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Monster Study Group

Monster Study Group

By Mark Matzke
It’s all about monsters and fun.
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Son of Kong and the Legacy of Willis O’Brien
Monster Study Group has returned for a second season! Episode One of the “Son of…Summer” is “Son of Kong and the Legacy of Willis O’Brien.” Faced with the prospect of creating a sequel for King Kong, the production team did an intriguing thing…they went small. And the man that brought Kong (and Kong Junior) to life, Willis O’Brien, lived a life of tragedy and triumph. You’ll hear his story from a rare source. Mark also has a few things to say about a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest and the release of Godzilla vs. Kong. If you’re enjoying Monster Study Group, check out Mark on Monsteropolis, the official podcast of Small Town Monsters, and Monster Kid Radio, hosted by Derek M. Koch, the Rondo-Award-winning podcast devoted to classic (and sometimes not so classic) genre cinema. Follow Monster Study Group on Instagram and Twitter and feel free to send your email to
June 19, 2021
It’s the “Son of...Summer!” Monster Study Group is back beginning June 19.
June 5, 2021
Ep. 12: Halloween Movie Marathon feat. Andy Matzke
It’s a Monsterland Ohio Radio/SasWhat reunion, as I welcome my son Andy to MSG for a discussion of Halloween horror movies and the fun of spending the 31st of October in front of the TV. Thanks for listening to all of Season One!
October 24, 2020
Ep. 11: Giant Humanoids Attack! Frankenstein & the Gargantuas
Season One of Monster Study Group, “Titans of Japan,” comes to a dramatic close with episode ten, devoted to “Frankenstein Conquers the World” and “War of the Gargantuas,” two of Toho’s most audacious monster movies. As always, full credit goes to G-FAN magazine, the official publication of the Godzilla Society of North America. Visit to learn more. This is the last episode to post before October 24th, when I return with a special guest to run down Halloween movie marathon choices as a spooky postscript to MSG’s inaugural season. I will continue to contribute to both Monsteropolis and Monster Kid Radio, so feel free to check out those podcasts as well! Monster Study Group will continue to maintain a presence on Instagram and Twitter, so you can follow if you like. And last but not least, please drop a rating and review wherever you listen! Thanks!
October 10, 2020
Ep. 10: Triple Crown: Ghidorah
Episode Ten offers an in-depth look at “Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster,” as well as an overview and filmography of the character. That is preceded by a brief rundown of Mill Creek Entertainment’s Ultraman releases. Ep. 10 draws on articles from G-FAN magazine; visit for more information. Monster Study Group is on Twitter & Instagram. Be the first to send a message to and please take a moment to rate and review the show on your podcatcher of choice. Thanks for listening!
October 3, 2020
Ep. 9: Mothra’s Day
Mothra changed the game in 1961, nudging Toho’s monster movies in the direction of fantasy and fun. With 16 films under her wings, second only to Godzilla himself, her place in monster movie history is firmly established. This episode provides an overview of the kaiju queen, looking back at the original 1961 epic, going behind the scenes of its making and summarizing the original story treatment. It also features an abbreviated version of an interview with Kyoko Kagawa, who starred in “Mothra” and a number of other significant Japanese films by directors such as Kurosawa and Ozu. Special thanks to J.D. Lees for giving MSG access to the files of G-FAN. Please check out for more information, back issues, subscriptions, fan fiction, and recaps of G-FEST and G-TOURs past. You can find and follow Monster Study Group on Instagram and Twitter, and your written correspondence can be sent to
September 26, 2020
EXTRA CREDIT: Rodan Anatomy
In Episode 8, I didn’t get a chance to talk about Rodan’s ‘career,’ especially his star turn in 2019’s “Godzilla King of the Monsters.” So here’s a quick extra credit session to cover those bases. Enjoy! And please check out for more kaiju coverage.
September 23, 2020
Ep. 8: Giant Monster of the Sky
Episode 8 of Monster Study Group is devoted to Rodan! (In the original Japanese title, the creature named is Radon, as in PteRAnaDON. Get it?) While the flying monster(s) is often assigned second-fiddle status, its 1956 film is extremely important. Not only was it the first ‘kaiju eiga’ to be filmed in color, but it was also the first to be shown in North America with an all-Japanese cast (dubbed, of course) with no patched-in Caucasian actors, arriving in U.S. and Canadian theaters just one year after “Godzilla, King of the Monsters.” For Rodan study purposes, we will examine the work of Peter Brothers from G-FAN magazine # 56. Please check out MSG on Instagram and Twitter, and send your messages to Listen for my Beta Capsule Reviews on @monsterkidradio and my conversations with Seth Breedlove on Monsteropolis, the official podcast of Small Town Monsters. Special Thanks to J.D. Lees of @GFEST_GFAN for permission to use articles from past issues. Visit for subscriptions, back issues, and information about G-FEST, G-TOURs to Japan, fan fiction, and more!
