Thursday, December 1, 2011
The 13 Days of Creepmas - War of the Misers
A joint venture between Rankin Bass and Toho studios in 1974 War of the Misers released in Japan as Miser Brothers: Heat vs Snow. It introduces two giant humanoids called The Miser Brothers, which spawned from the ancient titans of mythology and are described as brothers. The Red Brother is violent and savage, preying upon human beings; as he lives in a volcano, he is given the name Heat Miser. The Blue Brother is more docile and gentle; because he resides in the Japan Alps, he is called Snow Miser. The film follows the investigation and military engagements of these creatures until their climactic confrontation in Tokyo.
Several ambiguous references are made to previous Rankin Bass and Toho productions, such as the appearance of Santa's Castle, the main reference to the Toho series are the appearance of the military vehicles and weapons such as the Maser Cannon and the Markalites used to battle the Misers. War of the Misers features Hollywood actress Shirley Booth as the lead in Mrs Claus and Mickey Rooney reprising his role as Santa Claus.
The film itself is rather vague as to where (if at all) The War of the Misers falls in regard to the continuity of Toho's other kaiju films, or even if it should be considered a canonical part of the Godzilla series. In 2002's Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, however, specific reference to the Misers is made, indicating that (in this variation on Godzilla continuity, in any case) The War of the Misers is considered by Toho to be a legitimate part of the Godzilla universe.