Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Episode 25: Godzilla Vs. Team Fantasmo

What: Fantasmo Episode 25: Godzilla Vs. Team Fantasmo

When: Friday, June 15, 8:00 P.M.

Where: Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322

Folks often ask how Rob and I select our themes/films for Fantasmo, and the simple truth is we basically pick titles we really want to see on the big screen again and pair them up as best we can by subject. Special attention is also given to those films that lend themselves well to theatrics or guest speaker availability. Prime examples of this from past Fantasmos include: 13 Ghosts (we reproduced Illusion-O), Texas Chainsaw 2 & Motel Hell (we cooked up our special Chainsaw Chili), The Fog (we pumped in fog and had in John Carpenter expert John Kenneth Muir as a guest host), Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (we had in Destroyer author Warren Murphy), etc.

That being said, there are occasions where we pick a subject on the spur of the moment based on sheer coolness. Episode 25 is one of those occasions. Having just installed a new digital projector, which boasts a startlingly crisp, ginormous image, it was with little hesitation that we jumped at an audience member's suggestion to devote the evening to Godzilla. After all, for Godzilla you just have to have an image that fills a mammoth screen!

Some might ask, what is the big deal about Godzilla? What makes the seemingly repetitious formula of a giant, radioactive monster laying waste to Japan and an endless horde of rubbery enemies so fascinating? You're likely to hear a number of different answers depending on who you ask, but for myself it has to do with the energy behind the enterprise. There's no doubt I absolutely love the original film (now finally available stateside in its unaltered Japanese version, sans the dour Raymond Burr), which manages to combine a message about the horrors of war with the rampage of a prehistoric creature quite deftly. If there's one Godzilla film I'm going to have in my collection, that's the one. But what keeps me coming back and watching subsequent installments, is the undeniable passion of those who keep the series going. Sure the sets, costumes, and acting are often the very definition of cheese, but the sense of unadulterated glee in orchestrating the epically cheesy battles jumps off the screen. As a result, even the lowest points in the series have something for fans to enjoy.

Of course, for our June episode there will be nothing but the cream of the crop! Here is our unquestionably amazing lineup:

8:00 P.M.: Godzilla Vs. Mothra

9:45 P.M.: Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster

11:30 P.M.: Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla

So, there you have it - absolute bliss for Godzilla fans! Please feel free to discuss all things Godzilla here with us, and to agree or disagree with the wisdom of our selections. Hope to see you all on June 15!

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