Hello Kaiju!

Last night Cameron, Dana, Jesse and I experienced something extraordinary. We learned the true meaning of fear. We learned that “Danger Can Happen”. We went to the Avalon in Hollywood for the Los Angeles premiere of “Kaiju Big Battel”. I think Xeni Jardin described it best when she referred to it as part Japanese Monster Movie, part Mexican Wrestling Match, part Indie Rock Concert.

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The floor of the Avalon which normally holds hundreds of rock fans was dominated by a square wresting ring surrounded by a chain-link fence—the Danger Cage. Unlike your average wrestling-fare, the floor the of the Danger Cage was covered with small buildings, ready to be stomped on by giant monsters.

A little after 8pm the opening act started—a band called Darkness My Love. They weren’t bad. A couple of their slower tunes had rhythms simultaneously pounded out on guitar, bass and drums while the lead guitar warbled in reverb-drenched spacey-ness, just the way I like it.

Of course we were really there to see guys running around in foam-rubber monster suits, pounding on each other and destroying the model city. We weren’t disappointed.

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Since I’ve watched a lot of Godzilla movies and “Ultra-Man” TV shows in my day, I get the whole “Japanese Monster” thing. This one’s a giant sea anemone mutated by nuclear fallout hell-bent on destroying Tokyo and that one was a brave astronaut accidentally killed in a tragic alien encounter but brought back to life and given super-powers and cool suit by the same alien. I was also a regular viewer of WWF back when Hulk Hogan was good and wrestling stars like Junkyard Dog, Iron Sheik, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, or pretty much anyone who showed up in a Cindy Lauper video tussled in the ring. So this event was full of things I loved as a kid.

And accordingly I had a great time. However I never went to an actual wrestling event when I was little and I realized that now I would much prefer to sit down with the heavily-edited and synchronized to music DVD, than stand in a sweltering rock club watching it live for 3 hours.

Things like the new kaiju hero Super Wrong! coming out, dancing to “Yatta!” and then getting immediately beaten in the fight or the drunken Hell Monkey falling all over himself were pretty damn funny. But the thing that was great was whenever one monster landed some “ouch that must of hurt” move on another—jumping off the top of the cage onto an opponent, punching the other so hard that they did a backflip and things like that. Unfortunately those great moves don’t happen all the time and that’s where for me the DVD would be better.