(aka 'Chikyu Boeigun' or 'Defence Force of the Earth" or "Earth Defense Force " or "The Mysterians')

directed by Ishirô Honda
Japan 1957

The short take is - Aliens arrive on Earth and ask permission to be given a certain tract of land for their people to live on. But when they are discovered to be invaders, responsible for the giant robot that is destroying cities, the armed forces attempt to stop them with every weapon available.

 

Like Godzilla, The Mysterians also explores the dangers of the atomic bomb combined with the kaiju eiga (Japanese giant monster movie) sub-genre, but for the first time in Japanese culture it introduced a new concept - alien invasion.

 

Those who know me are aware that I have a soft spot for poor science-fiction films (especially from the 50's and 60's... and especially of the Japanese 'fantastic' variety). It probably has something to do with the pulpy stuff I was exposed to growing up and my fondness for nostalgia. Now, this is pretty bad, but it also has a very strong 'cool' factor. Really, I have so much fun with this genre - films that are far too easy to pick apart. Rise above it and let your hair down and I can't possibly see how you cannot help but enjoy this to bits - the innocent production values, the bad special effects, the hokey costumes... superlatives can be used liberally. It's a blast!

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 1957 - Tokyo

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

 Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL

 (Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Media Blasters Inc. - Region 1 - NTSC BFI - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:28:24  1:24:51 (4% PAL speedup) 
Video 2.39:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.36 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
2.42:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.45 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  Media Blasters

Bitrate: BFI

Audio Japanese  (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese  (Dolby Digital mono) DUB: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) , Spanish (Dolby Digital mono)  Japanese  (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Media Blasters Inc.

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.39:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with Koichi Kawakita and Shinji Higuchi
• Photo Gallery
• Design Gallery
• Storyboards
• Original trailer

DVD Release Date: January 25th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.42:1

Edition Details:

• Original theatrical trailer
• Rare production designs and artwork
Storyboards
• Posters and stills galleries
• 16-page Illustrated booklet including notes by author Kim Newman and biographies

DVD Release Date: February 13th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 14

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: BFI - Region 2- PAL - February - 06' - the image quality appears to be exact, or negligibly different, on both releases. Color, damage marks and framing are likewise as close as 'dammit is to swearing'. I kind of like the BFI subtitles - a shade less intrusive, but the deal breaker here is the commentary track offered on the Media Blasters. They both have design galleries and storyboards but the BFI has a wonderful booklet included. The Media Blasters gives more audio options. If you are not a commentary-type them simply choose the one that is least expensive for you. Otherwise the Media Blasters is the way to go. 

*****

Sure this DVD has some weaknesses, but it also has some impressive strengths. The image has very minor scratches and damage and is a little hazy, but it is 16X9 enhanced and colors are quite bright, although there is some saturation and it can appear quite thick. I actually found it looked quite good on a TV tube. It is stacked with 5.1 Japanese and original mono as well as a 5.1 English DUB and mono Spanish one. A commentary by Toho effects supervisors is priceless and hard-to-find extras (I would imagine) - old storyboards and costume renderings - are very chic. Removable, clear English subtitles - Why can't they all be like this? Wonderful!   out of       

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Recommended Poster Books (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

tie

Sound:

Media Blasters
Extras: Media Blasters
Menu: Media Blasters

 

 

DVD Box Cover
   

Distribution Media Blasters Inc. - Region 1 - NTSC BFI - Region 2 - PAL

 





 

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Gary Tooze

Thank You!