Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
"Germany's First Godzilla Blu-ray!"
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster was a turning point for the Godzilla series. This is where Godzilla changes from being the destroyer that he is to Earth's savior. After a meteorite crashes to Earth, a group of scientists go to investigate. At the same time, a princess is heading to Japan when her plane explodes during it's flight. Believing that the princess is dead, a mysterious prophet claiming to be from Venus looks exactly like the dead princess. The prophet claims that the monsters are going to be awoken and it all begins to hit the fan.
The meteorite turns out to be King Ghidorah and soon he begins laying waste to Japan. Rodan, Mothra (in larva form), and Godzilla gather. Mothra tries to stop Godzilla and Rodan from killing each other and begs them to stop and to save the world from the wrath of King Ghidorah. After the monsters ignore her pleas, Mothra goes to fight King Ghidorah by herself. Godzilla and Rodan sees Mothra's sacrifice to save the planet and soon the three unlikely monsters begin the battle for the Earth and duke it out against King Ghidorah.
I remember being six years old when I first saw this film, in 1996. I had recorded it off of the Disney channel along with Son of Godzilla. Yes, Disney channel back in the day would actually play Godzilla films. Would you see something like that now a days? No. You would get the crap you see on there today.
What I love about this film is how hysterical it gets when the monsters fight and the sarcasm that they have. You can tell that Rodan is laughing at Godzilla when Mothra is spraying him down and then Rodan shuts up as soon as he gets sprayed himself. This is a film where the suits look amazing and well done. I can't recommend this film enough, 5/5.
Ascot Elite presents the film in 1080p and uses the Toho remaster from 2008. How does the film fare in comparison to Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla Vs Biollante? It's spectacular. It blows the HD remaster away for Destroy All Monsters. However, there's some scratches on the lens which they couldn't remove. The picture is pretty flawless for an almost fifty year old film. I give the visual presentation 4.5/5.
We have two audio presentations of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster; Japanese and German DTS-HD MA 5.1. Both tracks sound glorious. Hearing Godzilla's roar and the other monsters roaring and fighting all sounds amazing. Both audio tracks sound great. All around 5/5.
We have some great extras, however, most of them are PAL encoded which means it won't work in your Region 1 players unless your player is compatible. We have a 40 minute score version which is in HD. And we have a German commentary track; I have some issues with it. They claimed that Shusuke Kaneko liked Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster so much that he remade it as GMK. Unless I translated it wrong, I honestly don't believe that is correct. I know that Kaneko loved this film and made Shiro Sano and Chiharu Niiyama watch the film. Also, they claimed that the American title for the film was the literal Japanese translation for the film; Giant Monsters Decisive Battle.
We have an interview with Shusuke Kaneko, which is fine and good fun, but; we have scrolling German subtitles from the right side to the left side of the screen. It honestly hurt my eyes trying to read it as moved way too fast. And these subtitles are burned into the video itself. And finally, we have the trailer in Japanese and German. Basically, it's just German audio over the Japanese trailer. I do like the bonus material; however since it's all in German, it won't help all of you. 4.5/5.
This Blu-ray is region free and is a cheaper alternative to the Japanese Blu-ray which costs about $80. I managed to get the German Blu-ray for $17 off of Grooves Inc. Like the Japanese Blu-ray, this German Blu-ray is not English friendly. However, if you've watched this film as many times as I have, you get used to watching the film despite the fact there's no English subtitles. Much like how i can watch the German Blu-ray Casshern and don't really need subtitles whenever it's playing in Japanese or German. This is classic Godzilla, remastered, and very stunning for an almost fifty year old film. I give this Blu-ray 5/5.