Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) – Movie Review

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Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)

“He drinks oil from a can and eats dirt. He’s Barney, the purple dinosaur’s,
older, meaner cousin, Yongary!”

This is Korea’s foray into the Kaiju Monster film arena. A rocket launch awakens Yongary underground. Scientists track seismic activity until they discover it’s caused by an ancient beast moving underground. Yongary rises from the earth and destroys the city. After a lot of destruction, he needs a drink and finds a full tank of oil. He drinks it and blows flames. Then he drinks some ammonia and it doesn’t agree with him. He gets a tummy ache, dances around and gets angry. He breaks out in a rash and it yongary-pic-1makes him very irritable. When the scientists discover Yong is allergic to ammonia (it takes a young boy to figure it out), they make some ammonia bombs. They drop some bombs, Yong gets upset and destroys the bridge. Finally, he kicks the bucket.

A low budget makes for less detail in the special FX all around, which in turn makes them not-so-special FX. The Yongary costume has some basic flaws that sometimes makes him look like a guy in a costume at a children’s birthday party. The buildings look like toys in the close-ups because of lack of detail. The plot is simplistic and there’s not much of a human story to it other than the humans fight against Yongary. All this less attention to detail adds up to a film that is more silly than threatening. But it’s not a total loss, there’s some fun Kaiju destruction scenes and Yongary does breathe fire. Good times!

There was a remake of Yongary called Reptilian (2000) but it was a cheap CGI, badly written script, disaster that isn’t even fun to watch in a MST2K way. Stick with the original for some campy Kaiju fun.

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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part IV

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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part IV


 

Bud Root

Bud Root created the ever popular comic series, Cavewoman, appealing to young man’s fantasies across the US. He began his own company Basement Comics after being turned down for work repeatedly by Marvel. Today he continues to run Basement Comics and has gained much fame for his Cavewoman series.

 


 

Richard Corben

Is a well known illustrator whose work appears in Eerie, Creepy, Vampirella, and Heavy Metal Magazines, as well as others. His comic creation DEN was adapted for the Heavy Metal movie. Richard also does his own writing and coloring giving his work a distinct feel. He’s won numerous awards through the years. All of the stories and covers he did with Creepy and Eerie have been re-released in one volume by Dark Horse Comics.

 


 

Dan Morton

Dan became known for his work on the Tomb Tales horror comics by Cryptic Entertainment in the 1990’s. He is currently working on the Space 1958, retro sci-fi comic.

 


 

Misc. Here’s some miscellaneous Dino art I’ve come across by different artists…scroll over the art to see names.

 


 

One more post, then I’m going to take a break from the dinosaur fantasy art.

I’m going to restart the series with dinosaur illustrators and artists in the science and museums field.

 

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part III

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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part III

Dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, cavemen and cavewomen are the subjects for my new series of art posts. There will also be an occasional giant monster.
This post includes work from Joe Jusko, Jamie Chase, and Bernie Wrightson
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Joe Jusko
Joe sold his first cover art piece to Heavy Metal Magazine at age 18. He went on to illustrate covers and inside work for most major comic book companies, including Marvel and DC. He’s also known for his Edgar Rice Burroughs, Conan the Barbarian, and Vampirella trading cards. you can check out his work at:  http://www.joejusko.com
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Jamie Chase
Jamie is an American Artist living in New Mexico known for his abstract work that has been featured in many galleries and exhibitions. He recently turned his creative talents to dinosaurs, illustrating graphic adaptations of The Land That Time Forgot and At The Earth’s Core by Dark Horse Books. The adaptations feature Jamie’s art and story adaptation by Bobby Nash. The books are unique in the aspect that the illustrations are presented in fine art style rather than comic book art style.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/161655746X/
Bernie Wrightson
Bernie (or early work seen as Berni) co-created The Swamp Thing, worked for DC, Marvel, National Lampoon and Warren. His work for Heavy Metal Magazine led to his character, Captain Sternn being animated for the Heavy Metal Movie. He illustrated the Comic Book adaptation for Stephen King’s Creepshow and illustrated King’s book, Cycle of the Werewolf. More of his work can be seen at: http://www.berniewrightson.com
 Naturally all of these artists do more than dinosaur and giant monster art. I hope you will seek out their work and check out their websites, books, publications, and prints.
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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part II

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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part II

Dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, cavemen and cavewomen are the subjects for my new series of art posts. There will also be an occasional giant monster.
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This post includes work from Boris Vallejo, Bob Eggleton, and Frank Cho
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Boris Vallejo – If you have ever read any classic sci-fi, fantasy adventure, or horror magazine fiction, than you have most likely seen the name ‘Boris’ signed on the cover artwork. Boris was one of the most prolific genre artists who has had his work gracing the covers of publications such as, paperbacks of Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Boroughs, Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella magazines, movie posters (including the first two National Lampoon Vacation posters), Album covers (Ozzy Osborne’s Ultimate Sin cover) and several calendars. He also has many books of his art, the early ones with his art exclusively and later ones with his wife, artist and model, Julie Bell. Here is some of his dinosaur and monster artworks.
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Bob Eggleton- Bob took home the Hugo Awards best artist award for 8 years and best book award in 2001. He has illustrated numerous Godzilla comics and magazines and was a consultant on the US Godzilla remake. He also illustrated game cards for Magic: The Gathering. He did covers for magazines such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Amazing Stories (1980’s and 1990’s), and Analog Science Fiction. He also illustrated many science fiction and paperback books. Here’s some of his dinosaur and dragon work.
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Frank Cho – Is a comic book writer and illustrator known for his comic, Liberty Meadows, and illustrations for Shanna the She-devil, She-Hulk, and Jungle Girl. His work features precise line work and vivid color.


Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part III coming soon

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part I

frank frazetta - pic 1 - cavemen

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part I

Dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, cavemen and cave women are the subjects for my new series of art posts. There will also be an occasional giant monster.

Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta is a legendary artist who painted art and illustrations for hundreds if not thousands of fantasy items; sci-fi and fantasy book covers, Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella magazine covers, Album covers and movie posters. His work brought to life the imagery of Robert E. Howard, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and more…Here is some of his prehistoric beast and dinosaur art.

J. Allen St. John

St. John was an illustrator and artist who did some wonderful artwork for the pulp magazines of the early 1900’s and work for pulp book cover art. He is one of the early pioneers of sci-fi fantasy art. His work has been featured on the covers of Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Fantastic Adventures, Famous Fantastic Mysteries and more.

Jeff Jones

Jeff was a much sought after artist and illustrator in the 1960’s and 70’s painting cover art for Heavy Metal Magazine, National Lampoon and Dean Koontz novels among others. He has several books of his artwork collections to purchase for fans of his work.

More in Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part II (coming soon)

Short story by Michael Thomas-Knight published in Kaiju: Lords of the Earth

Kaiju Lords of the Earth - web

Kaiju: Lords of the Earth

My story, Unleashed in the East, has been chosen for inclusion to the collection of giant monster stories by JEA Press, Kaiju: Lords of the Earth

I’ve been a long time fan of Kaiju movies and specifically Toho films, the father of Asian giant monster cinema. I see these films as more than just giant monsters run amuck. I feel a correct Kaiju film has an overtone of sadness to it, often reflected in the powerful yet melancholy music by Akira Ifukube. There is always a cause and effect reason for the monsters appearance, a great foible of man that has awakened something uncontrollable. The giant monster is an overbearing punishment that mankind must endure for his wrongful treatment of nature and mother earth. There is usually a sense of duty and honor in a proper Kaiju story. A choice will be made by the story’s main character(s); a sad sacrifice to salvage the fate of his fellow man.

These are the aspects I have tried to capture in my story, Unleashed in the East. As it often happens, my story stemmed from a current event news item, a real event that I wrestled, wrangled and mangled onto a fictional tale. I’ve also managed to flavor the story with an H.P. Lovecraft style cosmic creature rather than the usual radioactive giants of early Kaiju films.

Available for Kindle and Paperback:

Kaiju: Lords of the Earth

16 Kaiju Monster stories by authors: John Ledger, Stephen Blake, Michael Noe, Peyton Pratt, Alice J. Black, R.T. Sirk, Essel Pratt, Vyvecca Danae Pratt, Amanda M. Lyons, Brian Barr, Kevin Candela, Dona Fox, E. Doyle-Gillespie, Roy C. Booth, T.S. Woolard, and Michael Thomas-Knight

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War of the Gargantuas (1966) – Movie review

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War of the Gargantuas (1966)

Toho Films

Directed by Ishiro Honda
special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Music Akira Ifukube

This is my favorite Toho Kaiju film that doesn’t feature Godzilla. It is the sequel to FCtW, but suddenly it seems Universal didn’t want Toho using the Frankenstein name in its US release. However, if you look at the monsters in this film, it’s clear they both resemble Frankenstein. Picking up from FCtW, the monsters flesh has undergone further mutation to the point where a very small piece can regenerate into a full organism. It’s several years from the death of the giant Frankenstein and war_gargantuas_dvdJapan is faced with this new threat. The film begins with a fantastic sequence. A nighttime storm batters a fishing vessel. The boatswain is trying to steer the vessel through the rough waters. A large tentacle creeps up behind him and grabs him. Then another enters the room. In a wide shot we can see a giant octopus overtaking the ship looking for a midnight snack. Just when it looks like the man will be ripped apart, the tentacles make a quick retreat. Cautiously, he moves to the windows. Outside we see a giant beast battling with the octopus (one of my fave visuals of the film). But this green hairy water beast is not a savior. After dispatching the octopus he sinks the boat.

This is a rare Kaiju film that shows the monster eating humans in gory (for the time) fashion. At the airport the Green Gargantua (Gaira) picks up a woman, chews on her, then spits out her war of the gargantuas screen shot 6bloody clothes. Gaira begins invading the Japanese mainland looking for more food. I love the scale of the Gargantuas in this film. They are bigger than the original King Kong but not as big as Godzilla, allowing for some good detail in the minatures. The military attacks the beast and does some major damage until another monster show up to save him. The Brown Gargantua (Sanda) lives in the mountains and was raised by the scientists. When Sanda discovers his brother is eating humans he tries to stop him and a battle ensues. The battle escalates into the city where the two throw each other into buildings, smash through the infrastructure and bash each other with ships in the harbor. It is one amazing Kaiju battle, one of my favorites in giant monster filmdom. This was also the first appearance of the mazor cannon mounted on military vehicles. They’re put to dramatic use cutting through forest trees in the assault on the green Gargantua. It’s really a great film for fans of the genre supported by a great cast that includes Russ Tamblyn, Kumi Mizuno and Kenji Sahara. Akira Ifukube’s bombastic score is more prominent in this film with dramatic horn blasts and powerful melodies. You don’t have to see FCtW to understand and enjoy this film. If you have enthusiasm for giant monster films and haven’t seen this, I would recommend seeing it. It’s one of my top giant monster flicks of all time.

Fun facts:
Guillermo del Toro has said in an interview that War of The Gargantuas is one of his favorite Kaiju films

Russ Tamblyn became famous for his starring role in the film version of West Side Story (1961)

Kumi Mizuno, who starred in War of the Gargantuas, also starred in Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966). She also returned for several millennium series Godzilla films (2000 – 2004).

 

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Kumi Mizuno

More Dinosaur and Giant Monster movie reviews – overview