Above Left: Mitch at age 11 (embellishments his)
Above Right: Mitch (age withheld) and Son of Mitch at G-Fest (2019)
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!
Here’s the official Notzilla trailer!