SciFi Japan

    Media Blasters DVD Update

    New Info, Cover Art, and Release Dates for Asian DVDs on the `Tokyo Shock` and `Exploitation Digital` Labels Author: Keith Aiken Source: Media Blasters, Inc. Special Thanks to Richard York

    Popular actress Chiaki Kuriyama stars in SCRAP HEAVEN. DVD cover art courtesy of Media Blasters. © 2005 Scrap Heaven Film Partners

    Media Blasters has provided new cover art and information on their upcoming Tokyo Shock and Exploitation Digital releases. Look for the following Region 1 DVDs through year`s end... October 23, 2007: SCRAP HEAVEN (2005) Writer-director Lee Sang-il`s (69 SIXTY-NINE) drama about disaffected youth in Japan stars Ryo Kase (GMK, CUTIE HONEY), Jo Odagiri (MASKED RIDER KUGA, AZUMI), and Chiaki Kuriyama (BATTLE ROYALE, KILL BILL VOL.1, THE GREAT YOKAI WAR). Unhappy with his day job, a police department clerk named Kasuya (Kase) partners with an anarchist janitor named Tetsu (Odagiri) to open a murder for hire business out of bathroom stall. They befriend Saki (Kuriyama), a blind pharmacist who is trying to make a liquid bomb. SCRAP HEAVEN runs 117 minutes and is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. The feature film comes with Japanese 2.0 audio and removable English subtitles. The extra features will be a "Making of" documentary; interviews with actors Ryo Kase, Jo Odagiri, and Chiaki Kuriyama, as well as director Sang-il Lee; deleted scenes; the trailer; and TV Spots. This Tokyo Shock release has a suggested retail price of $19.95.

    Cover art for Exploitation Digital`s RICA 2: LONELY WANDERER. Photo courtesy of Media Blasters. © 1973 Toho Co., Ltd.

    October 30, 2007: RICA 2: LONELY WANDERER (Konketsuji Rika: Hitoriyuku Sasuraitabi, 1973) Rica (Rika Aoki) is back to fight for those who can`t fight for themselves... and it`s not long before she is immersed in intrigue! Several people come to Rica for help, all of whom seem to be connected to a boat that mysteriously blew up. When everyone associated with the boat starts turning up dead, it`s up to Rica to get to the bottom of it. Using her body, her karate skills and a detective also on the case, Rica uncovers a plot involving death, drugs and destruction that will pit rival gangs against each other in a violent rumble to the finish! Exploitation Digital proudly continues Toho`s RICA trilogy, with the first-ever DVD release of RICA 2: LONELY WANDERER! The 16x9 enhanced DVD presents the film in its original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. RICA 2: LONELY WANDERER runs 83 minutes and is in Japanese with removable English subtitles. Extra features include a photo gallery and theatrical trailers. SRP $29.95.

    Cover art for the third LADY NINJA KASUMI film. Photo courtesy of Media Blasters. © 2006 YOUJI KANBAYASHI, JIN HIRANO/JUNKFILM/Sanada Kunoichi Ninpouden KASUMI

    November 20, 2007: LADY NINJA KASUMI 3: SECRET SKILLS (Sanada Kunoichi Ninpoden Kasumi: Musashi! Ougi Kaigan, 2006) It is the Sengoku period, a time when Japan`s states are constantly at war. Kasumi, an orphaned girl adopted by a powerful warlord, has joined the Kunoichi (female ninja) to protect her new people. Her actions make her the enemy of the legendary samurai Hattori Hanzo, head of the Iga clan. The Kuroda clan is said to be in possession of a secret scroll. Legend has it that whoever can decode the scroll will rule the country. Using her body, Kasumi`s mission is to snatch it from them... and snatch it she does! Soon, the Kuroda clan are hot on her tail. She`s eventually saved by Miyamoto, a sympathetic and exceptional swordsman. And when Hattori Hanzo puts a hit out on Kasumi, she`s going to need those sword skills and all the help she can get to take on the formidable Oni clan assassins! The third chapter of the LADY NINJA KASUMI series stars 20 year old actress Marin Akizuki and is based on the popular erotic period manga. The Exploitation Digital DVD presents the film in 1.85:1 widescreen and in Japanese with removable English subtitles. Extras include a "Making of" featurette. SRP $19.95.

    Toho`s LATITUDE ZERO finally comes to DVD in a deluxe 2 disc set. Photo courtesy of Media Blasters. © 1969 Toho Co., Ltd.

