|About the Site|
|Welcome! This site is dedicated to bringing you reviews of daikaiju eiga (giant monster movies) released on DVD. This is my personal favorite film genre, and I created this site to spread the news about how these films are represented on the best home video format, DVD. My goal is to collect and review every edition of every eastern kaiju film that has been released on DVD with either an English language soundtrack or English subtitles. I will also strive to present reviews of every western giant monster film widely available on region 1 DVD. From time to time, I will also post reviews of DVDs which may not be kaiju eiga per se, but which may have some interest for other fans of the genre. However, the heart and soul of this site will always be the most complete and comprehensive collection of eastern kaiju DVD reviews published anywhere.|
News & Updates
|I began collecting movies on home video in the late 1980s. When I switched from VHS to DVD, I began to frequent DVD review sites, such as The Digital Bits and DVD File. With many films being issued and re-issued on DVD, in everything from bargain-basement versions to lavish special editions, these sites became a valuable resource on what discs were worth the money. While there were review sites dedicated to horror movies and other kinds of genre and cult films, there wasn’t a site dedicated to kaiju eiga on DVD that offered the same level of in-depth analysis as the best mainstream DVD sites. Creating DMI was simply a case of making the kind of site that I myself wanted to see.|
- Eastern Kaiju:
Godzilla & Other
Gamera & Other
- Western Kaiju:
About the Site
|Every DMI review starts with some basic film information and the technical specs of the disc. The film review gives a plot outline and a critique of the movie. The video and audio reviews cover the presentation of the film; how good it looks and sounds. The extras section details what supplementary materials are included. The “Final Analysis” gives an overall grade to the whole DVD package. The final grade is not simply an average of the other grades. It takes additional factors into consideration, such as comparison to other DVD editions of the same film, and overall value for the money. Cover scans are provided, as well as generous additional photos when warranted. All in all, the goal is to give the reader a complete and accurate idea of what they’re getting for their money.|
|History of the Site|
|The earliest incarnation of DMI was a simple message board thread entitled “Kaiju DVD Report Card” that I circulated on an online forum several years ago. As a result of that, many people emailed me asking when so-and-so movie was coming out, and things like that. I considered making an updated version of the Report Card, with consistent, detailed info on the audio / video specs and special features of all the discs in my collection. I realized, however, that this was too big a project to be just a thread on a message board somewhere, so I never followed through.
I first began giving serious thought to starting my own DVD review website in autumn 2002. I had recently acquired my first region-free DVD player, opening up a whole new world of imported DVDs. My completist tendencies also led me to purchase alternate editions of movies I already owned, such as the first Classic Media Godzilla box set. With all the products (but not necessarily quality products) becoming available to kaiju fans, I decided the time was right for a site dedicated exclusively to kaiju DVD news and reviews.
I began work on the project in late November 2002: Writing preliminary reviews and sketching out the site layout. However, the major hurdle was that I knew nothing about web design! I would just have to learn as I worked. So, I got myself a free GeoCities site from Yahoo. At first, I just used their pre-made templates, cutting and pasting the info. The site was simply called “Kaiju DVD Reviews” (original, huh?) and the very first review posted was Mikazuki.
I chose Mikazuki for several reasons. First of all, it was a title I had recently acquired. I didn’t know much about it beforehand, but I enjoyed it tremendously and thought other kaiju fans would as well. Since it wasn’t very well known in the States, I wanted to spread the word about it. Finally, there were technical considerations. Being a six-episode series on a four-disc set, it would be a relatively lengthy review. I could use it to judge how much web space I might need, and things like that.
I posted the review in mid-December 2002. (To illustrate how primitive it was, I have re-created that first review using the same Yahoo template. In that format, there can’t be any extra pictures or text formatting. Take a look!) Mikazuki was followed by three Terror of Mechagodzilla reviews. At this point, I began to solicit opinions from my friends at MaserCity (RIP) and elsewhere. The feedback was positive, so I knew I was on the right track in regards to content. Now I just had to figure out how to make the pages look good.
By early 2003, I was getting pretty good at using Yahoo PageBuilder to design custom pages with more pictures, links, and all that good stuff. Once I had a page design and site layout I was happy with, and a decent number of reviews posted, I decided it was time to establish my own domain. Digital Monster Island was officially “born” on February 6, 2003. Overall feedback from the kaiju fan community has been overwhelmingly positive. I have also received correspondence from a number of international readers, including residents of Canada, the U.K., Finland, Italy, and Australia.
