New Daikaiju Appears Through a Fog of Obscurity

A previously unknown and unsuspected Japanese giant monster film has just come to light — one that resonates backwards right to the start of the daikaiju eiga tradition. What is it? You’ll have to read on to find out.



In the history of giant monster cinema, the Japanese take on it — called daikaiju [or kaiju] eiga — looms very large indeed. At its genesis, and occupying a sizeable part of its growth and continuity, lies Gojira, or Godzilla as the “King of Monsters” came to be known. The original Gojira was made by Ishirô Honda in 1954 and its phenomenal success led to a franchise that has not only produced 28 official films featuring the atomic giant (plus one made in America), but its central aesthetic morphed into a tradition of super-monster film metaphysics that appears throughout Japanese cinema and television, most notably in the many Ultraman TV shows and movies. Godzilla himself remains — along with King Kong — the most iconic of giant monsters worldwide. Everyone knows him.

But Gojira was inspired by two other films that preceded it. One was Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s 1933 giant ape film King Kong, which was re-released in 1954 and attracted big business both in the States and in Japan. Toho executive and eventual Gojira producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was keen to take advantage of the popularity of the Great Ape’s re-appearance, but it wasn’t until Eugène Lourié’s The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms hit it big at the US box-office in 1953 that Tanaka decided to take elements of that film and run with them. Then, once Honda was given the job of directing “The Giant Monster From 20,000 Miles Beneath the Sea” (working title), it quickly became Gojira and began to develop its own unique qualities.


But what is important for us here is the story that inspired The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms — at least partially. It was a short story called “The Fog Horn”, written by great science fiction fantasist Ray Bradbury and first published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1951. Wikipedia describes the intricate relationship between the film and the story thus:

The original title of the story was The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. It was published in The Saturday Evening Post. Meanwhile a film with similar theme of prehistoric sea monster was being shot under the shooting title of Monster from Beneath the Sea. Later producers, who wished to share Bradbury’s reputation and popularity, bought the rights to Bradbury’s story and changed the film’s title. Bradbury then changed the title of his story to The Fog Horn. The monster of the film was based on the illustration in The Saturday Evening Post.

Here is a synopsis:

Johnny has been working with McDunn at the old lighthouse for the past three months. The lighthouse is situated on a rock 2 miles out to sea, and Johnny is looking forward to “shore leave” the following day. That night, McDunn tells him about a huge sea creature that comes to the lighthouse every year to cry out at the fog horn [mistaking it for the cry of its own kind]… and tonight is that night! The two make their way to the top of the tower and watch as the monster ascends and begins its yearly ritual. Very fascinating indeed, but when McDunn turns off the fog horn the monster shows its true, primitive nature! (

One less direct connection between the film and the story is the claim by Bradbury that the original idea was inspired by the ruins of a demolished roller coaster he saw on a Los Angeles-area beach, which suggested a dinosaur’s skeleton to him. The movie version ends in Coney Island amid the ruins of the roller coaster there. But the only real connection between the story and the film’s narrative is the rise of the monster from the sea and its coming ashore at a lighthouse, which it destroys. It’s a brief moment within the film, but a powerfully effective one.


The Fog Horn’s Fate

Until now, Bradbury’s important story — which indirectly led to Godzilla and all that followed for the giant monster genre — has never been accurately filmed, not as such. In the mid-2000s, to remedy this oversight, Japanese director Daisuke “Daice” Sato and his crew from the Replica Co. Ltd production studio took Bradbury’s story “The Fog Horn” as the basis of a short experimental film — a project completed in 2007. The film, however, has never been released. A trailer for it recently surfaced on YouTube and now, thanks to Kaiju Search-Robot Avery, there is a chance that it will emerge from its self-imposed obscurity.

The Fog Horn (Japan-2007; short [20 min.]; dir. Daisuke Sato)

Detailed cast and crew list:

  • Cast: ‘Macdan’: Tomonobu Okano (Masked Rider Den-o, Yuuto Sakurai) / ‘Johnny’: Tetuya Inagawa
  • Director/ script/ camera: Daisuke Sato
  • Lighting: Tadashi Thagi
  • Special Effects: Daisuke Sato/ Kaz Oiti
  • Model Maker: Tomohiro Matumoto/ Daisuke Sato
  • Studio: Replica Co. Ltd.



