Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

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Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Monster X » Mon May 13, 2019 1:16 pm

Ok so while reading up on Rodan (1956) and found out about the accident were the cables supporting Nakajima napped and he feel 25 feet, thankfully into the water below him. It got me thinking about just what these suit actors have to go through and what other accidents might have occurred.


One that I already know of...

The aforementioned Rodan incident.

The most well known one to anyone who's ever watched any making of Godzilla marital. The fact that the original suit was so heavy and trapped so much heat that Nakajima passed out.

The Godzilla suit catching fire in Mothra vs Godzilla.

While thankfully none wore it, the Mecha-King Ghidorah suit from GVKG was so heavy it was deemed unsafe to wear and reworked to be a puppet.

The general risks involved with having pyrotechnics strapped to you and being detinated around or fired at you.

The general risks invoved with wearing a heavery suit that obstructs your vision and having to do stunts in them.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby UltramanGoji » Mon May 13, 2019 1:31 pm

There was a show in Japan titled something like "Stories of Narrow Escapes from Certain Death", they did a Godzilla episode and featured three stories from G54, KKVG, and GVD:

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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Gothicserpent » Mon May 13, 2019 1:35 pm

The Varan incident is stuff of legends.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Monster X » Mon May 13, 2019 2:45 pm

Oh my giddy aunt... I have a whole new level of respect for Nakajima and other suit actors.

Nakajima alone survived heat stroke, head trauma, electrocution, being burned and a whole lot more but kept getting back in the suit.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby UltramanGoji » Mon May 13, 2019 3:54 pm

Monster X wrote:Oh my giddy aunt... I have a whole new level of respect for Nakajima and other suit actors.

Nakajima alone survived heat stroke, head trauma, electrocution, being burned and a whole lot more but kept getting back in the suit.
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Technically it was (reportedly) Katsumi Tezuka who was electrocuted in 1954, not Nakajima. Hence why they didn't interview him after that segment.

But yeah, Nakajima was tough as skreeonk and I have mad respect for him and any suit actor, honestly.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Mon May 13, 2019 4:37 pm

Its such a huge shame its always been viewed as so easy and cheap to western audiences. Those guys don't get no respect from non fans.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Mon May 13, 2019 5:24 pm

Gothicserpent wrote:The Varan incident is stuff of legends.


I don't think I heard of this.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby UltramanGoji » Mon May 13, 2019 5:27 pm

Kaiju-King42 wrote:
Gothicserpent wrote:The Varan incident is stuff of legends.


I don't think I heard of this.


During filming for the scene where the truck explodes under Varan, the explosion actually managed to burn his stomach (not his nether-regions as it has usually been reported).
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby TitanoGoji16 » Tue May 14, 2019 12:01 am

- Gigan and Megalon caught fire during Godzilla vs. Megalon.
- Probably the most well-known accident: Godzilla caught fire in Terror of Mechagodzilla and they apparently thought it looked so awesome that they left it in the movie.
- Ken Satsuma got severely electrocuted by the lights in Godzilla's dorsal fins while filming Godzilla vs. Biollante (during the lake battle, I believe).
- The Burning Godzilla suit was so full of electronics and smoke/gas for the steam coming from Godzilla's body that Satsuma honestly feared for his life.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Breakdown » Tue May 14, 2019 3:58 am

^ Adding to that last point, I've heard that those coupled with the heat the lights inside the suit gave off made it a literal oven wherein he fainted several times.

Also apparently in one of the Millenium films, the suit actor almost drowned because of the mechanism that was used to make Godzilla submerge underwater. His oxygen hose slipped out of his mouth as the suit was submerging. That's probably one of the more nightmarish scenarios that was thankfully avoided.

After watching the documentary that came with the Rodan/WOTG DVD, I have even more respect for suitimation than I did before. The suits where borderline death-traps, and required near-superhuman stamina to operate.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Living Corpse » Wed May 15, 2019 7:21 am

Godzilla suits catching on fire. I know at least 3 of the Showa films have it happened.

Mothra vs Godzilla (1064)
Terror of Mechagodzilla

I forgot the second one, I think it briefly happens in Godzilla vs Megalon? It's been a while, but I know there are 3 Showa films where you see the suit on fire.

Also Godzilla vs Megaguirus, the scene where the Griffion crashes into Godzilla? That suit caught fire.

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TitanoGoji16 wrote:- Ken Satsuma got severely electrocuted by the lights in Godzilla's dorsal fins while filming Godzilla vs. Biollante (during the lake battle, I believe).


Adding to this, the wires for the dorsal plate in the 1984 movie were not properly set up so he'd be shocked every time the fins light up. Do to time constraints, the wires were left as is and not redone.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Terasawa » Wed May 15, 2019 7:30 am

Electrocute = death by electric shock. No one has been electrocuted in a Godzilla costume.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Living Corpse » Wed May 15, 2019 7:46 am

Terasawa wrote:Electrocute = death by electric shock. No one has been electrocuted in a Godzilla costume.


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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby G2000 » Wed May 15, 2019 9:04 am

Terasawa wrote:Electrocute = death by electric shock. No one has been electrocuted in a Godzilla costume.


Electrocution doesn't necessarily mean death; the term can be used to refer to injury by electric shock as per Oxford and Merriam Webster
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby edgaguirus » Wed May 15, 2019 12:15 pm

Water has always been a big hazard for the suit actors. During the filming of GRA, the suit actor playing Anguillas fell into "Osaka Bay" and came close to drowning.

These suit actors have had to deal with so much risk in making these movies. That Nakajima and others kept on doing it shows their dedication, and they deserve our respect.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby GojiDog » Wed May 15, 2019 12:46 pm

You know, I and many other fans look down on the use of CGI over practical effects....

But I'll give it this. At least it is significantly safer.

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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Breakdown » Wed May 15, 2019 1:11 pm

Living Corpse wrote:Adding to this, the wires for the dorsal plate in the 1984 movie were not properly set up so he'd be shocked every time the fins light up. Do to time constraints, the wires were left as is and not redone.


I think you mean the 1989 suit. The plates on the '84 never lit up, that effect was added via rotoscoping. In fact, I believe the plates themselves never actually lit up on the 1989 suit, but rather bulbs where placed between the rows of spines. When the bulbs where activated, they'd flash blue/white and the light would shine through the semi-transparent materiel the dorsal plates where made out of (fiberglass?), thus creating the illusion of lighting up.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Living Corpse » Wed May 15, 2019 1:18 pm

Breakdown wrote:
Living Corpse wrote:Adding to this, the wires for the dorsal plate in the 1984 movie were not properly set up so he'd be shocked every time the fins light up. Do to time constraints, the wires were left as is and not redone.


I think you mean the 1989 suit. The plates on the '84 never lit up, that effect was added via rotoscoping. In fact, I believe the plates themselves never actually lit up on the 1989 suit, but rather bulbs where placed between the rows of spines. When the bulbs where activated, they'd flash and the light would shine through the semi-transparent materiel the dorsal plates where made out of (fiberglass?).


Hmm, maybe I misheard.
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby Gothicserpent » Wed May 15, 2019 1:19 pm

Has a kaiju suit actor ever been killed on the job?
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Re: Suitmation - Accidents, Calamites and Near Misses

Postby UltramanGoji » Wed May 15, 2019 1:21 pm

Gothicserpent wrote:Has a kaiju suit actor ever been killed on the job?


If they were, I'm sure we would've heard about it.
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