Category Archives: Today’s Random Tokusatsu

Happy New Year, movie reviews, and news recap!

….aaaaaand Maser Patrol is back. It was a pretty great trip, as you may surmise from the previous post, and we got to see some pretty cool stuff. Also, we caught a couple flicks (in addition to Rogue One): First was … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Maniac Hero (2016)

Today’s selection: Hero Mania (AKA Maniac Hero, 2016, dir. Keisuke Toyoshima) Subgenre: Martial Arts, Superhero Available from: airplane-only I caught the new superhero flick Hero Mania on an international flight, and since no other official distributors for it have been … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Love & Peace (2015)

Today’s selection: Love & Peace (2015, dir. Sion Sono) Subgenre: Kaiju, Musical Available from: Third Window Films (UK release) Remember how we had that list recommending the best Japanese SF Christmas movies last month? Well, shift every one of them … Continue reading

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Random Tokusatsu round-up

I tacitly retired from doing daily tokusatsu movie blurbs last year, but due to popular demand, I’ll try to remember to post about movies that are fresh on my mind when I do watch them. Here’s a couple recent viewings: Izo … Continue reading

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Random Tokusatsu rapid five-in-one

I’ve been really lax on the Today’s Random Tokusatsu movie segments as of late; apologies to anyone particularly looking forward to them. I figured I’d try to make up for that a little with quick thoughts about five of the … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Daimajin (1966)

Today’s selection: Daimajin (1966, dir. Kimiyoshi Yasuda) Subgenre: Historical fantasy, Kaiju Available from: Mill Creek When this movie came up on my random movie generator, I thought: “what’s the point in talking about this? Everyone’s seen Daimajin!” Yet, that may not necessarily be … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Ring – Kanzen-ban (1995)

Today’s selection: Ring -Kanzen-ban (1995, dir. Chisui Takigawa) Subgenre: Kaidan Available from: fansub-only Lots of casual J-horror enthusiasts compare and contrast the American remake of The Ring with Hideo Nakata’s 1998 original, neglecting to mention that Nakata’s film is not the … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Uzumaki (2000)

Today’s selection: Uzumaki (2000, dir. Higuchinsky) Subgenre: Kaidan Available from: Discotek Uzumaki (meaning “spiral/vortex”, but not to be confused with Ring sequel Rasen, which also means “spiral”) is based on a manga by Junji Ito, so if you’re familiar with his … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Iron Girl (2012)

Today’s selection: Iron Girl (2012, dir. Masatoshi Nagamine) Subgenre: Henshin Hero Available from: Switchblade Pictures My DVD copy of Iron Girl began to stutter during the final minutes of the movie, but rather than return it for a glitchless copy, … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Yellow Fangs (1990)

Today’s selection: Yellow Fangs (1990, dir. Sonny Chiba) Subgenre: Kaibutsu (sort of?) Available from: Cinema Epoc It’s rare to see Sonny Chiba in the director’s chair, and Yellow Fangs (or, as it was called in Japan, Remains: The Beautiful Ones) … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Samurai Zombie (2008)

Today’s selection: Samurai Zombie (2008, dir. Tak Sakaguchi) Subgenre: Zombie Available from: MVM (Region 2 UK DVD; beware of fansubs) Ryuhei Kitamura has been tantalizing fans with the idea of a sequel or remake of Versus since 2000, and at … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Gakidama (1985)

Today’s selection: Gakidama (1985, dir. Masayoshi Sukita) Subgenre: Body Horror, Kaibutsu Available from: fansub-only Gakidama is Tsuburaya’s entry into the whole “little humanoid monster” genre that Gremlins and Ghoulies made popular in the mid 1980’s. It’s an effective, hour-long picture … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Super Dimension Odyssey Tritia (2005)

Today’s selection: Super Dimension Odyssey Tritia (2005, dir. Masayoshi Shiki) Subgenre: Magical girl Available from: Switchblade Short review: Groan. Long Review: GROAAAAAAAAAN. I try to support region 1 DVD releases of tokusatsu titles, but sometimes it’s difficult. Why, you may … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Warning from Space (1956)

Today’s selection: Warning from Space (1956, dir. Koji Shima) Subgenre: Disaster/Space Opera Available from: Public domain (dub-only, fansubs are available) If The Mysterians is the Japanese answer to War of the Worlds, Warning from Space is its answer to When Worlds … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Tomie (1999)

Today’s selection: Tomie (1999, dir. Ataru Oikawa) Subgenre: Kaidan Available from: Adness Tomie is probably the biggest modern Japanese horror franchise that hasn’t had some sort of American remake treatment (though I’m sure School of Ghosts fans may want to … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: The Drifting Classroom (1987)

Today’s selection: The Drifting Classroom (1987, dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi) Subgenre: Disaster Available from: fansub-only The English edition of Kazuo Umezz’s manga The Drifting Classroom has parental advisory stickers on the front, which strikes me as funny given that it ran … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Today’s selection: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973, dir. Jun Fukuda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Media Blasters (if you get lucky, you might get one of the leaked versions with audio commentary!) Odd that this gem of a title came up on … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972)

