Saturday, February 26, 2011

KYÔRYÛ KAICHÔ NO DENSETSU - Masao Yagi - "Legend Of Dinosaurs And Ominous Birds" (1977)

Things are not well in Gotham City, but when the searchlight beams, the show must go on!

"Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds" is not by any means your standard 1977 Japanese Big Monster flick! I don't even really know what to compare it to! Toei Productions were responsible for a weird handful of cool Sci-Fi films over the years like "Prince Of Space," "Invasion Of The Neptune Men," "The Terror Beneath The Sea," and "The Green Slime," but generally they didn't venture into the Sci-Fi Monster genre, it was Toho Studios who were the guys making all the big rubber monster flicks like "Gojira," and that's what makes this movie so different looking!!

This opening scene concerns a young girl in the woods alone, who suddenly falls into a gigantic ice cave!

What she sees will open a completely different chapter of Japanese Kaiju history, and a very violent one!

The music by the Maestro Masao Yagi is superlative, and used quite differently, like soft and jazzy during a monster attack! Masao has a colourful array of titles under his belt! Fittingly, the last film he made in 1986 was a documentary called "The Shocks" that was kind of a "Mondo Cane" version of American TV! Here's a couple more: "Tattooed Hit Man," "School Of The Holy Beast," "Girl Boss Revenge," "Gangster Cop," "Inferno Of Torture," "The Sexploiters," and my favorite, "Tokyo 196X."

The kid in the picture with his corncob pipe smoking Dad is Tsunehiko Watase as Ashizawa, a man in search of a legend that only his Father had seen, a giant beast that lives in the lake!

It just so happens that there's a festival going on down by that very lake, "The Happy Country Music Show" featuring Beau Yatani and his The Last Longhorn Band!

We get a nice history of Mt. Fuji, and the boys are jamming, when the whole stage suddenly falls apart!

The people all go into a panic when they see the monster, but it just turns out to be a prank by some of the local boys!!

The prank turns very ugly when the real monster shows up and wolfs one of the pranksters down like a piece of yellowtail sashimi, and you suddenly realize, that you don't think this is a kid's picture anymore!

It's a little hard to see, but the monster in question that nobody still has seen yet, does some peeping "Gorgo" or "King Kong" style!

The Co-star of the film is the extremely lovely Nobiko Sawa as Akiko! What a shame, Nobiko was only ever in one other film, made the same year, "Nippon No Don:Yabohen."

Akiko and her friend are divers, and unaware of the danger, are out for a nice relaxing dive on the lake!

Left alone up top while Akiko is diving below, everything goes to Hell in a Japanese clutch purse real fast!

I'll say it again, this is NOT a children's movie, this poor girl is basically tortured, mutilated, and dismembered, and the sight that Akiko must endure after re-surfacing is terrifying, and nothing like any old Toho movie I've ever seen!

Just in case you were wondering where and when the monster bird comes into the act...........Hereeee's The Pteranodon!!!

So by now everybody has seen the monsters, and it's time for them to have a major clash to see who is the new world's champion!

Tsunehiko Watase has had a pretty wild and varied career, working on everything from "Jesus Is My Boss" to the "Wild Sex Gang."

Ashizawa and Akiko were in the lake when the authorities start dumping in depth charges, they manage to escape only to get caught up in the whole battle between the sea monster and the flying monster, and then the freakin' volcano erupts setting the entire landscape on fire!

The viewer along with the actors is really left hanging in The End. Do they make it, is it possible, or Not?!


TABONGA! said...

Some of those stills are amazing!

prof. grewbeard said...

i already hated Jaws so this movie annoyed me too!

David said...

Yeah, basically a Japanese version of Jaws with dinos. It's different, but I'm not too fond of it.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

The music was cool!!

prof. grewbeard said...

i forgot about "The Happy Country Music Show" featuring Beau Yatani and his The Last Longhorn Band, they're Japantastic!...

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

And what better time to throw in a plug for Haruomi Honsono and this killer version of "Body Snatchers!"

Flu-Bird said...

Prehisoric big big birdies

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??