Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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Jeff
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Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#1 Post by Jeff » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:50 pm

Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

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Following years of a certain radioactive rubber beast’s domination of the box office, many Japanese studios tried to replicate the formula with their own brands of monster movies. One of the most fascinating dives into that fiendish deep end was the short-lived one from Shochiku, a studio better known for its elegant dramas by the likes of Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. In 1967 and 1968, the company created four certifiably batty, low-budget fantasies, tales haunted by watery ghosts, plagued by angry insects, and stalked by aliens—including one in the form of a giant chicken-lizard. Shochiku’s outrageous and oozy horror period shows a studio leaping into the unknown, even if only for one brief, bloody moment.

The X from Outer Space

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When a scientist crew returns from Mars with some space spores that contaminated their ship, they inadvertently bring about a nightmarish Earth invasion—after the spores are analyzed in a lab, one escapes, eventually growing into an enormous, rampaging beaked beast. An intergalactic monster movie from longtime Shochiku stable director Kazui Nohinmatsu, The X from Outer Space was the first in the studio’s short but memorable cycle of horror pictures.


Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell

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After an airplane is forced to crash-land in a remote area, its passengers find themselves face-to-face with an alien force that wants to possess their bodies and souls—and perhaps take over the entire human race. Filled with creatively repulsive effects—including a very invasive bloblike life-form—Hajime Sato’s Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell is a pulpy, apocalyptic gross-out.


The Living Skeleton

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In this atmospheric tale of revenge from beyond the watery grave, a pirate-ransacked freighter’s violent past comes back to haunt a young woman living in a seaside town. Mixing elements of kaidan (ghost stories), doppelganger thrillers, and mad-scientist movies, Hiroshi Matsuno’s The Living Skeleton is a wild and eerie work, with beautiful widescreen, black-and-white cinematography.


Genocide

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The insects are taking over in this nasty piece of disaster horror directed by Kazui Nohinmatsu. A group of military personnel transporting a hydrogen bomb are left to figure out how and why swarms of killer bugs took down their plane; the answer is more deliriously nihilistic—and convoluted—than you could imagine. Also known as War of the Insects, Genocide enacts a cracked doomsday scenario like no other.

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knives
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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#2 Post by knives » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:58 pm

Are these four the only horror films Shochiku made during this period?

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brendanjc
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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#3 Post by brendanjc » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:24 pm

I'm not an expert, but a search on Shochiku's website suggests that these are the only ones. The only other horror or sci-fi films they have listed pre-1980s are Kinoshita's Yotsuya Ghost Story and its sequel from 1949. I suspect they could be candidates for a future mainline release or inclusion in a Kinoshita Eclipse box.
Last edited by brendanjc on Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#4 Post by dwk » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:28 pm

Shame that Goke isn't getting a Blu-ray release, but I'm ecstatic that these are finally getting released.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#5 Post by ianungstad » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:08 pm

Living Skeleton is a pretty good film. You can tell that it really influenced Carpenter's The Fog.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#6 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:13 pm

Definitely not MY kind of Shochiku films -- but glad to see that this will find an audience with plenty of others. ;~}

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#7 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:36 am

These are lots of fun. X From Outer Space is one of the most deliberately silly monster films this side of the 1970's schlocko fest from Korea , A*P*E*, in which the giant Kong doppelganger gives the audience the finger (in 3d no less).

Nice box (he said ).

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#8 Post by manicsounds » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:28 am

To get "X From Outer Space" (Girara) out in America has been a long time coming, and from Criterion/Eclipse no less. This is one of the best announcements ever.

(And don't bother with the sequel to "Girara" which was made a few years back. Totally different thing. Not a big fan of Minoru Kawasaki's films...)

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#9 Post by CSM126 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:21 am

I hope they include the hilarious English dub of The X From Outer Space, just for that one scene:

"Guilala is destroying the city!"

"What do we do about Guilala?"

