: "Gehara: Monster Martial Law"
Xilien: Gehara is now in our hands. Surrender Terrans! This planet is ours! Surrender or we will release Gehara into one of your metropolises!
Hideo: God, if we don’t act fast, Japan and even the world will fall prey to Gehara!
Village Leader: There is but one way - and only one way - to seal Gehara.
[trailer music starts]
Hideo: Nobody but us can stop him.
Dr. Murakami: It is us, the human species, who are destroying this Earth.
JAPANESE TEXT: Unprecedented Crisis.
Xilian: Surrender Terrans!
Village Elder: That’s our last hope.
Japanese Text: Looming Invaders
American [in English]: OH MY GOD!
Army Commander: Was it all planned?
Japanese Test: Raging Hairy Monster!
Army personnel: Do you read me!?
Japanese TV: Is this the beginning of the apocalypse?
Dr. Murakami: We will be the rulers and build the real Utopia!
Japanese Text: Will the Human Species be annihilated?
Army Personnel: We will NEVER give up!
Female Soldier: He will destroy all of the defense line!
Mother: Run sweetie!
Wife: I can’t do that!
Mother: Listen to me! Our planet needs you!
Japanese Text: The last hope reveals itself
Multiple People: We are… the TERRANS!
Japanese Test: "THE LAST CHAPTER: GEHARA: MONSTER MARTIAL LAW"
^The closest thing to "Gehara, Garemon, Giant Robot: Japan SOS" we will ever get.
The last of the kaiju films I have been meaning to review for a while is "Gehara" or as the legal title is, "Geharha" (though if that was the actual translation, then Godzilla would be Gojirha). Technically, I am re-reviewing it. The original review didn’t survive the blog transition so here we are. So, since most have already seen the film, I am going to skip to the review. Though I should mention, it is awesome finally seeing the film subtitled.
This film is one of two films Kiyotaka Taguchi directed in 2008/2009. The other is "G". Though this film is vastly more superior to "G" in every way. Now sure, Shinji Higuchi was on board for the SFX work here, but I am talking about other things. "G" was directed in a very erratic sense. "Gehara" isn’t and for good reason. With this we do not waste the talents of Shiro Sano, a Godzilla veteran. With this, we get a more traditional and well rounded kaiju film. Gone is the gore and nut shots of "G". Instead, this film is just one big tribute. From the Ifukube music to the "Ultraman", "War of the Gargantuas", and "Mysterians" and other reverences to the ending which is inspired - if not copied - from Takeshi Shimura’s final lines from the original "Gojira", this is a cool kaiju short that pulls out all of the stops, including bringing on destruction a single kaiju hasn’t brought on since "Gamera 2: Advent of Legion".
Now we can just hope that the faux trailer for "Gehara: Monster Martial Law" isn’t as faux as some think it is.
The story is an untold chapter of the legendary Yamato battleship’s short story. Human wise, the story is set around Yukijiro Hotaru‘s character, a navy commander of some sort and the young Taiyo Sugiura’s character. Yukijiro is playing a character far from the Mr. Osako we know him of the Gamera trilogy. This character is crude and perverted while trying to deal with a creepy encounter with an old man who tells him the legend of Reigo. Taiyo Sugiura is the love interested of the story. A pretty boy, he is one of the young men sent out, leaving his mother and childhood sweet heart behind. The movie revolves around those two characters.
Now, time for the review. The SFX are something that need to be discussed first since many people have taken note of them. Now, the fact that this film is a collaboration of Tomoo Hariguchi (of Gamera 3 and Death Kappa fame) and Keita Amemiya (I have no idea what he has done) has been publicized as a big deal is not a factor here. I mean, even Shinichi Wasaka worked on the film (I am watching the making of segment when they are painting the Bonefish props and I have seen Wasaka on screen accouple of times along with the Finaro-Goji suit). But I bet due to it’s low budget, CGI was used. And those thinking that YONGGARY was bad needs to think again. Though I liked this film, I have no doubts that the CGI usage will drive some American tokusatsu otaku away from this production. Though the puppets and models are some of the most detailed I have seen, the CGI battleships and ocean scenery are a turn off. Watcher be aware.
I do not know who directed the SFX model-wise, but I got three guesses: Kazuaki Skiyama, Katsuo Kawazoe, or Hajime Matsumoto. Maybe all three did their own parts of the SFX shots. However, the direction with the SFX is very nice. Some moments are a little questionable, like why they chose to shoot the scene with the bonefish the way they did, but there are some awesome shots. Such is one of Reigo rising out of the water, does a turn in the air, and goes back down in the water. The little maneuver take a little off the Yamato’s top and causes a little explosion. It is like a Matrix-kaiju scene done right. Some explosion scenes are also done beautifully. Another beautiful shot is when Reigo first comes up out of the water full body. SciFiJapan actually has this scenes broken down frame by frame in their coverage of the film. I suggest you go see it.
