Now here’s a DVD release that’s long overdue! Media Blasters has announced that they will be releasing the awesomely cheesy Japanese monster mash Frankenstein vs. Baragon to DVD for the first time ever next year. American audiences know this film best under its marvelous B-movie moniker Frankenstein Conquers the World. According the Media Blasters, the title had been the most requested since they began releasing numerous Toho sci-fi/monster movies over the past year.
For those not familiar, Frankenstein vs. Baragon opens in World War 2 with the Nazis sending the human heart taken from a certain mad scientist’s European lab over to Japanese scientists for analysis. Unfortunately, the Japanese city in which these scientists were analyzing the heart was Hiroshima. I think we all know how that ended. Radiation from the bomb causes the heart to grow into a fully formed human – a feral kid with a deformed flat top head. The kid is captured by scientists who dub the kid Frankenstein. He doesn’t take well to captivity, especially considering his growth spurt continues growing him to Japanese movie monster proportions. Matters are even more complicated when a huge, horned, fire-breathing, reptilian monster dubbed Baragon erupts from a mountainside. It’s Japan; this stuff used to happen all the time. Naturally, the two behemoths clash.
This 1965 monsterfest was directed by Ishiro Honda, famed director of the original Godzilla, as well as countless other Godzilla and non-Godzilla Toho productions. It starred a variety of actors easily recognizable from other such Toho features, including American Nick Adams. But really, this one is all about watching a giant Frankenstein (who really seems a bit more like a giant mongoloid Tarzan with Frankenstein’s cranium) battling it out with a guy in a rubber monster costume.
Media Blasters has tentatively set a February 27, 2007 release date. No word yet as to what else will be included on the disc. One potentially interesting possibility is that this release will contain the film’s alternate ending in which a victorious Frankenstein perishes after an impromptu attack by Oodaku, a giant octopus that drags him to a watery end. More details about what to expect from the DVD release will be announced soon. If seen the any of Media Blasters’ previous Toho DVD releases then you can expect it to be top of the line and boasting identical features as their Japanese DVD counterparts.
Media Blasters has also announced a tentative release date of March 27th for Latitude Zero, another Ishiro Honda directed sci-fi flick from 1969 that boasts a cast that includes Caesar Romero, Joseph Cotten, and Richard Jaeckel. The fantastical tale of a mad scientist, an undersea utopia, mutant monsters, and super submarines is generally more notable for having been tangled up in legal squabbling for years and years that have made it nearly impossible to find in both the US and Japan.
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