Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

For the discussion of non-Toho monster media, tokusatsu franchises, and also for mixed discussion of Toho and non-Toho kaiju media.
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Terasawa
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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mikelcho wrote:The Invisible Braggart (I guess I'll have to use that name for now, even though I still don't know if it's the right English translation here)
The Japanese title is「透明天狗」(tōmei tengu). When the title came to my attention a few years ago, and not knowing anything about the film, I ran "tengu" through Google Translate and got "braggart." According to Jisho.org, it does look like that's a valid translation.

That said...

"Tengu" are actually a type of yokai I wasn't particularly familiar with at the time. In fact, the number one translation at Jisho's database is "tengu; long-nosed goblin". These guys are probably familiar to most western fans of Japanese culture. A tengu mask (or something quite like it) is seen during the Odo Island ritual in the 1954 Godzilla.



I still have not seen Daiei's "Tōmei Tengu". The plot synopsis offered in the CD Japan link describes an invisible killer who seems to brag about his crimes to authorities. That could be a braggart. Or he could be a more mythical tengu. I just don't know. If the latter, a better translation would be either "The Invisible Goblin," but "The Invisible Tengu" is probably the safest title considering I know almost nothing about the movie.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Thanks, Terasawa, for the new info. I guess "Braggart" will have to do...for now.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Well, I got the new flyer yesterday.

So far, no Japanese tokusatsu films, Daiei or otherwise.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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You know, I have a sneaking suspicion that's it's going to be a lo-o-o-o-o-ng time before we get anything else released here.

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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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I just got the latest flyer today.

Still no Japanese tokusatsu films, though.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Maybe instead of continually posting that there are no new films you should just update the thread if they ever do.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Terasawa wrote:Maybe instead of continually posting that there are no new films you should just update the thread if they ever do.
Oh, I always do.

I just want everyone to know I'm keeping on top of things. The only thing that's being released by this company now is the flyers, and they're only twice-a-year releases (I think).

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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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I just looked at the SC website and three new releases are on the list on p. 1.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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I've managed to find the studios for all but nine of the films on the list.

If anyone here could please look at said list on p. 1 and tell me what's missing, that'd be a big help. Thanks!

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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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mikelcho wrote:*Death Row Woman (1960; widescreen edition)
*Ghost Story of the Seven Wonders of Honshu (1957)
Both Shintoho releases. Sinister calls the second film "Ghost Story of the Seven Wonders of Honsho" (怪談 本所七不思議), but that's incorrect. It should be something like Ghost Story: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo. Honjo was a ward in Tokyo, now a part of Sumida Ward. 七不思議 (nana fushigi) are "Seven Mysteries", a type of ghostly urban legend.
*Devil's Flute (1979; widescreen edition)
*Foul Play (1955)
*Ghost Cat of the Cursed Swamp (1967; widescreen edition)
*The Koga Ninja (1957; widescreen edition)
*The Seven Faces of Bannai Tarao, Private Detective (1956)
*Four Hours of Terror (1959; widescreen edition)
All Toei films.

Ghost Cat of the Cursed Swamp appears to have been a 1968 release. It was a production of Toei's Kyoto Studio.

The Seven Faces of Bannai Tarao, Private Detective is an awful translation of the Japanese 多羅尾伴内シリーズ 戦慄の七仮面 (Tarao ban'nai shirīzu senritsu no shichi kamen). I think a better translation would be "Bannai Tarao Series: The Seven Horrifying Masks".

Sinister's artwork for Four Hours of Terror is for a completely different movie, which should give you an idea about how little they care about their product. Assuming Sinister's synopsis is accurate to the movie they're selling, then Four Hours is a Toei film.
*White Beast (1950)
This is a Toho release, produced by Toho and "Tanaka Pro." Tomoyuki Tanaka produced. He has three credits at JMDb for "Tanaka Pro.", all from 1950. I know he left Toho in the late 1940s and returned in the early 1950s, so my guess is that this was an independent production company he put together in the interim. I bring this up despite my uncertainty because several sources claim White Beast was a co-production between the two.
*Wind Velocity: 75 Meters (1963; widescreen version)
This is a Daiei film, produced at its Tokyo Studio.

