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Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449027711
ISBN-10: 1449027717
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (October 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449027717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449027711
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,470,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am an actor, director, lecturer, playwright, poet and author of "Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men - The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda," "Atomic Dreams and the Nuclear Nightmare: The Making of Godzilla (1954)," the two horror novels "Devil Bat Diary - The Journal of Johnny Layton" and "Terror In Tinseltown - the Sequel to Devil Bat Diary" and a volume of poetry called "A Rainbow's Bold Amen." I enjoy books, films and music and have lectured and written many articles on Japanese monster movies and am a huge Bela Lugosi fan. I am currently working on a book about the first Godzilla film. My email is and my website is Thanks for dropping by!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan R. Skocik on November 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda, by Peter H. Brothers, is a fascinating look at the career of a man who was not only one of the most important Japanese filmmakers of the 20th century, but also one of the most overlooked. While Akira Kurosawa justifiably gets accolades among film-scholars for such classics as Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood, it is the fantasy cinema of Ishiro Honda that has been beloved by moviegoers around the world for over fifty years. In films such as Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan, Honda introduced us to some of the most memorable movie-monsters of all time, capturing the imaginations of generations of audiences. Yet the man behind the movies has remained largely unsung.

Here at last is the story of that man. In his book, Peter H. Brothers introduces us to the passions, the fears, the hopes, and the regrets of Ishiro Honda, offering a rarely-seen glimpse into the director's formative years and the life experiences that would influence all of his work. The book's in-depth biography traces Honda's life from early childhood to his initial experiences with Toho Studios, follows him through his wartime experiences, and then examines closely his prolific career. Each chapter focuses on a different era, beginning with the creative triumphs of the fifties, following up with the commercial successes of the early sixties, and finally exploring the creative differences between Honda and Toho that brought his career to a bitter halt.

The subject is vast, and there are times when one wishes that the material could have been explored in more detail. But despite this, facts emerge that have seldom, if ever, come to light, and both casual readers and fans of Honda's work will find much of interest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carl Manes on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Peter H. Brothers takes on the daunting task of introducing American readers to the entire scope of Ishiro Honda's Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror films for the first time ever. Brothers provides coverage on all 25 entries in Honda's canon of genre work, spanning the two decades following the release of Honda's (and Japan's) most successful film of all-time: GODZILLA. While the giant lizard would leave a lasting impression on Honda's career, Brothers proves to the uninitiated that this amazing director was capable of much greater feats in a wide variety of different themes.

Mushroom Clouds opens with a insider's look at the life of Ishiro Honda, from his early aspirations to become a filmmaker, through the marriage to his wife and his time spent in the Japanese military during World War II, to his distinguished career in film (through its highs and its lows). The book then groups together collections of Honda's Fantasy films based on the significant eras in his career, dedicating entire chapters to reviews and critical analysis of each individual picture.

As a reviewer, Brothers beautifully articulates his thoughts on each of the films, praising them for their strengths without any fear or restraint in pointing out their weaknesses. His opinions and arguments are all well-informed, citing key moments from each film and drawing from years of critical responses that have been left in the wake of Honda's career. Brothers' loving devotion for Honda's work is rarely clouded but always objective.

The endless amount of time and effort spent in research are clearly demonstrated in Brothers' impressive list of resources and rare interviews that have been carefully selected from over thirty years of source material.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gordon David Durich on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN, THE FANTASTIC CINEMA OF ISHIRO HONDA is the extraordinary tale of a humble Japanese filmmaker who became a prolific director in the fantasy genre. PETER H. BROTHERS delves into the work of Ishiro Honda, from Baran, The Giant Monster circa 1958 traveling through a parade of works culminating with Mechagodzilla's Counterattack, released in early 1975. The director has over 80 films to his credit, during a career spanning some 60 years. The author, Peter Brothers, has had a passionate life long affair with this genre, and this, his first book, is a fascinating and thorough tribute to hero Honda. Researched meticulously over many years, and with an impressive history of the author's writings for fanzines and periodicals specializing in this subject matter, MUSHROOM CLOUDS... is a must read. Even if fantasy film is not your thing. The book features intriguing discussions and complete details on crew, casts and other film facts. Consider George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese are amongst admirers of Ishiro Honda. Grab this book, and you too could join them. MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN: THE FANTASTIC CINEMA OF ISHIRO HONDA BY PETER H. BROTHERS is published by Author House. ISBN 978-1-4490-2771-1 [...]
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