The film came about when Mr Sato and his crew were working on the costumes and the suitmation designs for Gojira: Fainaru uozu [trans. Godzilla: Final Wars] (2004; dir. Ryuhei Kitamura) and Gamera: Chiisaka yusha-tachi [aka Gamera the Brave; Gamera: Little Braves] (2006; dir. Ryuta Tazaki). “We made The Fog Horn as a demonstration of our technical skills,” Mr Sato commented. “It has not been released, not even in Japan. There is actually a problem with the copyright of the original, and so that is why we haven’t yet released it to the public. But if there is enough demand for it and a lot of people want to see it, then we’ll definitely release it. If we do, it will be as a DVD or online.” He added that he would definitely add English subtitles for international viewers.

The film’s fate now seems dependent on how much interest giant monster fans can demonstrate. Mr Sato says he will only release the film if there is a demand for it.

Making The Film

By shooting in black-and-white and giving it a slightly degraded look, Mr Sato intended that The Fog Horn would mimic the sort of unrestored appearance of an old ’50s monster film — as a respectful tribute to The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and its place in the daikaiju heritage. It is an aesthetic we’re all familiar with, and one that resonates strongly.





Daisuke Sato has had considerable experience in the genre, with credits that include Godzilla Final Wars (monster suit, see images 1 and 2 below)), Gamera the Brave (monster suit), Lion Maru G (props), Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman Brothers (Invader GUTS suit), Ultraman Max (Geronga suit, see image 3 below), Exexion (Europe suit, see image 4 below), Gransazer (props) and Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! (props). Similarly, modelmakers Tomohiro Matumoto and Kaz Oiti have worked on Mirror Man Reflex (Hero suit and monster suit), Shinkaijû Raiga [aka Deep Sea Monster Raiga] (monster suit), Justirazer (Hero suit and mechanical work), Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman Brothers (Invader Knuckle) and Gohongers (monster suit).




Gamera The Brave
Storage Area [Area 51?]

Mr Sato states that he has always loved daikaiju eiga, coming to the realisation that he wanted to work on films at age 15. He attended and graduated from a school of art in Japan, and was 20 years old when he started on his first film. He came to work with Replica Co. Ltd., which is run by “the great Takashi Ogami”, in 2004.

After naming Eiji Tsuburaya, Shinji Higuchi (the Heisei Gamera trilogy; Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack; Casshern; The Princess Blade; the Evangelion re-build) and Tomoo Haraguchi (Sakuya: Slayer of Demons; Gamera: Guardian of the Universe; Gamera 2: Advent of Legion; Uzumaki) as major influences and idols, Mr Sato also confessed to a particular passion for Ray Bradbury’s work.

“I decided to film ‘The Fog Horn’ partly because of its connection with Gojira and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” he said, “but the main reason is that it has been my favourite of Ray Bradbury’s writings for a long time. Ray Bradbury’s fiction is very poetic. ‘The Fog Horn’ impressed many Japanese people, and of course me, too, because of the enchantment he brings to it, evoking the tragic agonising of the monster and giving it a profound poetic quality.”






The Future

On the subject of whether he was working on any new films right now, director Sato was understandably reserved. “Ha! Sorry,” he said. “I can’t tell you about that.” On the possibility of working on further giant monster films, however, he was willing to admit: “I do have a plan to do another, but I think first I’ll direct a concept movie. That’s all I can say about it for now.”

Meanwhile, though Mr Sato’s “The Fog Horn” doesn’t contain traditional daikaiju eiga tropes, such as city destruction and monster-vs-monster wrestling matches, it does represent the first accurate rendition of a story that holds primary historical significance for the genre. As such, Undead Backbrain thinks it should be made available and hopes that our revelation of its existence will spur fans on to express their enthusiasm for it, too. We want to see in action the monster that Mr Sato refers to only as “the sea-monster”. From the trailer and the images the director kindly provided, it well may be that Daisuke Sato and his crew have captured in its 20-minute running time all the lyricism, poignancy and spectacle that lies at the heart of Bradbury’s original story.

Act Now!

So this is your big chance. Kaiju Search-Robot Avery’s enthusiasm has convinced Mr Sato to consider looking at ways of releasing the film. He will be watching to see how much interest exists in his little homage to the beginnings of daikaiju eiga. So if you want to see it, with English subtitles, leave a comment below and say so. Help save The Fog Horn from becoming a lost opportunity, like those Japanese King Kong films from the 1930s we know about but will never see.

  • Source: Thanks to Daisuke Sato. Big Kudos to Avery Battles for not only discovering that The Fog Horn exists, but for getting in contact with Mr Sato and interviewing him.

Gallery (including more images of work by Replica Co. Ltd. as well as screenshots and behind-the-scenes for The Fog Horn):

This entry was posted in Daikaiju, Dinosaurs, Film, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Independent film, Japanese, Kaiju Search-Robot Avery, News, Where's the Film?. Bookmark the permalink.

