The Hexploitation Film Festival is collaborating with The Way of the Sword film talk series at The Westdale (1014 KING ST W, HAMILTON, ON) to host a summer-long celebration of giant Japanese monster movies and tokusatsu! Presented in their original Japanese language with English subtitles
From Godzilla to Gamera and other titantic beasts between, terrifying kaiju are stomping through Hamilton all summer long, only at the historic Westdale theatre.
May 19: GODZILLA (1954)
Friday, May 19, 2023 | 8:00pm
The classic kaiju film that started it all! Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and are sunk. At first, the authorities think its either underwater mines or underwater volcanic activity. A later expedition to the island led by paleontologist Professor Kyôhei Yamane, his daughter Emiko, and young navy frogman Hideto Ogata soon discover something more devastating than imagined in the form of a 164-foot-tall monster whom the natives call Gojira. Now, the monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan but the rest of the world as well. Can the monster be destroyed before it is too late, and what role will the mysterious Dr. Serizawa play in the battle? Directed by Ishirō Honda.
June 02: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968)
Friday, June 02, 2023 | 9:00pm
It's the classic monster mash! In the year 1999, all the Earth’s giant monsters (Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Angilas and Minya, among others) are incarcerated on a small island near Japan. The Kilaaks, a race of aliens from a small planet somewhere in the asteroid belt, release the beasts and send them to trample the cities of our world. An Earth spaceship must penetrate the aliens’ moonbase and take control of the monster army before a final confrontation with the space dragon King Ghidorah. Directed by Ishirō Honda.
July 21: WRATH OF DAIMAJIN (1966)
Friday, July 21, 2023 | 9:30pm
The DAIMAJIN Trilogy saw Daiei’s Kyoto studios bringing its own iconic giant movie monster to life in a series that transplants the Golem legend to late-16th century Japan. In WRATH OF DAIMAJIN, the final film in the series, four boys make a perilous trip to ask an ancient mountain demon god (embodied by giant stone statue) to save their families, who have been enslaved by a tyrannical lord. Remarkably overlooked in the West, this thrilling tale of feudal oppression and divine retribution combines lavish period detail with jaw-dropping special effects. Directed by Kazuo Mori.
August 18: GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS (1999)
Friday, August 19, 2023 | 8:00pm
The 1990s GAMERA series (a reboot of Daei's 1960s kaiju series about a giant flying, fire-breathing turtle) is hailed by sci-fi fans as some of the best modern kaiju entertainment ever created in Japan. In the third film in the trilogy -- GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS -- Japan is again under attack by giant flying Gyaos. Meanwhile, a young girl – whose parents died during a previous monster conflict – discovers a new creature called Iris. After merging with the girl and fueled by her trauma and hate for Gamera, who she blames for the deaths of her parents, Iris seeks revenge on Gamera, who seems to be losing his patience with humankind. Praised for its practical special effects and apocalyptic tone, GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS represents the pinnacle of classic tokusatsu filmmaking. Directed by Shusuke Kaneko [Gamera the Guardian of the Universe (1995) and Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996)] with special effects by Shinji Higuchi who would go on to co-direct Shin Godzilla (2016) and direct Shin Ultraman (2022).