An ultra-bizarre parody of Japanese monster films

by Martin Hafer

Minoru Kawasaki is a filmmaker who just ain’t right.  His films are ultra-bizarre and are not for normal people, that’s is why I am discussing one of his films as part of my “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” series…and you ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve seen his Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit.  And don’t worry…the same strange guy who brought us Executive Koala (about a guy in a koala suit who works in corporate Japan) and Rug Cop (about a cop who fights crime…along with help from his sentient toupee) is pretty much in form with this strange picture.

This film is a sendoff of the guy in a giant monster suit films that made Japanese films so famous (or infamous) in the 1950s-70s.  You either love ’em or you hate ’em, but they made a ton of them.  In this case, Kawasaki made a follow up to The X From Outer Space…a film made decades earlier.  Why they chose to make a follow up, I don’t know…perhaps they used some old footage or perhaps they just had the monster suit lying around.

The film begins at a summit in Japan of the G8 leaders.  During this meeting, a monster arrives from outer space in Sapporo and the Japanese try to get these heads of state to leave the country.  However, in a show of solidarity (as well as stupidity) the eight world leaders vow to stay and help the Japanese rid their country of a weird monster named Guilala.  And how do we know its name?  Because one of the silliest cliches in Japanese monster movies, a cute little boy wearing a baseball cap appears and tells everyone about the beast…and they soon slap the kid and tell him to get lost!  What follows are attempts by the various leaders to kill the monster using missiles, poison gas and the like…but the  monster only grows stronger.

At this point, the film goes from a nice little parody to ultra-bizarre, as the Japanese leader yanks off his disguise to reveal that he’s…Jim Jong Il?!  Yes, this crazy North Korean dictator has arrived to kidnap the summit and he vows to use his nuclear missile to rid the world of the monster once and for all.  But scientists soon inform them that the nuclear payload will actually make Guilala stronger as well as multiply!  So, it’s up to the ancient god, Take-Majin to appear and try to save the day as well as President Sarkozy to flash the summit!  What happens to that nuclear missile?  You wouldn’t believe me if I told you…you just have to see it for yourself!

Compared to other Kawasaki films, this movie is downright normal…but it still is very strange and very funny.  I especially love the way the various world leaders are parodied.  It’s all in good fun and is a treat for anyone who could use a laugh.  Then, perhaps you could try some of the director’s other films.  In a way, I see Monster X as a gateway film…if you can handle that, you’ll soon go on to the ‘hard stuff’–Kawasaki’s weirder movies!

Martin’s Grade: A

Director: Minoru Kawasaki

Stars: Natsuki Katô, Kazuki Alex Kato, Kei Akazawa