Ye Olde Dragon here, having a bit of a think.
No doubt, as many of you know I shall be guest-hosting a #TCMParty on Sunday night, June 28, 2015. I’m sure as well, but you’re also aware that the film in question is (GODZILLA vs.) MONSTER ZERO (1970), being shown that night at 8:00 PM EDT as part of TCM’s Movie Camp (taking the place of The Essentials, Jr.), hosted by filmmakers William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg. In their own words, on the TCM Movie Camp website:
“Movie Camp was created to give viewers a chance
to find inspiration and fun in classic movies.”
The site also says that each week, when they introduce a great movie, they will share stories of how it inspired them.
Personally, I think this is a great compliment to any Godzilla film, but it does my heart good, knowing that they’ve selected MONSTER ZERO.
Tonight for the first time, I perused the Movie Camp site to get the full scope of the program, and to see what will be shown for the rest of the summer. After doing so, I must say that MONSTER ZERO is in excellent company, among such classics as Steven Spielberg‘s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), DUCK SOUP (1933) starring The Marx Brothers, Fritz Lang‘s METROPOLIS (1926), THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) starring Errol Flynn, Alfred Hitchcock‘s STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) and even Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly‘s SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952).
In my opinion, being counted among such films shows that Godzilla movies, if not Toho‘s special effects films (tokusatsu), are finally starting to get the respect and recognition that they have deserved for so long. For this we have the good people at Turner Classic Movies to thank for getting this ball rolling.
I guess, that you could say they started rolling just barely over three years ago (June 15, 2013 to be exact) when they had a night of films directed by Ishiro Honda, but all four films were the original, Japanese versions envisioned by Honda as opposed to seemingly capricious editing whims of American distributors. Truly, this was a massive show of respect.
That respect continued, as evidenced by the presentation of the newest restored version of Honda’s GOJIRA (1954) as a main attraction at their 2014 TCM FAN FEST, prior to a limited theatrical run in celebration of the film’s 60th anniversary.
The #TCMParty that I guest-hosted this past Thursday (June 18, 2015) received a pleasant surprise, when the original version of Honda’s MOTHRA (1962) was shown as opposed to the expected Columbia Pictures US release.
The fact that MONSTER ZERO is being shown as part of a program that includes such epitomes of classic film continues this respect. The premise that these films are being shown to inspire creativity in the minds of possible filmmakers of the future says an awful lot in regards to this respect. I’m actually looking forward to the introduction that William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg will be giving to the film.
I know I’ve said this a number of times, but MONSTER ZERO is the first Godzilla movie I ever saw, back when I was 10 or 11 years old, on a beat up black and white portable 12 inch television set. It certainly inspired me to seek out more movies of its kind, and I’ve never looked back. I can’t help but wonder about the possibility that somewhere out there, some young viewer will be seeing it as his, or her, first Godzilla movie.
I’m not even upset at the fact that they’re showing the US version instead of the original, Japanese version, because of the fact that before the days of Blu-ray, or DVDs or even videotape, this version would’ve been the only one that would be available to see whenever broadcast on local stations.
Thank you, TCM. For showing Godzilla and his friends such regard and respect. I only hope that it will continue to grow, and that you will show even more of the original Japanese versions of these films.
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