Hey everybody, we have something new for you! With the J-Film Blogathon still rolling heavily we have the first ever book review here on Varied Celluloid! Hopefully we will have plenty of others rolling in soon enough! Author Peter Brothers’ sent us a copy of his book Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda for review and Coffin Jon (my good friend, producer and host of the VCinema Podcast) took on the task of jumping head first into the Kaiju history! For those of you who aren’t aware, Ishiro Honda is the man who brought us Godzilla and ushered in the world of giant monsters who crush Tokyo on a regular basis. Brothers’ book looks to examine his work as thoroughly as possible. Does it succeed? You’ll have to read the review and find out!

If you had told me as a child in the late ‘70s that someone actually made the Godzilla films that I loved so much, I would have thought you were crazy. Surely, considering the large number of Godzilla films available by that time (15!), they were created by some sort of movie-making robot that could read the minds of young children around the world and, onto film, translate what they desired to see most, giant monsters! There’s just no way that these movies could have been made by just one man! Well, the truth is all of them had not been directed by one man, but actually five, most of whom produced work that is still largely unknown in the West (though Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971) director Yoshimitsu Banno was once an assistant director of Akira Kurosawa). It shouldn’t come to any surprise then that Ishiro Honda, Godzilla’s creator and still the one who has directed the most films in the series, has suffered a similar fate of obscurity in the West. That’s where Peter Brothers’ Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men comes in.