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DVD Title
 All Monsters Attack
International Title
 All Monsters Attack
Movie Length: 69/69 minutes Original Length: 69 minutes
Company: Classic Media Release: 2008
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound:
Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (9/9)
· Commentary on the US version with Richard Pusateri (English)
· Ishiro Honda Biography (7 Minutes)
· Poster Slide Show
· Image Gallery
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

After an odd release schedule, which saw it sold exclusively through a box set, then online and finally with mention of being distributed through traditional store outlets, the updated DVD for one of Honda's most infamous films is finally here. As one would hope, the quality here is notably improved over past region 1 releases, with a good video and audio presentation, although it's hardly the premiere release from Classic Media all the same.


 Video:

A decent effort from Classic Media, although slightly disappointing compared to the fantastic quality found on their Invasion of Astro-Monster release. The disc has two video tracks, one for each version of the film, and the quality differs between the two. Not surprisingly, the Japanese one fares much better, as it seems to be a near direct transfer from the source used for Toho's own region 2 release. Consequently, the same criticisms with Toho's Showa DVD releases is apparent, in the form of a subdued color spectrum with a slightly yellow tint, but the level of detail present is fantastic and the print damage, especially grain, is usually minimal given the movie's age.

Sadly, the US version isn't quite so nice to behold. Once again, it appears that Classic Media, outside of using their source for the US opening titles, reverts to the region 2 print for the large part of this video track. Sadly, it appears someone tried to tamper with it to correct the lack of vibrant colors and the yellow tint. The result? It's unfortunately worse than the original problem, as now the colors look over saturated and tinted magenta instead of yellow. A good comparison of the two is this sequence here:

Japanese - US

One can appreciate that Classic Media made an effort to produce something superior to the quality found on Toho's own region 2, but their attempt leaves a lot to be desired.

All Monsters Attack is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 across the two versions, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

The disc features two audio tracks, both of which are tied to their respective versions of the film. The first is the Japanese track, which is presented in its original mono. The quality is fairly solid, given the mono format, as the dialogue is clear while there are no overt inconsistencies. The track can also be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles. The subtitles are generally good, but they are very awkward during the opening song, when they try to provide translations for both the credits and the lyrics causing them to flash by and break neck speed during this sequence. The other audio track, which is the UPA English dubbing, is also pretty respectable, with the ever amusing main title theme that is exclusive to this version coming out with great clarity.

The Japanese version can be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles.


 Extras:

This DVD features the same variety of extras found on most of the discs in the "Toho Master Collection". The standard biography, this time on director Ishiro Honda, is included, once again with a voice over from Ed Godziszewski. Godziszewski covers a lot of information on Honda, and it's nice to see the attention paid to his intricate relationship with Akira Kurosawa, particularly on the famed director's later productions.

Next up are two galleries, the first of which is on posters for the movie and the second is on various production stills and promotional images. Both of these features also come with a brief amount of text to explain the current picture, which is navigated with the remote.

Lastly, the disc also has an audio commentary track attached to the US version of the production. The commentator for this track is Richard Pusateri, who is best known for writing articles for fanzines like G-Fan. Pusateri starts off fairly well, with the amusing opening comment about most fans arguing over if this is the worst or second worst film in the long running Godzilla series. However, his commentary has some bumps along the way, such as when he tries to lead into the general poor reception of the film by reading posts he has found off the internet. Pusateri does a good "play by play" of the movie, pointing out development arcs in the characters, but doesn't go much into outside facts that might interest more diehard fans. There are times when you feel it's coming, like the allusion to Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) when the smokestacks are seen or the reference to Kenji Sahara, but then the comments either abruptly stop or shift back to the story unfolding on the screen. The introduction of Eisei Amamoto is particularly awkward, as Pusateri starts to talk about his film career and then says "more on that later" only to then remain silent for almost a minute after the statement. Overall, it's not a bad commentary track, I loved the mention of The Bad Sleep Well (1960), but the long pauses and often flat attempts at humor (although the send up of the ending moral is amusing) make this probably the least interesting of the commentary tracks included in the series.

Unfortuantly, despite what the back of the box says, this disc lacks the movie's original trailer.


 Overview:

Bottom line, the film is, admittedly, infamous in the Godzilla series. This release is far and away the best offering on region 1 DVD, but doesn't command the same level of respect as the two Godzilla DVDs that came before it from Classic Media. Hopefully they do themselves one better for their final two Toho DVDs, Rodan (1956) and The War of the Gargantuas (1966), whenever those might be released.

This disc is also featured in the DVD box set: The Godzilla Collection.