With Godzilla in [hopefully temporary] retirement, Japanese filmmakers seem inspired to experiment with new and different approaches to the daikaiju eiga genre, producing films such as Dai-Nipponjin (2007; dir. Hitoshi Matsumoto) [aka Big Man Japan], Girara-no Gyakushuu Touyaku Samitto Kiki Ippatsu [lit. Guilala’s Counter Attack: the Touyaku Summit One-Shot Crisis] (in production, 2008; dir. Minoru Kawasaki) and G (2008; dir. Kiyotaka Taguchi). The latest has been long in coming, but it sounds interesting.
Shinkaijû Reigô [aka Deep Sea Monster Reigo; Reigo vs. Yamato; Reigo the Deep Sea Monster vs. The Battleship Yamato, A-140F6] (2008 ; dir. Shinpei Hayashiya)
The film began life in 2005 and has had earlier showings, but it has now been re-edited and, according to Kaiju Search-Robot Avery, is due for release in Japan on 16 August 2008.
What is unique about the film is the concept. It postulates an alternative history for the great Japanese warship, the Yamato, which was the largest and strongest battleship of its time. At 263 metres long, with a firing range of 40 kilometres and the ability to penetrate armor up to 40 cms thick from 30 kilometres away, it was to be the glory of the Japanese fleet and to play a decisive part in the War at sea. Yet it sank on 7 April 1945 with all its crew before having much of a chance to show what it could do.
This film depicts a great battle fought between the Yamato and a huge undersea monster, Reigo, two years prior to its historic sinking.
Below is the maquette used in creating the monster:
And here is the Youtube trailer, though a better version of it (in proper widescreen and decent sound synchronisation) is available on the official website — along with details of the Yamato, the monster and the production.
The director, Shinpei Hayashiya, also produced and directed the earlier fan-produced short film Gamera 4: Truth (2003). Deep Sea Monster Reigo is his first feature film.
- Official website
- Thanks to Kaiju Search-Robot Avery