This late Sixties tokusatsu film has acquired a bit of a legendary status among Japanese sci-fi fans in the West, as it has never before been available in the U.S. Fortunately for us, Tokyo Shock has done their usual first-rate restoration job on this East-West mashup that features one of the most unusual casting combos you'll ever see. It's also a bold stretch by Toho to have their A-list actors trying to speak English phonetically--albeit with mixed results. The film itself actually falls somewhere into the "it's so ridiculous it's great" category, as this is wildly fun schlock in the same vein as "Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero" (same director, crew and SFX team), and that's definitely not a knock against it. I mean, where else can you find Cesar Romero transplanting a human brain into the body of a lion/hawk hybrid? Classic! The crew interviews also provide some highly desired insights into the making of the film, although their omissions are somewhat telling--they go into no detail about how the American funding for the film fell through, and how Joseph Cotten was taking a perilous chance by making the film while suffering from severe liver disease. One look at Joe's face during certain scenes and you can see how he was struggling to keep himself propped up. All in all, a long-awaited (and long overdue!) filling in of a big hole in Toho's sci-fi canon.
Oh, and BTW, I got both English & Japanese versions :)