Daiei's(and Toei's) Heyday!
Bob Eggleton | Providence, RI United States | 07/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the day, these versions of RETURN OF THE GIANT MONSTERS and THE MAGIC SERPENT regularly appeared on Saturday Creature Feature on fuzzy UHF TV.(I remember watching RETURN OF THE GIANT MONSTERS on Channel 6 from New Bedford,abruptly put on at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon, because a baseball game got rained-out). They are the AIP-TV versions, as the widescreen prints of the films were never shown theaterically in the US, so, they don't exist in the US(only in Japan). That said, what we have are great copies of some vintage films from a time gone by. THE MAGIC SERPENT(bonus on the disk) is a Toei entry from l966, one of their very few forays(aside from the Johnny Sokko series) into Kaiju-type films as mostly they stayed the course with superheroes vs human-sized monsters. It's also highly entertaining and very colorful in ways US films never were. Alot of young people today complain if the disk isn't in widescreen or doesn't have dozens of extras. This 16mm copy of these films are the best document of their time, and with a better picture than I ever saw them on TV so long ago..."
Gamera vs Gyaos + The Magic Serpent: Old-School Fun!
Matt Frank | Tejas | 08/10/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I remember watching "Return of the Giant Monsters," aka "Gamera vs Gyaos" when I was much younger. I loved every minute of it, because it was so "out-there," so nutty and contrived that I was foaming at the mouth with its kaiju-goodness. Now, I've found a movie that tops it: "The Magic Serpent."
I am very grateful to Retromedia for releasing both of these movies on DvD (and the Magic Serpent especially, because you probably won't find it anywhere else), because they are both such sheer campy fun that they would HAVE to be on the same DvD.
What's great about these films is that they aren't "good" per-say, but they aren't supposed to be. They're supposed to be FUN. People who criticize these movies for being cheaply made and poorly dubbed basically have nothing better to do with their time. It's pointless to really criticize these movies unless you're a real kaiju-fan and know about this kind of stuff. But even with the critical eye of the fanboy (or fangirl), these flicks are hard to nitpick about because they are so...much...fun!
The only thing keeping this movie from getting higher marks is the fact that there's nothing else on the disc besides a scene selection and Retro's website. Plus, the quality of the print is pretty bad, but that's to be expected, these being such old films, and Retro probably having limited resources.
I highly recommend this DvD to anyone who is a fan of good-'ol giant monster rampages, or to anyone who is looking to introduce children to the kaiju genre (but not before a few Godzilla movies)."
Another Retromedia gem!
A. C. Cronvich | 06/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This, one of the best of the classic Gamera series, has been beautifully restored by retromedia, in much better shape than the previous GAMERA VS MONSTER X disc. The color and sound are first rate, but keep in mind this is the old AIP TV print, not the widescreen theatrical version. If you already know this, then you will not be dissapointed. These old tv versions are the ones a whole generation of kids grew up with, and its nice to finally have them available on these great double feature dvds! The rarely seen MAGIC SERPENT is a wild adventure and a cool bonus feature!"
Turtles, flamethrowing frogs and more
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 10/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Return Of The Giant Monsters has Gamera fighting Gaos, a giant vampire bat, released from the Earth by active volcanos. Blood, forest fires and greedy village people. Great fun.
But that's not all. On this disc is another movie - The Magic Serpent. Samurai, giant monsters, magic, ninja, headless bodies, romance, Noble families and so much more. This is the movie that any MST3K fan would be proud to watch. Or any fan of monster movies or Samurai movies. It's just got everything.
In the end this is a must for any fan of Japanese movies.