FCTW Media Blasters 2007 DVD discussion thread

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FCTW Media Blasters 2007 DVD discussion thread

Postby O.Supreme » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:45 pm

Greetings All,

I know it seems odd to start a new thread about a release almost a decade old, but I spent a good amount of time searching, all previous threads I could find on this release were locked. If there are some, then I guess I am terrible at searching and I apologize in advance.

Anyway...I have seen the film several times. I'd heard about the video generated title cards that MB made to simulate those of the original AIP broadcast, and they didn't really bother me as they had some fans. Recently however, I was able to procure a copy of an original AIP print. I watched it simultaneously with the MB DVD English language version.

The AIP verison I have clocks in at 1:26:37, but taking into account a few longer-than-normal transition sequences because of reel changes, I take about 15 seconds off of that and make it: 1:26:22. The MB English version is 1:24:49. So all in all about a minute-and-a half of footage was "lost" somehow (due to several reasons I am not sure about) ... I tried to look for reviews, as I know there are some very knowledgeable fans out there *cough* H-Man *cough* :wink: .

But the strangest thing I read was this:
although AIP's original opening titles are included, the rest of the video track is actually just the Japanese cut already found on this set with the dubbed track overlapped. This causes problems with the scenes where the US version had different or additional footage, as the music in these sequences skips while the audio is jumbled around to match the onscreen Japanese cut.


Because the Japanese language version is actually longer at 1:29:53, so does this mean MB just did a poor editing job, or is there actual footage exclusive to the AIP dub that doesn't exist in any other version, and because MB could not source it, they just had to loose those 90 seconds or so? --Also this begs the question, most of those 90 seconds did not feature anything that should really have been cut. Some transition scenes, and a little bit of Frankenstein's rampage in Hiroshima when he first breaks out, why this would not be in the Japanese version doesn't make sense. Anyway...I'm sure it has been discussed at length before, sorry to open old wounds if it does, but if someone could direct me to the answers if they are out there (not so much what happened with this release...but why) I'd appreciate it. Thank you.
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Re: FCTW Media Blasters 2007 DVD discussion thread

Postby Shokara » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:04 pm

O.Supreme wrote:Greetings All,

I know it seems odd to start a new thread about a release almost a decade old, but I spent a good amount of time searching, all previous threads I could find on this release were locked. If there are some, then I guess I am terrible at searching and I apologize in advance.

Anyway...I have seen the film several times. I'd heard about the video generated title cards that MB made to simulate those of the original AIP broadcast, and they didn't really bother me as they had some fans. Recently however, I was able to procure a copy of an original AIP print. I watched it simultaneously with the MB DVD English language version.

The AIP verison I have clocks in at 1:26:37, but taking into account a few longer-than-normal transition sequences because of reel changes, I take about 15 seconds off of that and make it: 1:26:22. The MB English version is 1:24:49. So all in all about a minute-and-a half of footage was "lost" somehow (due to several reasons I am not sure about) ... I tried to look for reviews, as I know there are some very knowledgeable fans out there *cough* H-Man *cough* :wink: .

But the strangest thing I read was this:
although AIP's original opening titles are included, the rest of the video track is actually just the Japanese cut already found on this set with the dubbed track overlapped. This causes problems with the scenes where the US version had different or additional footage, as the music in these sequences skips while the audio is jumbled around to match the onscreen Japanese cut.


Because the Japanese language version is actually longer at 1:29:53, so does this mean MB just did a poor editing job, or is there actual footage exclusive to the AIP dub that doesn't exist in any other version, and because MB could not source it, they just had to loose those 90 seconds or so? --Also this begs the question, most of those 90 seconds did not feature anything that should really have been cut. Some transition scenes, and a little bit of Frankenstein's rampage in Hiroshima when he first breaks out, why this would not be in the Japanese version doesn't make sense. Anyway...I'm sure it has been discussed at length before, sorry to open old wounds if it does, but if someone could direct me to the answers if they are out there (not so much what happened with this release...but why) I'd appreciate it. Thank you.


You pretty much explained the running time length discrepancies yourself. I'm sure if you looked through the bonus features on this DVD you'd see there is footage exclusive to the American International Pictures version. There are, as you said, brief alternate takes of Frankenstein's rampage through Hiroshima after he broke out of the radiology hospital. Director Ishiro Honda wanted to depict Frankenstein more as misunderstood and that any damage or injuries he did were either accidental or if he was explicitly provoked. Henry G. Saperstein, Bennedict Pictures, and A.I.P., however, supposedly wanted their star monster to be a bit scarier, and they asked Toho to film different scenes where he caused a bit more destruction. Now whether all these short, alternate takes add up to 90 seconds I'm not sure, but it's likely the answer.
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Re: FCTW Media Blasters 2007 DVD discussion thread

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:07 pm

Most contemporary discussion of MB's Frankenstein vs. Baragon DVD happened in this old thread: Media Blasters 2006-2007 Release News

I'm just going to copy and paste what I posted not too long ago in the Kraken G'84 thread when the talk tangented to FvB:

Benjamin Haines wrote:Media Blasters' DVD actually has three different versions of the film! The uncut Japanese version, the US version, and what's billed as the "international" version. The international version is actually just the Japanese version but with the alternate ending featuring the giant octopus.

The US version on MB's DVD is a reconstruction featuring the English-dubbed audio track combined with the same widescreen video track as the Japanese version. They included the original AIP title screen and opening credits but all of the on-screen location titles throughout the film were newly created to resemble those in the AIP cut. When Frankenstein escapes confinement in the US version on MB's disc, the footage is that of the Japanese version, not the alternate footage exclusive to the US release.

Like most of MB's releases of classic Toho films in the mid-2000s, they ported over the existing contents from Toho's own Japanese DVD release. Toho's initial Frankenstein vs. Baragon DVD included the Japanese and "international" (octopus ending) versions but no US version. They included the US-specific Frankenstein scenes as a bonus feature to be viewed alone as deleted scenes, but the only source they had for the footage was cropped 1.33:1 pan-and-scan, probably from an old VHS tape. Those same deleted scenes are included as bonus features on the Media Blasters DVD.
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