Buy DVDs at:
|If you enjoy DMI, here are three things you can do to contribute to its success:
1. Use the links on this site when you buy DVDs. Every time you do, DMI earns a small commission. The next time you shop for kaiju eiga (or any kind of film or related merchandise), please consider patronizing these DMI business affiliates: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca (in Canada), Amazon.co.jp (in Japan), and Amazon.co.uk (in the U.K.); eBay Online Auctions, Half.com by eBay; and for imported Asian and European DVDs, HK Flix and Poker Industries.
2. You know those little comment cards that come with many DVDs? The ones that ask for your opinion of the product, as well as where you bought it, what you paid for it, etc.? Send those cards in, and use them to tell the product manufacturers that you get news and reviews from Digital Monster Island!
3. Spread the word! If you find DMI to be fun, informative, and useful, recommend the site to others via whatever online forums you frequent. If you have your own website, please consider linking to DMI.
|Feel free to email comments, constructive criticism, suggestions, corrections, news scoops, and / or questions to the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are a few things to keep in mind concerning email:
1. Due to the proliferation of spam, please make sure your message has a relevant subject line / header. Things like “Kaiju DVD Info” or “Suggestion for DMI” are good; very general things like “Question” or “Suggestion” may be skipped over and deleted as spam.
2. While I read all site-related email, due to the volume of mail received and time constraints, I may not always be able to respond (though I do try). Please don’t take it personally if I don’t, however.
3. Please don’t send me questions that are easily answered by a glance at the site. The two most common are: “When is so-and-so DVD coming out?” and “Where can I get this-or-that DVD?” I’ll answer those two for you right now: For the first question, check the Upcoming Releases on the main page. If it’s not listed there, then I don’t know. For the second question, every place that I commonly buy DVDs from online is listed on the Links page. Individual reviews also have links along the left side of the page to where that particular title can be obtained. Finally, when in doubt, Google it.
|Digital Monster Island neither condones nor encourages the distribution of bootleg (non-licensed) DVDs of copyrighted works. DMI usually reviews only legitimate, licensed DVDs. With few exceptions, we do not review bootlegs. To clarify things:
1. We generally do not review DVD-Rs, only factory-pressed DVDs. Exceptions were made in the case of CineVu’s DVD-R versions of Ghidrah: The Three-Headed Monster and Godzilla vs. Mothra. Those discs were being sold on Amazon.com, giving them the illusion of legitimacy, and potentially misleading consumers. The DMI reviews of those shoddy products were intended only as warnings. Amazon has since discontinued these discs. The DMI reviews will remain up in case these terrible bootlegs pop up elsewhere.
2. Some discs, like Alpha Video’s Godzilla vs. Megalon and GoodTimes' Godzilla: King of the Monsters may be factory-pressed DVDs, but the distributor did not obtain proper licensing from the copyright holder (in these cases, Toho) to release the film. However, these discs were widely available at retailers. If a customer can walk into a retail store and buy it, DMI will review it.
3. What about those nifty Taiwanese DVDs (usually sold through Hong Kong dealers) of tokusatsu shows that are region free and English subtitled? Are they legitimate? Probably not. Due to the vagueness of Taiwanese copyright law, or lack thereof, the legality of the discs is in question. They do not appear to be licensed products, but rather copies of region 2 Japanese releases. (More recent Taiwanese DVDs are actually recorded off of television!) DMI has reviewed a few of these, and will continue to review them. They are professionally packaged, factory-pressed DVDs, shrink-wrapped and packed for export. Again, they give the illusion of a legitimate product. It is only fair that consumers have the information to make informed purchasing decisions.
|Much deserved thanks to the following people for their help in making DMI a success: Jen, for her guest reviews, editorial & creative input, technical & equipment assistance, and all-around moral support; guest reviewer Jari Kovalainen; Jim Gange (of the late, great MaserCity), James Ballard (formerly of Tokyo Monsters, now of SciFi Japan), Matt Paprocki (of Blogcritics and The Digital Press), Andy Simon, Blade Galentine, Mike Ditkowsky, Ryan Clark (of Animexpansion), and Andy Rowe for contributing news; G-Fan's Brett Homenick and J.D. Lees, and U.S. FrontLine's Kay Shito, for support in print; and most of all, the many kaiju / tokusatsu fans who visit the site on a regular basis.
|All reviews, articles, and images on this site are Copyright (c) 2003 - 2009.
Please do not re-publish these reviews, articles, and / or images without the consent of the webmaster.
All images, and character names and likenesses, are used here for informational purposes only
and remain the copyright of their respective owners.