AIP Dub In Media Blasters' "Destroy All Monsters" DVD/Blu-ray?

by Armand Vaquer

Above, the box art for ADV Films' DVD of "Destroy All Monsters" from 2004. Media Blasters hasn't released any photos of their upcoming box art. They say they have a few "surprises" in store.

Media Blasters' DVD and Blu-ray editions of Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla vs. Megalon are days away (slated for October 25) from being released.

The big question in fans' minds is, "Will they include the AIP (original distributor American International Pictures) dub on DAM?" Fans generally agree that the Toho "international dub" is horrendous (I am in this camp) and that the inclusion of the AIP dub would be a big selling point.

Well, once people start receiving their discs and post reviews on the Internet, we will know for sure! It is rumored that the AIP dub had been sourced from a 16mm print of DAM.

The last video release of DAM by ADV was back in 2004 (for Godzilla's 50th anniversary) and it only included the "international dub." As a refresher, here's my 2004 review of that release:

Taking advantage of Godzilla's 50th Anniversary, ADV Films has produced a Special Edition DVD of Destroy All Monsters! (1968) complete with a soundtrack CD for the price of $14.99.

While I have other and better (including one with the original U.S. dubbing) copies of DAM, the price of $14.99 for a DVD with a CD were too good to pass up. Was this worth the $14.99? Easily yes!

On the DVD itself, it contains the "international" Toho dub that many fans aren't too fond of. Since I've owned the ADV VHS edition with the same dub, that really didn't bother me and I fully expected it.

However, the film transfer itself is not one that I would give high marks for. The print used was a bit worn to begin with and the "natural" enhancement that digital transfers do to older films only accentuate the film scratches and sound pops of the soundtrack. It was not anywhere near as obvious in the VHS edition of a few years ago. I would have expected that ADV would have been able to obtain a more pristine print of the film to make the digital transfers. Plus, there are no chapter stops or a menu (well, since there's no chapters, who needs a menu?) and no extras on the DVD. It would have been nice if they included the original Japanese and/or U.S. trailers. This is pretty bare-bones!

The soundtrack CD, on the other hand, is a gem of an item and it alone is worth the price of the item. There are 30 Akira Ifukube tracks on the CD. But, unfortunately, there's nothing in the package to tell you the titles of each track. Since most of us pretty much memorized the movie anyway, we can picture in our own minds which scenes each track came from. If you don't already have the soundtrack for DAM in your kaiju library, this item is a must-have. Your neighbors will love you for cranking up your system's volume while playing this!

I have to admit the packaging art for this DVD/CD is very nice. It is a lot better than the cartoony one ADV released before. "50th Anniversary" is quite evident in the packing art. The average person not "in the know" might be led to believe that it is the 50th Anniversary of Destroy All Monsters!, not Godzilla himself.

The DVD is in widescreen and 2.0 English.

My overall grade for this item is B. Too bad ADV didn't put out a product that matched or came close to their recent Gamera trilogy releases.

The DVD gets a C and the CD gets an A
.

Media Blasters has promised a few "surprises" with their release. We'll see.

Comments

  1. DVD Drive-In says the classic audio is indeed included!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The AIP dub is included. I've only spotchecked the dvd because I've had it less than 12 hours but, while the AIP dub is there, it's really bad. It sounds like a film projector (you can hear the warbling) and there are audio drop outs (i.e., the countdown at the beginning when the SY-3 takes off... "10! 9! 8! 7! *silence* 2! 1!" When the monsters are introduced at the beginning, Rodan's name is warbled so badly that it sounds like he's mentioned twice. I skipped ahead and it sounded better, so maybe it's just the first few minutes. Pretty inexcusable, though.

    ReplyDelete

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