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On Tuesday, February 4, 2003, at 10:41 AM, Scott Andrew Hutchins wrote:

> Raymond Burr is about as well integrated into the film as one can
> home, due
> to a clever use of stand-ins to make it seem like he's actually in
> Japan.
>
The worst problem is the noticeable difference between the Japanese and
American film stocks. The American stock is finer grained, and of
course the U.S. scenes were lit by a different cinematographer,
contributing to their different look.

About the best Americanization of the various kaiju eiga, IMHO, would
be Rodan, although as always changes were made for no discernible
reason. Why add narration? Why remove Akira Ifukube's music from the
jet fighter sequence? Why ruin the surprise of the second Rodan's
appearance? (In the Japanese version, we only find out about the second
monster when it joins its mate in attacking Fukuoka, whereas the US
version reveals this fact much earlier through re-editing)

The least altered of these films is Monster Zero. About the only thing
cut were a few short seconds here and there of the Controller of Planet
X (played by Yoshio Tsuchiya) speaking in an alien language. Also, no
re-editing was done.

The most altered for US release are King Kong vs. Godzilla and Ghidrah,
the Three-Headed Monster, both of which suffered heavy re-editing. In
Ghidrah, the re-editing was done so haphazardly that Ghidrah's first
appearance is moved to before the Princess predicts his arrival,
thereby robbing her prediction of both its validity and its narrative
purpose. King Kong vs. Godzilla had numerous scenes removed, and the
American version brackets the narrative with bogus newscasts. As Scott
said, the film is intended to be a comedy - specifically a satire on
the media - and much evidence of this has been excised. Also, certain
touches are only apparent if one has a knowledge of Japanese, such as
the humorous name of the pharmaceutical company executive who wants to
use Kong for advertising - Mr. Tako - which means "Mr. Octopus."

Chris

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