September 19, 2020
Ep. 7: Kong at Toho
It’s hard to overstate the influence of 1933’s “King Kong.” But this episode isn’t about that film. It’s about the two movies produced by Toho Studios that imported and featured the great ape: “King Kong vs. Godzilla” and “King Kong Escapes.” These are some of the most freewheeling giant monster movies you’ll ever lay eyes on; that may begin to explain their continuing influence. Episode 7 features writing by Mike Bogue and J.D. Lees. Make sure to check out Bogue’s book “Apocalypse Then” published by McFarland as well as G-FAN magazine, published by Daikaiju Enterprises, Ltd. Monster Study group maintains social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. Also, you can hear me on the podcasts Monsteropolis and Monster Kid Radio. Please send your letters, reports, and pop quizzes to
September 12, 2020
Ep. 6: Gamera Is Really Neat
Episode Six is all about Showa Era Gamera! All the Gamera films are reviewed, from 1965 to 1980. The relationship between Gamera and Mystery Science Theater 3000 is discussed. Then, thanks to G-FAN magazine, we hear from Showa Gamera director Noriaki Yuasa. Please visit and look for Monster Study Group on Twitter and Instagram. Write me at You can hear Mark on Monsteropolis, the official podcast of Small Town Monsters, and Monster Kid Radio; visit for more.
September 5, 2020
EXTRA CREDIT: Kayama’s Godzilla
In this Extra Credit Episode, we follow up on Ep. 5 with a summary presentation of writer Shigeru Kayama’s original Godzilla story, which was adapted as a screenplay by Takeo Murata and Ishiro Honda. The text first appeared in G-FAN #12. Please visit for more information about the Godzilla Society of North America! And, look for Monster Study Group on Twitter and Instagram.
September 2, 2020
Ep. 5: Godzilla Number One
Episode Five takes an in-depth look at the elements that make the original 1954 “Godzilla” so unique, specific, and influential. At the top of the show, I talk about things going on in my connection with Small Town Monsters, including the publication of a book, “Making Monsters.” I also tease a collaboration in the works with the awesome podcast “Monster Kid Radio.” Then, it’s onto Godzilla, a film whose cultural impact is hard to calculate, yet undeniably felt to this present day. Turning to the G-FAN Reading Room, we hear the article “The Making of Godzilla” from Issue # 12, written by Ed Godziszewski. Special thanks to J.D. Lees at G-FAN for permission to use articles for Monster Study Group purposes. Please visit for info regarding subscriptions, G-FEST admissions, and much more. Find MSG on social media! Twitter: @MonsterStudy Instagram: monster_study_group email:
August 29, 2020
Ep. 4: Beastman Snowman
This Special Edition of Monster Study Group is a presentation of the article “Abominable Snowman: Honda’s Hidden Gem” by Peter H. Brothers. It was published in G-FAN magazine issue # 69. To learn more about G-FAN please visit Feel free to send your correspondence to and look for us on Twitter & Instagram.
August 22, 2020
This is Monster Study Group’s first ‘Extra Credit’ episode. It is the transcript of an interview with Yoshimitsu Banno, director of “Godzilla vs. Hedorah/the Smog Monster,” published in G-FAN # 73 as “The Man Who Made Godzilla Fly.” For more exclusive interviews and behind-the scenes information, please visit today! Check out Monster Study Group on Twitter: @MonsterStudy Instagram: monster_study_group email: Thanks for listening! #StudyUp #KeepStudyingMonsters
August 19, 2020
Ep. 3: How Japan Shaped Cryptozoology
Japanese monster movies and cryptozoology are inextricably linked. Allow me to explain...This episode takes a look at Loren Coleman’s book “Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America.” Then we look back at a film from 1958 called “Half Human” and it’s Japanese antecedent “Beastman Snowman” (1955). What’s the connection? Listen in and find out—and find us on Twitter & Instagram and write us at & please visit for all things Godzilla!
August 15, 2020
Ep. 2: Toho Champion Festival
It’s Monster Study Group’s first ‘normal’ session! The topic is Toho’s Champion Festival, a film festival for children that ran from 1969 to 1978. Understanding the Champion Festival helps give context to the Godzilla films of the 1970s. You’ll hear about two books, “Ultraman Testimony” and “Pure Invention;” the first episode of “Return of Ultraman;” 1971’s “Godzilla vs. Hedorah/the Smog Monster;” and the feature article “Godzilla Gets a Trim: The Toho Champion Festivals,” from G-FAN #122. Please visit for more information. Find Monster Study Group on social media! On Twitter: @MonsterStudy and Instagram: monster_study_group & we also welcome correspondence at Please let us know if your letter can be included in a future episode. Thanks for listening, and keep studying monsters!
August 8, 2020
Episode One: Why Monsters? Why Now?
On this introductory episode, Mark talks about the experiences that formed him into a Monster Kid, Monster Dad, and Monster Scribe and Podcaster. He also talks about why this seems to be the right time to launch a new show devoted to Giant Monsters, Japanese Superheroes, and Cryptozoological Creatures. You’ll also hear his ideas about the format of future episodes of Monster Study Group. Please leave MSC a rating and review wherever you listen, and feel free to contact the show at Twitter: @MonsterStudy Instagram: monster_study_group Thanks for listening!
August 1, 2020