BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Voyage Into Space (1970) - Blu-ray Review

Voyage Into Space (1970)

Because the nonsensical matters!  That’s why Voyage into Space exists!  Seriously, though, you don’t get Iron Giant without a stop alongside Voyage into Space, about a boy who controls an IRON GIANT (yeah, I went there!) with his wristwatch!

Long before the morning and afternoon airwaves were filled with celebrity hosted feel-good shows there were episodes of the kid-friendly, super stupid Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot to watch!  Sure, sure it helped being a kid who spent the summers in a major metropolitan area and not having to watch Farm Report episodes on the local channels (like a lot of my friends had to), but - honestly - what 12-year-old isn’t going to go gaga over 200-foot pharaoh-looking robot that only a boy can control with his watch?  Thanks to KTLA Channel 5, I was in heaven.

"With a high camp attitude and plenty of lasers along the way, this cheese-fest is absolutely a 98-minute blast of low budget kaiju vibes"


 

“Robot!  Stop the attack!  Robot!  Don’t do it!  You’ll die!  I neeeeeed you!”  Oh, man.  I credit this movie with so much iconic nerdism that followed in its wake.  From Ultraman and beyond, I wouldn’t be who I am today without Johnny Soko and Jerry Mano’s showdown with the flashy nitwits in the plastic-suited Gargoyle Gang and the evil Emperor Guillotine.  

It’s also the movie which - and I am not kidding here - made me accept the fact that sometimes the saddest of endings are the very best way to bring things to a conclusion.  That’s right, the robot dies at the end with a fateful BOOM.  It’s a heroic death and it made me bawl as a kid.  Hell, I’m probably still crying over it somewhere deep in my soul right now.

And I owe it all to the fateful ending of Voyage into Space.Voyage Into Space (1970)

This out of this world story about a boy and his big robot and their adventure to save Tokyo from a dog-faced lizard monster has everything a kid could ever want in a movie.  Robots! Monsters! And a kid-sized hero who, alongside a super secret spy group called UNICORN, stops the sinister Emperor Guillotine and his rogues gallery of monsters.  

Truthfully, Voyage into Space is edited together from four (of the 26) episodes of Johnny Soko and His Flying Robot, but it (sometimes) tells a uniquely (read as accidental) comprehensive (ha ha) story that, thanks to its final few minutes, still leaves the boy in me in a puddle of tears (this part is true). With a high camp attitude and plenty of lasers along the way, this cheese-fest is absolutely a 98-minute blast of low budget kaiju vibes. 

Directed by Minoru Yamada and starring Mitsunobu Kaneko, Akio Itô, Jerry Berke, and Toshiyuki Tsuchiyama, this low budget Japanese monster flick is full of manic energy and all sorts of nonsensical fun as an alien ship lands in the sea and launches an attack against the world which includes Draculon the Sea Monster, Nucleon the Magic Globe, the train-swallowing Lygon, and a gargoyle named Vine.  Thankfully, the super spies at UNICORN know how to stop the monsters and their originator, but it’s going to take a giant robot and a kid to control it!  

While the movie is no longer broadcast on television, it can now be yours to own on blu-ray thanks to Scorpion Releasing who present the movie with a new 2019 HD master! 

5/5 stars

 

Voyage Into Space (1970)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- February 2, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
Japanese 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

For the first time on Blu-Ray is the original compilation movie assembled from episodes of the TV series JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING ROBOT. Experience the far-out exploits of a young secret agent who battles the vile minions and colossal monsters of Emperor Guillotine, extraterrestrial dictator of the nefarious Gargoyle Gang. Joining the fight is an atomic-powered giant robot, armed with a fantastic array of superweapons, which only Johnny can command via a remote control wristwatch.

Video:

The 1080p AVC/MPEG-4, presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, look much better than the DVD copies issued the last time Johnny Sokko was circulated.  The picture is bigger, less grainy, and the colors - while they don’t pop exactly - are one level to showcase the work that went into creating the monsters.  There are noticeable limitations in the production value and those will be spotted right away, but this release is the best the movie has ever looked thanks to the new 2019 HD master.

Audio:

A Japanese 2.0 track accompanies the image.  English subtitles/captions are also a choice.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 0/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars


Film Details

Voyage Into Space (1970)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: Minoru Yamada
Writer:

Cast:
Mitsunobu Kaneko, Akio Itô, Jerry Berke
Genre
: Sci-fi
Tagline:
A young astronaut stops a sea monster from making waves.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Really? With this microphone? Hey, Giant Robot, start to move!"
Distributor:
American-International Television
Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 2, 2021.
Synopsis: An edited for TV movie made up of four episodes of the Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot TV series. The four episodes consist of the first episode, two from the middle of the series and the final episode.

Art

Voyage Into Space (1970)

 

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