DVD Title
 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth
International Title
 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla vs. Mothra
Movie Length: 103/102 minutes Original Length: 104/103 minutes
Company: Tristar Release: 1998
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Anamorphic: No
Region: 1 Discs: 1 (Double Sided)
  
Language/Sound: Order
English (2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles:
None
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (28/28)
· Trailers: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Mothra
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

The first "Double Feature" Toho disc from Tristar, the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth DVD is one of the earliest Toho entries to enter the market. I'm sure that some, who first purchased the disc back in 1998, can also recall that it used to retail for the unreasonable $35-40 price range. Essentially, consumers were paying for the fact that they were getting two films, despite that they were sandwiched on only one disc. Thankfully, the price has gone down significantly since it first debuted, as the title now retails in the $20 range. However, early titles to the format often don't fare well when compared to their more modern counterparts, and this DVD is certainly no exception. In fact, the video, audio, and extras all fail to entice on this release.


 Video: Star Rating

Depending on one's standards, this disc's video might be acceptable or not, although without question there is a great deal of room for improvement. First off, yes, this disc is a heavily cropped full screen, or 1.33:1, presentation of the two films. At the time this was nothing out of the ordinary, in fact the Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla/Godzilla vs. Destoroyah DVD made headlines for the simple fact that the movies weren't presented in full screen. In retrospect, though, full screen really doesn't fly anymore, as, thankfully, the DVD format has moved in the direction of standardizing the movie's original formats, which in this case was 1.85:1.

This aspect of the video aside, the presentation here is generally decent for a disc this age. Like Tristar's much later Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II release, this DVD does suffer from a very significant amount of grain, which plagues both of the movies. On the bright side, this disc is nearly void of digital inconsistencies, though, as even edge enhancement, which would become a favorite method by the firm in later years, is unnoticeable. As for the colors, they are acceptable. Although Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah appears more muted in this regard than Godzilla vs. Mothra, which has a far deeper shade of black and other notable depths of color.


 Audio:

The audio quality, for both movies, is acceptable. There is only one audio track present for each film, which is a 2.0 stereo presentation of Toho's International dubbing for the two movies. To Tristar's credit, neither track features any distortion, as the audio comes through crystal clear. Speaker distinction is a little on the weak side, but nothing severe. Of course, it goes without saying that it's unfortunate that neither of the original Japanese audio tracks are to be found on this release.


 Extras:

There are two trailers present on this disc, which are the original Japanese trailers for the two features, and in their original aspect ratios of 1.85:1 none the less. Unfortunately, these trailers feature the same extremely loose subtitling that is found on the GODZILLA DVD. To give a quick idea of how bad these are, most should be able to spot the sequence where Miki mentions Biollante in the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah trailer, yet her name is never mentioned in the subtitles. Most discs don't even bother to subtitle the Japanese trailers, though, and the incredibly loose translations wouldn't be that bad if they could be toggled off, which unfortunately they can't. What makes this depressing, though, is that these measly two trailers easily trumps the extras found on most, with only a few exceptions, of Tristar's subsequent Godzilla discs.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, the disc represents the only chance for most US fans to get either film presented here on region 1 DVD. So, this release will likely make its way into most kaiju fans collections, regardless of the quality. However, I would advise bargain shopping for this one, as even at $20 it's not a great deal, especially in contrast with the more recent Universal King Kong set for the two Toho films.

This disc is also featured in the DVD box set: 50th Anniversary Godzilla Collection.