Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wir sind Siamesen, wenn Sie bitte

I’ve always loved the above song and now I think it sounds even better (perhaps creepier) in German. If anybody has the right kooky tech to transfer this to an Mp3 or Wav, I’d gladly accept it.

For some weird reason, I really like foreign language covers of songs, but especially when they are in German: Sometimes the singer really has to really spit out the lyrics to stay in time with the music, and with pop tunes that sometimes makes for interesting interpretations.

Recently, the awesome Kindertrauma site (really, if you haven’t visited them at least once, you simply must—and it’s unbelievable how often they post) featured the above clip: One of Kindertrauma’s readers confessed that that part of her childhood was traumatized by the pair of Siamese cats from the Walt Disney flick The Lady and the Tramp.

I wouldn’t want to pooh-pooh anybody’s traumatic experience, but as far as I’m concerned those cats are hands down the BEST darn thing in that too-sweet-for-its-own-good flick.

Besides, whom would you rather root for? Princess precious poodle (or whatever type of dog Lady is—c’mon, I wanted to alliterate!), or a pair of fun-loving kitties who are hip to eating sushi (raw goldfish) and smashing furniture (punk rock!)?

Of course, the cat’s outrageous behavior in The Lady and the Tramp makes me wonder what that supposedly prudish old lady who owns them does in her spare time to influence the cats in such a way. I bet she’s got quite a collection of dominatrix-style fetish gear in her boudoir. Some corset tightening, milady?

Das Fortfahren mit der ins Deutsche übersetzten Knall-Kultur….
(is that translated correctly?)

Continuing with Pop Culture translated into German, try these on for size: Godzilla Vs. the Smog Monster (Gojira tai Hedora) and Destroy All Monsters (Kaijû sôshingeki; really “All Monsters Attack” or “Monster Invasion”) auf Deutsche!

Godzilla Vs. the Smog Monster

Destroy All Monsters

So why is “Frankenstein” in the title of Godzilla movies?!? Was “Frankenstein” some sort of colloquial term back then?

According to several commenters at YouTube, for most of the 1960-1970s Japanese monster films, the German distributors of these movies would try and work Dr. Frankenstein into the films. In many cases, the flicks were edited and redubbed so that practically every Japanese monster was one of Dr. F’s wayward creations.

Which is why Gojira tai Hedora gets called “Frankensteins Kampf gegen die Teufelsmonster” (Frankenstein's fight against the devil's monsters), and Kaijû sôshingeki gets called “Frankenstein und die monster aus dem all” (Frankenstein and monster from all)---Huh?!?!

But since we’re on the topic of Japanese monster movies and Frankenstein, the National Filmboard of Ivanlandia sees no reason not to include the trailer for one of our friend Otto Mannix’s faves: Frankenstein Conquers the World!

If Terry Gilliam directed a Japanese monster film (with all the good, bad and nonsensical that that implies—yes, he’s visionary creator of unique images, but he’s not without flaws, and I can’t help but wonder how much of his bad luck he brings on himself), I think it would very much be like this, from the weird combo of pre-Victorian philosophical-fantasy to the horrors of the Nazis (as well as they usual way they are presented in B-movie sci-fi: as science perverts obsessed with the supernatural) and then kaiju hijinks with the appearance of the big dinosaur monster. I enjoyed Frankenstein Conquers the World a lot, but can only recommend it to other fans of weirdo movies. But dig that crazy miniature horse! That’s wild!

Otto himself telegraphed me from his helicarrier high above his hidden futuropolis in the Andes to say, “For me, Frankenstein Conquers the World is all about the dude who plays Frankenstein. Without his radioactive performance the movie would hold very little interest for me.”

A discerning monster movie watcher, that Mannix. The National Filmboard of Ivanlandia has lent him Godzilla: Final Wars, and we’re eager to hear what his opinions are.

Personally, Godzilla: Final Wars gets four stars out of five stars from the National Filmboard of Ivanlandia—but only when you fast-forward through all scenes involving non-kaiju.

Everything else in the flick is a Power Rangers/X-Men/Matrix/Independence Day rip-off/mash-up. Avoid that stuff.
Or else have a lot of beer while watching the movie.

I harp on these scenes because they are so bad and pointless, worse than any of the nonsense 'plots' so many kaiju are saddled with, and they completely interrupt the many incredible monster fights.

In this film, Godzilla is Joe Don Baker and he's pissed off and out to kick major ass, taking on everyone—even some monsters I didn't quite recognize.

The monster fights are a fanboy's dream, and have to be seen to be believed.

Japanese monster movies are not given enough credit for the wealth of strange ideas they contain, even when the flicks themselves aren’t brilliant.

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