Man helpfully turns to camera and says "Guilala is the name we have given the monster!"

Thank you, stranger.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#10 Post by duck duck » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:09 pm

It only took 6 years but we finally get Goke.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#11 Post by CSM126 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:16 pm

duck duck wrote:It only took 6 years but we finally get Goke.
Searing insight.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#12 Post by Ashirg » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:10 pm

As English dub of The X From Outer Space is owned by AIP, I don't think they can include it.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#13 Post by duck duck » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:48 am

CSM126 wrote:
duck duck wrote:It only took 6 years but we finally get Goke.
Searing insight.
Nice, you just want to follow me around all day and shit on me?
Quoting a dub track isn't really that much of a great revelation that will start a conversation.
I was only trying to point out that when Eclipse was started but no one knew what it was, the conciseness was that it would be a B-movie/horror line and Goke was one of the first titles people expected.

I'm going off of Midnight Movies line, but Isn't AIP largely owned by MGM who is now under Fox and both will deal with Criterion?
I don't expect a dub track that hard to get except for it being an Eclipse release.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#14 Post by CSM126 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:57 am

At least I don't go around stating the blindingly obvious. Now why don't you go pop into the Armageddon thread and remind us "Hey, this was directed by Michael Bay!"

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#15 Post by duck duck » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:29 am

CSM126 wrote:At least I don't go around stating the blindingly obvious. Now why don't you go pop into the Armageddon thread and remind us "Hey, this was directed by Michael Bay!"
The Rock was also directed by Micheal Bay.
I think that both Armageddon and The Rock are great releases... They have some great supplements and are fun pop-corn films...

Not everyone knows that "Eclipse" was speculated as a weird Horror/Sci-Fi line before it became a way to release lesser known
films by known directors.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#16 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:47 am

Play nice, you two.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#17 Post by dwk » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:56 pm

According to the DVDBeaver review, The X From Outer Space includes the English dub.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#18 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:58 pm

Knives will be thrilled

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#19 Post by CSM126 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:27 pm

Yesssssssss!!!!!!

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#20 Post by knives » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:29 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Knives will be thrilled
So will my elderly aunt. :wink:

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#21 Post by Yojimbo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:13 am

I've been indulging in a whole bunch of delightful Japanese sci-fi from the 1950s through late 60s, so I'll definitely be getting this one, based on these and the descriptions you've given
(Hopefully it makes the B&N 50% off cut)

Edit: just checked; unfortunately only on pre-order.
But I'll keep watching the skies [-o<

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#22 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:22 am

It's still half off, though, on preorder.

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#23 Post by bigP » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:26 am

Yojimbo wrote:I've been indulging in a whole bunch of delightful Japanese sci-fi from the 1950s through late 60s, so I'll definitely be getting this one, based on these and the descriptions you've given
(Hopefully it makes the B&N 50% off cut)

Edit: just checked; unfortunately only on pre-order.
But I'll keep watching the skies [-o<
The sale has apparently been extended until November 26th so this should, fingers crossed, end up qualifying for the 50% off before the sale is up (based upon Rashomon's change to the deal once its release date hit).

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#24 Post by Yojimbo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:37 am

bigP wrote:
Yojimbo wrote:I've been indulging in a whole bunch of delightful Japanese sci-fi from the 1950s through late 60s, so I'll definitely be getting this one, based on these and the descriptions you've given
(Hopefully it makes the B&N 50% off cut)

Edit: just checked; unfortunately only on pre-order.
But I'll keep watching the skies [-o<
The sale has apparently been extended until November 26th so this should, fingers crossed, end up qualifying for the 50% off before the sale is up (based upon Rashomon's change to the deal once its release date hit).
Cool; Thanks, P
(my neck is hurting, already!) :(

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Re: Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku

#25 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:56 am

Oh, it's suddenly not listed on sale. I have a preorder for it for $39.99, I guess something changed...

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