Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kaiju Kinema

I've been on the Internet almost nine years now, and during that time, I've launched a lot of different projects. Some have achieved varying levels of success, and others slipped quietly into obscurity. "Kaiju Kinema" was probably one of the most obscure of the latter bunch.

Back in the mid- to late 1990s, I worked with Ronnie Burton to translate the credits to dozens of Japanese monster and sci-fi movies. This joint research ultimately culminated in THE KAIJU DETECTIVE BOOK ONE, my only self-publishing venture apart from the regular OWARI numbering. THE KAIJU DETECTIVE is a topic for another day (and likely will be sometime next year), but that work planted the seeds for what I envisioned with "Kaiju Kinema".

I have 5 MB of free webspace from my ISP. When I set up the original "official OWARI site", I was trying to figure out what it should have. The Japanese film research seemed a natural, since it had been such a big part of my publishing efforts. The website would finally provide a low cost venue for information that just wasn't out there in English. It was a great way to make the OWARI site stand out.

The problem was that I had grown tired of pursuing the research on a regular basis. I had immersed myself in it for awhile, and I think I lost the enthusiasm that Ronnie had for it. Still, I forged ahead, determined to try to give my web presence some form of identity. I also developed a new name for this version of the project.

"The Kaiju Detective" is and was a perfectly fine name, but it was a name that I attached to the project because it was a nickname coined for Ronnie by G-Fan editor/publisher J.D. Lees. Though Ronnie would be duly credited for his massive contributions, he wouldn't be directly involved. I didn't feel right using what I considered "his" name, so I dreamed up a new one. "Kaiju Kinema" was the result.

To this day, I think "Kaiju Kinema" is an incredibly strong name. It works as creative spelling even if you aren't aware of Kinema Junpo magazine. In fact, if I'd thought of it in 1995, I daresay that my fanzine would have been named "Kaiju Kinema". Of course, I would've been screwed when the focus shifted away from primarily Japanese stuff. I'm just saying is all.

I added a Kaiju Kinema section to my website and even made it as far as uploading credit lists for one or two films. Then, it all stalled. I had a lot of things competing for my attention, and Kaiju Kinema never felt like a high priority. I eventually junked the whole thing. I've made a couple of attempts to revive it since then, but nothing that amounted to much.

It's sort of weird that I've so completely lost my passion for what was once the chief vehicle for my fannish pursuits. The immediacy of the whole thing has been diminished significantly as the years have passed, now that many of the Japanese cuts of these films are widely available on DVD in the West. Those DVDs will often include comprehensive translations of the credits. Our "guide" isn't as exotic as it once was.

I won't deny that it was fun times though. You get your kicks where you can find them.

If you're interested in a database far larger than I could have ever managed, there is just such a Japanese site. It might take you some time to translate things, but trust me, that can be part of the fun. It is the truly wonderfully named Gojira-Tokusatsu SIGHT (sic).

1 comment:

Xenorama said...

I was, and still am, always amazed by all the work you did, including our massive Megaloman episode guide for Damon. I should redo some of that now, for something.