DVD Title
Destroy All Monsters
International Title
DVD Length
Original Length
89 Minutes
89 Minutes
Year of Manufacture
ADV Films
Number of Discs
Aspect Ratio
2.0 Mono
Includes Soundtrack CD (30 Tracks, 39:49)
Overtime, ADV has garnished a reputation for releasing mediocre DVDs, and many were expecting, when it was first announced, that their Destroy All Monsters - 50th Anniversary Special Edition release would continue this trend, but would at least make amends after their incredibly poor Destroy All Monsters! release back in 1998. Closer to the disc's release, however, it became apparent that this wasn't the case. There is nothing "special" about this "special edition" re-release by ADV, which is merely a double pack of the DVD and soundtrack in an attempt to cash in on the King of the Monsters' 50th anniversary. The DVD here is identical to the Destroy All Monsters! release, my DVD player even asked if I wanted to continue from where I last stopped watching, as it thought it was the 1998 release I had previously viewed. This means one can expect the same poor video quality, the International English dub track in mono, and no extras to speak of, beyond the CD packaged with it.

Star Rating

The video presentation found on this disc is rather poor, with the only really positive thing to be said is that it maintains the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It would appear that two prints were used for the transfer to DVD: one an international print used for scenes, like the opening credits, that would have displayed Japanese text which is replaced with English, and the other a well restored Japanese print. The end result is English title sequences which contain numerous scratches, with the rest of the movie containing only a minor number of scratches. Changing between the two prints, during the course of the movie, isn't very noticeable, with the exception of the ending sequence when the colors change from overly blue to overly yellow as the International print is used for text in this scene. The Japanese print used isn't flawless, though, and contains an annoying problem during most scene changes in the film where a white bar appears at the bottom of the image (seen here); it's a minor distraction, but one that remains consistent during the entire movie.

Like the prints used for the transfer, the colors are a mixed bag here as well: the film does contain vibrant colors, most noticeable in the yellow and red outfits of the Moonbase personal, but the coloring is off here, and appears far more blue than it should. Artifacting, and other digital inconsistencies added during the transfer to DVD, are distracting as well. The film appears rather blurry, although pixilation isn't bad on this release. Shimmering, a distortion of fine details which give off a ban of multiple colors, are very noticeable on this release, with the most obvious occurrence being the spikes on Anguirus' shell when he is seen at a distance.

Star Rating

The audio presentation on this release is, like everything else about this DVD, lacking. The DVD contains a English 2.0 mono track of the, horrendous, International dubbing. This might have been excusable on the 1998 release, where containing a English dub track only was common place, but in 2004 it seems a shame not to include the Japanese audio track after ADV's Orochi the Eight-Headed Dragon and Tristar's Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla releases. In general, the audio quality is good, although it gets scratchy around the 73 minute mark when King Ghidorah first appears.

Star Rating

As previously mentioned, this disc contains no extras; in fact, it still remains the most bare bones release of a Toho DVD on region 1. This means no chapters, no menus, nothing; a video track with a English dub track, and no subtitles, is all that one will find on this DVD. The 50th Anniversary "Special Edition" does, though, contain the soundtrack to the film on CD, which ADV had previously released in the United States in 2003. It's unfortunate, though, that the CD does not come in a jewel case and is instead packaged inside of the Amaray case with the actual DVD.

Star Rating
Bottom line, it's a budget release of the lackluster DVD and soundtrack packaged together. If one doesn't have either the DVD or the soundtrack, then picking this up for the $15-20 retail price would be suggestible. Otherwise, one would probably do best to avoid this release as the VHS tape version from ADV actually has a better presentation of the film than this DVD.
-Anthony Romeros