Archive for April, 2020

Untold Tales of Hollywood #46

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Here’s Fred Dekker‘s terrific story of Godzilla in a nutshell (a slight edit of the Wikipedia description):

A meteorite collides with an American defense satellite which triggers a nuclear missile to launch towards the Earth. The missile detonates in the middle of the South Pacific, which awakens a giant reptilian creature on the ocean floor. A Japanese fishing vessel is towed to San Francisco for examination after it recently disappeared. Journalist Dana Martin sneaks onto the ship and finds a perfectly preserved trilobite and a burnt survivor whose last words are “Gojira”.

Martin takes the trilobite to paleobiologist and dinosaur expert, Gerald Balinger, who seems skeptical about the fossil’s authenticity. On Oto Island in Tahiti, an American Special Forces squad comes into contact with a giant reptilian monster, who lays waste to nearby villages. Navy Colonel Peter Daxton leads an investigation off the coast of Mexico for a mysteriously sunken Russian submarine. The investigation is secretly being observed by Russian spies and Daxton’s old enemy, Boris Kruschov, who wishes to retrieve the sub’s two nuclear missiles.

Daxton finds a video onboard which reveals that the sub fired one of the missiles on a giant reptilian creature. The missiles are then taken into military custody pending negotiations with Russia. Daxton returns home to San Francisco and his son, Kevin, only to be called back for another mission. Daxton, Kevin, and Balinger are taken to Baja, Mexico where the carcass of a reptile “the size of a house” has washed ashore. Daxton recognizes it as the same creature from the video.

Balinger theorizes that the creature is a dinosaur, however, the military disregard his theories and assume it came from another planet. As Balinger and Kevin watch the military transport the body, Balinger names the creature “Godzilla”, based on an old Japanese myth about a dragon. Off the coast of California, the adult Godzilla surfaces and destroys an oil derrick and a tanker. The dead Baby Godzilla is stored at a warehouse at San Francisco’s Embarcadero for studying purposes.

Balinger becomes alarmed when researchers who came into contact with the body begin suffering from radiation poisoning. Balinger deduces that the Baby is a living atomic reactor with regenerative properties. Since the sea disasters continued even after the Baby’s death, Balinger concludes that the adult Godzilla is coming to the city, but the military disregard his ideas again. Kruschov kidnaps Kevin and demands that Daxton exchange the missiles as ransom. Kevin manages to escape just as Godzilla rises from San Francisco Bay.

The military attack the beast but to no effect, which angers Godzilla into a rampage, destroying the Golden Gate Bridge. Daxton, Balinger, and Martin plan to lure Godzilla out of the city with a recording of the Baby taken from the submarine video and kill it with the Russian missiles. As Daxton flies the helicopter carrying the missiles, Kruschov appears onboard with Kevin and demands the missiles be returned. After a brief fight, the helicopter crashes and Kruschov lands in Godzilla’s hand, where he is incinerated by Godzilla’s atomic breath.

Godzilla finds the warehouse holding its offspring and unleashes a mournful roar after discovering the Baby dead. Balinger and Martin turn on the Baby’s recording at Alcatraz Island, which attracts Godzilla’s attention. Daxton drags the remaining missile onto the Scorpion-78, a high-tech prototype battle helicopter. The co-pilot falls off as the Scorpion-78 lifts off and Kevin takes the co-pilot’s place. As Daxton flies the chopper, Kevin reluctantly fires the missile into Godzilla’s throat, which successfully kills the monster. Kevin falls off the Scorpion-78, but is saved by Godzilla. Kevin weeps as Godzilla takes its last breath.

Strange Days

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Lots of folks have queried me as to how I am doing (I’m in that dreaded age group that doesn’t do well with the coronavirus). I’m doing fine. Not infected; self-quarantined except when I do my three-mile run around my neighborhood to stay in shape. Thanks for asking! I work at home anyway and e-mail my finished art to clients — so no changes there. I had to close down my Sunday figure drawing workshop (I call it Worshipping at the Temple of the Holy Female Form), though; the first time in over thirty years.

Strangely, I’ve got a lot of work. I just wrapped up a full color seven page story for a new¬†Slow Death Anthology; I did the cover, too. I’m painting the cover to the Comic Con International Program Book (I did the program book cover for the San Diego ComicFest about a month ago).

SDComicFestLowRezBlog

I’m also designing a Tar Man Cthulhu mug for Mondo. I’ve always got retrospective books planned (huge books on each of the following subjects: my comics work; my music-related work; my entertainment advertising art; my film design work), and my Legends of the British Blues book is nearing completion. I’ve also done my own translation of Pablo Neruda’s book Stones of the Sky with a full page pen illustration for each poem. That book is completed; all that is needed is the official permission of the Neruda estate.

If you’re looking for something wonderful to pass your sequestered time, I highly recommend that you go to YouTube and search for Ringo Starr-Robbie Robertson and “The Weight”. There’s also some other great stuff put together by the same international group. There is also a moving version of Beethoven’s Ninth performed by the sequestered Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra. All very positive and uplifting! If you’re in the mood for a riveting twisty-turny mystery, check out The Stranger on NetFlix. I also recommend Steven Soderbergh’s white-knuckler Unsane, starring Claire Foy…plus any film by Taika Waititi, especially Hunt For The Wilder People.
I hope all is well with you, my friends. These are strange times…