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I WAS THERE . . . Kaiju Big Battel @ Warsaw, 4.3.09

Photos by Nicole Velasco

Friend: What are you up to this weekend?

Me: I’m going to see Kaiju Big Battel.

Friend: What kind of band?

Me: Oh, it’s not a band. It’s like some wrestling match thing.

Friend: ….What?

Me: ….

It’s true. I had a really hard time explaining Kaiju Big Battel. However if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. So here goes:

Part-parody and part-athleticism, Kaiju Big Battel (KBB) merges the best kitsch from Mexican professional wrestling, the WWE, and Japanese tokusatsu kaiju movies. At Boston’s School of Museum of Fine Arts, the idea for KBB took hold during a student video project. Though the video never made it to completion, Rand Borden and David Borden realized the potential and developed Studio Kaiju, a performance entertainment troupe.

Thirteen years after the first battel in Boston, Kaiju Big Battel took Warsaw (Greenpoint, Brooklyn) by storm. A big wrestling ring sat in the middle of the venue, gleaming in the overhead lights as hipsters sipped Polish beer and man-boys yelped for the games to begin. When the announcer, Louden Noxious, stormed the stage–err I mean the ring, the crowd erupted and those who actually dressed up a la Kaiju brandished their homemade props. Clueless, I asked a guy what exactly would transpire. “Dr. Cube just kidnapped the Commissioner and so shit has really hit the fan,” he said without a hitch. It was then that I knew I just stumbled upon a vibrant sub-culture.

As predicted, Dr. Cube (a forgotten Nazi-experiment turned plastic surgeon) kidnapped the Commissioner thus threatening the safety of Planet Earth. In six separate battels, heroes, rogues, and Dr. Cube’s posse crushed cardboard buildings and body-slammed opponents while donning hilarious costumes. Vegetius, a large leafy rogue, fought Hero Intern, an aspiring Kaiju hero. In a flit of national security, American Beetle (complete with sagging boxers and a Kanye-esque swagger) fought and defeated French Toast, complete with chicken drumstick. The final championship match featured reigning champ Neo Teppen versus Uchu Chu, the leader of Team Space Bug. The best part of this final match occurred when Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle (a rogue) stormed on the scene and began kicking everyone’s ass–most impressive given the cumbersome nature of his canned soup costume (Nutrition Facts included).

Things got real hectic and the Polish beer got the crowd smack-talking. Fortunately, for Planet Earth, the Kaiju Heros and rogues defeated Dr. Cube’s posse and, by 10PM, all was well in the world. Warsaw was safe that night.

When the crowd thinned, I was surprised to find a few children running about and snagging whatever cardboard prop remnants they could muster. Beneath a pile of corrugated props was a kid with a mullet, a Kaiju beater tank with Dr. Cube’s visage on the front, and a piece of a crushed cardboard skyscraper in his clutches. Ah the future of Kaiju Big Battel!

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Nicole Velasco

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