^ It's all connected!
I watched the 1986 documentary Toho Unused Special Effects Complete Collection
on the set's bonus disc. The wealth of SFX footage on display is a treat from beginning to end, as is the brief archival footage of Eiji Tsuburaya at work. At just under an hour and with Criterion's English subtitles for the narration and interviews, this is the perfect extra feature for consumers whose first plunge into the genre's classic age is through this BRD set.
It's really fascinating to get this glimpse of where the genre was at in 1986, when movies like King Kong Escapes
and Latitude Zero
weren't even 20 years old, when Ishiro Honda and Tomoyuki Tanaka were still alive to offer their retrospective thoughts, and when The Return of Godzilla
was still the newest Godzilla movie. Koichi Kawakita is credited here as the director of this documentary, so that would make this a stepping stone between when he directed the SFX for Sayonara Jupiter
and when he eventually became the Godzilla series SFX director with Godzilla vs. Biollante
I also watched Launching Jet Jaguar with Tsugutoshi Komada
. At 5 minutes and 40 seconds, it's a brief but very cool interview with the man who wore the primary-colored robot suit. It's so great to get this kind of insight from a Showa-era suit actor who played one of Godzilla's co-stars.
Here are some more Monster Zero
translation comparisons. One thing I discovered while comparing these is that Criterion's BRD uses almost all of the same chapter stops for the movie as Classic Media's DVD. They both break it up into 12 chapters, plus an empty 13th chapter slot that just takes you back to the main menu, and only chapter 2 starts at a different point in the movie between the two discs. Chapter stops 3 through 12 are exactly the same for Invasion of Astro-Monster
between the Classic Media and Criterion discs.
Classic Media's subtitles are actually pretty hilarious compared to Criterion's. When the Xilien Commandant reveals that they want to borrow Godzilla and Rodan from Earth, the sentence structure in CM's subtitles makes it seem like the monsters' number-names are the big revelation.
It's interesting to compare the translations of Glenn's dubbed Japanese dialogue to Nick Adams' actual spoken English lines. When they're leaving Godzilla and Rodan on Planet X, Adams' take is that Glenn isn't worried about them because of how much trouble they've caused humanity. In the Japanese version, he's dubbed to say that he feels sorry for them despite all that.
I'm not sure why, but whenever a character in one of these movies calls their older brother "Onii-chan,"
Criterion's subtitles consistently translate it as though the character is greeting their brother by name. In Monster Zero
, Haruno says "Onii-chan"
but Criterion's subtitles read "Kazuo,"
which is Astronaut Fuji's first name that no one ever calls him. Classic Media subtitled her line as "Brother"
in this scene when they meet up in the lab. It happens in Godzilla vs. Megalon
too, with Rokuro calling his brother "Onii-chan"
while Criterion's subtitles read "Goro."
In that case, Media Blasters also subtitled the name "Goro"
whenever Rokuro called him "Onii-chan"
so it's not just Criterion that translates it that way.
What's the deal with the transition in this status report scene in the midst of the third act? After the Xilian Commandant on the saucer gives the order to eliminate all approaching vehicles, he reaches toward the computer in front of him and suddenly looks up past the camera like he sees something. It then cuts to a shot of Fuji running around a corner back at the WSA offices before finding the room where Glenn, Haruno and Tetsuo are located. The way it cuts to Fuji running right after the Commandant looks up makes it seem for a second as if Fuji is aboard the saucer and the Commandant is reacting to his approach. Classic Media actually subtitled the line "What...?"
at the moment when the Commandant looks up even though he doesn't say anything.