Wednesday, July 18, 2007

INVASION OF THE ASTRO-MONSTER

Perhaps not the best entry in the long-running Godzilla series, INVASION OF THE ASTRO-MONSTER (GODZILLA Vs. MONSTER ZERO, KAIJ├Ť DAISENSO, 1965) is, nonetheless, my personal favorite.

In this kaiju classic, two astronauts – American Glenn (Nick Adams, DIE MONSTER DIE) and Fuji (Akira Takarada) are sent to investigate a newly discovered planet near Jupiter. Upon their arrival, they discover that the natives are under constant siege by the space monster, Ghidorah. But the aliens of Planet X have a plan: they’d like to "borrow" Godzilla and Rodan from Earth, and use them to ward off the three-headed space dragon. Glad to get rid of the titanic terrors, Earth’s governments agree… but can the aliens be trusted?

A fun mix of 60’s space opera and giant monster mayhem, ASTRO-MONSTER is a colorful, fun and exciting creature feature. Nick Adams is great as the randy, hotheaded American astronaut, while series regular Kumi Mizuno makes an extremely fetching alien. Godzilla and Rodan have completely morphed into heroic creatures in this film, firmly on the side of Earth and humanity. The FX scenes are well crafted, with the 3-way monster battle on Planet X particularly memorable, if too brief.

Classic Media/Genius Entertainment’s new DVD edition features both the Japanese and slightly altered American versions of the film in their proper 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratios. The Japanese version includes English subtitles. Extra features include an audio commentary by author Stuart Galbraith IV, an image gallery, poster gallery and the original Japanese trailer.

You know how much I like these movies, and Classic Media’s special editions are first rate. Highly recommended.

BUY: Invasion of Astro-Monster (aka Monster Zero)