Hello, kaiju lovers! We enter the 1950s era of “Ameri-kaiju” to discuss a film that released the same year as the original Godzilla and inspired a subgenre and countless imitators: THEM! (yes, it’s in all caps and has an exclamation point). Who better to join Nate on this than the kaiji film scholar from the state in which the film takes place, John LeMay. Thankfully, John and MIFV’s intrepid producer, Jimmy From NASA, have settled their differences so he could be there. While THEM! has the trappings of a B-movie, as Nate and John explain, it has far too good a production values (it was nominated for the best special effects Oscar!) and acting to be reduced to that. The film is genuinely horrifying at points, but what may surprise many modern viewers is it is strangely progressive with its female lead, who is a competent and professional scientist and not a “scream queen.” While Nate considered researching McCarthyism since this is very much a Cold War film, he instead discusses American nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
Before the broadcast, Nate gets an e-mail from Dr. Elsie Chapman, a member of H.E.A.T., after receiving an announcement that the Island’s beaches are closed. She says she has something to show Nate. After the broadcast, he meets her, Dr. Mendel Craven, and Monique Dupre on the shoreline and learns the shocking reason why the beaches were closed.
This episode’s prologue and epilogue, “They Might be Gi-Ants,” was written by Nathan Marchand.
- Rebecca Hudgens as Elsie Chapman
- Travis Alexander as Mendel Craven
- Dani Cruz as Monique Dupre
- Daniel DiManna as N.I.G.E.L.
- “Pacific Rim” by Niall Stenson
- “Chant My Name!” by Masaaki Endo
- “The Edge Calls Me” by MkVaff
- “Son of Chaos” by Xaleph
Sound effects sourced from Freesound.org.
We’d like to give a shout-out to our MIFV MAX patrons Travis Alexander and Michael Hamilton (co-hosts of Kaiju Weekly); Danny DiManna (author/creator of the Godzilla Novelization Project); Eli Harris (elizilla13); Chris Cooke (host of One Cross Radio); Bex from Redeemed Otaku; Damon Noyes, The Cel Cast, TofuFury, Eric Anderson of Nerd Chapel, and Ted Williams! Thanks for your support!
You, too, can join MIFV MAX on Patreon to get this and other perks starting at only $3 a month!
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This episode is approved by Cameron Winter and the Monster Island Board of Directors.
- Prologue: 0:00-3:29
- Intro: 3:29-10:32
- Entertaining Info Dump: 10:32-17:21
- Toku Talk: 17:21-
- Promo: 1:08:43-1:09:49
- Toku Topic: 1:09:49-1:31:34
- Housekeeping & Outro: 1:31:34-1:48:40
- Epilogue: 1:48:40-end
Podcast Social Media:
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© 2022 Moonlighting Ninjas Media
- Bogue, Mike. Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951-1967. McFarland & Company. 2017.
- Drum, Kevin. “Atomic Tests During the 1950s Probably Killed Nearly Half a Million Americans.” Mother Jones. Dec. 22, 2017.
- “International Day against Nuclear Tests, 29 August.” United Nations.
- Kaijuvision Radio, Episode 18: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) (The Effects of Atmospheric Nuclear Testing).
- “List of United States nuclear weapons tests.” Wikipedia.
- “Nevada Test Site.” Atomic Heritage Foundation.
- “THEM!” Park Ridge Classic Film.
- THEM! blu-ray special features. Warner Bros. Pictures.
- “Them!” Classic Sci-Fi Movies.
- Waldman, Katy. “The Nuclear Monsters That Terrorized the 1950s.” Slate. Jan. 31, 2013.
- “UNITED STATES' NUCLEAR TESTING PROGRAMME, THE.” Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) website.
- Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition. McFarland. 2016.
- Wiki Articles on THEM!