Ultraman X: The Movie
[SCREENING] If you were a Buffalo kid in the early 1970s, chances are you rushed through dinner on weeknights so as to get to the TV in time for Ultraman, a presentation of the then-new channel 29. (Today’s youngsters cannot imagine how exciting it was to have a new TV channel, at a time when the choices were the three network affiliates, public television, a few Canadian channels if you were lucky, and a lot of static.) A dubbed Japanese import from the mid-1960s, Ultraman offered all of what kids loved about Godzilla movies—guys in rubber suits clumsily wrestling amid cardboard and plaster buildings, atrociously dubbed English dialogue whose relation to the mouth movements of the actors was arbitrary at best—in a 30-minute format which meant minimal annoying plot to get in the way of the monster fights.
The original series only ran for 39 episodes and has been hard to find in the US in the intervening decades (though you can see all the episodes for free at shoutfactorytv.com/series/ultraman), but in Japan Ultraman appeared in dozens of other spin-off shows and movies. Two recent films made for the character’s 50th anniversary, Ultraman X: The Movie and Ultraman Ginga S: The Movie-Showdown, will be showing at the Screening Room over the next week—Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 6:30pm, Saturday at 2pm, and then next week Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm. The production values are higher and the English dubbing is better, and you’ve probably been meaning to check out the Screening Room’s new location in the Boulevard Mall anyway.