16 · 1h 20min · Documentary · 30 October 2009
Monsterland journeys through time and around the world, exploring diverse monster types, from the origins of the latex monster in devastated postwar Japan to the aliens and serial murderers of 1980s American cinema, and on to the rise of King Kong's digital descendants in the face of 21st-century terrors. One after another, a broad spectrum of monsters emerges that mirrors the range of our fears and longings. Director Jörg Buttgereit, himself a monster fan and also a director of horror films, assembles before the camera the great masters and connoisseurs of the genre: monster-makers such as Gremlins creator Joe Dante, analytical horror director John Carpenter, monster designers like H.R. Giger and painter Joe Coleman, special effects guru Gregory Nicotero, make up artist Rick Baker and Godzilla performer Kenpachiro Satsuma. They discuss their lives and their work with and for their monstrous creatures and relate to us the dark passion that they share. This documentary is a visual journey of exploration to the centers of monster culture: the megacity of Tokyo, a gigantic organism spawning machine-monsters; the sunshine city of Los Angeles, where knife-wielding killers roam night time streets; and the graceful skyscrapers of New York, which in both film and reality have been transformed into a doomsday panorama. Impressions of these places converge in the dense images of old and new monster films, blending with sinister, surreal drawings by monster designers, views into the chamber of horrors of the special effects studios, and pictures of fans in bizarre monster costumes.
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