The juggernaut that is the daikaiju eiga genre rolls on with G — a great-looking new independent Japanese film that Backbrain queried a while back. Then, information on the film was scarce. Now, a cornucopia of detail has come in, courtesy of the director, Kiyotaka Tagushi, and SciFi Japan.
G (2008; short, 48 min.; dir. Kiyotaka Taguchi)
G‘s director, Kiyotaka Taguchi, has worked in various SFX capacities on the last four Godzilla movies, as well as such high-profile films as Battle Royale II: Requiem, The Sinking of Japan, The Grudge 2 (US), The iDol, and the US remake of Shutter. He is currently working on Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s three part film series 20th Century Boys (20-Seiki Shonen), which has featured on the Backbrain.
Here’s a synopsis of the plot (and it’s a bit spoilerish, so be warned):
While serving in an overseas war zone, a Japanese Self Defense Forces unit is ambushed in a guerilla attack. Only the soldiers Goda and Garaemon survive the assault. The two men vow that they will find a way to prevent more soldiers from dying needlessly on the battlefield.
Years later, Garaemon has developed a body reinforcing agent that may accomplish that goal. But when his lab is attacked by a group of industrial spies, Garaemon injects the experimental serum into his own body. Things go terribly wrong, and the scientist is transformed into a vicious giant monster.
Garaemon rampages through Tokyo. The JSDF attacks with guns and tanks but nothing they do even slows the monster down. To save Japan and his fellow soldiers, Goda decides to use the secret weapon he has invented … the special anti-monster armored vehicle called Robo.
Now, at the final defense line along the Tamagawa River, two man-made monsters will battle to the death…
Check out the exclusive SciFi Japan article for more pictures like the ones below, plus production details, cast and technical crew, and more.
“As a boy I loved the ‘VS’ Godzilla series [also known as the Heisei Series] the most. Today, however, I prefer the classics and can see where the work done then really outshines everything since.” (Director Kiyotaka Taguchi)
Though Norman England and Keith Aiken, the authors of the SciFi Japan article, are less than enthusiastic about the acting — the film features non-professionals — they also comment:
Where G really shines is in the special effects. The FX vary in quality — understandable considering the film’s extremely tight budget — but the movie is packed with great compositing and imaginative angles. There is an energy and creativity to the visuals that should thrill most kaiju movie fans. Even Heisei Godzilla special effects director Koichi Kawakita said he would like to cut all the human scenes out of G and use the FX scenes for a new production.
From what I’ve seen, the kaiju action seems splendidly graphic and unusual, despite the somewhat tongue-in-cheek oddity of Robo — yet there is clearly a sense-of-humour running through the film, as evidenced by this shot:
For my part, I await the film with some eagerness, though as usual it will no doubt be slow in coming on an available DVD.