Big Man Japan (2007)
Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Even straight-down-the-line daikaiju eiga, or Japanese giant monster films, are imaginatively left-field – but they don’t get much weirder than this.
In Big Man Japan an unseen interviewer follows the mundane day-to-day life of Masaru Daisatou (played with deadpan seriousness by Hitoshi Matsumoto). Masuru wanders the streets, philosophises drily on life, society and his failed relationships — and waits for something to happen. The thing is, Masuro is actually Dai-Nipponjin – Big Man Japan – the last in a line of giant superheroes. Whenever the weirdly monstrous Baddies turn up, Masuru is taken to a government installation and there transforms, thanks to electrical current injected through his nipples, into a Godzilla-sized humanoid with electro-shocked hair, huge purple underpants and a big stick.
Once, heroes mattered. These days, however, Masuru’s agent struggles to get decent coverage of his fights, as the populace has long ago lost interest.
Big Man Japan has a sense of humour both outrageous and very dry, and sports excellent giant-monster SFX — though the whole thing becomes (deliberately) a bad episode of an archetypal 1970s tokusatsu TV show as Masuru’s “real” world is overtaken by cheap sets, poor SFX and a family of garishly costumed and sadistic mega-heroes.
A wonderful cocktail of poignancy and absurdist humour, mixed together with huge dollops of that insane Japanese imagination you either love or just don’t get.
Below is the US trailer: