BEER MAKES HIM GROW
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Notzilla is a 2019 spoof of 1950s and 1960s monster movies, produced by Creepy Ex-Boyfriend Productions. It received its world premiere at G-Fest XXVI in Rosemont, Illinois, on July 13, 2019. Following screenings at other American film festivals, it was released to VOD, DVD, and Blu-ray on August 18, 2020.
|SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.|
In 1962, the JSDF kills a mother kaiju, Notzilla, despite the protestations of paleontologist Hiro Honda, who believes he can restore her normal, smaller size. Despondent, he takes her egg to Ohio (as it sounds like one of the Japanese words for "hello"), but accidentally flushes it down the jet-powered airplane toilet. Ejected from the plane, it falls into the Ohio River outside Cincinnati. Miles beneath the city, the scientists of the Secret Nuclear Underground Government Installation (SNUGI) convene. The project head, Dr. Richard Blowheart, believes his colleague Dr. Shirley Yujest is madly in love with him, despite all evidence to the contrary. He also imagines Drs. Bjorn Bloch, Mort Shortman, and Hugh Mungish to be in awe of his scientific genius, though Dr. Jacques Butay (a woman disguised as a man by way of a false mustache) actually is. Despite Richard’s high standing, his orders are incomprehensible, with Shirley interpreting each one for the other scientists. After yet another nuclear reactor test ends in an explosion, Richard takes Shirley for a walk outside, where she spots the Notzilla egg floating in the river and takes it with her. Hiro overhears them talking about it at a diner and introduces himself, followed by Pearl Stringer, an investigative reporter. He explains that a Notzilla is ordinarily the size of "a man in a rubber suit" and harmless unless it consumes alcohol, which makes it grow dramatically. Shirley and Ichihiro are instantly smitten with each other, and she invites him to a briefing at SNUGI. Later that night, an intoxicated Richard watches in awe as Notzilla hatches, then immediately pours beer down his throat.
Drinking the rest of Richard's beer, Notzilla continues to grow and escapes after the briefing. Ichihiro is determined to save the monster, while Richard is ready to exterminate him. Pearl introduces them to the restaurant's busboy, Bobby Bleech, whose grandfather's colossal supply of beer has just been raided by Notzilla. Hiro takes a urine sample at the site. As he theorizes Notzilla has returned to the water, SNUGI searches for him in their research vessel, the Pseudo-Scientifica. When Notzilla surfaces, Bobby climbs onto him with a handgun, believing the monster killed his grandfather. When his grandfather proves otherwise, he merrily throws the handgun onto the deck, where it goes off. The sound startles Notzilla, giving Bobby a stellar surfing experience as he wades towards Cincinatti.
Hiro visits Shirley at her apartment and admits he was responsible for bringing Notzilla to the U.S. When Shirley asks why he went to such lengths, he explains that his father was a soldier who would berate him for his soft heart. She commiserates, as her mother tried to discourage her from being a physicist. Richard contacts the Pentagon for help in destroying Notzilla, but as most of the armed forces are preoccupied with the Cuban Missile Crisis, he can only reach two-and-a-half-star Frigid Air General Dirk Bogus, “head of military refrigeration for all of Southwestern Ohio.” Elated at the opportunity, Dirk calls up his filmmaker nephew Kenny to document the operation. Rockets, shells, and missiles have no effect on Notzilla, who knocks over vehicles and soldiers alike. A squadron of fighter jets arrives, but he grabs the wires holding them in the air and cuts them. Dirk is unfazed, planning to follow the monster to Cincinnati not to stop him, but to develop the footage. He asks Richard if SNUGI happens to have any superweapons lying around, prompting him to unveil the Super-Secret Uber-Fission Mega Blaster. However, he’ll need to build a full-scale version.
Hiro confronts Richard, who boasts that his weapon will irradiate Cincinnati for the next 50 years, and immobilizes him with a series of eloquent haiku. When he revives, Shirley presses him for a promotion, telling him off after he again refuses to hear what she’s saying. That night, she nods off watching 8½ Samurai on TV with Hiro and imagines herself and Richard as the geisha and samurai in the movie. As their voices switch, she realizes that he needs her more than she needs him. The scene changes, and she sees Richard now as a city-smashing monster, one she can only stop by being her true self. After she wakes up, she shares with Hiro her theory of warm fusion, which potentially holds the key to returning Notzilla to his normal size. They kiss, passionately and sloppily.
Notzilla menaces a train while Hiro joins forces with local brewmeister Fritz Übertrinker to develop a cure. Despite the obvious danger, Richard rallies his colleagues to help him build his weapon, primarily through threats. The next day, Dirk faces Notzilla again, but an order to “mine the field” is misheard as “mime the field.” The mimes are ineffective. As the two teams of scientists continue their work, Pearl reveals to Shirley that the man she knows as Richard is an imposter, having assumed the identity of a respected American scientist who was killed testing his original design for the Mega Blaster during World War II. His real name is Donnie Draper, a former child actor and Richard’s chauffeur at the time.
Though Colonel Reginald J. Stickler notes that Notzilla’s playful antics haven’t actually killed anyone, Dirk sets another ineffective trap for the monster with high-tension wires. Notzilla makes his way through the streets of Cincinnati, emitting occasional fiery burps. He picks up Shirley, reminding her of Fay Wray, but she manages to communicate with him, directing him to put out the fires he’s set. Unfortunately, he does so with a spray of urine. Setting her down, he leaves the city.
