Sunday, May 15, 2011

"The God of Clay": From children's book to live-action kaiju movie

by Chris MaGee

In 1992 Nasu Matsumoto and Miho Takeda published the children's picture book "Nen dono kamisama". It told the story of a president of a munitions company whose factory is attacked by a giant monster. It turns out that the man and his parents constructed the monster out of clay in his childhood, a figure that represented a god who would protect victims of the Second World War and who would seek vengeance on anyone who promoted violence. Tough stuff for a kids book, but perfect for the kaiju movie genre, don't you think? Documentary film-maker Nobuaki Sugimoto and special effects wizard Koichi Kawakita thought so. Now "Nen dono kamisama", retitled "The God of Clay" has been turned into a 13-minute short kaiju film. What's remarkable is that the detailed miniature sets, pyrotechnics, and the monster itself, the whole film in fact, only cost $40,000. Apparently most of the crew was working on a volunteer basis.

Sadly there is no trailer (yet) for "The God of Clay", but SciFi Japan has got a few handsome stills and a wealth of info on the film's production. If you're lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, though, you won't need a trailer at all. That's because "The God of Clay" will be having its international premiere at the The Bigfoot Crest Theater (1262 Westwood Boulevard) on June 23rd. Plus it will be screening with Jun Fukuda's 1966 kaiju classic "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster". A must see for fans of monster movies, but let's have a trailer for "God of Clay" soon... please!

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