193 Responses to New Daikaiju Appears Through a Fog of Obscurity

  1. KingCaesar09 says:

    That is awesomness incarnate 🙂

  2. Sam says:

    It would be an honor and a pleasure to see such a recreation of a historical story that has become so much more for over a generation, of fans and movie goers.

  3. Danny T. says:

    Mr. Sato –

    By all means release this short film. Not just for me, but for all the Daikaiju fans worldwide. I would gladly purchase it and encourage others to do so in the name of keeping this genre alive. Looks fantastic, I’m proud of you guys … Don’t keep it locked up let’s make it famous!!!!


  4. Rob says:

    I have always wanted to see a movie based off of the original Bradbury story ever since I knew it existed. It is a footnote in kaiju history, and it would be a great treat to see this film released on DVD! Do it, Sato!

  5. The Giant Pacific Octopus says:

    I would love to see this movie get a release. I love the fact that the monster looks exactly how its described in the actual story.

  6. Bob Nelson says:

    Absolutely, I think this movie should be released- both as an entertaining film and to reiterate it’s importance in the genre…

  7. This looks great. Inspired by a great film as well. It is films like this that got me into the business 20 years ago and got me interested much earlier than that. I support the film! I hope it gets finished and out.


  8. I heard of this “cool” Monster movie from Avery Battles & after looking at the photos of here, right now, for the 1st time, I definitelly hope it is “preswerved” for The World to see & enjoy! “DaiKaiju” is a cool-looking Monster! He looks like a Plesiosaur & we need to save all the classic, historical “Monsta”(Monster) movies we can! Monsters “ROCK”! I make my own “Monster” movies, myself, shot-on-video & starring myself & friends. Long live “DaiKaiju”! I’m looking forward to seeing it at screenings, while having popcorn & drinking my java(coffee). Monster movies, coffee & snacks go well together! Until next time, your “Fiend”, David ROCK Nelson

  9. I just now saw these “cool” photos of “DaiKaiju” for the very 1st time & I hope this “classic” historical monster movie will be preserved for all time, to be “enjoyed” by The World, adults & children alike! “Daikaiju” looks to me, like a “Plesiosaur” & would be a fun & exciting movie to watch, while having my popcorn & java(coffee). Snacks & “Monster” movies go well together! I make my own
    “Monster” movies, myself, shot on video & starring friends & myself. Thanks Avery Battles for telling me of your website & seeing these “Grr”-eat photos! I look forward to seeing “Daikaiju” at screenings. Long live “Daikaiju”! Until next time, your “Fiend”, David ROCK Nelson, Filmmaker

  10. It’s awesome that the Fog Horn, the original short story that not only inspired The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, but also Godzilla himself, would come full circle in getting a rather accurate adaptation, and made in Japan no less!

    The dinosaur design is simple, but works. And the bright aqua blue paint jobs reminds me of a plesiosaur toy I use to own as a kid too – extra brownie points!

    And dear mister Sato, the director himself; if you’re reading this, I hope you manage to find a suitable outlet for the film, especially since giant monster-based short films are all the rage these days.

    So much so that there should be some kind of international DVD collection of such…but at the very least I’d like to see more short monster movies from you and company in the future. Wither they’re original works or based upon classic fantasy literature.

  11. Ed says:

    This movie looks pretty interesting. As a monster movie fan, I would really like to see the whole thing.

  12. Borsy says:

    I’d definitely love to see the film!

  13. Brandon says:

    Sounds like fun.

  14. Godzilla the ultimate says:

    Man, this looks awesome, in fact, I like this thing’s design better than the Beast.

  15. Dave says:

    Hey, any Bradbury adaptation is something to get excited about, and this looks pretty great. I would be up for seeing this.

  16. Hayes A. Jones says:

    This absolutely needs an American release. It looks like a great, old-fashion daikaiju movie finally exploring the more sympathetic side of the kaiju again.

    This has my support 100%.

  17. Mike says:

    I’d love to see this get released over here.

  18. Joey Gallagher says:

    Looks really good. As a monster fan, would love to see the whole thing.

  19. I really hope this gets released. The prop looks great,and this movie looks like it will have a great amount of meaning unlike most monster movies these days. also, it was truly ambitious of Mr Sato to film this movie in only one location and in black and white too!

    Please release it!

  20. james j conlon says:

    Absolutly! Im a huge fan of the Fog Horn short storie and of all monster movies especially old black and white films. I love godzilla and the entire atomic age so yes i truley believe that this is worth releasing!

  21. Panda Bear says:

    You must release this. NOW.

  22. So, this is what really inpired Godzilla. I dunno about anyone else, but, I’m in! I wanna see this movie! With English subtitles, that is.