Today’s selection: Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972, dir. Toshihiro Iijima) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: fansub-only Reposting an old review: There are only a handful of golden-age Japanese kaiju movies that have never gotten any sort of English release. The bunch includes … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: The Bermuda Depths (1978)

Today’s selection: The Bermuda Depths (1978, dir. Tsugunobu Kotani) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Warner Some might take issue with calling an American movie tokusatsu, but The Bermuda Depths was produced in a partnership between Rankin-Bass and Tsuburaya Pro, so I’ll … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: 8-man (1992)

Today’s selection: 8-man (1992, dir. Yasuhiro Horuichi) Subgenre: Henshin Hero Available from: Image (dub-only) As we gear up for the Robocop remake, a lot of movies are being called Robocop-rip-offs just because they start with the main character dying and … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Space Sheriff Gavan – the Movie (2012)

Today’s selection: Space Sheriff Gavan – the Movie (2012, dir. Osamu Kaneda) Subgenre: Henshin Hero Available from: fansub-only Space Sheriff Gavan, for those who don’t know, was a 1982 TV series that kicked off the whole Metal Heroes franchise. 2012 … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Onmyoji (2001) and Onmyoji 2 (2003)

Today’s selection: Onmyoji and Onmyoji 2 (2001 and 2003, dir. Yojiro Takita) Subgenre: Historical Fantasy Available from: Geneon Onmyoji is based on Baku Yumemakura’s 1988 novel, the first of over a dozen in that novel series. It’s part of the … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Full Metal Yakuza (1997)

Today’s selection: Full Metal Yakuza (1997, dir. Takashi Miike) Subgenre: Kaijin Available from: Arts Magic Full Metal Yakuza is a hybrid film, partly a Frankenstein-ish monster robot hero, partly a gangster movie, and because of that, it’s likely to alienate … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Ninja Wars (1982)

Today’s selection: Ninja Wars (1982, dir. Kosei Saito) Subgenre: Historical fantasy, ninja Available from: Adness There’s a saying that as an actor, if you’re playing your own twin, you’ve gone too far. Clearly whoever said this would not like movies … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Tokyo – The Last Megalopolis (1987)

Today’s selection: Tokyo – The Last Megalopolis (1987, dir. Akio Jissoji) Subgenre: Historical Fantasy Available from: ADV Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis is a great film: It has very high production values, some stellar performances, excellent recreations of the time period … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Ten Nights of Dreams (2006)

Today’s selection: Ten Nights of Dreams (dirs. Akio Jissoji, Kon Ichikawa, Takashi Shimizu, Yudai Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka Amano, et. al.) Subgenre: Kaidan Available from: Cinema Epoch Based on the book by Natsume Soseki, this film unites an amazing collection of 11 … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Sukeban Boy (2006)

Today’s selection: Sukeban Boy (2006, dir. Noboru Iguchi) Subgenre: Martial Arts, Splatter Available from: Discotek It takes a special type of deranged mind to take a work by Go Nagai and make it more crass, but Noboru Iguchi was just … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Carved (2007)

Today’s selection: Carved (2007, dir. Koji Shiraishi) Subgenre: Kaidan Available from: Tartan Carved is a movie about the Kuchisake Onna, or “slit mouthed woman”, an urban legend that began in the 1970’s, and, depending on who you ask, could be … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Goke, The Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)

Today’s selection: Goke, the Body Snatcher from Hell (1968, dir. Hajime Sato) Subgenre: Kaijin Available from: Criterion To start, let’s just clarify that nobody in this movie is from Hell, and the body-snatching is more of the “Invasion of-” than … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Sweet Home (1989)

Today’s selection: Sweet Home (1989, dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa) Subgenre: Kaidan Available from: Fansub-only Five people go to an abandoned mansion to film a documentary – has that set-up ever led to anything other than a horror film? I mean, especially … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Yatterman (2009)

Today’s selection: Yatterman (2009, dir. Takashi Miike) Subgenre: Henshin Hero, Mecha Available from: Discotek Many have called Miike’s Yatterman a zany, self-aware parody of the classic Tatsunoko children’s anime of the same name, but let’s face it, both the original … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Garo – Dragon of the Blue Cries (2013)

Today’s selection: Garo – Dragon of the Blue Cries (2013, dir. Keita Amemiya) Subgenre: Henshin Hero Available from: Fansub-only You know how when you get used to drinking diet soda, you sort of forget how flavorful the real thing is, … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Rebirth of Mothra 3 (1998)

Today’s selection: Rebirth of Mothra 3 (1998, dir. Okihiro Yoneda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Fansub-only (though a dub has aired on Syfy) The third entry is the best of the 1990s’ Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, though that’s not saying a … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Assault Girls (2009)

Today’s selection: Assault Girls (2009, dir. Mamoru Oshii) Subgenre: Cyberpunk Available from: Well Go Reposting an old review: Pretentious, beautiful, action-packed, allegorical, confusing, nerdy, imaginative, and tedious: This must be a Mamoru Oshii film. Assault Girls is a feature length follow up to Oshii’s Assault Girl … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: The Magic Serpent (1966)

Today’s selection: The Magic Serpent (1966, dir. Tetsuya Yamauchi) Subgenre: Historical Fantasy Available from: Image (low quality dub-only release, fansubs also available) Any fan of Naruto should probably watch The Magic Serpent: it’s got ninjas with crazy powers, like the … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Onechanbara – the Movie (2008)

Today’s selection: OneChanbara: the Movie (2008, dir. Yohei Fukuda) Subgenre: Zombie Available from: Media Blasters Do you like zombie movies? Do you like hot lady zombie hunters in ridiculously impractical fetishistic attire? The OneChanbara (from “onee-chan”= big sister and “chanbara”= swordplay) … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Message from Space (1978)

Today’s selection: Message from Space (1978, dir. Kinji Fukasaku) Subgenre: Space Opera Available from: Shout Factory (dub only), Eastern Star Reposting an old review with some changes: The boom of space operas following in the aftermath of Star Wars during … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Parasite Doctor Suzune – Genesis (2011)

Today’s selection: Parasite Doctor Suzune: Genesis (2011, dir. Ryu Kaneda) Subgenre: Exorcist/Paranormal Investigator Available from: Media Blasters Parasite Doctor Suzune: Genesis is the first of two live-action movies based on a manga series by the singly-named Haruki. I haven’t read … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Body of the Prey (1968)

Today’s selection: The Body of the Prey (1968, dir. Kenneth Crane) Subgenre: Kaijin Available from: Public domain Notes: This movie might not technically be considered Japanese, depending on circumstances Reposting from an old review: The Body of the Prey is … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Twilight of the Cockroaches (1987)

Today’s selection: Twilight of the Cockroaches (1987, dir. Hiroaki Yoshida) Subgenre: Animation Hybrid Available from: Sony (VHS) Reposting an old review: Twilight of the Cockroaches is one of those forgotten Japanese classics that used to come on American TV with … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Battle Heater (1989)

Today’s selection: Battle Heater (1989, dir. Joji Iida) Subgenre: Yokai Available from: BCI In the yokai tradition, there’s a subset called tsukumo-gami, which are disused inanimate objects infused with a spirit, be they sandals, lanterns, umbrellas, etc – anything old … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Gunhed (1989)

Today’s selection: Gunhed (1989, dir. Masato Harada) Subgenre: Mecha Available from: ADV Gunhed is the crowning jewel of practical-effects giant robot movies, rivaled perhaps only by Robot Jox. Ironically, it almost wasn’t: as originally conceived, it was going to be … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Reigo, the Deep-Sea Monster vs. the Battleship Yamato (2008)

Today’s selection: Reigo, the Deep-Sea Monster vs. the Battleship Yamato (2008, dir. Shinpei Hayashiya) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: fansub-only Director Shinpei Hayashiya made a bit of a name for himself with fan films such as Gamera 4: Truth and Godzilla X Deathguirus, despite the fact that … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Spider-man “Episode 0” (1978)

Today’s selection: Spider-man (1978, dir. Koichi Takemoto) Subgenre: Henshin hero, Mecha Available from: rip-only, previously available streaming at Marvel.com Reposting an old review from a previous ‘blog, with slight updates. In case you missed it, Marvel used to stream the entire … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Travelers – Dimension Police (2013)

Today’s selection: Travelers: Dimension Police (2013, dir. Koichi Sakamoto) Subgenre: Parallel world Available from: Kadokawa (R2 Japanese DVD has English subtitles) If someone were to ask “what’s Koichi Sakamoto all about”, you could reply with a list: dutch angles, leering … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Battle League Horumo (2009)

Today’s selection: Battle League Horumo (2009, dir. Katsuhide Motoki) Subgenre: Yokai Available from: Viz The Azure Dragon club at Kyoto University is a very normal college club, a fact that they mention repeatedly and without any prompting. You could find … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokustatsu: Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together (1984)

Today’s selection: Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together (1984, dir. Minoru Yamada) Subgenre: Henshin Hero Available from: fansub-only If one were to claim that the “real” Kamen Rider franchise concluded with this 1984 TV special, it would be … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Electric Dragon 80000V (2001)

Today’s selection: Electric Dragon 80000V (2001, dir. Sogo Ishii) Subgenre: Artsy Available from: Discotek Electric Dragon 80000V is… unusual. Well, not if you frequently watch black-and-white arthouse fare such as Pi, Eraserhead, and Tetsuo the Iron Man, but otherwise, it’ll … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Wolf Guy – Enraged Lycanthrope (1975)

Today’s selection: Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope (1975, dir. Kazuhiko Yamaguchi) Subgenre: Martial Arts, Kaijin Available from: fansub-only Reposting an old review from my previous ‘blog: The official international title for this movie seems to be Howl the Wolf-Man, but since … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: My Soul is Slashed (1991)

Today’s selection: My Soul is Slashed (1991, dir. Shusuke Kaneko) Subgenre: Vampire Available from: fansub-only I don’t know how a movie called “Kamitsukitai” (I want to bite) winds up with two unrelated English titles without ever seeing an English release, … Continue reading

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