Tag Archives: Giant Monsters

El Rey Network’s Kaiju Christmas – The destructive gift that keeps on giving…

via: Comingsoon.net

El Rey unleashes third annual 96 hour ‘Kaiju Christmas’ Godzilla movie marathon

Add some wanton, rubber-suit destruction to your holiday celebrations as El Rey Network trots out its third annual “Kaiju Christmas” marathon, bringing you over 96 hours of roaring action featuring the one and only giant Japanese atomic dinosaur, Godzilla. The marathon crashes into your home with the original film that started it all, the original 1954 Japanese flick Gojira (the U.S. cut, Godzilla: King of the Monsters will also screen) on Friday, December 23rd at 6AM ET/PT and culminates with Godzilla Raids Again (aka Gigantis The Fire Monster) on Monday, December 26th at 6AM ET/PT.

Check out the full schedule of Godzilla flicks below!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23RD

6:00 AM ET/PT           “GOJIRA”

8:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS”

9:30 AM ET/PT           “GHIDORRAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER”

11:30 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE”

1:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”

3:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO”

5:00 PM ET/PT           “MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA”

7:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLAS REVENGE”

8:30 PM ET/PT           “TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA”

10:30 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II”

1:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA”

3:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLAS REVENGE”

4:30AM ET/PT            “RODAN”

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24th

6:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH”

8:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH

10:00 AM ET/ PT        “GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS: THE G ANNIHILATION STRATEGY”

12:00 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK

2:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. DETOROYAH”

4:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: FINAL WARS”

6:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

8:30 PM ET/ PT          “GHIDORRAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER”

10:30 PM ET/ PT        “GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS”

12:30 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”

1:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: FINAL WARS”

4:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th

6:00 AM ET/PT           “MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA”

8:00 AM ET/PT           “TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA”

10:00 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II”

12:30 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA: FINAL WARS”

3:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

5:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA”

7:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA”

9:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH”

11:30 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH”

1:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE”

4:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS: THE G ANNIHILATION STRATEGY”

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26th

6:00 AM ET/PT           “RODAN”

7:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA”

10:00 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLAS REVENGE”

11:30 AM ET/PT         “GHIDORRAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER”

1:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II”

4:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH”

6:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS: THE G ANNIHILATION STRATEGY”

8:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA”

10:00 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA

12:00 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA”

2:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

4:30 AM ET/ PT          “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”

To find El Rey Network in your area check out the channel finder here

And another ones gone… And another ones gone… Another one bites the dust!

I don’t know what’s more difficult, devoting a full 31 days of the year to Schlock or working on the post game summary.

Boom! Done! Finished! Hasta La Vista Baby! Elvis has left the building! This year’s Schlocktoberfest was brought to you by the letter C which stands for Creature Feature and holy hell I think I set a personal record as there were 8 films that consisted of giant monsters, Giant Octopuses, Sharks of the Mega and 2 headed variety, carnivorous tentacles, 7 foot wasps, and hostile aliens.  If you’re sensing a bit of deja vu with several of these entries its because I went back into the archives and condensed older reviews from the first version of The Direct 2 Video Dungeon. This is also why you might have spotted a lot of this year’s list focusing on productions from 2012 with several coming from The Asylum.

The variety was off the charts – regular zombies, vampiric zombies, homicidal paper boys, psychotic grandparents, a couple generic slashers here and there and an reanimated corpse that dresses up as Uncle Sam. Go ahead and pick your poison.  Oh plus a book and soundtrack review that ended up taking the place of the horror based video games I covered last year (my gaming habits have been pretty sporadic lately and didn’t have enough time to look for any games that fit into the Schlocktoberfest mold).

Before I get to my top 10 Schlocktoberfest 2K16 picks I would like to once again thank all of you who came along for this wild ride. Schedules can be difficult to work around and there were days where life got in the way but I was still able to throw together an update of some kind. I know that in the last two years I’ve stated that I had plans to update this blog more often and thanks to procrastination getting the better of me that never happened. Well I do plan to be back very soon as I have a couple ideas I want to expand on so you’ll most likely be seeing me around sometime in Mid-November. As of right now I intend to enjoy the rest of my Halloween and start November off by catching up on the latest episodes of Elementary, West World, Gotham and the season 3 finale of The Strain. Until the next time – keep a stiff upper lip.

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Must Watch List: 

1 – Stranger Things – Technically not a movie unless you view this Netflix hit as it was intended through binge watching and even then each episode is presented in chapters so really this is what I’d refer to as an episodic live action book. A series starring children with adult tones. Horror, science fiction, drama, romance wrapped up tightly in an coming of age bow. You’ve had an entire month to watch this so if you flat out ignored my recommendation never come to this blog again…. EVER!

