Invasion of Astro-Monster

( 1 )

Overview

This reviewer never saw Invasion of Astro-Monster (aka Monster Zero aka Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero etc.) in a theater -- it dates from a time when the Japanese giant monster movies began to recede in visibility, and was the first such title that we could only ever catch up with on television, years after its original release (in fact, after the death of its American star, Nick Adams). Thus, it wasn't until Scimitar put it out on DVD in the late 1990's that we got to see it in widescreen; and while that transfer ...
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Overview

This reviewer never saw Invasion of Astro-Monster (aka Monster Zero aka Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero etc.) in a theater -- it dates from a time when the Japanese giant monster movies began to recede in visibility, and was the first such title that we could only ever catch up with on television, years after its original release (in fact, after the death of its American star, Nick Adams). Thus, it wasn't until Scimitar put it out on DVD in the late 1990's that we got to see it in widescreen; and while that transfer was a considerable improvement over any prior release, the 2007 Classic Media DVD at hand is significantly better, still. Indeed, the latter actually looks superior to the preceding Godzilla film, Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, which Classic Media issued issued concurrently with this disc. As with this entire DVD series of Japanese giant monster films, the disc contains both the US and Japanese editions of the movie (the latter with optional subtitles), as well as a bunch of extras. The movie looks good enough that it would be worth buying in this edition, in any case, but the commentary track by Stuart Galbraith IV is an extremely valuable bonus feature. Galbraith's discussion delves into the differences between the two editions, as well as the origins and evolution of the project, and also provides some long-neglected insights into the personal side of director Ishiro Honda and biographical accounts of the actors. A documentary on producer Tomoyuki Tanaka is the other major bonus feature, and it's a finely detailed, beautifully written and produced, affectionate tribute to the man behind Godzilla and the origins of the entire genre of Japanese giant monster movies. The letterboxed (2.35-to-1) transfers of the two editions of the film are good to look at, and the US edition is far superior to prior releases of this title (while the Japanese version is unique to this release). The sound is particularly crisp and mastered at a good, healthy volume on both versions of the film. The disc opens with an enjoyable array of trailers for other Japanese giant monster films, before going to a menu that is is great fun to use, in addition to being very easy to maneuver around. Both versions of the movie get a dozen chapters, and the original trailers are included for each edition.
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Special Features

Film commentary; Slide show; Original Japanese trailer
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2007
  • UPC: 796019802727
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: Classic Media
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 3:06:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,186

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nick Adams Astronaut Glenn
Akira Kubo Tetsui Teri
Kumi Mizuno Namikawa
Fuyuki Murakami
Haruo Nakajima Gojira
Takamaru Sasaki
Keiko Sawai
Noriko Sengoku
Gen Shimizu
Toki Shiozawa
Kazuo Suzuki
Akira Takarada Fuji
Jun Tazaki
Yoshio Tsuchiya
Technical Credits
Ishiro Honda Director
Reuben Bercovitch Executive Producer
Ryohei Fujii Editor
Akira Ifukube Score Composer
Takeo Kita Art Director
Hajime Koizumi Cinematographer
Henry G. Saperstein Executive Producer
Shinichi Sekizawa Screenwriter
Tomoyuki Tanaka Producer
Eiji Tsuburaya Special Effects
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Invasion of Astro-Monster
1. Magnetic Disturbances [8:54]
2. Planet Exploration [7:10]
3. Demon of the Galaxy [8:33]
4. Superior Beings [10:19]
5. The Two Civilizations Meet [8:28]
6. Historical Battle [6:20]
7. Curious Earthlings [6:00]
8. Changing History [3:59]
9. Eliminating All Offenders [5:04]
10. No Way Out [9:09]
11. The Attack Begins [9:58]
12. Robots Lose Control [9:06]
1. Magnetic Disturbances [8:54]
2. Planet Exploration [7:10]
3. Demon of the Galaxy [8:33]
4. Superior Beings [10:19]
5. The Two Civilizations Meet [8:28]
6. Historical Battle [6:20]
7. Curious Earthlings [6:00]
8. Changing History [3:59]
9. Eliminating All Offenders [5:04]
10. No Way Out [9:09]
11. The Attack Begins [9:58]
12. Robots Lose Control [9:06]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Invasion of Astro-Monster
   Play Movie
   Chapters
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV
      Tomoyuki Tanaka Biography
      Poster Slide Show
      Image Gallery
   Go To Japanese Version
      Play Movie
      Chapters
      Subtitles
         English Subtitles On / Off
      Special Features
         Original Japanese Trailer
         Tomoyuki Tanaka Biography
         Poster Slide Show
         Image Gallery
      Go to English Version
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Classic Media has to be applauded for the effort not only given to presenting the best versions of INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER possible (and they truly are some of best I've seen in a long, long while), but also the work that went into the case design. The box is striking, the artwork clever, clear, nostaligc and retro-future at all the same time. It's an attractive and eye catching design that demands (and gets) a second look. My copy has been picked up, picked over, and pick-pocketed a few times off my shelf already and throughly enjoyed. But, having said that, I must admit that INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER is one of my least favorite GODZILLA films, yet one of my all time favorite TOHO movies. Truth be told, Godzilla here is at best a supporting player in a much larger and more complex story that could have done away with Godzilla and company and still have been just as compelling. Much like THE FIFTH ELEMENT fashion and design triumph over story and plot. This is one good looking movie. From the sets (wide open, with some of the most creative future computer and advanced table top technology), to the costumes (the aliens not only sport the expected antenna atop the head, but tight pants, trim sunglasses, and high useless collars), to the spaceships (which look exactly like spaceships should look), it's all here, and it's all a lot of fun. It is something of a minor disappointment that Godzilla has been pushed to the margins here and used simply for effect than being the engine that drives the story. Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah do loom large on the stunning minature sets on both PLANET X and Earth, and their battles are worth the long delay between the first and the last, but it does leave you wanting more. But, this does not stop INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER being a true gem. The prints are the best possible and the extras are well done... although the commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV, while informative, fact filled and trivia stuffed is delivered in such a slow and measured way, that it sounds and feels like he's in fear of tripping over his own words if he talks too fast. Be prepared to feel like a five year old at some points when he wants to to Understand. Clearly. What. He. Is. Saying. To. You. So. You. Had. Better. Listen. While strange, it is a trip, and you will learn a thing or two. Classic Media has done a great service to not only the fans of Godzilla, but to all those fans still to come. These DVD releases, like King Ghidorah, manages to wear three crowns and wear them well... they are entertaining, history and art all rolled into one.

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