Sunday, January 18, 2009

tokyo a no-no.

for one night's the mighty Cassatron's choice of movie.


Um....actually it's this one.....


Tho' this is also based on a true story.


Monster (Aka: Tokyo, 2008)
Dir:Eric Forsberg
Cast: Sarah Lieving, Erin Sullivan, a few (and I do mean a few) other folk, a large monster (allegedly) but definitely not Charlize Theron.

Or Christina Ricci.

Two environmentally friendly, yet disappointingly plain (the kinda girls you'd see serving on the meat counter in Morrisons), sisters; Sarah and Erin (Lieving - star of 666: The Child, and Sullivan from Transmorphers), are all set for a wee trip to Japan to make a documentary on climate change and stuff.

The politically correct pair enjoy a few days playing tourists (no pesky permits needed...yay!) before heading over to interview the Minster of the Environment (who appears to work in a cupboard and wear his dad's suit) , who assures the two women that Japan and her people love the environment and promise not to hurt it.

Suddenly Sarah begins to shake her camera and zoom violently around the room (don't worry tho', she's not having a stroke or even a bad case of the DT's), it is in fact a massive earthquake hitting the city and not, we repeat not, anything to do with the blurry, CGI turd half glimpsed writhing about in the background.

Yeah right, we believe you.


Sarah and Erin are ushered into the basement by the building's security (unfortunately not to be locked in a crazy tentacle sex dungeon) where they pass a good twenty minutes chatting to some sweaty office workers in between sweatily reacting to the lights going on and off whilst someone showers them with dust before getting bored and heading out into the street.

Once outside Erin keeps pointing up at the sky and shouting "Look! A bloody big monster is destroying the city!" whilst Sarah keeps the camera pointed squarely at her sister.

At this point our heroines reckon it'd be best to head for an undercover shopping centre, away from the streets and somewhere they'll be no need (and no way) to CGI a monster into later.


Wandering aimlessly past the deserted stores, only stopping to occasionally to react to an explosive or scream from outside, the girls become quickly bored with looking at shoes and handbags so decide to try to get to the American Embassy.

Outside all is quiet and the streets are empty (lucky that) save for a few chucks of polystyrene, painted egg boxes and a few extras milling about in a bored manner. Without warning Erin screams and points as the hideous creature passes by and the girls (but not us because that would involve spending some money) see the beast in all it's tentacled glory for the first time.

"Oh no....I've got my woman's period".

Realizing that it's probably dangerous to be out in the streets (the monster, or more likely immigration may get them), the sobbing sisters quickly hide in some bins where they come across a few like-minded survivors who, in comedy broken English reveal that the Embassy (as well as the girls hotel and the nearest McDonalds) has been destroyed.

"You utter bastard Dad...
what do you mean it's not the
one with Charlize Theron in it?"

Cassidy is not impressed.

Sarah, obviously not enjoying sitting about in piles of rubbish with a group of rejects from Takeshi's Castle convinces Erin that they should really be hiding somewhere nicer, maybe with chairs, tables and maybe even food.

So, leaving the others behind they head to the nearest restaurant.

Annoyed at the lack of service, the dipsy duo have a look around the basement for any crisps or pop but to no avail. They do find an old man hiding in a cupboard brandishing a kitchen knife whilst shouting something in Japanese tho'.

You can feel their disappointment when they realize that he can't understand their pleas for food.

Just then the mans granddaughter appears....and as luck would have it she can speak 'the engrish'!

She explains that, due to a big monster attacking the city that the restaurant will be closed for a few days and that customers aren't really allowed in the basement.

Our heroines nod at each other and leave, just as a massive explosion (heard not seen) rocks the basement killing gramps and the girl.

Which is a pity seeing as she was twice as talented and much sexier than both the sisters combined.

"Sorry, I farted....and it smells of egg".

With most of Tokyo destroyed (allegedly) and no hope of rescue, Erin and Sarah walk aimlessly (yes there is a fair bit of aimless wandering in this film, both actual and metaphysically) thru' devastated streets and crowds of walking wounded, finally bumping into a man they meet in the bins earlier.

The happy reunion is shattered by the shrill noise of fighter jets flying overhead followed by loud explosions (which Sarah does actually managed to film!). A squad of soldiers pulling a cannon join the fight as rubble, empty beer cans and the contents of a kitchen drawer are thrown around them.

During the confusion Erin and Sarah are separated and the camera dropped.

Static and noise fill the screen.

The next time we see Sarah she's lying wounded against a car, her sister desperately comforting her as a big pixely worm waves unconvincingly behind them.

Check the shorts.

The movies ending reveals that the camera and tapes were found in the remains of the city and that the fate of the sisters is unknown.

Tho' I'd like to think they returned to their old jobs at Wallmart after unsuccessfully chasing their Hollywood dreams.


Some would say that director Eric (Snakes on a Train, Night of the Dead: Leben Tod, Alien Abduction and War of the Worlds 2) Forsberg is a genius, taking the basic plot of the 'monster destroys city genre' and, unlike Cloverfield, which showed us the effects of such a crisis from the point of view of an individual at ground zero, bases the whole film around the said individuals telling us rather than showing us what is happening.

It takes a maverick of proportions rarely seen in modern cinema to even attempt something as groundbreaking as that.

Or a no-talent cheapskate with delusions of greatness prostituting himself by knocking out barely watchable rip-offs to make a fast buck?

Movie God or bearded charlatan?
YOU decide.

But saying that, what do you expect from a movie released by the infamous Asylum studios, makers of such quality fayre as The Day The Earth Stopped, Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls, The Da Vinci Treasure, 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea and, um, The 9/11 Commission Report?

At least a wee bit of gore and gratuitous nudity, that's what.

Is that too much to ask from our Mockbusters?

Or was I upset that 'Monster' promised sweaty ladies running about in Japan being chased by a many tentacled monster yet didn't deliver what I expected?

It must be real, it's on the news.

At least no wee boys died so my Nan enjoyed it.

And yours might too.

The perfect antidote to every Gojira movie ever made (except Godzilla's Revenge), Monster is the perfect film for those with a heart condition, insomnia (the illness not the film) or anyone whose girlfriends refuse to watch scary films because they're too frightening.

You know who you are.

1 comment:

Sir Phobos said...

I was going to say it sounds like a shit version of Cloverfield, but then you got to that bit. And I think I'm going to use the term Mockbluster in my reviews from now on, by the way. Great stuff.