Howl from Beyond the Fog

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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Vakanai
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Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Vakanai »

Swear to God (zilla) that there was already a thread for this, but couldn't find it after a good search.

Apparently this is available to own now: http://srscinema.com/home/?p=2465

I'm going to try to get it in the next couple of weeks while it's still available on Blu-ray. I know it's supposed to be short, but it's something that I really want.
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Kaiju-King42
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

I have this one coming in the mail currently.

I think.

I hope.
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Vakanai
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Vakanai »

Kaiju-King42 wrote:I have this one coming in the mail currently.

I think.

I hope.
Let me know when you get it and if it's worth it/a good watch please.
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Tyrant_Lizard_King »

Looks kinda neat. Really like the monster's design and the atmospheric way its shot. Curious to see if its worth it.
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Angilasman
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Angilasman »

Getting it for Christmas. Looks fantastic.

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Vakanai
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Vakanai »

Still don't have it, but plan on getting it after Christmas.
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Angilasman
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Angilasman »

The sheer enjoyment we see of Nebula's suit actor in playing a kaiju (vocalizing every roar and footfall) in the behind the scenes documentary is worth the price of the disc alone!

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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by EvaGhidorah01 »

Howl is a fantastic short film, one of the best Independent Kaiju productions I've had the pleasure of viewing.

I look forward to Murase's next (and seemingly final) film, Brush of the Gods
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Vakanai
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Vakanai »

Bought it the other night, now just got to wait for it to arrive in the mail...
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by edgaguirus »

I can't wait to see this one.
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Vakanai
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Re: Howl from Beyond the Fog

Post by Vakanai »

So this arrived in the mail today and I watched it tonight, so going to try a non-spoilery review...

First off, lets get the obvious out of the way - yes, this is a pretty, gorgeous, beautiful little short film. Like eerily beautiful. The set pieces, the polished creature effects on the kaiju, the choice to use puppets instead of real people, makes it a visual experience that's stunning and unique in this genre. If you want something that looks different from other entries you're used to as a kaiju fan in a good way, you're in luck.

Speaking of the puppets, it's kind of hard to compare the puppetry here if only because, lets be frank here, there just aren't many puppet movies or shows in modern times that isn't the Muppets. I can really only compare this puppetry to Team America World Police, and Thunderbolt Fantasy. Luckily it feels much more like the latter than the former. But if you are familiar with Thunderbolt Fantasy (and please, if you aren't you should - it is great!), it's definitely very different from that. The puppets in Thunderbolt Fantasy are much more detailed/polished and fancy doll like than the ones here, and frankly puppetted much more smoothly and effectively than here - but I think that's by design. Thunderbolt Fantasy is basically an action anime show in the form of a puppet show. A very good action anime puppet show I might add. This though isn't that, different feel and aesthetic entirely. More of an odd, dreamlike quality of film-making I guess, so the rougher around the edges models and puppetry fits. It's unusual in today's cinema, and memorable.

Thirdly, the story without giving anything away... Feels like a Showa throwback, only in a very polished modern storytelling way. As in, there's no board room talking scenes or military personnel. But then again, unlike the Showa films there's also not a scientist or reporter to be seen...point is, the "human" cast are normal people. It's also a very smaller scale, intimate, personal plot. Not that you can't have intimate or personal plots in larger scale stories, but here there's nothing major to obscure the character stuff - and yes, smaller scale here still involves a rampage by a giant dinosaur creature. My personal favorite Batman movie is the animated Under the Red Hood. Joker isn't trying to destroy Gotham. Bane isn't taking over the city. The future isn't in jeopardy. For all the fights and violence and explosions, the stakes are small. Same here, even if there's a kaiju rampaging for a bit, it feels small stakes in a good, refreshing way. For all the buildings that get smashed the scale feels more down to earth at the human level. Helps that the action happens in the woods/forest and lonely bridges and a rural small town in 1909 Japan. Which is a nice and unique setting for this kind of film (it's always modern [for the time] or feudal Japan, so somewhen in between is refreshing).
It's not the greatest or most original script for a kaiju film, but it works perfectly for a short film. Simple enough to work in half an hour, but with enough meat for the characters to feel poignant and have characterization mostly.

Finally, the monster! Apparently the kaiju's name is Nebula? But it never gets called that in the film, which is good. Name doesn't really fit. Closest thing to a name anyone ever calls it is Lake God, which feels more fitting here really. And it's obviously a greatly designed monster, both as a suit and as a puppet (and it's fun to guess which shot is of which). It's a good design, simple yet effective and iconic-like. Not too busy, messy, or spiky like a lot of people try to design these days. Honestly, it harkens back to the early kaiju monsters - think what it would have been like if instead of a T-Rex with a Stegosaur's spikes the makers of Gojira had went with a long necked Brachiosaur. Which frankly is something the kaiju genre has been missing. Quadrupedal suits in the genre are a rarity as is (I'm blanking on any outside of Anguirus, Guiron, and Barugon, and some Ultraman foes [through sheer numbers of monster on that one, and even then most are bipedal]), and the extra burden of having to control a long neck and head on top of that - despite it being one of the most popular and beloved dinosaur types out there, I see why it hasn't been done before. But it's nice to finally see it get the kaiju treatment, and it is done wonderfully here.

Hard to do an in depth review of a short film. It was a good half an hour, and definitely worth the purchase price in my fanboy opinion - but I literally spent longer typing this (not counting the multitasking) than I did watching it. Also it comes with a very good behind the scenes look at the making of the film, and it's always cool to see how these suits are made and work and "come to life" as it were. Also comes with two posters and a card (that shows the same images on each side as the posters). So decent extras for a short film too. The subs are a bit too quick in a few places, but not distracting. So if you're worried about the run time, I wouldn't worry. Is definitely a solid addition to any kaiju film collection.
Always, *always* proofread, typos are Hedorah.
If you discover you have made a typo, *always* correct it.
Trust me.

Godzilla vs Kong: Kong won't die. He might win, he might lose, but he will survive.

Some netiquette:
1. If you don't want to be rude, *ask* me before you sig me.

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