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The Asian ApertureAtragon (1963)
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, April 14, 2013    Share

In 1963, legendary Godzilla director, Ishiro Honda unleashed a sci fi movie featuring a ship, the multi-purpose, Atragon from Toho. Atragon definitely has some cool stuff for sci fi fans and it combines elements of Jules Verneís 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Master of the World. The Atragon can be utilized as a submarine, plane, and has a giant drill at that front for burrowing into the earth. Eiji Tsuburaya, the special effects wizard who worked on Godzilla movies and creator of Ultraman, supplied the amazing effects that brought the impossible to life.

At the start of Atragon, a bikini model is about to be photographed when the crew is interrupted by a weird individual wearing a strange suit jumping out of the water and appears to be steaming. This is followed by a car driving off into the sea. Captain Jingujiís daughter, the lovely and radiate Makoto is stalked by a mysterious purser.

This puts Makoto into contract with her dadís boss, Admiral Kusumi and a beatnik looking reporter. The reporter believes that Captain Jinguji is alive and well and living on some faraway island.
Atragon also has some elements of a spy caper when a taxi driver holds the Admiral and Makoto hostage and threatens to bring the party to a lost tribe known as Mu. With the help of the young male photographers from the beginning, everyone is saved.

The Admiral receives a package with only the words, Mu, on it. A crime lab worker carefully unwraps it and a film reel is discovered. The film contains a short documentary about the Mu Empire and urges the World to stop Captain Jinguji from finishing Atragon.

This prompts the Admiral to seek out Captain Jinguji. Will he be able to find the Captain and discover the secrets of the Mu?

Atragon contains some classic special effects as when the Mu submarine approaches Tokyo. Lasers are used to destroy battleships. The Mu threaten to devastate Tokyo with their underwater dragon called Manda. Later on Manda attacks the Atragon in an underwater battle that is visually straight out of Disneyís 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I wonít go into all the details regarding the rest of the plot and other battles because Atragon is best experienced.

Upon release in 1963, Atragon was a box office success for Toho. It was soon picked up by American International Pictures for a dubbed US release in 1965. The name Atragon is thought to be a contraction of Atomic and Dragon. Due to Atragon past success and popularity numerous models, garage kits, and toys have been sold.

If you are interested in a sci fi movie that combines tokusatsu, spies, lost tribes, kaiju, and a killer ship, then seek out this classic of Japanese fantasy.

Highly Recommended

5 out of 5 Stars

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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