B Sound: C Extras: A Film: B-
produced countless titles involving giant creatures of one sort or another; and
they’re responsible for creating what
many would consider to be the holy trinity of Japanese giant monsters -
Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah (Monster X).
While some might argue that Mothra might belong up in the same
distinction, or that Gamera, created by rival studio Daiei, would be a
contender for the same right as well. Regardless, those facts remain irrelevant
for this article. The discussion at
hand rests with that of Toho’s lesser
monsters, robots, as well as the various alien and earthly creatures that they
have presided over.
term and all-encompassing banner for these different beasties would be “kaiju”,
which is used by many to define this type of entertainment. We now come to Media Blasters and their
Tokyo Shock division, who have been doing an unbelievable job on a line that
now includes such obscure genre classics as Atragon, Dogora, Matango
- Attack of the Mushroom People, Space Amoeba and Varan the
movie deals with a group of colorful aliens who invade the earth and attack a
small community and demand an allotment of land and permission to breed with
human females in order to repopulate their race. Pretty standard plot outline from the 50’s and while the aliens might have even fouler plans
in store for humanity, that’s reason
enough to blow them to kingdom come.
The movie was one of the very first to be filmed in the studio’s then-new Toho-Scope process with actual
anamorphic lenses, and it’s presented here on this disc in
its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
The film also boasts the first appearance of Moguera - a vaguely
mosquito-looking robot that would be a minor player in the kaiju universe.
opinion, they’ve done a fantastic job on this
disc, with only one or two complaints, which I’ll round up later on. The
extra features are great, there is a decent wealth of options available, and
you get it all with attractive packaging and good picture quality to boot. The only other title I’ve seen from this line was the companion launching
title, Matango - but it was similarly excellent, and you can catch the review
for that also on this site.
complaint lies within the sound. While
the original Japanese mono and 5.1 surround sound tracks are both excellent,
the original English dubbing elements must of gone missing or could not be
obtained, and in its place, an all new 5.1 track has been created, and to be
honest, it falls flat. Whoever was
responsible for it did a decent job, but the conviction is not to be found with
the voice-over artists that were chosen. All new sound effects were created as
well, and similarly, they don’t hold the
same impact that the ones created half a century ago do.
quality is above average, but for a movie of this type in the U.S., it’s pretty stellar.
For a movie this vivid, the colors remain very rich - these prints have
been maintained very well, and any restoration that was done has been with
care, as there is no evidence of rushed or faulty work to the look of the
special features, Media Blasters has provided a subtitled audio commentary
track with Koichi Kawakita and Shinji Higuchi.
There are also some wonderful conceptual drawings and stills as well as
storyboards. In addition to the trailer
for The Mysterians, they have also provided original trailers for some of the
other films mentioned earlier in this review.
recommend checking this title out, there’s
a lot of good stuff to be found, and it’s
mandatory viewing for anyone who follows Godzilla and his mighty brethren, or
just weird artifacts from the golden era of science fiction filmmaking.
- David Milchick