Shirley returns to SNUGI and reveals Donnie’s deception, to the delight of Jacques and the horror of everyone else, and encourages them to sabotage the Mega Blaster. Donnie unveils it at Big Finale Ridge and Jacques aims it at the city, but it shorts out just before it can fire. Donnie fires his colleagues and turns to Shirley for support, but she greets him with a knee to the crotch. Notzilla presents her with a bouquet of trees. Hiro arrives with the cure, stored inside an enormous can of beer. Drinking it, Notzilla returns to his natural size, to the delight of nearly all. Jacques helps Donnie to his feet, finally revealing herself as a woman and declaring her love for him. She unveils a super-secret alternative power switch which Donnie prepares to press. The rest of the cast leaps in front of the monster, declaring that they too are Notzilla. Hiro rams the beer can with a truck, knocking it into the death-ray path and releasing the rest of the cure onto Jacques and Donnie, shrinking them to the size of dolls. General Specific, tipped off by Pearl, arrives on the scene and appoints Shirley as the head of SNUGI. Hiro becomes the leader of the Pentagon’s nascent Giant Monster Protection Program—specifically, protection from sequels.
In the aftermath, Shirley and Hiro adopt Notzilla, who carries around Jacques and Donnie in a toy car. Hiro asks Shirley about having more kids as three more Notzilla eggs float to shore.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Mitch Teemley
- Written by Mitch Teemley
- Produced by Aymie Majerski, Mitch Teemley
- Executive Producer Ekim Relgrem
- Music by Stephen Goers
- Cinematography by Jeff Barklage
- Edited by Jim Bailey
- Production Design by Gabby Leithsceal
- Special Effects Bob Arvin, Jeff Barklage
- "Dino Surfin'" performed by Steve Goers
- Written by Mitch Teemley
- "(Come on Baby) Do the Notzilla" performed by Adia Dobbins
- Written by Mitch Teemley
- "Where Have All the Monsters Gone?" performed by Steve Goers and Mitch Teemley (director's cut)
- Written by Mitch Teemley
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Frederic Eng-Li as Professor Hiro Honda
- Tifani Ahren Davis as Dr. Shirley Yujest
- Tim Bensch as Dr. Richard Blowheart
- Becca Kravitz as Dr. Jacques Butay
- Ken Early as Dr. Bjorn Bloch
- Charlie Harper as Dr. Mort Shortman
- Michael Wilhelm as Dr. Hugh Mungish
- Samantha Russell as Pearl Stringer
- Spencer Lackey as Bobby Bleech
- Michael Bath as General Dirk Bogus
- Rupert Spraul as Kenny Wannabee
- Christine Jones as General Specific
- Caleb Dwayne Tucker, Tyler Craig, Michelle Poole as Pedestrians
- Mitch Teemley
- Robert Gerding as Newspaper editor
- John W. Harden, Kathleen Ellerman, George W. Ellerman as Diner patrons
- Cherie Orf as Restaurant patron
- Karen Olchovy as Train passenger
- Steven Schraub, John E. Brownlee as Scientists
- Christina Steiner as Girl
- Sammy Geroulis, Ronnie Gladden, Charlie Roetting, Corey Wolfe, Greg Mallios, Xavier Blanco as Soldiers
- Aaron Krick, Philip Kinsky as Mimes
- Landon Mergler as Dr. Kidman
- Amanda Teemley as Pentagon receptionist
- Trudy Teemley as Woman
- Jason Mei as Boy
- Roger Cupp as Lieutenant
- Darnell Pierre Benjamin as Colonel Reginald J. Stickler
- Jacob Baker as Notzilla
Weapons, vehicles, and races
Notzilla began as a short script, Kraga, written by Mitch Teemley and a friend in high school. Teemley returned to the idea as an adult, retitling it Notzilla. This iteration presented a purpoted lost 1966 film called Notzilla, the Duke of Monsters, the last role for American actor Raymond L. Suave. After it reached the final round of the Worldfest Competition, Teemley submitted the script to Toho. They were uninterested in spoofing Godzilla, but wished the American creator well with the project. A division of Warner Bros., either Picturehouse or Warner Indepedent Pictures, agreed to produce the film, only to shut down in 2008. Seeking other investors, Teemley held a script reading at G-Fest in 2010. Patrick Warburton and George Takei were attached to star. Moriah Media released a teaser trailer on YouTube in 2011 but never moved ahead on the project beyond that. By 2018, Teemley had completely retooled the script to focus on a Japanese professor's efforts to save a kaiju accidentally unleashed in the United States.
Notzilla was shot over the course of 19 days in August 2018. Interiors were shot in a mall's abandoned H. H. Gregg store. To help replicate the feel of a vintage monster movie, the production minimized the use of greenscreen in favor of rear projection screens. Rick D. Baker and Jacob Kyle Baker built the Notzilla suit and hand puppet, with the latter also playing the monster. As the film's budget did not allow for a full-scale Notzilla hand for the scene where he picks up Shirley, director of photography Jeff Barklage built a single finger and used a rear-projected shot of the suit for the rest of the hand.
- Main article: Notzilla/Gallery.
Allied Vaughn DVD/Blu-ray (2020)
- Region: N/A
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English
- Subtitles: None
- Special features: Trailer
- Notes: Made-to-order.
- Official site
- YouTube channel
- Twitter account
- Facebook page
- Instagram account
- 2011 teaser trailer (archived)
- "Dino Surfin'" lyrics and recording
- "Where Have All the Monsters Gone?" lyrics and recording
- "Do the Notzilla!" lyrics and recording
This is a list of references for Notzilla. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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