DVD Title
 Latitude Zero
International Title
 Latitude Zero
Movie Length: 105/89 minutes Original Length: 89 minutes
Company: Tokyo Shock Release: 2007
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1 Discs: 2
  
Language/Sound: Order
English (5.1 Surround), English (1.0 Mono), Japanese (1.0 Mono)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (12/12)
· Trailers: Latitude Zero (Teaser, Theatrical, International), Atragon, Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Zebraman, Nezulla
· Crew Interviews (23 minutes)
· Deleted Scenes (28 minutes)
· Photo Gallery
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

Released under Media Blasters' Tokyo Shock line, this disc contains both the extended International version of Latitude Zero and the theatrical cut that was released in Japan. When Toho first released the movie to home video in 2006, after spending decades in seclusion due to an unsure rights dilemma, it was to the pleasant surprise of many fans. Now that movie is getting a quick turn around as Media Blasters is distributing it in the United States. In terms of quality, this is another excellent release from Tokyo Shock, containing solid video and audio presentations that are supported by a good supply of extra content to mill over.


 Video:

There are two video tracks spread across the discs, with one being the International version and the other the shortened Japanese version. Now the International version, which is 105 minutes long, will be the one to likely turn heads here, especially for those who have seen the edited US cut which frequented the bootleg scene. This version contains several sequences that many are probably unfamiliar with, such as the scene of the Giant Rats falling into the acid pools to their demise. In regards to the quality, it's pretty good. It's very grainy and there are a few instances of light shimmering, but it still looks sharp and lacks more overt print damage.

Now the other video track, located on the second disc, is the Japanese cut. This version, in terms of pacing, is arguably preferable, but does shorten a lot of scenes. In terms of quality, though, it's the superior video track of the two. Grain is greatly reduced in contrast to the video track for the longer cu, while the colors are also more vibrant. It does suffer from a little extra compression, making the image a little softer, but is still in better shape. One can compare the two versions directly with the International version found here and the Japanese version here.

Latitude Zero is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

This release contains three audio tracks in total, two of which are for the International version and the last of which is located on the second disc for the Japanese cut. The first DVD contains the original, English, mono presentation for the movie and another track which is in 5.1. The surround track is interesting with some of the dialogue and sound effects, especially the roars of the Black Moth, benefiting from the extra directionality. However, Akira Ifukube's score tends to suffer a little from this process. In the end, the 1.0 track, which in terms of quality is superb without any crackles or pops, is the preferable option but it's nice to be able to choose between the two.

As for the track on the second disc, it's the movie dubbed into Japanese. Now it's certainly not very often that one can say that about a Toho movie, but that's the case with this production which was primed for an international market from the get-go and filmed entirely in English. There are no punches pulled for this audio track, though, as it's presented only in 1.0 mono, but the quality is top notch given that limitation.

The audio on the second disc can be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles.


 Extras: Star Rating

This set has a pretty generous supply of extras spread across the two discs. The first disc contains a photo gallery, with posters and theater cards, and three trailers for the movie, the last of which is the international promo for the film. The second disc has additional trailers, for other movies such as Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), and two rather lengthy features. The first of these is interviews with the crew, including Teruyoshi Nakano, and is complete with removable English subtitles. The segment is interesting, although Nakano does some definite hand ringing toward the American side of the production. Now the second feature is a "deleted scenes" segment. This extra, which is totally silent and is non-anamorphic, displays footage which sadly isn't in the best of shape, but still is very interesting to muse over. The surprising thing, though, is that it covers a variety of Toho films instead of just Latitude Zero, including: Submersion of Japan (1973), Atragon (1963) and The Imperial Navy (1981).


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this release is lacking some content included in the three disc region 2 set released by Toho, but some of this, including a third edit of the movie, are easy to overlook. Given the vast disparity in the price of the two, with the region 2 set going for around $100, the region 1 option is easily the more tempting of the two. Ignoring the alternatives, this set is overall a very nice package as well, including a amble amount of content with pretty commendable video and audio quality given the production's age.