Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brand X

Like cans of soda on the grocery shelves, the giant monsters of Japan are colorful, overwhelmingly numerous, and (despite being largely interchangeable) dominated by two forces. On one side stands Godzilla, the Kaiju world's Coca-Cola. Ubiquitous and influential, Godzilla was the one that really got the ball rolling. On the other side stands Gamera, the Pepsi-esqe rival that quickly evolved from mere imitator into an enduring pop-culture presence in its own right. In between the two are scores and scores of lesser known creatures, equally adept at smashing skyscrapers and crunching tanks beneath their giant feet, but unable to reach the fame that the aforementioned reptiles have achieved. These are the Shastas and the RC Colas and the Faygos; basically as fun but often overlooked.

With that said, meet the newest Monster of the Month: Guilala, the X from Outer Space.

First appearing in the 1968 film Uchū Daikaijū Girara (which translates to "Big Space Monster Guilala") the X from Outer Space was originally a spore that attached itself to the underside of a rocket vessel returning to Earth. The spore promptly grows into a monster and heads off to Tokyo in order to swat at some jets and smash buildings. As you probably guessed, Guilala is eventually defeated but not before causing millions of dollars in property damage.

We at the Hyper Kitchen could not help but fall in love Guilala thanks to its bizarre design. Its head, resembling a UFO with a chicken beak, sports two marshmallow-topped antennae and red compound eyes. Its reptilian tail terminates in a big red lobster claw that is sadly never used in the movie.

Released by Shochiku Co. Ltd., a film studio hoping to create a monster to compete the big names, Uchū Daikaijū Girara was only a modest success and never launched the endless sequels and spin-offs that Godzilla did. However, Guilala was did have something of a rebirth more than forty years down the road. The beast first appeared in a series of American TV ads (although never fully identified) and its renewed popularity led to a new film called Girara no Gyakushū: Tōya-ko Samitto Kiki Ippatsu, in which it attacks the 2008 G8 summit. The reviews were decidedly mixed, but there is a rumored sequel in the works that would pit the X from Outer Space against the Gappa the Triphibian.  We urge you to review your giant monster spending habits, and perhaps consider Guilala for your next city-crushing flick.

Guilala deserves your dollars.

Would you like to know more?
-You can buy a VHS copy on the Internet!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Asteron Transmission

If you're like me, than you love stories of strange broadcasts. You also think that rayon is the ideal summer fabric and speaking to people on the phone "creeps you out," but that's irrelevant. This particular account of signal hijacking comes the UK.

On Saturday, November 26th, 1977, at 5:10 PM, Southhampton viewers of the early evening news were alarmed to find that the audio that ought to have accompanied the broadcast had been replaced by an entirely different transmission:

"This is the voice of Asteron. I am an authorized representative of the Intergalactic Mission and I have a message for Earth. We are beginning to enter a period of Aquarius and there are many corrections which have to be made by Earth people. All your Weapons of Evil must be destroyed. You only have a short time to learn to live together in peace. You must live together in peace or leave the galaxy."
The local station, Southern Television, was inundated with calls about the incident and police had to be dispatched to calm at least one panicked television viewer. The exact method through which the signal was interrupted remains unknown to this day, although the design of the UHF station's transmitters made it particularly vulnerable to hijacking and the act would have been a straightforward task for anyone with enough technical know-how.

The event was publicly acknowledged by the Independent Broadcasting Authority the next day and the novelty of the story ensured its wide dissemination across the news organizations of the world. Several tabloids, whether through sloppy reporting or a deliberate attempt to sensationalize the story, elaborated upon the transcript with various b-movie threats of annihilation from the stars.

Despite the sheer implausibility of an alien trying to convey a message to the people of Earth via a UHF television station based in Hannington, England, many people decided that the transmission was truly of extraterrestrial origin. The event probably would have faded into obscurity if not for these dedicated delusionals, who continue to discus the implications of Asteron's message on various internet message forums. Meanwhile, the "period of Aquarius" has never felt more distant.

Would you like to know more?
-Read this article from the Rome News-Tribune
-Read this article form the Ellensburg Daily Record

A Reminder

According to Harold Camping, Christian radio host, the rapture will occur on Saturday, May 21st, 2011. Whether the End Times will happen in the morning, afternoon, or evening has not yet been specified, but it would seem a sensible idea to have a Rapture Preparedness Kit containing first aid, bottled water, and a flashlight. Also, make sure to stock up on canned food, as Camping asserts that god will destroy the entire universe once October roles around. The rapture has previously been scheduled to fall in 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2005. Apparently budgetary reasons have consistently lead to its postponement.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Electromagic Youth For All

While studying my face in the mirror this morning (as I often do while brushing my teeth), something caught my eye. I paused to wipe the rabies-esqe toothpaste foam from my mouth, went in for a closer look and, much to my horror, noticed a few gray hairs. It appears that my extreme, fast-paced lifestyle of reckless street-racing, base-jumping, and freestyle parkour (sometimes all at once) had finally caught up with me and my body is beginning to show the inevitable signs of aging. Through the quick application of a black Sharpie, the gray hairs were concealed from view and my youthful good-looks returned.

Many people, however, would never be satisfied with my permanent-marker method and instead rely on more esoteric attempts to thwart the inevitable effects of time. Take, for example, the Integratron: the new age cure for old age.

Built near the aptly named Giant Rock boulder in Landers, California, the Integratron is a dome constructed from plywood and fiberglass. Its resemblance to a UFO is probably no coincidence as its designer, George Van Tassel, claimed to have been given instructions by creatures from the planet Venus. Van Tassel devoted his life to working on the Integratron. He funded the project through annual Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions, in which UFO enthusiasts from all over the United States came to share their stories of encounters with otherworldly intelligences. One such visitor was two-time presidential candidate Gabriel Green, who wrote about the convention in his book Let's Face the Facts About Flying Saucers.

The Integraton was intended to be a "high-voltage electrostatic generator" that would "recharge" one's cells and rejuvenate the mind and body. Van Tassel was convinced that the unique dome shape of the Integratron would draw upon naturally occurring electromagnetic phenomena that he believed to exist near Giant Rock.  The Integratron served as the base of operations for his "Ashtar Command" new age concepts until his death in 1978. Apparently the Integratron's rejuvenating effects were never enjoyed by its creator.

Afterward, the building was briefly considered for renovation into a disco, but fortunately the idea never materialized. Currently the Integratron is operated by a group that rents it out for restorative "sound baths", metaphysical gatherings, art installations, and musical events.

Would you like to know more?
-Visit to Integratron's official website.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maniac Ape Strikes Again

Listen Shoughnessy, there's a gorilla on the loose and he may be our murderer!