on August 14, 2012
For the first time ever Godzilla vs. Megalon has an official DVD release. Yes, DVD, not Blu Ray. If youre going to wait for the Blu Ray, that is your choice, but for someone like me, a lifelong die hard Godzilla fan who flew to Burbank to meet Godzilla ( Harou Nakajima) this was a no-brainer pick up for me.
The plot is very simple. Most of you reading have seen this in some form be it VHS, TV, MST3K etc..The underwater world of Seatopia decides now is the time to strike back against Japan for all of its nuclear testing. They steal an inventors Robot named Jet Jaguar to guide the great beast, Megalon to destroy the Earth. The inventor is able to get control of Jet Jaguar just in time to get Godzilla. What we get in the payoff is Megalon and Gigan vs. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar in a tag team WWE/UFC fight.
As most of you know, the film is considered one of the, if not, the worst due to the juvenile feel this movie has, clearly made for kids. And to save a few yen, the film also boasts about 95% stock footage of city destruction scenes.
While the film itself is thought of as bad, its actually a lot of fun in a Kaiju Cult kind of a way.
As for the DVD. I was very much impressed with this widescreen transfer. Media Blasters did a tremendous job with the transfer. The movie has NEVER looked better on DVD stateside. Day scenes look great, night scenes arent too dark or black, colors are sparkling. And it is uncut, with the opening credits (in Japanese) as well as several scenes such as the boy getting kidnapped, the agent getting crushed by a rock, etc. And the ending with the song has English subs !! :)
I watched the English dubbed version and its the familiar dub and it was loud and sharp. No adjusting the remote to higher levels to listen to it - it was English 2.0 , while the Japanese language has both 2.0 and 5.1
This is a barebones release with the probable release of a Blu Ray down the road. There are reasons for Media Blasters being unable to release the Blu Ray version with all the extras. These reasons can be found on Facebook, their own website, SciFi Japan, etc.
For me, this suits me just fine because it is an official release. I am a huge Godzilla fan and I want everything on DVD or Blu Ray. And while I wait for an HD version, this will proudly sit in with my other Godzilla movies, most of which are on DVD by the way. I dont like to double dip very often but with Godzilla, I will make the exception.
on December 26, 2011
SEPT 2014: So it's finally here... good news a nice clean print, not perfect but perfectly acceptable and likely the best we'll ever get. Bad news: no features. I will never understand Toho... first they're messing with the livelihood of a small business and second they're endlessly leading on the fans over what? A couple minor features for a children's film which is widely considered to be the least of the G-franchise films? Really? Funny thing is I've heard the commentary (bought one of the few feature DVDs that slipped out) and it does not rip on the movie at all... the commentary acknowledges the movie's reputation and then states that rather than rip on it they will tell the interesting story of how it got made... which is exactly what they proceed to do. The commentators actually give it much more respect and serious treatment than anyone could rightly wish for. I would truly think Toho would be thrilled by the features so I am more mystified than ever at the studio's stubborn - if not outright hostile - position. Anyway, from the pattern that Media Blasters have set previously it looks as if they're going with limited no-features Blu-ray releases on GvM and DAM... and if we're lucky Toho might finally approve feature versions down the road a bit. Poor Media Blasters... I pity them being played with like this after making a valiant effort to put out quality product.
THIS INFO IS ACTUALLY FROM MARCH 22ND BUT IT GOT BY ME - HAD A BUSY SUMMER!
Media Blasters licensed both GODZILLA VS MEGALON and DESTROY ALL MONSTERS in 2011, with MEGALON initially planned for both DVD and Blu-ray last November. But after Toho complained about some of the extra features Media Blasters included on their DESTROY ALL MONSTERS discs, MEGALON was put on hold while Toho went over the bonus content prepared for that film.
Toho has a mountain of material -- including trailers, stills, publicity art, a feature length audio commentary by film historians Steve Ryfle (Japan's Favorite Mon-Star, BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE, ICONS OF SCI-FI: TOHO COLLECTION) and Stuart Galbraith IV (The Toho Studios Story, INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER DVD, TORA-SAN COLLECTOR'S SET), and an interview with English dub voice actor Ted Thomas -- to review, and the approval process has moved very slowly. With no end date in sight, Toho has authorized Media Blasters to release a barebones version of GODZILLA VS MEGALON at this time. A special edition is intended for both DVD and Blu-ray once Toho has given final approvals for the extra features, however long that may take.
ALRIGHT, SO IT'S PROBABLY NOT THAT NEW TO MANY FANS, BUT WORTH ADDING TO THE FRONT OF THIS REVIEW FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW ALREADY. I'M KEEPING MY PRE-ORDER IN FOR THE BLURAY, AND FOR THE MEANTIME BOUGHT THE DVD ANYWAY. IT'S NICE TO HAVE A CLEAN COPY AND I WANT TO SUPPORT MEDIA BLASTERS HOWEVER POSSIBLE. KEEP THE FAITH!
