Please take note of the location change this week! ISMN is now back @ Chatham Town #33.
This week’s feature:
Alakazam the Great (1960)
I’m kind of sick, so I’m going try and keep this review short. I first discovered this film while studying animation in California around 1999 and at night would go out and rent obscure animated videos in my spare time. Alakazam was definitely one of the best finds!
Originally named “Saiyu-ki”, this was one of the first Japanese animated films to cross over to the United States for a mainstream audience. The dubbed version features the voices of Sterling Holloway, Frankie Avalon, and Peter Fernandez (The voice of Speed Racer).
The most standout western feature of all being the soundtrack by Les Baxter (composer of the 60’s hit “Quiet Village” and score artist behind past ISMN Roger Corman features like “Fall of the House of Usher” and “X-The Man with X-Ray Eyes”).
I actually found the vinyl American soundtrack once while visiting Japan!
If you haven’t seen early anime, it doesn’t look or feel like anything out today. The art is very round,fluid, and very exaggerated in it’s movement - influenced by the features of Disney and other American animation of the period.
And, like many other Japanese cartoons brought to the United States, names and places in the films have been changed, not to confuse the American children with their own culture and religion etc. (My theory). Therefore instead of this film taking place in China, it’s the land of “Medusa” or something like that. Even Buddha’s name has been changed to “King Amode”.
Regardless, the English version is actually very endearing and fun. With everyone’s favorite lines like Alakazam’s battle against “Jerkules”.
Come see one of the greatest often forgotten animated foreign features of all time!
Bonus Short Film: Atom Ant - Crankenshaft’s Monster
VHS/Around 7 Mins/Not Rated
Time: Thursday Nov. 4th @ 7:30 PM
Place: Chatham Town #33, 986 N 900 E
Parking is available @ the BYU ROTC parking lot across the street. Park there unless you want to get booted or towed.
Friends and Treats Welcome!
See you there,
BC (LMA Director)
PS. The new ISMN lineup looks fantastic this season. Expect a LOT of foreign and bizarre kiddie films this time around :)