CineSavant Column

Tuesday November 8, 2022



One may need an advanced degree in Kaiju Studies to get the full benefit of this video. Advisor-associate Gary Teetzel has sent along a YouTube link that might amuse. Gary:

It’s a half-hour documentary on the making of Ultraseven, Tsuburaya Productions’ 1967 followup to their hugely successful Ultraman TV series. The first fourteen minutes are composed of some odd content and film clips. Around 9:15 or so we see what appears to be a promotional event, with the public getting a glimpse of monster suits, molds for the suits, etc.

Things get more interesting around 14:20, when we get a lengthy and detailed home movie look of a monster suit being made, from the initial sculpt to a first-fitting with the stunt man/suit performer. They do the initial sculpt over a simple wire-frame torso/legs. If they only had one wire frame, did they always hire performers about the same size?  Don’t expect to see Eiji Tsuburaya, as at this point he was more of an executive/supervisor. While watching, remember that these poor guys had to crank out a new monster (sometimes two) every week for 50 or so episodes . . . and then start all over again with almost no break when the next Ultraman spin-off show started. — Gary

If you ask me, it looks like this sample monster is some kind of human – moth larva mashup. I like that the try-on is happening in a garden, with someone’s laundry put out to dry. These were hard-working monster makers.

The TV show on YouTube is The Making of Ultraseven 1967, from 2005. The show begins with some over-eager little girls — we find them to be a little scary.



Non-video ‘News from home:’  We’re actually getting some rain in Los Angeles, which is nice. If it continues today it will be the most concentrated (light) rainfall we’ve had in what — two years?  I can almost hear my parched front lawn saying, “What’s this Stuff?”  We’ve been rationing water since early Summer, while watching TV news of towns back East all but washing away due to too much rain and flooding.  So for the moment, our dark skies and ‘rain’ traffic noise is welcome.

Here’s hoping for a peaceful mid-term election and some good news for the country. I no longer think that politics ‘was always like this’ and that my mind was occupied elsewhere — serious threats are afoot that my parents never had to experience. However you’re inclined to vote, please vote!  A LOT is at stake.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson