When Melanie at The Film Detective offered me the chance to watch and review GORGO for them, I immediately said yes! GORGO was one of my favorites growing up as a little Monster Kid, a Saturday afternoon staple on Boston’s Channel 56, and the opportunity to see it without all that UHF “snow” was too much to resist (and if you don’t know about The Film Detective, I’ll clue you in a bit later).
Producers Frank and Maurice King were a pair of slot machine magnates turned low-budget movie moguls who had success with 40’s films noir like WHEN STRANGES MARRY (with Robert Mitchum), DILLINGER (making a star out of Lawrence Tierney), and the Joseph H. Lewis classic GUN CRAZY . When the stateside release of Japan’s Giant Monster Movie GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS proved a hit, the Kings decided to secure the American rights to another kaiju eiga
Ailee is the sort of K-Pop artist that would be more at home in the US with the type of music she performs. Sure she dabbles in the dance pop genre that K-Pop is famous for. What she seems to not do is what K-Pop fans would be calling bubble or candy pop. Not cutesy concepts or vocals from this artist.
Ailee’s sound is heavily influenced by Western R&B and late 70’s disco. While those two seem like an odd match, with her powerful voice and vocal range she makes it a match in heaven.
As part of her debut album, the song “I Will Show You” does a great job of letting the listener in at her vocal talent and that she’s not one to be an early flash in the pan success. It would remiss of me to say that her success has been mostly because of her looks. Ailee is one K-Pop artist who has it all. She’s not just beautiful, but her talented voice puts her in the same league as her Western counterparts in the R&B and pop music scene.
As for the video which accompanied “I Will Show You.” It’s an energetic music video which tells the oft-times told tale of the ugly duckling blossoming into the beautiful swan to the surprise of those who ignored her due to her earlier looks. While an entertaining music video, it also has its detractors due to how the video ends with the very man who ignores her when she was in her “ugly duckling” phase suddenly realizing his mistake and tries to woo her.
Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but the video goes the “happy ending” route with Ailee taking back the very man who dumped her in the beginning but now that she’s the swan it’s all better. Again, some have liked the video while others see’s the ending as being problematic.
Before Adi Ulmansky went solo, she was a member of the Israeli experiment electronic group, Lorena B. Along with creating a dream-like soundscape, Lorena B were known for their visceral and challenging music videos, the best of which were like surreal visual poems.
Take Swallow My Gum, for instance. Swallow My Gum was both Lorena B’s first single and their first video. (It was also the first track on their debut album, the self-produced Siblings.) The video starts out as just another drive through the Israeli desert, just to get progressively stranger and stranger. Is Adi just along for the ride or is she being held prisoner in the back of that car? Is she traveling or is she being taken somewhere? Are the answers even present in the video or is it more important that we decide for ourselves? What are we to make of the child who continually flickers in out and existence? Whenever I see her atop the power lines, I’m reminded of the scene in Twin Peaks: The Return, where Harry Dean Stanton watched a dead child’s soul disappear into a traffic light.
It’s a video that plays out like a dream of dark and disturbing things.
As for the song itself …. well, gum could be taken all sorts of way, couldn’t it?