Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster [DVD] [1964]

Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster was the first Japanese monster movie that this reviewer ever got to see previewed in theaters, though we never did get to see the movie theatrically -- (our mother wouldn't take us to see such as picture). So this movie is sort of "special" in our memory, in an odd way. And it has arrived, at last, in a first-rate DVD edition from Classic Media and Genius Entertainment -- the virtues of this release are many, including a good (if not great) letterboxed (2.35-to-1) transfer of both the 85 minute US version and, with subtitles, the 93 minute Japanese version. And on that basis alone, it would be worth owning. But the bonus features push it right off the scale -- the biography of special effect designer Eiji Tsuburaya is a long overdue acknowledgement of a fine and influential film designer; but the real treat is the commentary by David Kalat. This reviewer has done his share of such film commentaries (more than two dozen), and it must be said that Kalat has done an incomparable job of weaving explanations and accounts, of both the American edition and its Japanese original, and the alterations between them. Kalat's is an award-caliber performance, and one that this reviewer has consistently returned to, as an entertaining creation in its own right. The disc opens with one of the very few preview sequences that this reviewer does not find objectionable or annoying, highlighting as it does other releases, current and upcoming, in this genre, before jumping to a multi-layer menu that's as much fun as it is easy to use. The dozen chapters are adequate for the film involved, and both editions of the movie get the same number of chapters. Neither transfer is perfect -- neither version of the movie has quite the sharpness one would hope for, though the Japanese edition does seem to hsve a slight edge over the US edition, and both can be enjoyed in the form in which they're presented.
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Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.65 out of 5 stars.
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 3)

Special Features

  • English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by David Kalat
  • Image gallery and slide show of movie posters
  • Eiji Tsuburaya biography
  • Original Japanese trailer
  • Anamorphic widescreen


Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster
A true "monster rally," this Japanese special-effects smorgasbord stars no fewer than four "A"-list movie monstrosities. Once again, the citizens of Tokyo are subjected to an ill-tempered atomic mutant. This time it's the triple-headed Ghidrah, who breathes electric volts in all directions. Coming to Tokyo's rescue is faithful old Mothra, but Ghidrah proves too much for the outsized insect, even with the ubiquitous "Peanuts" (Emi and Yumi Ito) acting as Mothra's cheerleaders. Fortunately, Godzilla and Rodan stop fighting each other to help Mothra vanquish Ghidrah. The climactic battle royal takes place high atop Mount Fuji (how do those monsters cast shadows on the sky like that?) Lots of fun, Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster surprisingly yielded no immediate sequels. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Yuriko Hoshi - Naoko
  • Image coming soon
    Takashi Shimura - Dr. Tsukamoto
  • Akiko Wakabayashi
    Akiko Wakabayashi - Princess Salno
  • Image coming soon
    Hisaya Ito - Malness
  • Image coming soon
    Ishiro Honda

Overall Customer Rating

4.7 out of 54.7
3 Reviews
100%of customers recommend this product.

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