FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD this June
Latest News on the 2-Disc DVD Set from Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock
Author: Keith Aiken
Source: Media Blasters, Inc.
Special Thanks to Shinichi Wakasa and Keizo Murase
In the two years since Media Blasters began releasing DVDs of classic Toho films, the title they have received the most requests for has been FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (Furankenshutain tai Chite Kaiju Baragon, 1965). Media Blasters took notice and quickly snapped up US rights to the film when they became available from Toho. On June 26, the company’s ‘Tokyo Shock’ label will release FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD on Region 1 DVD. This will be the first time the movie has been released on home video in North America.
American actor Nick Adams (REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, MONSTER ZERO) plays James Bowen, a doctor caring for radiation victims in Hiroshima. Bowen and his assistant Sueko (Kumi Mizuno) find an orphaned boy (Koji Furuhata) who soon begins to grow into a giant Frankenstein Monster. The authorities blame Frankenstein for attacks on small villages and mountain resorts until the true culprit– the giant burrowing dinosaur Baragon– reveals itself for a battle to the death between the two monsters.
Toho co-produced FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD with Henry Saperstein’s company United Productions of America, and the American and Japanese versions of the film were edited somewhat differently with different shots used for a few scenes. In addition, Saperstein originally planned to release the film as “Frankenstein vs the Giant Devilfish”. He had Toho shoot a second ending in which Frankenstein battles a giant octopus (called ‘Odako’ in Japan), but the Devilfish sequence was never used for either version of the film.
To accommodate the variant editions of the movie, the Tokyo Shock DVD will be a 2-Disc set with both the American version FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD and the Japanese version FRANKENSTEIN VS BARAGON (hence the two titles displayed on the packaging art). Despite earlier reports that the American version of the film would be a cropped 1.78:1 transfer from the satellite channel Monsters HD, Media Blasters has now revealed that both FRANKENSTEIN VS BARAGON and FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD will be in the correct 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The US version is the theatrical cut as originally released by American International Pictures (not the later UPA TV edit), and features the classic English dubbing by Titra Sound as well as Nick Adams’ own voice.
Today Media Blasters confirmed that the alternate “Frankenstein vs the Giant Devilfish” ending will also be included as a seamless branching option with the Japanese cut of the film. Other special features are being ported over from Toho’s Region 2 DVD. Additional extras (which may include some materials from the US release) are still being compiled and will be announced at a later date.
Japanese Version FRANKENSTEIN VS BARAGON in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
5.1 and Mono Japanese Audio Tracks
US Version FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
5.1 and Mono English Audio Tracks
“Frankenstein vs the Giant Devilfish” Alternate Ending
Special Announcement (40 second Japanese promo spot)
Japanese Theatrical Trailer (2 min.)
Extra Footage/Deleted Scenes (approx 5 min.)
Audio Commentary by Special Effects Cameraman Sadamasa Arikawa
Release Date: June 26, 2007