Review: "Great Space Monster Darkmatton"

In his interview with the PodCast, "Japan on Fire", film historian August Ragone stated that back in the time period between "Terror Of Mechagodzilla" (1975) and "The Return of Godzilla" (1984), there was a want of many a Japanese film maker to make their own kaiju films. While it is a testament of how influential the Showa kaiju days were, back in that time frame the resources were just not there to make independently make kaiju films. A new generation is making their dreams come true now thanks to the digital revolution. Recently, we have had a good slew of kaiju films, most notably "Geharha: The Dark and Long Haired Monster" (2009), "Reigo" (2009), and "Negadon: Monster from Mars" (2005). With a new American Godzilla film just beyond the horizon now, this fairly young age of Neo-Millennium series independent films are coming to an end. One of these films is the newly animated "Dai Supeesu Kaiju Darkmatton" (Great Space Monster Darkmatton) (2010).
"Darkmatton" is directed by Yohei Miyawaki. A 23-year-old student at Tokyo’s Tama Art University, Miyawaki made the film just like those before him like Shinpei Hayashida or Shusuke Kaneko - he has a love for the genre. The film is a piece of total animation. Though low budget, it gets the job done and the way it is filmed is quite extraordinary, especially with the third act of the film being in black and white, therefore making a possible reference to the original "Gojira" (1954).
Here is a synopsis according to "Undead Backbrain":
"An orbiting international space station is mysteriously destroyed. The army asks Dr Kawanaka, an expert in astronomy, to undertake an investigation to ascertain the cause. The doctor tries to find the cause, under the scrutiny of the army. Suddenly a black globe appears in the sky over Tokyo and Dr Kawanaka recognizes it as the cause of the ISS’s destruction. "That is Great Space Monster Darkmatton!" he declares. Military action proves futile. The doctor develops the ultimate weapon — the end result of his previous own research — uses it to confront the monster. The future of humanity hangs in the balance!"
Almost sounds like Negadon. And it kind of is. As you can see, this film was not meant to be a project like "G" or "Geharha". However, it is still a nicely animated film with humor. And it is nice to see the director voice act the elder professor with the white beard. Fans can see some of the influences. Such as the aforementioned "Gojira"-like ending, the use of a newly created Toho Co. Ltd, and a fairly Markelite-like weapon (though we find out it is an electricity conducting orb, the 2D animation makes it look like a miniature Markelite). Emblem at the front of each third of the film, and many more. For a total of 13 minutes, the film does have a sort of message. The kaiju Darkmatton could be an allegory for the darkness within the hearts of men. Then the act of him evolving as weapons are used on him could be a metaphor for war - the more you shoot, the more the problem gets bigger - something of a scare back in the ole Cold War days of old.
The Backbrain reports that the director has no current plans for a home video release, though an international variation with English subtitles is in the works. Stand by. The film itself though, I suggest that fans watch it. If you aren’t that big of a fan, then I do not think it will appeal to you. Interested fans though who have a well rooted love for tokusatsu eiga would like to see this. I give it a 3.5/5. It’s a nice little film.
To watch the film and look at pictures and story boards on the production, fallow the link below:

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