In Kaiju Big Battel danger can happen.
For the vast majority of sane readers the opening sentence to this article makes almost no sense. Worse yet, the syntax is wrong. But it is the perfect summary of Kaiju Big Battel, a rambunctious combination of pop culture parodies that lampoons a broad range of subjects and provides a delightful spectacle.
What is Kaiju Big Battel?
Kaiju is the term for the Japanese giant monster movies, like Godzilla, Rodan, and Gamera. Now I am sure you’ve wasted many brain cells watching these cinematic classics created by men wearing huge foam rubber suits waddling through miniature cardboard cities.
Now imagine combining it with Smackdown.
Kaiju Big Battel is the creation of Boston area art students who have made a hilariously compelling, cartoonish extravaganza that skewers both American and Japanese culture simultaneously. The website and literature is filled with ‘Engrish’ and the running storylines and many of the characters are parodies of pro wrestling. During the bouts, most of the characters are introduced with Japanese language videos. And the major villain has his minions hand out literature that mimics religious pamphlets.
The combat occurs in a steel cage among cardboard buildings. Sometimes helium balloons are placed inside the buildings, flitting upwards when the buildings are flattened in the brawl. The combat is reasonably athletic, with flips, throws and the less cumbersome monsters leaping from the top of the steel cage. Sometimes the action even goes out of the ring The immediate area around the cage is the ‘danger zone.’ Spectators there can expect to be sprayed with toxic waste or battle debris. The last fight I attended one of the danger zone spectators (a petite and very attractive lady) was taken hostage by one of the bad guys.
The cast of characters are far more colorful than any the WWF can create. The ringside announcer is the aptly named Louden Noxious. The main villain is Doctor Cube, who wears a white cubic helmet with a frowning visage that resembles an embittered smiley face. He creates grotesque minions (who, like the sinister Doctor, wear surgical scrubs) and has a menagerie of monsters who do battle with the various heroes, rouges and oddballs of the league.
The actors do not break character. At one point later in the evening, I leaned over to look at a discarded prop- a toxic waste barrel used by one of the monsters. The referee (himself a major character) yelled out, “Don’t touch it. It’s toxic waste.” Before the show Cube’s spastic minions staggered through the audience handing out his literature.
Their latest battle was at the BCA Cyclorama New Years Eve. When I arrived with my friends at 9, there was a fair sized crowd milling about. The last KBB event I attended (the ‘Roxy Ruckus’) had, according to local media. over 1,000 crammed in. This event seemed much smaller and I would be surprised if there were over 500.
Before I describe the battle I want to briefly digress to voice a complaint. The schedule read complimentary beverages from 9-10. So we waited in line for your booze. The organizers handed out tickets to be exchanged for the alcohol. (If you wanted more than you had tickets, you could pay cash.) As you can well imagine people swarmed the bar and customers up front ordered multiple drinks. Naturally the time ran out long before many people who had been waiting patiently in line could be served. They should have honored tickets for those who had been waiting in line, or enforced a limit on drinks per person. That was poorly planned.
So much for the complaint. On to the spectacle.
Two monster enter. One monster leave.
The fighting kicked off 2003 at the stroke of midnight. Literally. Kung Fu Chicken Noodle attacked RoBox the split second after the ball dropped in Times Square. Kung Fu Chicken Noodle is an acerbic and anthropomorphic soup can. He resembles nothing so much as a seriously deranged soup company mascot. RoBox is a large square box with an oversized lens and tubular arms. These two had met earlier in New York, where RoBox avenged the death of Club Sandwich (a bat wielding deli meal). But this time Kung Fu Chicken Noodle took out his mechanical foe.
Next came the ‘Santa’s Secret Exchange.’ When the stage crew put in new ‘buildings’ they also added stockings holding battle axes and other weapons. The next two combatants were Unibouzu, a orange and green man-sea urchin combination from the deep and Sky Deviler, a blue horned beast with a perfectly circular fang ringed mouth. Apparently, both monsters here deliberately omitted from Santa’s list. But Sky Deviler was still in the holiday mood, wearing a Santa hat in the ring. The monsters began the festivities by handing each other gifts. I am not sure what Unibouzu gave, but Sky Deviler gave a brick. And he delivered it right on Unibouzu’s face. It was not long before the two were delivering slices with the axes. Unibouzu repaid the subterfuge when another monster, whose name I did not catch, handed the sea beast an atom bomb, which he used to pummel his opponent.
The next battle continued the holiday motif as that three of the four contestants in the tag team were seriously inebriated. The good guys, Los Platinos, twin Latin American fruit who wear camouflage trousers had clearly overindulged. Before their match they brought up some audience members to break open a pinata. Then on came the bag guys – two of Doctor Cube’s worst. First was the equally inebriated Hell Monkey, a satanic scarlet simian cyclops. Accompanying him was Super Dimensional Slug 1, a remote controlled gastropod of stunning ineffectiveness.
Here is where things took and extreme turn for the silly. The star-spangled pugilist American Beetle was supposed to give a ‘state of the kaiju’ address. As the crew set up new buildings, including a tower that looks like a podium flanked by poinsettias and a gingerbread house, I managed to move to the front row near the entrance which seemed to be the best view. It was. In waddled Gomi-Man! Gomi is Japanese for garbage. Indeed, this minion of Cube was a walking mound of refuse and carried a toxic waste barrel. Over his shoulder he toted a large garbage bag. As he walked through the corridor, up the ramp and into the cage, he sprayed the audience with ‘toxic waste.’ A phony news segment shown on the big screens showed the monster attacking people with the barrel. Before getting into the cage, he hurled disposable diapers into the booing audience. Close by the trashy fiend was his sinister master Cube.
The monster ambushed the unprepared Beetle, who was recovering from a previous trashing (pun intended) by Gomi. The audience simultaneously cheered and hurled abuse at Cube. One guy (not saying who…) hit the arch-fiend on the helmet with one of the diapers. The rest of the battle one of the pit crew hurled detritus and abuse at Cube throughout the battle. Gomi-Man however had to deal with a new hero as Slo-Feng (a combination of Marvel’s Thor and a linebacker) came in. And he was followed by a furious Gingerbread man intent on making Gomi-Man pay for smashing the confectionery structure. Thankfully good triumphed as the trash monster was (*ahem*) taken out!
The last match featured the current champion Silver Potato taking on Doctor Cube’s evil posse one at a time. As his name suggests, Silver Potato is a foil wrapped spud who can bust a move.
Did I actually write that sentence?
After haranguing the audience, Cube presented a large gift wrapped present for the super tuber. But inside the box was Hell Monkey, who was swiftly dispatched. SDS-1 was also taken down. But the two super-minions (one with cinderblock fists and the other with a tree limb arm) proved much harder. However Silver Potato came from behind and defeated both wretches and even cube himself, knocking off his eponymous helmet.
At the end of the battle, alll the cast, heros, villians, deep sea monsters, aliens and combative foodstuffs entered the ring and generaly danced and capered to the blaring house music. A wonderful time was had by all.
If You Go…
Generally the performances last about two hours. Usually, there is no seating, but that varies with the arena. Photography is allowed and I recommend you bring a camera. There is a souvenir stand, but they seem only to take cash. Oh and if you plan to stand in the danger zone, wear old clothes.
Kaiju Big Battel is not very intellectual, however it is a delightfully absurd. If you have a chance to see it, go. It is something to be experienced for the benefit of your inner geek. Remember, while danger can happen, fun will happen!
For more information and general weirdness, check out their website, http://www.kaiju.com.