Savant Column

Tuesday April 3, 2018

Hello! Today’s column is a lesson in borrowed, or appropriated (?) movie monsters.

Gary Teetzel sends along a trailer to a 1973 Mexican comedy, Chabelo y Pepito contra los monstruos, which looks like a pale imitation of earlier monster and space invasion movies by Spanish-speaking comedy teams. The movie is horrendous, but the kick is seeing Churubusco Films blatantly rip off Universal Pictures’ wholly-owned franchises — most of the classic Uni horror characters appear, even a soggy Gill Man. Please note that I have refrained from turning this item into a lame joke about a border wall.

And don’t forget Sean Liang as Gojira! . . . Gary also forwards this stage announcement / playbill for a little-theater show running through April 28 in Hollywood: Akuma-shin. A more elaborate description is given, but the short version is that Akuma-shin is

“A new play that explores an alternate timeline – where a real Godzilla-type monster attacks Japan.” It is “set in 1976 in an American television talk show where guests grapple with the ‘seismic waves of fear, anger and ignorance’ that the attack has unleashed ‘through generations.'”

Characters appearing in the cast list are Dr. Martin Luther King, William F. Buckley, Jr., Dr Joyce Brothers, Mason Burr, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Curtis LeMay, Yukio Mishima, Lee Oswald, George Serizawa and Emiko Ogata. The program does state that

“Despite the presence of an otherworldly creature in the story, the play is not a campy comedy. The play’s alternate universe reconfigures historical figures in unfamiliar renderings: presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald becomes a decorated marine and congressman while Martin Luther King, Jr. is in jail.”

How ‘Godzilla-like’ can this be when the character is named ‘Gojira?’ I’ll be curious to learn what the Godzilla cognoscenti have to say.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson