Kaijutsu: Super Battle for the Ultimate Fate of the World – Z-Squad Super Scientists Vs. Uroja

by Martin Hafer

Amazingly dumb … and amazingly fun!

I just saw Kaijutsu at the Orlando Film Festival and it was shocking to watch. It had the absolute worst sets I’ve ever seen, worst costumes and so much of the film looked awful…and yet it was one of the most enjoyable short films I’ve seen in a very long time! This is because the brilliant young filmmaker, Adriel Jimenez, was able to take a huge problem and turn it into a huge plus! Most new filmmakers struggle to finance their films and Jimenez was only able to scrounge up $1000!  So, instead of trying to make the sets and costumes look great, he deliberately made them cheesy and the overall tone of the film and script really carried the day!  It just goes to show you that a good script and directing can really carry a film.

When the film begins, there is a Power Rangers sort of team whose job it is to protect Bedlam City. However, they recently lost their charismatic leader and this job now falls to Stoeger, which is really sad for the planet because Stoeger and his contraptions are just awful. Again and againKAIJUTSU 2, they use his crappy ideas and are nearly killed as they battle a Godzilla-like creature made of cheap foam! You can’t help but laugh at the silliness of the monster and the sets—and therein lies the film’s charm.  The young actors also do a nice job of putting across the story and their awful costumes and props seem to be more of an asset than anything else.  The bottom line is that you just need to see the film to appreciate it, as it’s a special little film.  So special, in fact, that at the festival it was awarded the Independent Spirit Award–and I assume it’s the first of many.

By the way, when I saw this a few days ago, the Orlando crowd really loved it…and I could see exactly why. I just hope that on his future projects Mr. Jimenez remembers what he proved in this movie–that you don’t need fancy costumes and sets but does however need the same great writing and a sense of fun. And this film is fun!

Grade: A