This review is to try once more to stifle the negative rumours about this release. The previous review By Mr. Bearbomb "DVD release RUMORS FALSE!!!" written just recently on December 14th, 2011 is false itself. The DVD and Bluray ARE coming out, though obviously with a bit of a delay, as they were originally scheduled for before Christmas. The original rumour was reported early this year on August Ragone's blog - information being supplied to him by a source he thought was reliable. It then turned out to be false... the denial from Media Blasters came at this point in time, which pointed out that they had been denied rights to the movie (but that was several years prior, keep in mind). August reported and apologized for this. Apparently in this small and barely significant community of Kaiju (Japanese monster) fans / collectors, there is a faction who do not like Mr Ragone, for whatever reason, and it seems as if someone might have set him up for an embarrassing mistake. This kind of behavior is petty and shameful. Chances are "Mr Bearbomb" is one of the pack. Whatever, who cares. Ironically, however, upon hearing all this stupid furor over the false rumor, Media Blasters submitted a new request for rights to release Godzilla vs Megalon along with Destroy All Monsters, and were surprised that this time Toho agreed to the request. This is when the current release was scheduled. Destroy All Monsters came out after a couple delays and Megalon is set to follow very soon.
Anyone who still doubts can go visit Scifijapan.com and read interviews with respected Toho Kaiju film historians Steve Ryfle and Stuart Galbraith IV, discussing their involvement in the project (from Nov 15th, currently on page 3 of articles). Ed Godziszewski was also involved in at least preliminary stages of producing Megalon special features. They have authored books on the subject and been involved in previous DVD releases by Sony and Classic Media. The interviews with Steve and Stuart give interesting insight into the preparation of the commentary and more. Sorry, "Mr Bearbomb," but you have no idea what you're talking about.
Finally, I'll take a general stab at this movies detractors who write it off as "the worst Godzilla movie" and other such nonsense. The bottom line here is that it's fun... just good old fashioned silliness! Now, as for the so-called "good" Kaiju movies... even the best of them are still about giant radioactive lizards, so give me a break, OK? It's true that the first wave, including Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again, Rodan, Mothra, Varan were well crafted, interesting and fun monster sci-fi movies, with a small bit of genuine horror feeling to them, but with the notable exception of Godzilla vs Mothra in 64, things pretty much went straight downhill from there. from 1962's Godzilla vs King Kong through to 1975's Terror Of Mechagodzilla they were ALL silly. I mean, if you don't have a healthy appreciation of campy genre films (psychotronic fare for the more informed among us), then how can you really call yourself a Godzilla fan anyway??? The fact that Godzilla vs Megalon is the "worst" or "most campy" or "silliest" for me makes it one of the best. I just have an uproarious good time watching this movie, whatever the quality of the release. And the fact that it's now coming out in a 2-disc package with a well-researched commentary and additional supplementary features is the icing on the cake of my Kaiju collection. To h*** with the naysayers, I for one can't wait, and I encourage any casual Godzilla fans to grab this release, grab a seat on the couch with your kids and some popcorn, and have a great time! Cheers, everybody!
AUGUST 2013: Well I have certainly begun to feel that I would be dining on crow for this review of Godzilla vs. Megalon, but I have stubbornly hung in, not canceling my pre-order. I have also resisted the temptation to pay big money for one of the DVDs that 'slipped out' with features included, which I would so love to have because I am such a features nut. But I stay the course, hoping that Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters stays in business long enough to see this release through all the Toho silliness. Now I have received a couple emails of late, the latest stating "We have good news! One of your pre-ordered items is now eligible for release date delivery and has been upgraded at no additional charge." Nice to see some type of progress, but there's still not actually a release date posted, so I am not quite ready to leap for joy yet. However, things are looking up, so the crow can wait for now!
on February 10, 2013
All of you out there who would want to order this movie are just like me- A super Godzilla- Japanese Movie SYFY Fan. My first viewing of Godzilla was on Million Dollar Movie in the early 60s on WOR TV Channel 9 in New York City but I can go back further. My sisters and I dragged my father to see Rodan in the theaters- very limited showings at the cheap movie house which played only Science Fiction and Horror movies every Saturday for 25 cents. In those days, there wasn't the fear of dropping your children off at the movie house, giving them money for the movie, a bagged lunch and an additional dime, if you were good all week and did your chores, to buy a 5 cent coke and 5 cent hershey bar or any candy bar which were all 5 cents. We got three movies, cartoons, news, and upcoming attractions which is where we saw the trailer for Rodan. That movie was a bit more expensive and required a parent so all week we worked more and also worked on my father to be that responsible parent. That Saturday morning arrived and off we went and saw Rodan. We kids loved it but my father was very uncomfortable with the early mine scenes with the bug monsters. That, I know, scared him but he too loved it. Right from there, any Japanese monster movie was for us which was in short supply. Then Million Dollar Movie with a weeks worth of Godzilla every night from 730 to 900. As I got older we saw more and more on TV, not cable- That was not invented yet.. Then when the VCR came out and VHS tapes became available and by then with me having a famility of my own, Godzilla became a part of my children's lives and loves. Now on to this movie-
I have the old VHS tape - well actually I still have all the ones I bought and the DVDS I bought to replace them. Word of warning- buy the good DVD copies, not bad ones like Alpha- This movie is crisp and clear and has a story that you can follow which was a little short in the VHS copy. Godzilla is hilarious as he stomps around and boxes. He and Jet Jaguar tag team Megalon and Gigan is hilarious entertainment for most ot the end of the movie. So FUN!!!!! This ranks right up there with my favorite- Godzilla vs Hedorah (Smog Monster). This is the light Godzilla who was our protector. It is so entertaining and I highly recommend buying it. Once you get it, put in the the DVD player, gather the kids or grandkids like me and sit back and enjoy it. Word of warning- Loving all things Godzilla is highly contagious- my daughters and especially my son all love that monster- I brought them up right. Thank you.