2 – The Witch – Beyond effective delivery, stunning performances, spine tingling results. If you grew up with a basic of witch folklore prepare to have all of your senses jolted.

3 – The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Blending the popular docudrama style of Discovery Channel’s New Detectives with the found footage genre there were moments where I felt a twinge of legitimate fear that wouldn’t subside until two or three days later. Can only hope John Erick Dowdle wasn’t blowing smoke about getting a distribution deal with MGM finalized as this needs a proper DVD/Blu-ray release.

4 – Godzilla vs. Destoroyah – 2016 featured another big return for Japan’s native son and when Funimation signed a deal with Toho to distribute Shin Godzilla for a limited U.S. theatrical engagement I don’t think The King’s handlers knew what was going to happen. One week and $1.5 million later and Shin Godzilla decided to stay take in the sights and sounds of the good old U.S.A. for a little while longer. I still missed out so Funimation when you announce pre-orders for Blu-ray I’ll be ready. Godzilla vs Destoroyah on the other hand is a real treat for G-fans as at the time it was intended to be a hiatus for Toho and what a send off the effects are completely jaw dropping, the story features a few new concepts all the while paying tribute to Godzilla’s humble origins. If you don’t have this in your collection you’re not a true Godzilla fan.

5 – Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies – Don’t really have to say much here. Abraham Lincoln kills zombies and does so in such a kick ass way you’ll be completely shell-shocked  when you realize this was an Asylum production. Thank you Bill Oberst Jr. without your screen presence this production would have been brain dead long before the zombies reached it.

6 – 10 Cloverfield Lane – Goodbye handheld camcorder hello Hitchockian suspense. The not so much a sequel as it a completely different concept that no one saw coming. What a pleasant surprise give John Goodman a fallout shelter set off an apocalyptic event and watch the tension build to a fever pitch.

7 – The Final Girls – Would have been much higher up on the list if not for a PG-13 rating. I’ll say it one more time for good measure – A PG-13 slasher flick?!?!?!? Never in all my 35 years of life would I have thought such a thing could exist. Oh well it dusts off some old ideas applies some polish and presents them in like new condition.

8 – Deep Rising – Oh Stephen Sommers how I miss thee, this is back when you presented some actual fun ideas. There’s not one person in the entire cast where I feel their talent was wasted. There are one liners galore, thrills, chills, gross out moments and plenty of laughs. Don’t get any second ideas here just because Deep Rising is in the number 8 position doesn’t mean it’s not as good as the films above in fact its the second highest rated creature feature next to Godzilla so if you’re looking for something completely campy but is so much fun don’t pass this one by.

9 – Don’t Breathe – Want to really throw audiences for a loop? Make a movie where 90% of the time the characters don’t even talk to one another. Don’t Breathe locks in the tension in a way where you don’t care if there’s dialogue you’re too concerned with monitoring your own pulse and wondering if your heart is going to into cardiac arrest by the time the credits roll.

10 – The Millennium Bug – Demented hillbillies, a normal everyday family getting off the grid to avoid any Y2K catastrophe and oh yeah a grotesque behemoth who’s rudely awakened from his  peaceful hibernation. If you miss the days of Stan Winston and Rick Baker this indie creature feature isn’t afraid to raise its practically created middle finger towards every CGI heavy production polluting the entertainment industry.

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 15: The Millennium Bug (2011)

When the Millennium Bug hits the last thing you'll be worried about is technology.
When the Millennium Bug hits the last thing you’ll be worried about is technology.

Synopsis: The Haskin family seeks refuge from Y2K hysteria in the isolated forests of the Sierra Diablos Mountains. Abducted by a vicious hillbilly clan, the family battles for their lives…but neither they nor their captors could imagine the monstrous nightmare about to erupt from the bowels of the earth.

Every so often a person will witness something and immediately afterwards their initial shellshock will limit how they perceived said event until they sit down and really take it all in. More often than not a lot of indie film makers are the ones who come with the most creative/outside the box/utterly insane ideas that either work on every level or ultimately come crashing down in flames. For a little film called The Millennium Bug it ends up throwing everything at viewers (except the kitchen sink unfortunately). Right from the opening moments it’s not a film that follows the by the numbers formula a majority of today’s standard horror flicks go by. The comedic properties are so perversely dark and will either go over the heads of any good natured movie viewer or will end up rekindling horrific memories of classic thrillers the likes of Deliverance or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Then, if that wasn’t enough, all of a sudden in perhaps the biggest WTF moment a giant monster explodes from the earth ready to wreak havoc and destruction on any poor soul who happens to cross its path. So one can see where I’m coming from here after my first viewing of this glorious piece of sleazy grindhouse trash that figures the only limits to adhere to are no limits at all.

