Monday, December 05, 2005

Deep Sea Monster Reigo

Fangoria has a list and brief descriptions of films screened at the American Film Market. Among them is this:

"With Toho on a Godzilla sabbatical (sob), DEEP SEA MONSTER--REIGO stands out as the closest example of an old-school Japanese giant monster mash for sale this time. A humongous aquatic creature battles the WWII battleship Yamato in this low-rent period production, directed by kaiju fan Hayashiya Shinpei."

This sounds exciting, so I started looking into it. And voila! They have an English Web site. It calls it "A heartrending love story that sinks into the beautiful blue south seas."
Apparently, the story will be an alternate history of the Yamato, Japan's great battleship that sank. (The Web site has some interesting facts about the Yamato.) It will show off what armaments the ship could have had and how it would stand up to a monster.
Here's what the Web site says about the monster:

The enemy, REIGO, is a creature that propels itself through the seas like a dragon. Director Hayashiya Shinpei has specially created this new monster for the film with extensive creative input from Amemiya Keita and Haraguchi Tomoo.

And here's a little more behind the scenes:
First, the character of Monster REIGO:
It was designed by Amemiya Keita, who is known as the director of SF film "Zeiramu" and as the designer of characters for a number of special-effects films.
Based on his design, the character was made by Haraguchi Tomoo, well-known for the Heisei "Gamera" series.
This is the first collaboration of Amemiya Keita and Haraguchi Tomoo, a combination that special-effects fans have been longing for.
The deep-sea fish monsters that appear along with REIGO were made by Japan's leading plastic arts character specialists and Wakasa Shin-ichi, who is known for the Godzilla costume.

The director of the movie is Hayashiya Shinpei, who directed the fan film "Gamera 4." (I wish I could read Japanese, because his Web site looks cool.) So we have a real giant monster movie fan directing this one.
Hotaru Yukijiro will appear in this film. He's the detective who appeared in all 3 of Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera films. He was also in Battle Royale, Zeiram and Godzilla: Operation Tokyo SOS.
There is also going to be a famous Kabuki actor in the film. That should be interesting.
Also on the Web site is a trailer with English subtitles. It looks pretty good. Some of the effects seem to be cheap CGI, but it looks like there is a lot of respect for both war and giant monster movies here.
The Web zine Twitch
seems to be keeping up on the film here, here, here and here.
This is fascinating. The first truly new kaiju, unrelated to any other series, in a while. I can't wait to see it. I hope it comes to these shores.

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