Friday, July 27, 2007

"Cloverfield" a.k.a. "Monstrous" a.k.a. "1-18-08" Teaser Poster

A teaser poster has been released for J.J. Abrams' upcoming monster film (which I will be referring to as "1-18-08" from now on until the proper title is announced). Lookin' good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Three More Monsters: Part 2 continues to reveal more playable characters for Godzilla: Unleashed. Two are expected appearances; the third is... er... well, just read on.


Another staple of the Toho universe. I’d imagine that the character will maintain the setup wherein you initially fight in larval form and eventually "power up" to her winged incarnation when her health gets low enough.


I admittedly never played as this character much in Godzilla: Save The Earth, but I’m glad to see that he’s back in this new game- his weird, demonic design makes for a nice bit of visual variety in the lineup of Toho monsters. I figure that his “Oxygen Destroyer” powers will be pretty much the same.


Uh... what the heck? There’s ANOTHER “homemade” monster in this game now? What’s going on here? According to the write-up at

Krystalak is a semi-sentient crystal organism, spawned by the same meteor shower that threatens to rip the earth apart. Born from the crystals, Krystalak seeks to bring all of their energies together to make himself into the ultimate monster. Like the crystals that spawned him, Krystalak is quite resistant to most forms of energy weapons, forcing opponents to fight him tooth & claw. Krystalak can expel crystal shards in a solid stream, bludgeoning foes from a distance. Krystalak can also overload his crystal heart - sacrificing his own physical integrity to damage everything nearby. With no ties to any existing alien or terrestrial powers, Krystalak seeks power at any cost.

So is this guy a replacement for Space Godzilla? If so, why? If not, do we really need two crystal-based monsters? Worst of all, Krystalak’s design is just kinda, well... bland (there, I said it). He also suffers from the same problem that plagued the other four “original” creatures designed by Pipeworks- he just doesn’t look much like a Japanese daikaiju.

Pipeworks, why not just not just make your own giant monster fighting game featuring your own creations? It would seem to me that you’re chomping at the bit to do so.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

City Smasher

Got a couple of minutes to kill? City Smasher can help pass the time by putting you in control of a crudely drawn, Mohawk-sporting giant who has to destroy a set number of specific targets before the counter at the top of the screen runs out (or play in “Sandbox” mode and simply run around and wreck stuff to your heart’s content). It’s not exactly going to set the online gaming world on fire by any stretch, but it is fun in a "temporary distraction"-sorta way.

Play it here: City Smasher

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Book Review: Devil Dinosaur Omnibus

Marvel has just released its hardcover collection of Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur comics which compiles all nine (yup, that’s all of ‘em) issues of the short lived series that Kirby had created during his final stint at Marvel Comics.

One of my criteria as a wee lad with regards to purchasing a comic was firmly entrenched in whether a book featured either monsters or dinosaurs, so I did run across Devil Dinosaur a couple of times in my earliest comic-reading days. My initial exposure was actually from the character’s guest appearance in two issues of the Marvel Godzilla series. Shortly thereafter I managed to find a copy of the eighth issue of Devil Dinosaur at a garage sale (keep in mind that this was back before specialty comic shops were commonplace, so for a kid living out in the suburbs, selection was limited to whatever showed up at flea markets and variety stores). As such, my reason for picking up this new collection was out of pure nostalgic curiosity, but I was happy to find that it still holds up as an entertaining read.

In a nutshell, the book’s strength comes from its own enthusiastic insanity. The central character, Devil, is an infant Tyrannosaurus who survives being burned to death (a side effect of the ordeal is that his skin is now red instead of green) by a group of malevolent, furry Neanderthals. The injured dinosaur is found by the similarly hirsute, but friendly “Moon Boy” who helps to nurse the creature back to health. Within a short time, Devil reaches his full, mature size and returns his benefactor’s kindness by acting as a companion and guardian. Good thing too, as the pair quickly run into all manner of adversity: evil cavemen, giants, alien invaders, enormous ants and time warps. Even beyond said high-concept story elements, Kirby clearly approached the material not terribly concerned about historical or biological realism, as all the dinosaurs (even the herbivorous ones) are drawn as razor-toothed monsters that engage in over-the-top, hyper-kinetic brawls worthy of a superhero book. However, this further supports the overall surreal experience of Devil Dinosaur, which is ultimately what makes the comic fun.

Now it's not as if this book isn’t without its flaws. The writing feels like something out of the 1960’s (despite being made in the 70’s), rife with plentiful amounts of unnecessary exposition and clunky dialogue. It’s also not hard to see why the series lasted only a mere nine issues, as the episodic set-up and gimmicky stories were wearing thin by the end of the run. However, by collecting the comic’s entirety into a singular volume, the format has inadvertently created an enjoyable, self-contained novella that begins and ends satisfactorily without overstaying its welcome.

An entertaining 4 out of 5.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Mystery of Cloverfield

What is it?

A movie slated for early 2008, supposedly about a giant monster attack on the city of New York. Little is known about the plot or content other than that the film will apparently take place from the perspective of the human populace by way of personal recording equipment such as cell phone and video cameras.

Who’s behind it?

J.J. Abrams, Hollywood writer, producer and director. Currently most recognized as one of the creators of the television series LOST. Drew Goddard, a writer and co-executive producer on LOST, will provide the script.

What is known thus far:

- A teaser trailer playing before the Transformers movie begins with amateur video footage of a party in New York that is suddenly disrupted by the sounds of explosions and a bizarre, animal-like roar. The patrons witness a huge explosion in the distance and the severed head of the Statue of Liberty flying through the air and crashing onto the street.

- The title “Cloverfield” is only a working one and will most likely not be used as the final name of the film.

- One online source makes mention of something simply referred to as “the parasite” in the movie.

- Two cryptic, tie-in websites to the film have recently appeared; both revolve around an individual known as “Ethan Haas”. The first is a blog called “The Truth of Ethan Hass” which consists of posts attempting to discredit mysterious writings and prophecies that make reference to an assault on mankind by “ancient gods”. The second site, invites visitors to play a series of interactive games with a mechanical sphere covered with strange, alien-looking symbols (I find it interesting that many of the symbols sort of resemble stylized silhouettes of monsters).

**UPDATE- July 12th**

Apparently, the two aforementioned sites and the Truth of Ethan Haas blog have been dismissed by J.J.Abrams himself as having nothing to do with the upcoming movie, although he has mentioned that there are supposedly official "secret tie-in sites" out there waiting to be found.

Sheesh! I'll just wait for the 18th of January when the movie comes out instead.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Cryptozoology Meets Family Entertainment

This winter, The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep comes to theatres; while the movie could technically be classified as a giant monster film, it’s much more Free Willy than Godzilla in tone. The story concerns a young boy in Scotland who discovers a strange egg that hatches out a benevolent plesiosaur-like creature. The animal quickly grows to a size that makes it difficult to be kept indoors and so is moved to a nearby lake called... wait for it... Loch Ness.

My favorite scene in the newly-released trailer involves the full-sized creature (named “Crusoe”) breeching out of the water like a killer whale. If only the “real” Loch Ness Monster did something that flamboyant and obvious...