Fuchimu Shimakura in January 2021. Photo © Brett Homenick. Born on October 5, 1940, Fuchimu Shimakura began working at Toho in the late 1950s, creating or assisting in the creation of tokusatsu backdrops for the Showa era's most notable special effects movies, including Battle in Outer Space (1959), Mothra (1961), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), … Continue reading RECOLLECTIONS OF TOHO’S GOD OF CLOUDS! Fuchimu Shimakura on Painting the Studio’s Tokusatsu Backdrops!
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!
In the early 1980s, some Japanese TV tokusatsu from the ‘70s found its way to America in an unexpected way. Toei’s Message from Space: Galactic Wars (1978-79) spinoff TV series, as well as Daitetsujin 17 (1977), were edited and dubbed into feature-length movie versions by 3B Productions for American consumption. These shortened versions were released … Continue reading THE BRAINS BEHIND ‘BRAIN 17’! Michael Part on Americanizing a Japanese Cult Classic!
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’!
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’!
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!