Blu-ray: Godzilla vs. Megalon (Tokyo Shock)

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Destroy All Monsters


English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Destroy All Monsters

Sound:

Japanese (2.0 Mono), Japanese (5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono)

Subtitles:
Length:
Release:
Company
:
Discs:
Aspect Ratio:

English
89 minutes
2011
Tokyo Shock
1
2.35:1 Anamorphic

Movie:

Destroy All Monsters

Blu-ray

Extras

  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (10)
  • Trailers: Destroy All Monsters (Japanese, US, French), Godzilla vs. Megalon, Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (International)
  • Radio Spots: Destroy All Monsters (3 US)
  • Image Gallery (20 minutes)
  • Production Art and Storyboards (4 minutes)
  • 8mm Film (7 minutes)
  • Audio Commentary by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski

Captures


Review

By: Anthony Romero

Here it is. This is the original, 2011 Blu-ray release of Destroy All Monsters by Tokyo Shock. The one that the company released without full approval from Toho, containing both audio tracks and bonus features which weren't sanctioned by the company. As a result, this one quickly went out of print, resurfacing three years later in a more barebones release in 2014. For those curious on what they missed, they'll find a mixed release here. One that delves deep into fan collections and gathers extras of various quality, while hosting so-so video and audio tracks for what the medium is capable of.


 Video: Star Rating


Pre-dating Toho's own release of the movie on Blu-ray, Tokyo Shock offers something that's very similar to Toho's region 2 DVD release of the film, although with a much higher resolution and less signs of compression. This means the colors have a slight yellow tint to them and are very muted, lacking vibrancy. Sadly, one frustrating element of this release is that image is on the softer side. It's short in the rich detail that's possible on the format.

On the plus side, the source used for this release is the original Japanese version and is in excellent shape. Grain level is very low, although the softer image would help to mask this, while scratches and other forms of damage aren't apparent.

Destroy All Monsters is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

 

 Audio: Star Rating


The Blu-ray offers four audio tracks to choose from, displaying quite the selection. The first, default audio track is the mono, international English dub. This is the version that has been made available previously in the US on the DVD format. Sadly, the clarity on this track is somewhat lacking. Sound effects are fine, but the dialogue sound relatively flat.

Next up is the dub that appeared on the original US version released in theaters by AIP. There is greater clarity in the dialogue on this version, but less in the music and sound effects. As a result, this might point to how the international English dub was recorded in terms of why the dialogue sounds so muted. Sadly, this audio track also sports some notable damage on the audio track as well. This causes moments to sound harsh and scratchy. Other inconsistences rear up on occasion as well, such as an odd flapping/drumming noise around the one and three minute marks. Regardless, it's great to have this and the quality of the voice work is much better than the international dub most fans in the US are likely familiar with now.

The third audio track is the original Japanese mono, and is the definitive option. The quality is good with nice clarity in both the dialogue and effects. In addition, it has no real inconsistencies to speak of either.

The final audio option is a 5.1 surround Japanese track. This excels at making the music sound separate from the other audio, creating a greater sense of depth. However, the track sports echo-like issues in a lot of other areas to try and create the surround experience from a mono track. This is heard on the dialogue and sound effects, marring the presentation here.

The disc contains two, removable English subtitle options. The first subtitles all Japanese dialogue and title cards. The second subtitles only some of the Japanese seen on screen.

 

 Extras: Star Rating


Here we are. This is the aspect that both makes this disc special compared to the 2014 version... and what got Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters in hot water with Toho. Well... this and likely the AIP dub. Anyway, watching through the extras, ranging from trailers to image galleries, one notices both a wealth of content and a lack of consistency in the quality. Furthermore, all of the extra contents are standard definition as well.

Starting from the top, we have a decent selection of trailers and promos. Two of these are for other films, one Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and the other for the Hong Kong production Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky. As for the ones for Destroy All Monsters, there is one for the 1972 Japanese re-release (under the title "Godzilla: The Grand Blitz Operation") and then one for the US and French releases. Now the quality on the Japanese trailer is great, but the quality on the latter two trailers is awful. Lots of print damage, very faded colors and signs of interlacing. Finally the Blu-ray also includes three radio spots for the US release. These are cheesy, but are a great inclusion.

The disc set also offers an audio commentary track by authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. While the pacing and delivery is a little slow here, the information is great. The pair give a lot of details on the film and the cast behind it. In fact, of all the extras lost between this and the 2014 release, this one was the best.

As for the image gallery, it's about 20 minutes of images. These are stated as coming from private collections and the quality varies, although is generally high. That said, it's a sloppy extra, as after a minute pictures start to repeat. On the plus side, there are a ton of images, showing stuff on set, promotional event photos and promotional composite images. For the first 8 minutes, these images are black and white before the color ones hit in. At about 9:30 surviving props are shown, many in rough shape. Half way through it switches to showing posters, lobby cards, pamphlets and covers. Likewise, this needed some quality assurance as images are duplicated a lot here.

Next up is 4 minutes of storyboard and production art. The storyboards are hard to see, given that full blown sheets of storyboards are shown making the individual drawings too small, but the concept art is great here.

Last and probably least is the 7 minute 8mm film reel extra. Released by AIP, this full screen video takes segments from the movie and combines them into a short. However, the quality of the source is very poor. It's faded with a lot of print damage. This combined with the fact that it's just showing segments from the movie make this uninteresting outside of the fact that it does offer some very minimal narration, which does at one point cite the Kilaak as "evil spirits" that have controlled the monsters.

 

 Overview: Star Rating


This is an okay release. It's got so-so video and audio quality, but it's great to have the AIP dub available on it. As for the extras, the quality on some of these are just way too low for a commercial release, while the lack of quality assurance is also puzzling. One would think someone would have been assigned to sift through images so the same Japanese poster isn't shown again and again and again for example. Still it's nice to have a lot of content here to choose from.

As for those asking themselves if this is worth getting now for the high prices it goes for, the answer is... no. The commentary track is great, as is having the AIP dub, but that's not worth the $80+ it often goes for these days and having to deal with the possible confusion of buying online and getting the 2014 copy instead. That said, if money is less of an issue and looking for the better of the two versions that Tokyo Shock released is your goal, this is it.