Star Godzilla & Swamp Mugshots

Busting A Hong Kong Gojira Rip & More Inky Stink

I’ve been really savoring Tim Paxton & Brian Harris‘s new fanzine Weng’s Chop #2, which sports Jolyon Yate‘s tantalizing article “Thai Kaiju: A Sketchy Introduction to Giant Monsters in Thai Cinema” (pp. 30-33), which has given me (pardon my French) a boner for all these Asian monster movies I’ve never seen. What, you’ve never heard of Tah Tien (1973), Yak Wat Jang Wu Jumborg (1974), or Hua Xing Ren (1975)? Aggggghhhhhhhhhh! 

(BTW, Jolyon has already contributed something frankly amazing to Tales of the Uncanny, specifically the N-Man material. Shhhhhh—it’s secret. More on that another time down the road!)

So, before I get into today’s post, let me direct you to this new zine (and hey, I’m in it, too, with three meaty movie reviews and a long article on Oily Comics) to whet your appetite for all that’s

I’ve already turned in new material for #3, but since I’ve got to save something for Myrant, I reckon I’ll riff off Jolyon‘s article a bit to shed some light on an Asian dai-kaiju eiga I don’t think anyone’s ever seen (though I could be wrong, and often am)…

Among the various Godzilla spins, riffs, and ripoffs that emerged from Asia, I’ve never read anything about one of the oddities I recalled popping up in one of the Variety special Cannes Film Festival international marketplace issues—specifically, this ad I excavated from the SpiderBaby Archives recently.

At the top of this post, above, is a partial scan of a full-page First Distributors (H.K.) Limited Cannes Film Festival ad in Variety, Wednesday, May 7, 1980 (page 458).

First Distributors was based in Hong Kong, and amid an ad primarily pushing a plethora of martial arts exploitation films I know for a fact exist—Crippled Masters, Little Mad Guy, Eighteen Fatal Strikes, Killer Wears White, Master Killers, etc.—there was this bizarre, tantalizing teaser ad graphic for Star Godzilla, “Where the old world and the new world meet…”:

If you’re wondering what I’ve always wondered—what was this movie? Was it real, or an ad placed to raise interest/funding? Did it ever see light of a projector or screen?—I still think the answer lies on the other side of the page, where this ad appeared (on page 457)…


Do you think Toho might have noticed the Star Godzilla ad?

I welcome any further info and/or insights, but my gut reaction in 1980 (when I first laid eyes on this ad) and today is pretty much the same:

Way to go, Variety ad page editors!


* Speaking about that there article on Oily Comics, kudos to Chuck Forsman and all he’s doing, and for the recognition his Oily Comics efforts are harvesting:

“In the span of about five years, Chuck Forsman has become not just a promising young cartoonist but also an intriguing mover and shaker in the world of micropublishing with Oily Comics. He made his first splash as a co-editor of the most prominent anthology from the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS), Sundays. Debuting at MOCCA in 2007, its ambition in scope and design made it one of the hits of the show. From there, Forsman self-published his own comic, Snake Oil, which won two Ignatz Awards in 2008. …Forsman’s comics are contemplative to be sure, but there’s always a streak of dark whimsy that serves both to lighten up his stories and sometimes shock the reader….”

Go get ‘em, Chuck! And hey, you—



Let’s close with a couple more Swamp Thing sketches by yours truly, already en route to their new owners…


Swamp Thing® and ©DC Comics Inc/DC Entertainment Inc.; sketch art ©2012 Stephen R. Bissette. All other artwork and photographs © respective years by their respective proprietors, posted for educational and archival purposes only.

Discussion (4) ¬

  1. Tim

    STARGODZILLA — fun stuff! Thanks for the plug!

  2. buzz

    There are vast alternate universes made up of “never coming attractions” (to use a phrase coined by the original Comedy Channel) that appeared in he pages of Variety. Even the major studios make big preview announcements w/cast & director attached…and then everything evaporates.

  3. Allen Perkins

    I made a simulation of just what a trailer for STAR GODZILLA would have been like. Hope you enjoy it:

  4. Jason Moore

    Here’s all that I could find on Star Godzilla

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