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Furankanshutain tai Chitei Kaiju Baragon

Frankenstein Conquers the World
Frankenstein vs. Baragon / Frankenstein - Der Schrecken mit dem Affengesicht / Frankenstein Meets the Giant Devil Fish / Frankenstein and the Giant Lizard

Japan 1965
produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Inoshiro Honda
starring Tadao Takashima, Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Koji Furuhata, Jun Tazaki, Susumu Fujita, Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Nakamura, Kenji Sahara, Yoshifumi Tajima, Kozo Nomura, Haruya Kato, Keiko Sawai, Peter Mann, Yutaka Sada, Hisaya Ito, Kenzo Tabu, Kenichiro Kawaji, Hideaki Nitani, Haruo Nakajima
written by Inoshiro Honda, Kaoru Mabuchi, loosely based on characters created by Mary W. Shelley, special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, music by Akira Ifukube

Frankenstein, Toho's Frankenstein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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1945: Just before the Germans surrender to the Allied Forces, the heart of the Frankenstein monster is shipped off to Japan - where it arrives in Hiroshima just in time to be hit by the atom bomb ... but of course, Frankenstein's heart is immortal, and thanks to the radiation, 15 years later it has grown into a man - but the radiation makes this man grow and grow into a giant monster - a benign one though. Then people are killed and eaten by a monster, and everybody but three scientists (Nick Adams, Tadao Takashima, Kumi Mizuno) believe it was the Frankenstein monster (Koji Fuiruhata), even though all the evidence points into a different direction. But hey, people are killed by a giant monster, and it seems Frankenstein is the only one around ... until reptilic Baragon shows up, a giant monster that's mighty good at digging (which is why it has been able to hide so well). Eventually of course these two creatures meet and fight to the death, Baragon's death. Then for no apparent reason, Frankenstein is killed by a giant octopus - but has he really died? No, he returned in next years War of the Gargantuas ...

 

One of Inoshiro Honda's lesser monster films, this one puts too much emphasis on its human protagonists rather than its monster, too much emphasis on the monster's origins rather than its path of destruction, and honestly, Frankenstein doesn't look all that menacing (well ok, he's supposed to be a benign monster). Admittedly there are some fine scenes of destruction, and the final duel Frankenstein vs the leaping (!) reptile is fun - but in all, the film is actually rather on the dull side. Pity!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD