I Gave Birth to a Monster!

Above Left: Mitch at age 11 (embellishments his)

Above Right: Mitch (age withheld) and Son of Mitch at G-Fest (2019)

My Real Memoir

I got pregnant when I was a kid! And not with human baby, but a monster! To clarify (before this starts to sound like a cross between Alien and Rosemary’s Baby), it wasn’t evil, it was kinda cute. And it didn’t burst out of my chest, it burst out of my funny bone.

Our town acquired its own movie theater the year I turned eleven. Many of my favorite childhood memories are tied to the old La Mirada Theatre, but none are more vivid than Saturday Matinees. For 50¢ we’d see movies that had already made it to television—but in color and “on the big screen!” Because they were for kids, Saturday Matinees showed two types of movies: Comedies and Creature Features, many starring the “King of the Monsters” himself, Godzilla.

So somewhere along the line, my love of comedy and monsters fused. I remember spotting a string pulling an army jeep across a miniature set, and laughing out loud. That was the moment, I think, I became “pregnant” with the idea of spoofing Big G himself.

Five years later, as teenagers, buddy Jeff and I (co-member of the band The Daily Planet) wrote a short parody of the Godzilla movies. We called it Kragira, which sounded suitably kaiju, and planned to film it on Super-8, with all of our (mostly Caucasian) friends playing Japanese people (I know, bad idea). We never shot it. But I did re-write and expand it for a college screenwriting class, and got an “A,” with a note from my prof that said, “You have to make this movie!” I didn’t.

But two decades later, after years of touring and recording sketch comedy albums, I re-wrote and re-titled my long-gestating baby and dreamt up a suitably spoofy new title: Notzilla. (“Notzilla” was later adopted by giant monster fans as a term for any kind of take-off on the kaiju genre.)

A division of Warner Bros. slated Notzilla for production, but folded right before production began. Then, it was tentatively greenlighted by Dimension Pictures. But at the last minute, they decided to make yet another Scary Movie sequel.

More time passed. We moved to Cincinnati, not exactly Hollywood-on-the-Ohio (River, that is), but there’s a substantial filmmaking community here. Coming off my multi-award-winning inspirational drama Healing River, my executive producer asked if I had anything “ready-to-go.” And, in so many words, I replied, “Well, I’ve been pregnant with this little monster spoof for about fifty years.”

And so my baby was finally born!

After winning ten film festival awards and nominations, Notzilla previewed to standing ovations at G-Fest (G for Godzilla). The following year, in the midst of a pandemical theater shut-down, it was released on Amazon Prime, and was immediately proclaimed “a cult classic” in the making by MovieWeb. (Sure enough, since then I’ve spotted homemade Notzilla fan films, ebay collectibles, and fan art from Japan on DeviantArt!)

My little creature feature has now expanded to over 80 countries via Amazon, as well as X-box, Vudu, Apple TV, Roku, Vimio, YouTube, Tubi, Google Play, and more! Notzilla is also available on DVD at all video major retailers.

And so, from the “pregnant” funny bone of an 11-year-old, the biggest little monster ever was born. And now…

He’s attacking the whole world!

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

Here’s the official Notzilla trailer!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Popular Culture & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to I Gave Birth to a Monster!

  1. Wow, this is fascinating! Love the photos by the way, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent spoof of a trailer, so I have to believe the movie is fantastic too.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Goodbye, Brother Cat | Mitch Teemley

  4. Pingback: My Prize Trip to Hell | Mitch Teemley

  5. Quite an accomplishment at such a young age.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Welp, where can I find an 8-year-old boy to watch it with!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Michael Sammut says:

    Well Done. I will try to find a way to watch it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. revruss1220 says:

    Congratulations on this momentous occasion. Perhaps one of the longest gestation times on record. Can’t wait to finally meet your scaly offspring.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Todd R says:

    When I was kid (date withheld) and the TV Guide was a printed thing that came with the Sunday newspaper, I’d always check whether it was a monster movie week! About once a year (my fuzzy memory tells me) some channel would run a Godzilla-type movie Mon-Fri in the afternoon. Those were the best weeks! I’m going to try and convince my teenager who likes Kaiju to watch Notzilla with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa Beth says:

    Big congrats!! 🎉 I never liked Godzilla or Ratan for that matter but you’ve changed all that!
    Love the trailer, look forward to the whole shebang! I hope Notzilla doesn’t die in the end.
    Btw, was that you in the window with popcorn lady?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rwfrohlich says:

    Oh yeah! Gotta see this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. haroldmarth15 says:

    Hello dear nice to meet you,i dont know you , but i am Harold martha be honest i would like to know youchat me from my email (Haroldmartha35@gmail.com)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Webb Blogs says:

    Wow Mitch congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. #hood says:

    sov you have pictures of you at 13
    mention age 11


  15. Nancy Ruegg says:

    So many layers of fun in this movie, Mitch, beginning with the cutest, cuddliest little monster ever. But I especially enjoyed the plays on words, and the super-imposed text as some scenes began. VERY funny! Also enjoyed watching for you to appear here and there–and even see Trudy in action!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: I Gave Birth to a Monster! – CURIOSIDADES NA INTERNET

  17. ejstoo says:

    Saw the movie. Thought it was fun (Notzilla)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my gosh!!! I’m so going to find this on DVD somehow!

    Congratulations Mitch on birthing your baby for the world to enjoy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ha! We actually watched it one snow day and I saw a few smirks! I like the like hearted fun, the nostalgia. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Kralltown says:

    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. alsavignano says:

    Ha! This is too much! Thanks also for the cameo.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. leendadll says:

    La Mirada, Calif? At Imperial Hwy &…. Idaho? Or the mall?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Yes. The old La Mirada Theatre was in the mall (La Mirada Shopping Center back then). It closed down in the mid-70s, and was revamped as a stage theatre, now operated by Cathy Rigby and her husband Tom McCoy.


      • leendadll says:

        I used to know one of the stage theater directors (I think that was his title)… very early 90s. Totally blanking on his name. Great after parties but I didn’t like his plays.

        I used to live over the hill at Gilbert & Rosecrans.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mitchteemley says:

        Whaddya know! I lived on Alicante Rd, across the street from (what eventually became) La Mirada Park, and walked up Adelpha Dr. to school La Mirada High. I moved away in the 70s, but taught at Biola University in the 90s.


  23. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I loved this movie Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. murisopsis says:

    Yay! I’m going to have to watch this one!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Kathleen Ellerman says:

    Just watched the DVD the other night. Love it and loved doing our small parts in it! Yes, please maybe give him a sibling or a love interest……📽🎬❤

    Liked by 1 person

  26. prather742 says:

    Congratulations!!! Our youngest is going off to college in the fall and she plans to major in multi-media communications with an emphasis of tv and film production, she has so many big dreams 💗
    I can’t wait to watch Notzilla on Amazon Prime with her! Thanks for sharing the story behind it!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pingback: My Next Big Box-Office Hit? | Mitch Teemley

  28. Dawn Marie says:

    Your talent and ambitions always make my heart smile. And I am so very grateful that you share your accomplishments with us here in this blog space. You give me hope in actuating my own dreams and desires of the heart. Still waiting for the courage part though…as well as the wherewithal that is necessary. Hugs to you for the encouragement you bring to others!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pingback: Monsters I Have Known and Loved | Mitch Teemley

  30. Pingback: The Day the Movies Came to Me | Mitch Teemley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s