GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER
Directed by: Ishirô Honda
Written by Shinichi Sekizawa
Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cast: Yosuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Akiko Wakabayashi, Emi & Yûmi Ito
1.66:1 anamorphic/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 1
Review from ClassicMedia DVD
A princess (Akiko Wakabayashi) disappears, after a failed assignation attempt on her life, and, then reappears, this time saying she is a princess from Venus. She foretells of appearances by Godzilla and Rodan, but the worst is yet to come. As she, warns of the coming of King Ghidorah, an evil and destructive three-headed beast. Mothra is called for help, but she will have to try convince Godzilla and Rodan to stop fighting and team up to save the world from certain doom.
This is the first appearance of King Ghidorah, who would go on to become one of the Big G’s most persistent foes, and it is also the fifth film in the series. The movie suffers from pacing problems as it takes to long for the film to actually have its monsters throwdown. It spends way too much time on the humans, and throws in some James Bond type sub-plot about villains trying to kill the princess.
Nonetheless, fifty minutes into the film it does get very exciting and thrilling. The movie also has a cute sense of humor, which adds much charm and enjoyment to the movie. See, the battle between Godzilla and Rodan, for what would be the future of the series. Still, unlike some of the lesser films in the series, the humor works quite well here. The actual fight with Ghidorah represents an actual change in tone in the film, although much of this might have do to with Ifukube’s amazing and powerful score which gives the film a much larger sense of urgency. Although, even here the humor is thankfully present.
The FX work is good. Ghidorah remains one of Toho’s coolest looking monsters, and I think he shines best as a villain (though, GMK is a still a great film), as he is used here. Rodan looks less menacing than in his earlier outing RODAN, but it fits this film. The Big G and Mothra look great and the sets and miniature work is quite well done.
GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER swoops onto DVD thanks to the good folks over at ClassicMedia. Once again they have delivered the goods. The film is presented in its original 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The transfer has nice vibrant colors, with only minor artifacting and some scratches. The mono sound is, nonetheless, loud and powerful giving full life to the amazing score.
The disc really delivers in the extra department beginning with presenting the film in its original Japanese version and the English version, released a year later. The original cut is about eight minutes longer, and I think better, and one does not have to wade through bad dubbing, as in the English cut.
Also, included is a Eiji Tsuburaya biography, who handled the the film’s FX. It is short, but informative. The Poster Slide Show shows some poster art from Japan, with words describing what the poster was and what it was used for. The Image Gallery has some really cool pics and info on the FX and scenes and facts on the monsters and the actors.
The main appeal here is the excellent running commentary on the English version by David Kalat, a writer and Godzilla expert. He talks with such energy, that it makes the whole thing a whole lot of fun. He has a clear and huge love for the Big G and kaiju filsm in general that he even comes off making some good points about dubbing. And make now bones about it dudes; this guy definitely knows his shit.
The disc comes in a book-like case, which while looking beautiful makes no mention of the twelve chapters that both versions are broken up into. The chapters can be accessed from the very cool moving menu. It also comes with the original Japanese trailer for the film.
This Film Features:
Review by Giovanni Deldio. All Right Reserved. 2007. ©