Sirki’s Summons – February 28: The Kaiju Director & The Eminent Scientist

Greetings Effendi! Today marks the anniversary of the passing of two very different men – one behind the cameras and one in front of them.

It was on this day in 1993 that Prince Sirki reached out to Japan and claimed the director who had guided many giant monsters through their rampages, the great Ishiro Honda. Honda was one of the four creative forces behind the original GOJIRA (1954), along with producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya and composer Akira Ifukube, as well as the director of many non effects films for Toho, though he is best known in the West for his effects film work. His last Godzilla film was TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (1975), the final film of the Godzilla Showa Era series. His other effects films, not necessarily of the dai kaiju (giant monster) genre include BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1960), THE HUMAN VAPOR (1960), MATANGO (1963), and HALF HUMAN (1955).

Ishiro Honda (left) & Eiji Tsuburaya (right) examine a miniature of Godzilla during production of Gojira (1954)
Honda on the set of Matango (1963) aka Attack of the Mushroom People

On this day in 1973, Prince Sirki claimed a character actor of varied parts, sometimes a villain, sometimes a kind scientist or eccentric neighbor. Among Imagi-Movie fans though, he was best known as Prof. Thurgood Elson, the eminent paleontologist who boldly faced the BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953) and Dr. Chumley, who tried to ‘cure’ Jimmy Stewart of his ‘friend’,  HARVEY (1950). He was also the curator of the museum planet in the Twilight Zone episode Elegy (1960).

This picture of Kellaway was used as his picture in the newspaper after meeting his fate in Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

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