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DVD Title
 Gamera: Revenge of Iris
International Title
 Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
Movie Length: 108 minutes Original Length: 107 minutes
Company: ADV Films Release: 2003
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound:
Japanese (5.1 Surround), English (5.1 Surround)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (24)
· Trailers: Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (5 trailers, 20 TV spots), Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (ADV Films), Farscape (ADV Films), Princess Blade (ADV Films), Noir (ADV Films), Rahxephon (ADV Films), Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda (ADV Films)
· "Gamera" Commentary (English)
· Interview with special effects director Shinji Higuchi: Video 3/3 (30 minutes)
· Press Conference (4 minutes)
· Behind the Scenes (5 minutes)
· Promotional Event (1 minute)
· Opening Night Feature (6 minutes)
· Dubbing Outtakes (4 minutes)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

The final chapter in director Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy, and the last of the Gamera DVDs from ADV films, comes this mixed DVD release. ADV Films has had a long standing reputation for not really being able to handle the difficulties that can sometimes arise during the transfer process, and this disc is no exception. The video track here is notably with its faults, although the DVD does have very good audio and supplemental showings to make up for it.


 Video:

After doing a fairly competent job with the video track for their Gamera: Attack of Legion DVD, ADV Films once again drops the ball for this final offering in the acclaimed kaiju series. First off, the biggest problem is that the track is very badly compressed. Artficating in the form of pixilation is noticeable, especially during the darker scenes where the pixilation is very visible. Jagged edges, especially on the opening credit text, is also apparent. To make matters worse, the video has been badly window boxed, which is done to compensate for older sets that aren't well equipped to handle Anamorphic tracks but also is cause for further compression, which also causes the image here to look soft and not at all sharp with a lot of detail in the frame. In terms of the print used, it appears to be in pretty solid shape outside of the level of grain apparent. The colors could have stood to be a bit deeper in tone though.

Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris has two different audio tracks, both of which are in 5.1 surround sound. The two different audio settings each feature a different language, with one being Japanese and the other dubbed into English. On the downside, the directionality could have been a bit more robust here, but it's serviceable. The tracks are in good shape in terms of lack of inconsistencies, with all of the dialogue being readily audible. Sadly, the dubbing here could have been a lot better. It's quite clear that for this third volume, the dubbing was trying to add a layer of "intentional unintentional humor" (a.k.a. ratchet up the cheesiness), which feels out of place on this more serious take on the kaiju genre. On the plus side, the actress who dubbed Mayumi Nagamine in Gamera: Guardian of the Universe reprises her performance here.

The audio can be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles. As is all too common on English DVDs, the Toho logo here has been incorrectly subtitled with "Daiei presents", which to be fair does own the rights to this picture (or Kadokawa does now) but the Daiei logo directly follows the Toho one and it would have been all too easy just to link them up instead.


 Extras:

Like all three discs from ADV, this DVD has a pretty outstanding selection of extras. At a time when most Japanese film discs were barebones in the States, even Criterion's at this point in time, ADV's efforts stood out amongst the herd. Years later, the disc still excels in this regard which is a real testament to the supplemental material included.

First up is some behind the scenes footage, which although lacking a good narrative to add in additional information is still interesting to see. The opening night feature is also neat, especially seeing a then very shy Shinji Higuchi acting rather awkwardly in front of the camera. This leads into the next extra, which is the final chapter in the interview with Higuchi that has spanned across the three Heisei Gamera DVDs. This one is just shy of 30 minutes, and like the others adds a nice amount of insight into creating the production. A wealth of trailers, along with TV spots, are also thrown into the mix. Following this is a press conference announcing the movie's production and a very brief "on set" press event where Shusuke Kaneko is interviewed.

This rounds out the material taken from the region 2 release, which leads to the new supplements that ADV Films created. The first of these are some more dubbing outtakes, like what was seen on their Gamera: Attack of Legion release. Once again, though, these are very hit and miss. After this is the final extra feature which is a "Gamera" Commentary, a mock commentary with Gamera (featuring a thick British accent), Iris (who has a more Russian accent), and an actor credited as Ralph Dub who plays bit parts in the franchise and has a thick Southern accent (coming from Texas going by a few of his lines). The commentary track is amusing, but rarely funny. It would have been far better as a smaller feature, as the big joke is the premise more than the execution and once the idea becomes familiar the actual commentary becomes a little tepid. They do make several references to other kaiju, like Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and Hedorah (as the Smog Monster). So at least nice to see that the people involved had some basic background knowledge on the genre. As a general complaint, the comments are out of synch as the actors point out things that are currently no longer on the screen and also cuts out, although the latter might be an issue with my disc and not a universal problem.


 Overview:

Bottom line, this disc has a good audio and extra presentation, but the video track is a real disappointment and tends to drag down the whole DVD a lot. ADV Films has since discontinued production of this release, so hopefully a company at some point decides to give it a re-release with the problems here corrected. Still, for the time being, it's far from a bad means to enjoy the production.