CineSavant Column

Saturday May 12, 2018


Children, are you ready for Mother’s Day?

Gary Teetzel reports on a new docu about the revered Sci-fi illustrator Chesley Bonestell, Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with The Future that just premiered at the Newport Film Festival. The commentators tell us that Bonestell began as an architect and contributed to the designs for New York’s Chrysler Building as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. The home page for the film is here, and a trailer is viewable here. And I even learned how to pronounce ‘Bonestell.’

When I caught this Italian poster for Godzilla Raids Again I first noted that it uses the ‘King of the Monsters’ title that found its way onto the Americanization of Honda’s original Godzilla. I suppose this Italo version could actually be a re-dub of the U.S. derivative Gigantis The Fire Monster because of the style of the two monsters in the artwork. I also like the hype tagline across the top: “All the World is At Arms Against the Diabolical Nuclear Monsters in the Very Brilliant Film of Science Fantasy.”

I asked Gary Teetzel what he made of the single anglicized name ‘Jack Wallace’ in the list of actors, not to mention ‘Fred’ Kasay and ‘Susy’ Setsuko. Actually, all of the names appear to have been made up or scrambled from the Japanese originals. And since when did a Japanese monster movie need to billboard a list of actors?

Gary doesn’t think that there was an Italian variant of the film, with additional actors added. His guess is that the Italian distributor was just pulling a fast one, trying to fool patrons into thinking it was a western-made film. He also reminded me that, for no understandable reason, the German distributors would put the word ‘Frankenstein’ in the titles of most Japanese monster movies.

Gary also reminded me that Bill Warren’s researches found that an abandoned project was for the short lived AB-PT film company to build a new English-language movie around the Godzilla Raids Again effects footage, called The Volcano Monsters. As reported by Bob Skotak, Ib Melchoir worked on a screenplay for it.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson