Invasion of Astro-Monster

Japan Release: 1965
Running Time:
94 minutes

Invasion of Astro-Monster


Japanese Title

怪獣大戦争
[Kaiju Daisenso]

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho

A mysterious planet is discovered behind Jupiter. Astronauts are sent to explore the new sphere and discover an alien race called the Xilien. Tormented by the space monster King Ghidorah, the aliens request that humanity loan them Godzilla and Rodan to defend themselves. In return, the extraterrestrial race will give a miracle drug to cure all disease. Earth agrees, but the Xilien arrive before being given consent, making humanity leery. Taking the monsters and a few astronauts to observe, they travel back to Planet X. Once there, Godzilla and Rodan send King Ghidorah in retreat at the alien home world. However, the Xilien's plans are more than way they seem...

Live Action Science Fiction KaijuGodzilla

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

Titles

International Title

Invasion of Astro-Monster

Initial US Title

Monster Zero
US Distributor: Maron Films (1970) / Time: 92 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Great Monster War
[Literal Translation]

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
[US Home Video Title]


Monsters


Aliens, SDF & Misc.

P-1
M24 Chaffee Tank
M24 Chaffee Tank (stock footage)
Missile Launcher Truck
Missile Launcher Truck (stock footage)

Staff

Cast

Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Shinichi Sekizawa
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Henry G. Saperstein, Reuben Bercovitch
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
Film Editing by Ryohei Fujii
Production Design by Takeo Kita, Akira Watanabe
Assistant Director Koji Kajita, Koji Hashimoto
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Assistant Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Glenn, Astronaut Nick Adams
Fuji, Astronaut Akira Takarada
Miss Namikawa Kumi Mizuno
Sakurai, Doctor Jun Tazaki
Tetsuo Teri, Inventor Akira Kubo
Haruno Fuji Keiko Sawai
Controller of Planet X Yoshio Tsuchiya
Chairman of Earth Committee Takamaru Sasaki
Minister of Defense Gen Shimizu
General Yoshifumi Tajima
Military Aide Nadao Kirino
Commander from Planet X, Earth Unit Kenzo Tabu
Namikawa's Associate Koji Uno
Buddhist Priest Somesho Matsumoto
Xilien, Earth Unit Toru Ibuki, Kazuo Suzuki
Xilien Yoshizo Tatake, Mitzuo Tsuda, Takuzo Kumagaya, Masaaki Tachibana, Rioji Shimizu, Minoru Ito, Hideki Furukawa

Posters


Box Office

Release Date: December 19th, 1965 (Japan)
Initial Attendance: 3,780,000 (Japan)
Release Date: March 17th, 1971 (Japan, Re-Issue)
Re-Issue Attendance: 1,350,000 (Japan)
Attendance Total: 5,130,000 (Japan)

Release Date:
July 29th, 1970 (US)
Total: $3,000,000 (US, Rough Figure, Double Billed with The War of the Gargantuas [1966])

Toho Stock Footage


DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Godzilla Versus Monster Zero Simitar (1998) Order
United States Region 1 Invasion of Astro-Monster Classic Media (2007) Order
Japan Region 2 Great Monster War Toho (2003)
Australia Region 4 Godzilla: Invasion of Astro-Monster Madman (2005)

CD Soundtracks

Compilations
Space Monster Dogora

Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on December 8th, 1986 with the registration number of PA0000317013. The movie was submitted with the Romaji title of Kaiju Daisenso and the international title, Invasion of Astro-Monster. At a later date, on April 29th, 1991, Toho submitted a supplement, registration number PA0000535811, that added two additional titles to the copyright claim: Monster Zero and Godzilla vs. Monster Zero.
  • Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya won five technical achievement awards from the Japan Movie Association during his career. One was for his combined work on Invasion of Astro-Monster and The Retreat from Kiska (1965). Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • In regards to the stock footage used in Invasion of Astro-Monster, and its subsequent use at Toho, Ishiro Honda lamented in an interview that "it was a vicious cycle of time and budget." He went on to note that if they "recycled scenes from previous movies, we could cut the effects budget. But then we received complaints from our fans saying, 'it looks weird, it's not fresh.' We could fool the audience for a little while but eventually they would know the trick and stop coming to see the shows" and noted that it was a "sad story". Mentioned in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Writer Shinichi Sekizawa has noted that his work on the film was the last time he felt truly passionate about the genre. Despite later requests to be re-assigned to other types of movies, Toho kept having him work on and write other entries in the kaiju genre. In fact, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka requested his services as late as 1990, although the writer was finally able to decline the request due to health conditions. Referenced in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Although the opening title card says 196X, New Godzilla Walker - The New Legend of the King of the Monsters (ISBN: 9784048956321) claims the events in the movie actually take place in 1965.
  • Director Akira Kurosawa would often tease director Ishiro Honda over the evacuation scenes in his films, such as the ones in Invasion of Astro-Monster where policeman are directing the fleeing crowds. Kurosawa would state that in real life the policemen would be the first to evacuate, but Honda was too good natured for this. Mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • In May 1965, Vanity was the first to report that Henry G. Saperstein of United Productions of America had entered in a deal with Toho to co-produce five films. This included three monster movies, a war movie and a spy thriller. It was also stated to include a television show, shot in Japan but would air on U.S. stations. One of those monster movies ended up being Invasion of Astro-Monster.
  • Henry G. Saperstein of United Productions of America stated that he provided 50% of the funding for Invasion of Astro-Monster, Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) and The War of the Gargantuas (1966). Cited in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Variety reported in June of 1966 that Henry G. Saperstein had wrapped post production on Invasion of Astro-Monster for a US release as "Invasion of the Astros". It then stated he was "currently negotiating a distribution deal". However, the movie would not be released until 1970. Rather then distributed through AIP, as was done with Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) and Key of Keys (1965), it was released by Maron Films with the title "Monster Zero" as a double bill with The War of the Gargantuas (1966). Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • When promoting the US release of the movie, Maron Films did not highlight that American actor Nick Adams was in the film. By the 1970 release, Adams, who passed away in 1968 from a drug overdose, had been deceased for a couple of years. While it's possible this contributed, it should be noted that Russ Tamblyn, who appeared in The War of the Gargantuas (1966) on the double bill, was also not highlighted.

Concept Art



Cut Scenes

Train Disaster Averted

Train Disaster Averted

Just after a train passes the track, Rodan flies overhead to destroy the bridge with the sonic booms created in his wake.

Background:
This sequence simply shows a train passing the tracks before Rodan destroys the bridge, a detail that, while making the set feel more alive with activity, seems out of place with the pacing of the destruction sequence in the movie.

 
Rodan's Wrath

Rodan's Wrath

Under control of the Xilien, Rodan uses the hurricane winds created from its wings to blow away a small village.

Background:
There was extended footage filmed, including different angles, that showed more of Rodan's efforts to destroy the countryside.


Reviews

Miles Imhoff [Continetal] Star Rating
February 22, 2005
   

Reviews

Miles Imhoff [Maron Films] Star Rating
February 15, 2005