Fantasia Fest 2022: Our Review of ‘What to Do with the Dead Kaiju?’

Posted in Fantasia 2022, Festival Coverage, Movies by - August 02, 2022
Fantasia Fest 2022: Our Review of ‘What to Do with the Dead Kaiju?’

Written and directed by Satoshi Mika, What to Do with the Dead Kaiju takes place after a massive beast attacks Japan and dies almost immediately. Although the people celebrate their survival, they are now faced with a (much) larger problem: how do you deal with the remains of the monster? With the corpse bloating and time running out, the nation must work quickly or be destroyed in the fallout.

It’s no secret that the success of the kaiju films stemmed primarily out of the fallout of nuclear war in the 1940s. However, Dead Kaiju takes the analogy in a different direction. With biting satire, the film uses the after effects of the kaiju wars as a metaphor for the global environmental crisis. Left with a giant carcass of a fallen beast in their backyard, multiple levels of government argue about who’s responsibility it is to clean up the mess. To them, the greatest victory was their survival—but no one wants to be involved in the next part of the process. With proposed solutions ranging from ‘flushing’ the body out to sea to even allowing the United States to deal with it, no one can seem to agree on any proper resolution to the problem.

While Dead Kaiju is far from subtle, it’s often entertaining in its wit and humour. With each government scramble, blame continues to be shifted and responsibility is abandoned. Although this is a crisis that threatens the entire country, nobody seems to want to take initiative to actually fix the problem. (In fact, those that do want credit do so primarily for political gain.). This way, Dead Kaiju takes the tropes of the kaiju genre and flipping them on their ear. It hilariously showcases that the true monster of the environmental crisis is human irresponsibility.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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