Besides having a multitude of unique concepts being mashed together the other element that gives The Millennium Bug such a distinctive identity is having no use of CGI at all. In the state of the modern film industry this ends up being a breath of fresh air as going to the theater and predicting when a plethora of mind numbing explosions are going to envelop the entire screen while the audience ooohs and ahhhs sadly have become way too tedious and boring. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s we end up leaving after the final credits with a pit in the bottom of stomach. I mean come on now, what happened to the 4th of July only coming once a year? When I sit and watch movies from the last two to three decades I still sit back in a state of awe taking in the art form of how special effects were done and when computers were still a novelty technically being in their infant forms. It’s the legendary special effect wizards the likes of Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, and the late great Stan Winston who were the bar in terms of making a practical effect look and feel real. How many digital artists/programmers can one name that have revolutionized the special effect industry the way Baker, Bottin, and Winston did? Not many, right? With the practical effects in The Millennium Bug they are not quite as good as the three big FX names above however one can’t deny the creativity that went into the final product so if No CGI Films (clever title for the company who made the film) continues to lovingly pay homage to the way effects were done in the past they’ll have no problems honing their craft and who knows maybe eventually somewhere down the road they’ll help redefine the industry.

Final Grade: B+

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 6: Cloverfield (2008)

cloverfield
Lady Liberty is going to be feeling that one in the morning.

Synopsis: A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.

There was a point in time where I generally detested found footage movies even if the premise was something naturally appealing to me the moment I found out it was taking the found footage approach I’d work myself up into an inconsolable rage. My general frame of thinking would always be why would I waste my time trying to enjoy one of these when all I want to do is walk up to the person working the camera and tell them to take a few deep breaths, calm your nerves and just hold the damn thing steady. It is sort of difficult to find any entertainment value when you walk into a movie theater the lights go dim and then all of a sudden the camera starts shaking wildly and you have to run to the nearest bathroom because motion sickness gets the better of you. I mean doesn’t that sound like an absolute wonderful night out at the movies? You come home and your friends/family/loved ones ask how the film was and you’re like oh it was pretty entertaining up until the point where I almost redecorated the floor of the cinema with the lunch I had this afternoon. Over time my feelings have began to simmer as I found the best way to view the found footage genre is through the comfort of your own living room television set (quite the revolutionary concept, isnt it?). No matter the consensus the shaky cam technique has left its mark transitioning into action films like the Jason Bourne series and will most likely continue to be a thorn in the side of those who wish film makers would lock the camera down in one stationary position until the final credits roll.

Its no secret that I live and breath Kaiju (giant monster) movies so long as there is a giant creature rising out of the earth finding its way towards civilization and toppling over humongous skyscrapers reigning down chaos and destruction I’m front and center. Cloverfield remained out of my collection until I came across it in the value DVD bin and thought to myself you’re too good of a deal to pass up but I’ll never find any tolerable way to get any sort of fulfillment out of you. Then a strange thing happened one night out of the blue (to quote Doc Brown) I figured what the hell popped the disc in the Blu-ray player and hit play. I managed to make it through the movie and to my complete and utter surprise I said to myself you know what this really isn’t half bad. Yes the shaky cam can be a bit irritating however keeping the point of view solely from the perspective of a group of people witnessing a monster attack at the very moment it happens is something that up until 2008 had never been done before. I really didn’t care for having a bland love story as the jumping off point but where the saving grace takes form is with the comedic relief in a great character actor by the name of T.J. Miller. The footage is shot from his point of view and he’s always keeping the mood light through his witty banter. There’s a point where his group of friends are walking in a subway tunnel and he brings up an incident that happened years prior to the monster attack where a maniac was lighting hobos on fire in the very same area. It’s probably the most sporadic line of dialogue in the entire film and part of me wonders if Miller ended up throwing that line out there in a random take to see how the rest of the cast and crew would react. Regardless I have a newfound respect for Cloverfield that I didn’t when it initially hit. It takes some splintered elements from Godzilla and Gamera and presents them for the modern generation who are constantly documenting things on the fly then minutes later upload the footage for the entire world to see warts and all.

Final Grade: B

Schlocktoberfest Day 28: Godzilla (2014)

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound. He pulls the spitting high tension wires down.
With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound. He pulls the spitting high tension wires down.

Synopsis: The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Schlocktoberfest Day 27: Pacific Rim (2013)

To fight monsters we created monsters. Because when Michael Bay bastardized Optimus Prime the world deserves an awesome giant robot movie.
To fight monsters we created monsters. Because when Michael Bay bastardized Optimus Prime the world deserves an awesome giant robot movie.

Synopsis: As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.