Director – Shinpei Hayashiya (Gamera 4, Raiga: God of the Monsters)
Starring – Yukijiro Hotaru (Sexy Battle Girls, Samurai Gangsters), Miyu Oriyama (Amazing Grace, The Slit-Mouthed Woman 0: The Beginning), and Mao Urata (Kamen Rider Zi-O, Control: Hanzai Shinri Sousa)
Release Date – 2005
Rating – 2/5
Tagline – “The deep sea monster vs the battleship Yamato”
I grew up on a healthy dose of Godzilla, Mothra, and Gamera. My grandmother was a huge Sci-Fi Channel fan and I would spend hours in front of the ol boob tube watching these kaiju flicks. For a little while during my teenage years I could say I was a bit obsessed with them. I love cheesy kaiju flicks and when they take a serious turn I often find myself not enjoying them as much. Sure, there is some exceptions to the rule with films like Pacific Rim and so on but I generally enjoy the campy kaiju more than the serious ones.
A few weeks back I received the DVD release of the 2005 kaiju film Reigo, King of the Sea-Monsters. SRS Cinema recently released the film here in the U.S. and the folks over at MVD was kind enough to send a copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows the battleship Yamato when they come across something strange in the water. Their policy of shooting first and asking questions later when they kill the creature. Moments later the creature’s mother, Reigo, arrives and the siege of Yomato is underway. **Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one expecting to really enjoy myself with some serious kaiju fun. Sadly, the film was anything but that. I’m not too hard on indie or low budget flick but I tend to love low to no budget takes on kaiju but this one fell flat in almost every aspect.
The acting in this one is decent but leaves plenty of room for improvement. I love the campy and cheesy acting you can find in most kaiju flicks because they reflect the atmosphere the film is bringing to life. However, the acting in this film is extremely over-dramatic which makes it hard for the cast to sell the scene. The characters are not that likable and the cast struggles with their scenes.
The story for this one would work for an amazing kaiju flick but the serious tone, the lack of atmosphere, and dark lighting makes this one miss it’s mark. We get the perfect set up for a kaiju film but the kaiju rides the backseat while we sit through what almost feels like a war drama. This does not translate to a creature feature very well. Also, the pacing in this one is all off. We sometimes go from action sequence to action sequence then hit with several painfully drab scenes of uninteresting dialogue.
Finally, if you want a great looking kaiju and some blood you will be disappointed. The kaiju Reigo, when we do see it, is not impressive. I like the design but the computer effects are painfully dated and does not translate well on this DVD release. Also, this one is not a bloody mess like most of you sick fucks enjoy. Instead, it flows more like a drama with a CGI monster scattered here and there. Overall, Reigo was not the kaiju fix I was looking for. No campy monster mayhem. In fact, we don’t get that much kaiju mayhem at all. If you like war flicks you may enjoy it but the typical kaiju fan will want to skip over it.