GEHARHA DVD/Blu-ray Release in Japan with English Subtitles 09/30/09
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie.
NHK’s TV movie GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER (Chouhatsu Daikaiju Gehara) will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan on September 30th and will include English subtitles.
Premiering on the NHK program PAPHOOO! (Perform!) this past February 24th, GEHARHA is an affectionate tribute to the classic Toho monster movies of the 1950s and 60s that liberally mixes comedy and daikaiju action. A fishing boat is attacked at sea by a gigantic, hairy monster. After examining the sole survivor (Kanji Tsuda from GAMERA THE BRAVE) of the assault— who has lost all his hair— scientific adviser Dr Murakami (Shiro Sano, GODZILLA 2000) suspects the culprit is a “Keukegen spectre”, a shaggy supernatural beast from Japanese folklore. The announcement leads reporter Hideo Akihara (Ken Osawa, SAMURAI FICTION) to a forest shrine dedicated to the Keukegen Geharha, where he finds several worshipers (many of whom are bald) and learns that an ancient seal containing the monster has been broken.
While Hideo continues his investigation, Geharha strikes a number of locations in Ishikawa Prefecture, gradually closing in on the capital city of Kanazawa. Civilians are evacuated as the Japanese Self Defense Force moves into the city to confront the monster. The armed forces attack with tanks and guns, but Geharha’s long hair cushions most of the blows. The few wounds the creature does receive emit a noxious gas that quickly overwhelm the military, forcing the JSDF commander (Hiroyuki Watanabe, GMK) to sound a retreat. Just when all seems lost, a foreign consultant (Mark Chimery) offers a new superweapon to use against Geharha… the Gas Vortical Device “Fujin”. The short movie ends with an extended preview for the “next” installment; GEHARHA: MONSTER MARTIAL LAW.
The creative team behind GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER features many familiar names for tokusatsu fans. Executive producer Shinji Higuchi was a writer and artist on the popular anime NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, directed the special effects for the 1990s Gamera trilogy, and has directed recent box office hits such as SINKING OF JAPAN. GEHARHA director/special effects director Kyotaka Taguchi was part of the FX crew for the last few Godzilla films, the 20TH CENTURY BOYS series, and American productions like THE GRUDGE 2. He made his directorial debut last year with the independent kaiju film G. The creature effects were created by Godzilla series veteran Kakusei Fujiwara (GODZILLA 2000- GODZILLA: FINAL WARS). Stunt coordinator Tsutomu Kitagawa played King Ghidorah in REBIRTH OF MOTHRA 3 and Godzilla in five films beginning with GODZILLA 2000. And the musical score for GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER was provided by the late legendary composer Akira Ifukube, courtesy of King Records’ “Artistry of Akira Ifukube” series.
The DVD/Blu-ray release will contain a new 21-minute directors cut along with the original 17-minute TV version, as well as a behind the scenes movie entitled THE PEOPLE WHO MADE GEHARHA (Gehara wo Tsukutta Hitobito).
The Blu-ray release of GEHARHA will be compatiable with all North American Blu-ray players, while the DVD release will only be playable in Japan, UK, Western Europe and other Region 2 countries.
Blu-ray Release Specifications
Product Code: KIXF-1
Video: 1080p MPEG-4 AVC
Single Sided, Dual Layered
Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1ch), Japanese (Dolby TrueHD 5.1ch)
DVD Release Specifications
Product Code: KIBF-698
Region Code: 2
Single Sided, Dual Layered
Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1ch)