PRELUDE TO A DIRECTING CAREER! Toru Murakawa on His Years as an Assistant Director at Nikkatsu Studios!

Toru Murakawa in November 2021. Photo © Brett Homenick. Born on March 22, 1937, in Murayama, Yamagata Prefecture, Toru Murakawa is a prolific film and television director whose collaborations with actor Yusaku Matsuda, such as The Resurrection of the Golden Wolf (1979) and The Beast to Die (1980), are among his best-known works. On the … Continue reading PRELUDE TO A DIRECTING CAREER! Toru Murakawa on His Years as an Assistant Director at Nikkatsu Studios!

THE GODFATHER OF GODZILLA’S ATOMIC RAY! Sadao Iizuka on His Optical Effects Work at Toho!

Sadao Iizuka in January 2021. Photo © Brett Homenick. Born on December 26, 1934, Sadao Iizuka joined Toho Studios in 1954 during the production of the original Godzilla, working as an assistant in the tokusatsu art department. Mr. Iizuka stayed at Toho for many years thereafter, eventually pioneering Toho’s trademark optical effects that would become … Continue reading THE GODFATHER OF GODZILLA’S ATOMIC RAY! Sadao Iizuka on His Optical Effects Work at Toho!

REFLECTIONS OF MISS AIRLIFTER! Kathy Horan Remembers Her Acting and Modeling Career in Japan!

Kathy Horan's first Miss Airlifter photo, appearing in Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1967. Photo © Pacific Stars and Stripes. Kathy Horan was born in Roswell, New Mexico, on March 5, 1948, and came to Japan in the 1960s as a military brat during her sophomore year of high school. She subsequently appeared in a … Continue reading REFLECTIONS OF MISS AIRLIFTER! Kathy Horan Remembers Her Acting and Modeling Career in Japan!

BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS! Actor Jack Morris on Filming ‘The Green Slime’ in Japan!

Jack Morris circa 1970. Photo © Jack Morris. John Robert Morris was born on April 29, 1940, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Mr. Morris moved to Japan in 1967, eventually returning to Canada in 1972. In 1968, he appeared as Lt. Morris in the cult classic The Green Slime, alongside Hollywood stars Robert Horton and Richard … Continue reading BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS! Actor Jack Morris on Filming ‘The Green Slime’ in Japan!

DIVINE REFLECTIONS ON JAPAN! Ann Ault on Her Spiritual Journey through the East and West!

Ann Ault came to Japan in the mid-1960s with her father, Air Force Brigadier General Richard Ault (1917-2009), and it would be this experience that would launch a lifelong career in entertainment. It all started with a role as a nurse in the enduring cult classic The Green Slime (1968). From there, Ms. Ault embarked … Continue reading DIVINE REFLECTIONS ON JAPAN! Ann Ault on Her Spiritual Journey through the East and West!

PRINCESS FROM SPACE! Peggy Lee Brennan on Playing Meia in the Japanese Cult Classic ‘Message from Space’!

Peggy Lee Brennan portrayed the role of Meia in Kinji Fukasaku’s space opera Message from Space (1978) and played it convincingly. She was one of several American actors, including Vic Morrow and Philip Casnoff, to appear in the film, but what hasn’t been known until this time is how that came to be. Born on … Continue reading PRINCESS FROM SPACE! Peggy Lee Brennan on Playing Meia in the Japanese Cult Classic ‘Message from Space’!

CULT CLASSIC MEMORIES! Philip Casnoff Recalls Acting in the Japanese Space Opera ‘Message from Space’!

Philip Casnoff is a versatile talent in the entertainment world. Nominated for a Golden Globe for his uncanny portrayal of Frank Sinatra in 1992’s CBS miniseries Sinatra, Mr. Casnoff first achieved national fame for his role as Elkanah Bent in North and South, a highly-rated Civil War-era miniseries for ABC, which aired in 1985 and … Continue reading CULT CLASSIC MEMORIES! Philip Casnoff Recalls Acting in the Japanese Space Opera ‘Message from Space’!

SAVING THE WORLD FROM THE ‘VIRUS’! Bo Svenson on His Turn in Kinji Fukasaku’s End-of-the-World Thriller!

Bo Svenson is one of the best known actors to appear in a Japanese sci-fi film, having acted in such popular movies as The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Walking Tall Part II (1975), The Inglorious Bastards (1978), North Dallas Forty (1979), The Delta Force (1986), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), and Inglourious Basterds (2009). Mr. Svenson portrayed Major Carter, one … Continue reading SAVING THE WORLD FROM THE ‘VIRUS’! Bo Svenson on His Turn in Kinji Fukasaku’s End-of-the-World Thriller!

BATTLING THE ‘VIRUS’! George Touliatos Recounts His Experiences on Kinji Fukasaku’s Sprawling Sci-Fi Epic!

George Touliatos (1929-2017) is an actor whose film credits include Prom Night (1980), Good Boy! (2003), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), and Cosmopolis (2012), and whose television credits include such mainstream hits as The X-Files and Airwolf. Mr. Touliatos was artistic director and co-founder of one of the first professional resident theaters in the … Continue reading BATTLING THE ‘VIRUS’! George Touliatos Recounts His Experiences on Kinji Fukasaku’s Sprawling Sci-Fi Epic!

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET FIGHTER! Shinichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba Recalls His Japanese Sci-Fi Roles!

Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba is truly an actor who needs no introduction. This worldwide superstar has appeared in innumerable action films in both Japan and America, including Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), Kinji Fukasaku’s The Yagyu Conspiracy (1978), and Shigehiro Ozawa’s The Street Fighter (1974). Mr. Chiba is also internationally recognized for his myriad … Continue reading THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET FIGHTER! Shinichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba Recalls His Japanese Sci-Fi Roles!