Growing up in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT) in the 80s and 90s, one of my favorite childhood memories of watching Godzilla films on Saturday afternoons on WPIX, NYC’s Channel 11.
Godzilla was originally constructed as a serious cautionary tale about nuclear war. As the franchise progressed through the years, the camp factor grew exponentially. From fighting a horrid looking version of King Kong to a monster made of pollution by way of The Smog Monster, the goofiness always seemed to at least attempt to present a message. This is where I learned to appreciate the quirky fun of Kaiju films.
Monster Seafood Wars (directed by Minoru Kawasaki) is playing at Fantasia 2020 and it’s as goofy as it gets. The premise is simple. A disgraced scientist is now a delivery boy for his father’s seafood restaurant. On a delivery run to a temple to make an offering, he gets into a little accident and a squid, an octopus and a crab fall into the water and become destructive monsters. Throw in a message about GMOs. Viola! See? Simple.
The hows and whys are easily explained and the results are enjoyable. Are the effects and action top notch quality. Hell no! Nor are they meant to be. Rubber suits, model buildings, toy cars, superimposed fire, all the glory of a cheesy low budget Kaiju film.
One bonus take away. I watched this with one of my daughters and it led down a YouTube rabbit hole that exposed her to the cult TV show The Aquabats Supershow and the music of Japanese band BABYMETAL. So, win, win, win.