In honor of the Mercury's special Japanese-themed issue, I decided to investigate Kaiju Big Battel, the Japanese-y wrestling send-up that swirls the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers and Godzilla aesthetics with in-ring wrestling action. Some of you dear readers may have already checked out a Kaiju Big Battel DVD or even seen one of their live shows in New York. For those of you who haven't, I can offer only two words of advice: steer clear!

Positing itself as a classic battle between good and evil, the premise is that monstrous kaiju (mysterious beasts) are roaming the earth, and collide in epic battles that happen to look like typical wrestling matches. The kaiju wear silly costumes--the tag team of Los Plantanos dress like a pair of bananas, Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle is a big soup can, and the break-dancing Silver Potato is basically a guy in a metallic-looking space suit. The live wrestling shows look like they could be fun to attend, but watching them on the small screen is tedious beyond belief. Although a few of the kaiju can occasionally pull off an actual wrestling move, their huge, GWAR-ish outfits prohibit them from being mobile or athletic. Imagine two NFL mascots in the squared circle and you have a rough idea of the match quality.

KBB is campy trash at its worst (and by worst, I mean mediocre and unfunny, not John Waters-worst). Created by a bunch of white boys, KBB's spoof of bad Japanese television and Mothra-like characters is one of the least entertaining things I have ever seen. Unintentionally bad entertainment can be funny. Smart comedy can be quite funny. But unfunny, wannabe smart spoofs of exotic, cheesy B-programming--as close to funny as your FM Morning Zoo Crew in Salt Lake City.

The problem is that the KBB creators set out to make something so bad that it's good, which is a valid but tricky proposition. As the internet demonstrates, these things usually happen better by accident than by design. What the KBB creators seem to have forgotten is that for it to be so bad that it's good, it has to come out of the other side of awfulness back into the land of good, so that no matter how campy it is, ironically or not, it's firmly good. And take it from me, folks, Kaiju Big Battel is truly, firmly, BAD.

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