Blu-ray Review: Ultra Seven (1967 – 1968)

December 21, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Continuing on with their presentation of the original Ultraman television episodes (the first two volumes of which I reviewed here), Mill Creek Entertainment brings us 1967’s Ultra Seven (which coincidentally is the Ultra series I’ve seen the most of thanks to TNT broadcasting dubbed episodes of the series in the mid-’90s).

The long and the short of UltraSeven goes as follows: like a hot second from now, Earth finds itself balls deep in alien monsters… monsters that are hell bent on rippin’ our home turf a brand-new asshole.

Not one to just sit on their collective asses, the Terrestrial Defense Force establishes the Ultra Garrison, a gaggle of folks that use the ultimate in technology to mix things up with those space bastards right quick!

Now that’s all well and good, but the real ace-in-the-hole of the Garrison is the addition of  Dan Moroboshi, a mystery man that isn’t really a “man” at all, but is in truth an alien comin’ straight outta Nebula M78; Ultra Seven!

Expanding on what came before, UltraSeven gives the viewer plenty of monsters, ray beams (has anyone said that since like 1934?), and silver and red suited daring-do, but this time it adds a bit of darkness to the kid-friendly goings-on (an element still present in 2017’s Ultra-series Ultraman Geed, which I reviewed right here).

So what makes this series a bit on the grim side? Well, we get the mystery surrounding Dan, as well as plenty of pointed social and environmentally conscious commentary… while still featuring a titanic superhero beating the ever-loving shit out of rubber monsters… and therein we get the elephant in the room.

Episode twelve, ‘From Another Planet with Love‘, featured the scarred Alien Spell which was labeled Hibaku Seijin (A-Bomb Survivor Alien) which derived from the term ‘hibakusha’ which referred to the horribly disfigured survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This drove the public into a frenzy, and the episode was thrown into the abyss in Japan, and naturally is not included here as well, so for those of you out there that get your knickers in a twist about such things, you have been warned… also, lighten the fuck up dude…

While we are missing an episode (due to the original creators and not State-side meddling for once) Mill Creek have done a bang-up job presenting these episodes in glorious HD, and while there aren’t any bonus features, I love the high-quality booklets ol’ MC includes in their Ultra releases; these are full-color collections of great photos and info; and the section that spotlights the kaiju featured is fantastic (and reminiscent of the ‘enemies’ section in the NES manuals of old).

To sum it up; if you love kaiju, superheroes, and any combination of the two you need UltraSeven in your life; it is truly a high water mark in the ultra-series and shouldn’t be missed!

 

 

 

 

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