on August 27, 1999
A sunken continent is beneath the sea but houses survivors of the once-great land in the underwater city of Seatopia. But underwater nuclear testing puts the Seatopians at serious risk and so they send Megalon to deal with the war-mongering surface-dwellers. Also on hand is Gigan. But a surface-world professor has built an android which can grow to enormous sizes when the need arises and so the robot Jet Jaguar takes on the monsters, eventually joined by Godzilla.
I've read a lot of bad reviews about this film, which are unfair, as this film provides escapism, monster action and interesting characters. These are what monster movies are supposed to be about. They're not meant to be blatant vehicles for commercialistion filled with mean-spirited reality, cardboard-cutout people and boring video game monsters like a certain recent so-called Godzilla film I could mention.
Godzilla V Megalon is a genuine monster movie. Jet Jaguar makes a likeable heroic figure and there are more than enough scenes of monster-destruction to hold the interest. The film also has a definate moral message, which certainly isn't a bad thing in these morally-bereft times.
on November 24, 2014
I liked the part where megalon's drill hands turned into gigan-hook-hands whenever he swatted airplanes. I wish they showed him rapidly transforming his arms from drills into hooks for split-second amounts of time each time he knocked a plane down. I do not understand why they did not show his hands rapidly transforming from his drills into the hands of another monster and back into his own again so rapidly. It is an amazing anti-plane adaptation. I bet he learned it from gigan, who destroyed planes in a strikingly similar way when he and ghidorah took on G and Anguirus last time. Oh well. I also liked the careful attention to plot construction and development. I had no trouble understanding how or why Jet Jaguar had been invented, or why he looked like his skull might have been used in the last Indiana Jones movie. His randomly developed size-changing abilities are more scientifically accurate than Darwinism or any variation of that theory. He totally looked like a robot, and not pile of foam rubber and shiny plastic. His grin was not creepy, especially not in the company of a little boy. I liked jet jaguar's grin. It made me feel safe. Seatopia was clearly underwater, and not a bunch of people doing normal not-under-water stuff. Their Megalon-summoning dance was more pertinent and necessary than any scene from any movie ever made. I wish that Rodan had a little less screen time, as i felt that he really overshadowed the performance of all other monsters, people and robots. Seriously, too much Rodan. I also liked how un-ridiculous this Godzilla looks, compared to some of the earlier movies. The soft, weird and annoying soundtrack is way better than the dark, epic and forboding orchestral music from previous films.
This movie is total crap and i enjoyed it immensely.
on February 27, 2012
There seems to be a split between the reviewers here; some say it's the worst Godzilla film and some say it's not too bad.
May I remind people of 'Godzilla's Revenge'? When I got the 'Godzilla Collection' I watched all the films several times; Japanese version, US version and then again for the commentaries. I did this almost back-to-back as I'm a Godzilla nut...except when it came to 'Godzilla's Revenge'.
I found it boring, tedious and...I'll have to use the word 'tedious' again. Difficult to sit 'thru once, let alone several times. In fact, the audio commentary was a real joy to listen to, as it distracted me from the film.
'Godzilla vs Megalon' is a solid gold classic compared to that movie. It's fun and there's plenty going on. It's no 'Destroy All Monsters', but luckily it's no 'Godzilla's Revenge' either!
If this ever DOES come out, I'll certainly be buying it.
on April 17, 2013
First off I recommend watching this one in the original Japanese as the English voice-acting ranges from flat to distractingly corny, not to mention Toho felt the need to insert the occasional expletive into a typically G-rated franchise.
The film itself boasts a seriously groovy musical score, a handsome and action-oriented main star (no cute female costars unfortunately) and the DVD transfer represents a pretty sharp picture. Unfortunately the battle royale (the whole purpose for the movie) is excruciatingly tedious, repetitive and just not very imaginative. The best analogy I can think of is professional, tag-team wrestling in that one minute a monster is down getting the crud kicked outta him and the next is completely unstoppable; not to mention the relative absence of miniature cities being demolished which usually accompanies titanic battles for excellent effect. I really did like the mecha-hero (i.e. "Jet Jaguar") and wasn't bothered in the slightest by the fact he could super-size himself even though said technology was beyond the capabilities of his creators... but OMG his theme-song was enough to make even a total sci-fi nerd like myself a little embarrassed.
Three-star film for me overall, however I think the Jet-Jaguar theme-song would make a great ring-tone for that annoying, special someone. :o)