tisdag 28 september 2010

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Yes, this is as weird as they come. Prophecies of Nostradamus is a wonderful movie about the end of the world as foretold by the mysterious monk, part silly and goofy, part horrifying and creepy. Even more interesting is the fact that the movie was edited after an outcry from the public.

One of the coolest actors ever in Japan, Tetsuro Tanba, plays Dr. Nishiyama, someone who has studied Nostradamus prophecies all his life and are seeing things come true, one by one. All this will lead to the end of the world and the reason for all of this? Man's own folly. For starters - pollution has created these giant slugs the size of dogs, besides the fact that it is slowly killing humanity. Then Dr. Nishiyama is called away to New Guinea where radioactivity has created giant blooddrinking bats, huge leeches that suck blood and turn the people it feeds on into raving maniacs. And, my favorite, the natives that have gone cannibalistic because of the radiation. Woohoo, the whole sequence feels like its taken straight out of an Italian goremovie, only more psychedelic. Of course, things get worse and worse and worse, with radioactive smogclouds, an exploding plane that destroys the ozone layer over Japan, burning people to death and in the end.... Total destruction by Nuclear war.

Yes, none of this make any sense but is full of wonderful scenes of strange creatures and massdestruction. Tetsuro Tanba has that strength as an actor to make all of this worth listening to, when we arent treated to delisciously moody scenes of stockfootage of wars or models being destroyed set to the gloomiest narrator found in the acting industry. The whole narrative may be fragmented and almost psychedelic (towards the end of the movie when everything is about to go straight to hell, Dr. Nishiyamas daughter finds out she is pregnant and celebrates this by dancing on a beach), but the individual sequences are strong and imaginative (my favorite being the New Guinea happenings), expertly directed with the usual excellent japanese sfxtrickery and set to a marvelous score full of synths and choirs by Isao Tomita, an artist I'm really looking forward into delving into. If you like Japanese mass destruction, you will love this. I sure did. A W E S O M E !

Why it was edited? There are a few scenes that show the world after the great war where a couple of mutated children fight over a snake which was too much for some. I watched a japanese version, but that scene was in there...

2 kommentarer:

  1. Awesome is a very good way to describe this wonderful movie. It's a pity that there isn't a nice DVD of this. The soundtrack is incredible as well but unfortunately OOP, it can however be found here:


  2. Well, it is supposedly out there for licensing so we'll have to get our hopes up. I would love a nice, crisp dvd..... :)