  23. Osvaldo Neto says:

    A labor of love like this can’t die. It looks great!

  24. Leon Cole says:

    I too see great potential in this film. An old homage to the black and white kaiju movies is just the thing we need to break the barrier of this generation’s kaiju movies. I would love to see this and I would be happy with at least a straight to DVD release

  25. Kaijufan says:

    What i love is the emotion in the story. I’d really love to see it on dvd. 😀

  26. Biollante2000Millenium says:

    I´m a German kaiju-Fan and i realy want to see this movie, the Trailer looks fantastic and the story seems it too.

    I would love to see this movie.

  27. Jonathan Raposo says:

    I’d love to see this film released. I’m pulling for it!

  28. Jax Belle says:

    I really hope they do make this. I am a big fan of giant monster flicks and I think the Japanese made a good flick here. It’d be a tragedy for any project that entertainers worked hard to put together to just go to waste. I for one support this and hope this is made into a DVD or online film.

  29. Bill says:

    I’d love to see this released.

  30. Goji_girl says:

    Haven’t seen something like this in a while. The puppet effect looks pretty good! 🙂

  31. gojirafan says:

    looks interesting, i wouldn’t mind seeing this. any monster movie is okay in my book.

  32. GodzillaGuy says:

    Man, I’d love to see this released. The sounds and images from trailer are still haunting me, especially that closing horn/roar and the wide shot at 1:04 with the lighthouse on the left side and the monster on the right. The original story is unmistakably a vital part of kaiju movie history; with the rather formant state of the Japanese daikaiju eiga industry at the moment (save for the upcoming Ultraman film), a release via either DVD or the internet would be excellent. Fingers crossed!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Awesome. I hope it gets released. Mr. Sato, your wondrous film deserves to be a part of film history as much as Star Wars, The Godfather, and other oscar-awarding titles.

  34. CJAproductionsINC says:

    The trailer is absolutely awesome!! Release this movie. Release it!! RELEASE IT!!!! I want to see it!! I want to!!!

  35. Abel A. says:

    This short film sounds interesting. And the fact that it’s shot in black and white makes it more interesting. Let’s release this film!

  36. Lourdes says:

    Can’t wait!

  37. Maxwell says:

    Please release it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Mitchal from TK says:

    Release this movie dagummit!

  39. WindChargerNut says:

    This sounds amazing. Please, Mr Sato, don’t let this fade to just a sentence or two of trivia on a handful of small internet sites. I would gladly pay to see this (almost forgotten) gem of cinema and hope that you release it in some form or another.

  40. Jake says:

    I am a HUGE fan of Godzilla, and they should release this movie because it was an origon of GODZILLA, It helped create the most popular Kaiju maybe in the world !!! The old black and white effect would also give it a nice beter version of the old look.Many child viewers would maybe see what old films were like by watching this movie ( if it comes out, which I hope). 😀

  41. NickJownz says:

    Please release this movie! I love the story and it would be a shame to see this film die!

  42. DinoHunter2.0 says:

    I would love to see this released. I’m a huge fan of kaiju eiga and The Fog Horn is one of my favorite short stories (Bradbury is the man, haha). I’m sure this film is a blast and it’s be a real shame to see it fade away.

  43. Avery says:



    “Let’s not celebrate anything until Mr. Bradbury is able to take it into consideration and make his decision. He is still the copyright owner and respectfully has the say so. All of us fans from around the world can only pray that he will hear our plea and accept it and give Mr. Sato his blessings or be able to come to a reasonable agreement that will please everyone involved including the fans. Also I must strongly discourage the use of terms such as “we’ve won” or, “victory”, “half the battle is over” or such by the fans that would be offensiive and disrespectful to the copyright holders”

    Guys PLEASE keep the comments coming in order to display the amount of interest fans from all over the world have in seeing this film receive an official wide release. Thanks.

  44. Guilala says:

    Please Mr. Bradbury if you are reading this PLEASE allow Sato san to release this beautiful homage and most faithful adaption of your wonderful story. We all want to see the real story finally done justice and it looks as though Sato san has accomplished this beautifully.

  45. michael says:

    I would VERY MUCH like to see ‘the Fog Horn’ project!!!
    please release your footage to us kaiju fans. thank you.

  46. Pingback: Undead Backbrain » Blog Archive » Update on Bringing The Fog Horn to the World

  47. Mario J. Vega says:

    This film totally needs to be realesed.In this drought of daikaiju films this may spark new intrest in the gerne.

  48. This looks like such a cool film!I really hope that it will be released on DVD!

  49. pleases pleases pleases !!!!! save this movie

  50. Save this freaking movie!

    I want to see this!

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