By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Fantasia Film Fest 2021
Tickets can be bought here.
When is a kaijū movie not a kaijū movie? It’s when we’ll never get to see those giant monsters. We’re dealing with a new genre of films because a certain pandemic is changing the rules. The 12 Day Tale of the Monster that Died In 8 is one of many from filmmakers creating something while under lockdown.
In this story’s case, the fictional version of the filmmakers Iwai Shunji (co-director of Shin Godzilla) and Saitō Takumi believe they can make a monster out of capsule toys he bought online.
The movie is made from Zoom and smartphone recordings. These characters are really talking more about themselves than the problems lurking outside (the coronavirus). Shinji makes clay baby kaijūs and names them. They also transform too. The real humour lay in another person who pretends to be a kaijū expert. He helps identify which famous monster these miniature representations should be.
Most of this film is basically us looking into another person’s conversation. When the framing changes to views of Tokyo or people dancing, I’m paying attention. Too much talk makes for a droll film. This product is only recommended for those fans wanting to understand why certain types of folks love kaijū films. Between those discourses and plenty of Ultraseven (1967-68) and Ultra Q (1966) references, that’s this product in a nutshell.
3 Stars out of 5