The directorial style of the human scenes is good. But it is nothing too special. It is nice to see some black and white scenes through the film, but overall it is nothing too special. The plot is executed well though. The romantic side of the story is executed well, enough to touch a person emotionally. The comedy bits are good enough to make you laugh with it, even without subtitles. And Hayashida’s experience in rakugo shows, especially in the end with Hayashida showing his version of the Yamato’s downfall, which includes a cameo by famous Kabuki performer Ukon Ichikawa. The downfall of the Yamato battle ship is something which obviously is something very spiritual and that is captured completely.
Overall, unless you see it subtitled, I see a lot of kaiju fans not wanting to take the time to watch this film. And it is sad since it is a good film. There really is no reason why NOT to watch the film. It is one of the more original kaiju films that has NOT been made by anyone named Kaneko or Higuchi in a long time - in fact, it is one of the best since Biollante. But of course this film is not as good as GMK. But it is defiantly worth a watch.
For those who love the Gamera trilogy, youtube member Onyasai21 has uploaded Japanese unsubtitled television specials for each film in parts complete with the commercials they were shown with (David Copperfield is among those advertised). Here is my analysis of the special for "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" which I wrote on Kaiju Galaxy forums:
"And I got to say, the TV special - which I also found ones for G2 and G3 - already on their respective discs - is very revealing. First, it is interesting to see how G1 was promoted just as Gamera's return, while the second film was promoted as the tour de force of the Japanese SFX film, and the third film was like a Japanese "Tranformers".
To be more specific, it is interesting in the little details these things old. For the TV special for GGOTU, you see stuff like the inside of Daiei's production studios (decorated in GGOTU memorabilia), a figure contest for a Marmit figure (they film the winner and a kid crying because he lost), and extra footage from the Yabari International Fantastic Adventure Film Festival. Wanna know something which the ADV disc left out in that footage at the film festival? Acclaimed actress Michelle Yeoh saying how much she liked the film's SFX and how she wished that films made in Hong Kong can reach the same level of technical excellence. Mind blowing stuff in these things!"
Here is the URL to his homepage. Onyasai21also has some other rarities which are worth seeing - not to miss out.
From December 26, 2009 to January 29, 2010, Japan’s HUMAX CINEMA (the same cinema which in 2009 held a Koichi Kawakita/Heisei Godzilla film festival) is celebrating the SFX films which had one man as their special effects director: Teruyoshi Nakano. Known primarily for his work on the 70’s Godzilla films, Teruyoshi was involved with the series since "Mothra vs. Godzilla". His best work however is in destruction films like "Submersion of Japan" and "War in Space". It is such "destruction" and non-kaiju tokusatsu eiga works that the Humax Cinema is celebrating. Here are the fallowing films which have been showcased so far:
1. Monkey (TV series, SFX director for some episodes)
2. Zoku ningen kakumei (English title unknown to the author)
4. Admiral of the Grand Fleet: Isoroku Yamamoto
5. The Secret of the Telegian (NOTE: Nakano-san was only a special effects assistant on this film)
6. Firebird: Daybreak Chapter
7. War In Space
8. Submersion of Japan
To this day, Teruyoshi Nakano keeps active. He has been graced with three award wins: two Japanese awards for best special effects ("The Return of Godzilla" and "Princess of the Moon", Teruyoshi’s final work) and a Mangled Skyscraper award presented by the staff of "G-FAN" magazine. Nakano-san keeps a good life today, occasionaly doing interviews and writing books on his memoirs on the set of many tokusatsu productions.
2010 seems to be getting at a good start with Godzilla. A new book in Japan and this year’s Christmas ornament has been revealed. Not to mention the release of Armand Vaquero’s "Monster Movie Fan’s Guide To Japan" and the soon release of a new issue of "Monster Attack Team" fanzine. It seems now that AMC has hopped on the band wagon as well. As number one on their list on "movies that spawned too many sequels", AMC has chosen the Big G of that honor. While I wouldn’t say there have been to many films (28 isn’t that many), it is nice to see the Big G still get recognition. Kudos AMC.
Note, another hint given that I did not record was that the host said that his [Godzilla’s] first film did not become widely available until 2006. Thank god we got Classic Media.
Well, it is kind of amazing how much Godzilla iconography one can find. I could list all of it that is at my school. This is the newest one: my Physical Fitness book has a picture of two girls checking out the cult movie part of a VHS store. Lo and behold one of the VHS tapes is of the original VHS for "King Kong vs. Godzilla". Check it out here:
Very awesome! Especialy with "Grease" also making an apperance. Though check it that it just happens to be an Asian girl who is holding it...
This year American Greetings / Carlton Cards will again be releasing another Godzilla ornament, this time from 1995's "Godzilla vs. Destroyah". It seems to represent Godzilla stomping his way through Hong Kong in his burning stage, will play Godzilla sound effects, and will light up (assuming the burning patches on Godzilla's skin will glow). This ornament will be available for pre-order in May 2010 and is pictured below."
My friend KaijuNoMura has posted some information reguarding this publication here:
UPDATE NO. 2:
Turns out I got two diffrent translations of the title. Both from friends, one is "Koichi Kitagawa, The Spirits of Special Effects, The brave fight of Toho SFX Team" and the other being "Toho Tokusatsu - Tokusatsu Brave(ly) Souls". Take it as you wish.