DVD Title
Space Amoeba
International Title
Space Amoeba
DVD Length Original Length
84 Minutes 84 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Tokyo Shock 2006
Language Subtitles
Japanese, English English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
2.35:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround
Extras
. Menus (English)
. Chapters (8)
. Trailers: Space Amoeba (Teaser, #1), Atragon, Varan, Dogora, The Mysterians (Tokyo Shock)
. Meet the Marine Animals Behind the Monsters feature (9 minutes)
. Commentary with Fumio Tanaka (Japanese, English Subtitled)
Captures
Review

The sixth Showa Toho release from Tokyo Shock, Space Amoeba ends up being yet another treat from the firm's ever expanding portfolio of titles. Across the board, this disc fairs extraordinarily well with good video and audio presentations while also boasting some interesting extras for fans to mill over.


 Video:

Although not perfect, the video presentation on Space Amoeba is still nothing short of extraordinary for a film produced in 1970. The one aspect, though, where it does fall a little short is the colors as they lack the robust array possible on the format. Not to undersell them, though, as they still look pretty good on this disc. Furthermore, this release is also step above previous Showa titles from the company, excluding their excellent Dogora DVD, as there is no faint yellow tint to the presentation.

Beyond the colors, though, nearly everything else about the video quality on this disc is flawless considering the film's age. Most impressive, in fact, is simply the shape of the print used for the transfer, which is void of any scratches and only displays a very faint amount of grain. The movie also looks very sharp on this release, with a nice amount of detail visible without any indication that edge enhancement was utilized. On the down side there does seem to be a hint of pixilation at around the three minute mark, but considering that this was an isolated instance this could have simply been a problem with my copy as opposed to a sign of heavy compression.

Space Amoeba is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, or Toho Scope, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

Very similar to the audio presentation on Atragon, this disc sports a very nice selection of tracks to keep one busy. In total, there are four audio tracks on this disc, with two of them being in Japanese and the second pair being of Toho's International English dubbing for the film (so no "I guess he's not going to invite us for dinner" or other cracks if one might be familiar with AIP's dub).

As expected, the Japanese tracks fare the best on this release and are present in both 2.0 mono and 5.1 surround. Pound for pound, the mono track sounds better, but the surround presentation is still a good way to watch the movie if one has the appropriate set up.

In regards to the English dub tracks, they are decent, although the dialogue sounds a little muffled on both the 2.0 and 5.1 tracks. The surround English track also features some remixed sound effects to better utilize the extra channels. Some examples of these redone sound effects include: added range to the bats' cries, more echo to Gezora's roar, a new volcano explosion sound and a faint Eagle like cry being added to Ganime's roar a few times. In this respect, I actually preferred the remixed 5.1 track over the original mono dub, as the added range is nice and the new sound effects are also fun to point out for those familiar to the film. It's also something that I hope becomes standard on future Tokyo Shock titles of pre-stereo movies, especially since the 2.0 mono track is kept to ensure that no one is likely to raise a fuss in regards to the changes.

The movie is accompanied by, removable, English subtitles that correspond to the Japanese track.


 Extras:

This disc has a good selection supplemental content, with certainly some interesting inclusions to say the least. The one that is most likely to raise eyebrows, if for nothing more than being unexpected, is a nine minute documentary on the three marine animals that Gezora, Ganimes and Kamoebas were based on. This extra is surprisingly informative as it talks about the Kisslip Cuttlefish, Rubble Crab and Matamata Turtle with a nice number of interesting facts on the trio over the brisk runtime.

Next up is a commentary by producer Fumio Tanaka, who is a good choice for Space Amoeba as at 29 this was only his second film as a producer before he went on to produce the Bloodthirsty trilogy later in his career. Tanaka provides some nice commentary on this release, while interesting topics of discussion are frequently brought up, such as the US title,Yog Monster from Space, possibly originating from Lovecraft's "Yog-Sothothery".

Rounding out the disc is a good collection of promotional material, including a "special announcement" teaser for Space Amoeba followed by its regular theatrical trailer along with ones for Varan, Dogora and Atragon as well.

It should be noted that the expansive gallery feature found on the region 2 release is, sadly, not included on this disc. Although, at least the menus, such as the Audio Setup, are much more visually pleasing then the rushed ones found on the Atragon disc.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this release is another superb title from Tokyo Shock that is sure to please fans of the film, while also making an excellent addition to kaiju fans' collections who haven't seen Space Amoeba before, particularly at its price point.

- Anthony Romero  
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