You say the list is all the "tokusatsu movies" released by Sinister Cinema. "Tokusatsu" is the Japanese word for special effects. Almost none of the films in the list are tokusatsu films, so you probably should call it a list of Japanese films instead.
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Thanks, Terasawa! You really helped out a lot and I appreciate it!
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Two of the films on this have an interesting history.

As far as I know, Rainbow Man and Enter the Invisible Man (both 1949 and in that order) are the earliest Japanese tokusatsu films known to exist. Any others before 1949 have been lost to time and mostly because of World War II.

Is that about right or am I mistaken here?

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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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mikelcho wrote:Two of the films on this have an interesting history.

As far as I know, Rainbow Man and Enter the Invisible Man (both 1949 and in that order) are the earliest Japanese tokusatsu films known to exist. Any others before 1949 have been lost to time and mostly because of World War II.

Is that about right or am I mistaken here?
According to August Ragone, Rainbow Man was the first sci-fi film produced in post-war Japan, so that seems a good candidate for the oldest surviving sci-fi tokusatsu.

In the Western fandom, "tokusatsu" is usually limited to fantasy/sci-fi/horror works brought to life with special effects. In Japan, however, any film which uses extensive special effects techniques seems to be classified as tokusatsu. Toho at least was making war films using the now traditional tokusatsu techniques (scale model vehicles and scenery, pyrotechnics, elaborate wire work, special optical effects, etc.) during the height of WWII. Some of these, like Tsuburaya's Navy Bomber Squadron (1940), are lost (a digest version of that has barely survived, but is unavailable).

I couldn't tell you what the earliest surviving tokusatsu film is because I'm not well-versed on Japanese cinema before the early 1950s. But, to my knowledge, the earliest available such film is The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malaya (1942).

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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Once again, thanks, Terasawa! This is all very fascinating.

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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Terasawa, you said that SC's artwork for Four Hours of Terror was for a different film. Do you happen to know what film it was? Please, tell me so I can tell them and maybe get them to change it. Hey, one can only try...
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Now that The Invisible Man Appears, Warning from Space and The Invisible Man vs. the Human Fly have been, or are going to be, released on Blu-ray, I'm going to try to pick them up when I can. The way I see it, these SC releases were only going to be temporary until something like this happened, which it seems to be doing right now.

Now, if Arrow Video can just do the same thing with Rainbow Man and The Whale God, that'll be great! I also hope they can do the same thing with the Yokai Monsters trilogy as well. Then, I'll have all the official U.S. home video releases of all the major tokusatsu films Daiei made in the 20th century (specifically, 1949-1999).
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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mikelcho wrote: Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:56 pm Terasawa, you said that SC's artwork for Four Hours of Terror was for a different film. Do you happen to know what film it was? Please, tell me so I can tell them and maybe get them to change it. Hey, one can only try...
It's a 1965 Nikkatsu film starring Tetsuya "Tokyo Drifter" Watari. IMDb translates the title as "Wandering Gun: Jailbreak Blues" (Japanese: 拳銃無宿 脱獄のブルース). If there's an official English title, I couldn't find it. Here's the entry on Nikkatsu's site. Note that Sinister shamelessly used the Japanese poster art with the Nikkatsu logo digitally painted out.

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This would appear to be the film Sinister sells as "Four Hours of Terror," assuming the product information is correct:

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Fully translated, the title is "Altitude 7000 Meters: Four Hours of Terror" (高度7000米 恐怖の四時間).
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Re: Daiei Films and Sinister Cinema

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Thanks, that's a big help.

Now that I know they're basically video pirates, however, I wonder if I should tell Greg Luce he's got the wrong poster.
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