    December 11, 2007: LATITUDE ZERO (Ido Zero Daisakusen, 1969) The Alpha, a submarine under the command of Captain Craig McKenzie (Joseph Cotton of CITIZEN KANE), rescues a bathysphere containing oceanographer Ken Tashiro (Akira Takarada, GODZILLA), newspaper reporter Perry Lawton (Richard Jaeckel, THE DIRTY DOZEN), and physicist Jules Masson (Masumi Okada, THE SPACE GIANTS). McKenzie transports the men to Latitude Zero, the secret home to artists, scientists, and humanists from around the world which is located 11 nautical miles below the surface of the South Pacific. The surface men learn about the the wonders of Latitude Zero, and assist Capt. McKenzie in his battle against the villainous Malic the Murderer (Caesar Romero, BATMAN). Malic and his henchwoman Lucretia (Patricia Medina) kidnap Dr Okada, a Japanese scientist who has discovered a serum that will protect against atomic radiation. The crew of the Alpha attacks Malic`s base on Blood Rock and battle genetically engineered creatures to rescue the scientist and his granddaughter. LATITUDE ZERO was the last collaboration between director Ishiro Honda and special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya, the duo responsible for the original GODZILLA and most of Toho`s classic monster movies. Long unavailable due to rights issues, the Toho film was only recently released on video in Japan and will finally come to DVD in America. The Tokyo Shock DVD will be a 2 Disc Set with the Japanese version (running approximately 89 min) and the English language International version (approx. 105 min) presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. Audio options will be 5.1 English, mono Japanese and mono English. Extra features will include the "Special Announcements" trailers; a photo gallery; interviews with assistant director Seiji Tani, assistant director of special effects Teruyoshi Nakano; optical cinematographer Koichi Kawakita, and special effects crew member Mototaka Tomioka; plus outtakes and stock footage. SRP $19.95.

    Toho`s RICA series comes to an end with RICA 3: JUVENILE’S LULLABY. Photo courtesy of Media Blasters. © 1973 Toho Co., Ltd.

    December 18, 2007: RICA 3: JUVENILE’S LULLABY (Konketsuji Rika: Hamagure Komoriuta, 1973) Reform schools are a way of protecting society by ridding it of lawless juvenile delinquents. But who`s protecting the juvenile delinquents from corrupt reform schools? Rica (Rika Aoki) could be considered a bit of an expert on reform schools, having spent most of her early life in and out of them. When Rica is dragged back once again, she gets a severe beating and is finally sent off to a mental hospital with the intention of selling her and her pals into a slave trade. Rica`s friend Jun is taken by a trader to a mountain cottage where she`s pegged for the lead in his clandestine porno film operation. Once again, it`s up to tough-as-nails Rica to bust up this corrupt racket once and for all! RICA 3: JUVENILE`S LULLABY brings Toho`s outrageous RICA trilogy to an exciting conclusion. The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced, with Japanese audio and removable English subtitles. The running time is 85 minutes. Extra features include a photo gallery and theatrical trailers. The suggested retail price for the Exploitation Digital DVD is $29.95.

    Preliminary design for LEGEND OF DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS. Photo courtesy of Media Blasters. © 1977 Toei Co., Ltd

    December 18, 2007: LEGEND OF DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS (Kyoryu Kaicho no Densetsu, 1977) A geologist named Setsu Serizawa (Tsunehiko Watase of G.I. SAMURAI and VIRUS) hears rumors of a dinosaur egg discovered in a forest cave at Mt. Fuji. He heads for the cave, but an earthquake interrupts his investigation. Not long after, boaters, musicians, and a horse are attacked by a plesiosaur lurking in the waters of nearby Lake Sai. Serizawa searches for the monster, but he and his girlfriend Akiko Osano (Nobiko Sawa) must take refuge in the cave when depth charges are dropped into the lake. They find the egg, which hatches a rhamphorynchus. The pterosaur flies from the cave and encounters the plesiosaur in the forest. Being Japanese monsters, the two prehistoric reptiles immeditaely engage in a battle to the death. LEGEND OF DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS was a rare giant monster movie for Toei Co., Ltd., a studio better known to tokusatsu fans for their Masked Rider and sentai TV shows. Despite Toei`s announcement that the film was "the highest budgeted production in their 30-year history" and the inclusion of some full-scale props of the creatures, LEGEND OF DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS has long held a reputation as a "so bad its good" movie. A decade after its release in Japan, the film was picked up by Sandy Frank/King Features Entertainment and distributed direct to television in America as THE "LEGEND OF THE DINOSAURS". As with other Sandy Frank titles like GAMERA and TIME OF THE APES, THE "LEGEND OF THE DINOSAURS" was featured on Comedy Central`s MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 show. Media Blasters` DVD release will be the first time the original widescreen Japanese version of LEGEND OF DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS will be commercially available in the US. The Tokyo Shock disc presents the film in the 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, with both Japanese and English audio tracks. The extra features will be the "Special Announcement" trailer, the Japanese theatrical trailer, and a photo gallery. SRP $19.95.

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