Invasion of Astro Monster(released Dec/65) is another average entry in the Godzilla series of flicks from Toho Studios in Japan.This film,like the original,has an added American actor by the name of Nick Adams.He is remembered best for his short lived TV show The Rebel as Johnny Yuma.Real success eluded Adams and he died a scant three years after this film was released at age 36. The story here is a complicated one going from plot to sub plot,to sub plot and back to plot again.Basically we find that scientists have discovered a new planet orbiting Jupiter which they call Planet X.Two astronauts are dispatched and soon after they land life is discovered,or,in point of fact,life discovers them.The inhabitants look like members of the 80s rock group DEVO(sans hats)and they tell the pair that they are forced to live underground due to a creature which regularly comes by,destroying everything it sees.The creature in question turns out to be King Ghodirah(so that's where he went after Rodan and Godzilla kicked his butt in the last film!).The inhabitants want to bring Rodan and Godzilla to the planet to take care of Ghodirah so they may return to the surface.In exchange they offer to give Earth a cure for cancer. The astronauts return home with the offer from Planet X.Doubts surface as to the legitimacy of the offer but it is so enticing that they go along with it.Planet X's people know exactly where Rodan and Godzilla are and come with their spaceships to collect them and return them to their home.When they arrive at Planet X the monsters go to work and take care of Ghodirah and send him packing temporarily.Earth is given the cure on a tape but when they play it it is actually a demand to surrender Earth to them as a colony.Read more ›
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Classic Media's newest line of Godzilla DVD have been hit and miss, excelling in some areas, falling flat in others and this film is no exception. The film itself is a fairly decent movie but the DVD, even when compared to Classic Media's previous releases, feels slightly neglected.
The prints for the film (both Japanese and American versions) are in excellent shape. There was very little in the way of grain, hairs or other blemishes. Then again, this film unlike earlier Godzilla films was minimally altered during the "Americanization" process.
The problem is for me is with the audio. While technically there's nothing wrong with it, the Japanese version has Nick Adams dubbed in Japanese. Personally I would have liked to hear the international version (like Godzilla Final Wars) with Adams speaking in English (yes he was reading an English language script when he filmed his scenes) while everyone else speaks Japanese and is subtitled. The subtitles also have a flaw; in one scene a person notices the alien's flying saucer but the subtitles read "a fling saucer". This kind of carelessness should have be corrected before the release.
The special features are the same as the previous releases. The main flaws in my opinion are: the Japanese trailer and the audio commentary. The trailer is for the 1970's reissue of the film in Japan as it carries the reissued title Kaiju Daisensou: Kingu Gidora tai Gojira (Large Monster Wars: King Ghidorah vs. Godzilla [I hope I've got it right]), while the original film was simply called Kaiju Daisensou . The audio commentary is done by Stuart Galbraith.Read more ›
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
By Any Other Name...April 7 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER, is by any other name MONSTER ZERO, or GODZILLA VS MONSTER ZERO. INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER is the "International title" that Toho gave to KAIJU DAISENSO, released in 1965. It was then acquired for release via AIP and Henry G. Saperstein(the producer)in 1966, and he parted ways with AIP and set out for his own distribution. That didn't happen until 1970 from Maron Films, a small indie release company and it was re-titled MONSTER ZERO and double-billed in roadshow fashion with WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS and did brisk business from late summer to Fall at drive-ins and theaters at the time. The film stars Nick Adams and was released in the US, two years after his untimely and unfortunate death. Still, MONSTER ZERO/INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER remains one of the best ever of the Toho Godzilla sequels, the last one where all the major talents at Toho were in play to make a knockout film that flies along at a good clip. It has everything-alien invasion, monsters, and a love story. Interestingly, the monster side of things actually takes a back seat to a fairly engaging human story(there are only really 10 or 12 minutes of new monster footage). The FX work is perhaps Eiji Tsuburaya's best as is the score by Akira Ifukube. This version is exactly the same as MONSTER ZERO-same title sequence, however a new title card for INVASION is seen. All the dubbing was the same, and in fact the film has three minutes of footage not seen in the US version. One is the alien Controller saying something in his native language as the earth ship leaves, another is a pretty nifty FX shot looking up at Godzilla and Rodan being transported through the atmosphere by the Xian saucers, and still another shot has what appears to be an un-processed(sound) shot of Akira Takarada saying something like "I've got a bad feeling about this" in Japanese, to Nick Adams who responds in English "Talk to me about it pal". Terrific film in any language!!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
ONE MOUTH, TWO VOICES & THREE HEADSJune 8 2007
Thomas E. O'Sullivan
- Published on Amazon.com
Classic Media has to be applauded for the effort not only given to presenting the best versions of INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER possible (and they truly are some of best I've seen in a long, long while), but also the work that went into the case design. The box is striking, the artwork clever, clear, nostaligc and retro-future at all the same time. It's an attractive and eye catching design that demands (and gets) a second look. My copy has been picked up, picked over, and pick-pocketed a few times off my shelf already and throughly enjoyed.
