Friday, January 17, 2014

A star is born: GORATH(1962)

For fans of kaiju(giant monster), Godzilla and other sci-fi movies produced by TOHO, we have been repeatedly rewarded (since 2006) with Region 1 DVD releases of all the GODZILLA films( 1950's/1960's classic era through 2004). Other non Godzilla Toho sci-fi films have been released to Region 1 DVD including Mothra(1961), Matango(1963), Battle In Outer Space(1959), Space Amoeba(1970), The H-Man(1958), Latitude Zero(1969), The Mysterians(1957), Frankenstein Vs Baragon(1965), Atragon(1963), Giant Monster Varan(1958), War Of The Gargantuas(1966), Dogora The Space Monster(1964) & Rodan(1956). 

Still, there are two Toho films I'd love to see get a Region 1 DVD release so I can ditch my Region 0 DVD-Rs(bootleg copies of the Region 2 Toho DVDs). They are THE HUMAN VAPOR(1960) and GORATH(1962).

GORATH(1962) is a Toho science fiction film and probably generally unknown among the majority of American fans who like sci-fi disaster flicks, a shame I think because Gorath is, for its time, a marvelous "space opera" and disaster film by Toho.

In this movie a mysterious, red colored and burning star named "Gorath" is on a collision course with Earth. The star itself isn't large but enormously dense and generating an enormous gravitational pull. Scientists from all the over the world congregate together to formulate a plan to save Earth from collision with the menacing star "Gorath". Once a plan is devised (no spoilers) it's put into effect, a colossal undertaking at the South Pole in the Antarctic. Even if the plan works the menacing star will still pass close to Earth ... causing all kinds of calamities here on our planet.

In the original Toho version of this movie a giant walrus named "Magma" briefly menaces the South Pole base of operations tasked with saving the planet. In the Americanized version of GORATH, originally released to American theaters in 1964(by Brenco Pictures...I think), the scenes with the giant walrus are not in the movie.

I own a VHS copy of GORATH mostly for reasons of nostalgia. I have the "Congress Video Group" 1985 VHS release. I first saw Gorath (the American version) in the late 1980's as a video rental. Here's hoping we see a Region 1 DVD release of this entertaining sci-fi film from Toho in the not too distant future.

An international trailer for this movie, courtesy of Cody Himes:

The Toho Region 2 DVD(Japanese language but NO English subtitles) can be purchased online at CD Japan for about $45. Click the link to see the R2 DVD for sale: GORATH Region 2 DVD-CD JAPAN

To see the Americanized version of Gorath on VHS(Congress Video and Prism Video releases) at Amazon click the link: GORATH on VHS @ Amazon