But, having said that, I must admit that INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER is one of my least favorite GODZILLA films, yet one of my all time favorite TOHO movies. Truth be told, Godzilla here is at best a supporting player in a much larger and more complex story that could have done away with Godzilla and company and still have been just as compelling. Much like THE FIFTH ELEMENT fashion and design triumph over story and plot. This is one good looking movie. From the sets (wide open, with some of the most creative future computer and advanced table top technology), to the costumes (the aliens not only sport the expected antenna atop the head, but tight pants, trim sunglasses, and high useless collars), to the spaceships (which look exactly like spaceships should look), it's all here, and it's all a lot of fun.
It is something of a minor disappointment that Godzilla has been pushed to the margins here and used simply for effect than being the engine that drives the story. Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah do loom large on the stunning minature sets on both PLANET X and Earth, and their battles are worth the long delay between the first and the last, but it does leave you wanting more. But, this does not stop INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER being a true gem.
The prints are the best possible and the extras are well done... although the commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV, while informative, fact filled and trivia stuffed is delivered in such a slow and measured way, that it sounds and feels like he's in fear of tripping over his own words if he talks too fast. Be prepared to feel like a five year old at some points when he wants to to Understand. Clearly. What. He. Is. Saying. To. You. So. You. Had. Better. Listen. While strange, it is a trip, and you will learn a thing or two.
Classic Media has done a great service to not only the fans of Godzilla, but to all those fans still to come. These DVD releases, like King Ghidorah, manages to wear three crowns and wear them well... they are entertaining, history and art all rolled into one.
56 of 69 people found the following review helpful
GODZILLA Episode 6: GODZILLA vs. MONSTER ZEROMarch 22 2007
A. C. Cronvich
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THIS IS ACTUALLY THE GODZILLA MOVIE "MONSTER ZERO". INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER is its absurd and nonsensical international title. It is a U.S./ Japan co-production. The movie was released in Japan in 1965 as GREAT MONSTER WAR. It was released internationally as INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER. In 1970 it was released in America as MONSTER ZERO on a double bill with WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS. It continued to play on television as MONSTER ZERO until it was replaced on TV and on VHS in the late 1980s by a version titled GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO. INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER is unusual in that , though it is basically a sequel to the previous film GHIDORAH THE THREE HEADED MONSTER it takes place in the year 196X:Suggesting it is the future. The year was changed to 198X for the Champion Festival in the seventies. Most previous video releases of Invasion of Astro-Monster said 198x at the beginning, causing great confusion.
Here is a list of all the original classic GODZILLA films, it consists of three segments: Segment 1: #1 GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS #2 GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN Segment 2: #3 KING KONG VS. GODZILLA #4 MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA #5 GHIDORAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER #6 INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER #7 GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER #8 SON OF GODZILLA #9 DESTROY ALL MONSTERS #10 GODZILLA'S REVENGE Segment 3 #11 GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH #12 GODZILLA VS. GIGAN #13 GODZILLA VS. MEGALON #14 GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA #15 TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA This is a list of the second series: #16 GODZILLA 1985 #17 GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE #18 GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH #19 GODZILLA & MOTHRA: THE BATTLE FOR EARTH #20 GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II #21 GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA #22 GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH This is the third series: #23 GODZILLA (1998) #24 GODZILLA 2000 # 25 GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRAS #26 GODZILLA, MOTHRA & KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK #27 GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA #28 GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S. #29 GODZILLA: FINAL WARS This is the first GAMERA series: #1 GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE #2 WAR OF THE MONSTERS #3 RETURN OF THE GIANT MONSTERS #4 DESTROY ALL PLANETS #5 ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS #6 GAMERA VS. MONSTER X #7 GAMERA VS. ZIGRA #8 GAMERA: SUPER MONSTER The second GAMERA series: #9 GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE #10 GAMERA: ATTACK OF LEGION #11 GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS The third series: #12 GAMERA: THE BRAVE
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I LIKE THE TITLE "MONSTER ZERO" BEST. DON'T YOU?Jan. 18 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I remember the first time I saw this on tv. I think it was early 1970s on Chiller... Theater... Saturday night WPIX Channel 11 New York. Fullscreen of coarse, on a 19 inch black and white tv screen. And I loved it. When the same station broadcasted a two day GODZILLATHON in the late 1980s I recorded all the movies. but i made sure this movie got its own tape. Then Simitar released a widescreen version on VHS and it looked really good. Now this awesome classic is available on dvd with both the English dubbed and Japanese spoken version. The information provided by Amazon states this is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:66.1 (at least for the English version) which offers more scope than the fullscreen 1:33.1 but not quite wide enough. But then something happens. After the opening credits are over. It converts to the full cinemascope 2:35.1 widescreen presentation. At least that's what happens on mine. And believe me I'm not complaining. There is no shot cooler than seeing Rodan, Godzilla and Ghidorah all in the same shot spread out across the screen in that big open field. I really appreciate Classic Media's efforts on these new dvds. But I wish they had subtitles for the English versions so I can follow the story while listening to the commentary.
Monster Zero as I knew this film titled when I was a kid is a solid entry in the Godzilla series. It's the 6th film featuring Godzilla and the second film in a row featuring Ghidorah and Rodan.
The film has a pretty interesting story about aliens taking over Earth and using the monsters to help them conquer us. This film also marks the first time Godzilla does his little victory dance/Jig. The action is pretty scarce until the second half, but like most of these films it certainly ends with plenty of destruction.
This Classic Media DVD has both Japanese and U.S. versions of the film and a few cool extras.