Discotek Media

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Lino
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Discotek Media

#1 Post by Lino » Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:57 am

New kids on the block, and here's a first review for their inaugural title - Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs.

From Henshin Online:
After a decades-long drought, Japanese fantasy film fans in America are finally seeing a bounty of titles released on DVD from companies ranging from prestige outfits like Criterion and Home Vision Entertainment to major studios like Disney and Sony, to the consistently top-quality releases from smaller labels like Media Blasters, Artsmajic, and Ventura. Now, a new company named Discotek Media has announced it will be releasing an incredible selection of Asian genre movies, many previously unavailable in the US, and all produced with the highest possible standards.

In 2004, a group of retailers in Orlando, FL who were selling Asian cinema and anime videos decided the time had come to start their own DVD label, Discotek Media. Over the past year, they have licensed several titles from Toho and Toei and made a distribution deal with Ryko Distribution, with the first release coming this October. The discs will initially be available through online retailers like Amazon.com, Deep Discount DVD, and DVD Planet; and plans are underway to have Discotek Media titles in all the major retail electronic store chains.

The following list covers Discotek's planned release schedule for the next twelve months. Street dates for the first four titles are firm; all others are tentative and subject to change.

ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS (Zeroka-no Onna Akai Wappa, 1974)
Directed by Yukio Noda (YAKUZA COP: THE ASSASSIN), this is the first - and most notorious - entry in the long-running Zero Woman series. Starring Miki Sugimoto, Tetsuro Tamba, Ichiro Araki, Eiji Go, and Hideo Murota, this Toei cult classic will be available in the US for the first time in any format, completely uncut and unedited. The violent police officer Agent Zero is stripped of her badge and sent to prison after she brutally kills a rapist. When a rich politician's daughter is kidnapped, Agent Zero is released from prison to rescue the girl and deal with the criminals however she sees fit.

Telecined from a new print, the first Discotek disc corrects print damage that was present when ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS was released on DVD in France and the Netherlands. The film is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen and features the original Japanese language with optional English subtitles (including newly done translations for the credits and onscreen text) and the theatrical trailer. In addition, the initial release of ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS will be a limited edition of 10,000 that comes packaged in a slipcase, an inner casing with alternate cover art, and a collectible booklet that will not be available with future pressings. Street Date: October 25, 2005 SRP: $29.95

ANIMAL TREASURE ISLAND (Dobutsu Takarajima, 1971)
Inspired by the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, ANIMAL TREASURE ISLAND was directed by Hiroshi Ikeda (special effects director for THE X FROM OUTER SPACE), and features the legendary Hayao Miyazaki (director of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO and SPIRITED AWAY) as a story consultant and key animator. This "all ages" animated film was regularly shown on US television but has never been released to home video. For the first time, it will be available in its original aspect ratio (presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen), with both Japanese and English audio, and a theatrical teaser and trailer. Street Date: November 15, 2005 SRP: $29.95

Some of Hayao Miyazaki's early works, such as ANIMAL TREASURE ISLAND, will be coming to Region 1 DVD. Photo courtesy of Discotek Media © 1971 Toei Animation Co., Ltd
TARO: THE DRAGON BOY (Tatsu-no Ko Taro, 1979)
A beautiful Toei animated film, based on a classic of Japanese folklore and directed by Kiriro Urayama. Previously released to television and home video in the 1980s, this is the first letterboxed release (2.35:1 anamorphic) in the US - and the first time the film is available on DVD anywhere. Includes the original Japanese language with English subtitles and the English language version that was written and directed by Peter Fernandez (English dubbing supervisor for SPEED RACER and ULTRAMAN). Street Date: January 24, 2006

LUPIN THE THIRD: STRANGE PSYCHOKINETIC STRATEGY (Rupan Sansei: Nenrikichan Sakusen, 1974)
Also known as LUPIN III: OPERATION PSYCHOKINESIS, this is the first feature film based on Monkey Punch's long-running and popular manga "Lupin III" (published in English by TokyoPop), working from his original film treatment. The live action caper was directed by Takashi Tsuboshima and stars Yuki Meguro (SHOGUN, LEGEND OF THE EIGHT SAMURAI), and the DVD will be of the same standard as Toho Video's Japanese release from last year - anamorphic letterbox and in Japanese with English subtitles. Street Date: February 21, 2006.

SEXY SOCCER (2003)
Not a Japanese film, this is a Category III Hong Kong sex comedy made to ride the popularity of Stephen Chow's SHAOLIN SOCCER. As the title implies, this film follows the comedic and erotic adventures of a soccer team of beautiful women. In Cantonese with newly translated English subtitles. Street Date: March 28, 2006.

THE WAR IN SPACE (Wakusei Daisenso, 1977)
Directed by Jun Fukuda (SON OF GODZILLA, GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA) with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano (GODZILLA VS HEDORAH- GODZILLA 1985), this Toho sci fi classic combines elements from BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE and ATRAGON, and even throws in a horned Wookiee-like alien called the "Space Beastman". Featuring many familiar classic Toho cast members and a special guest appearance by action star Hiroshi Miyauchi (KAMEN RIDER V3). The first-ever US DVD release of THE WAR IN SPACE will include the original Japanese audio, English subtitles, and the English dub. Street Date: April 25, 2006.

Future releases will include Toho's scifi adventures THE WAR IN SPACE and BYE BYE JUPITER. © 1977 Toho Co., Ltd

PUSS 'N BOOTS (Nagagutsu O Haita Neko aka "The Wonderful World of Puss ‘N Boots", 1969)
This Toei anime feature is based on the Grimm's fairy tale, directed by Kimio Yabuki, and features the early work of Hayao Miyazaki (NAUSICAA, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE). The English language version was directed by Fred Ladd (GIGANTOR). The title character of "Pero" became the signature mascot of Toei Animation Co., Ltd. Street Date: May 3, 2006

BURST CITY (Bakuretsu Toshi, 1982)
Director Sogo Ishii's (GOJOE, ELECTRIC DRAGON 80,000 V) bleak and anarchistic look at a future dystopian Japan; where punk rock gangs wage war in clans and battle with the state police for survival of the fittest. Once you see BURST CITY, you'll never forget it. Discotek's highly-anticipated release of Toei's cult classic is remastered and enhanced for anamorphic televisions, and will also be available in a special box set similar to ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS (tentative). Street Date: June 27, 2006.

ROBOKILL BENEATH DISCOCLUB LAYLA (Mikadoroido aka "Mikadroid, 1991)
Produced by Tsuburaya Eizo and released by Toho's V-Cinema label, ROBOKILL BENEATH DISCOCLUB LAYLA was written and directed by Tomoo Haraguchi (SAKUYA: SLAYER OF DEMONS, KIBAKICHI) with special effects by Shinji Higuchi (the 1990s Gamera trilogy, LORELEI: THE WITCH OF THE PACIFIC). In a forgotten underground factory, an experimental robot soldier intended to fight in the last days of World War 2 is activated and goes on a bloody rampage in modern Tokyo. The cast includes Sandayu Dokumamushi ("Arashi" in ULTRAMAN, "Little Man" Machan ("Minilla" in the Showa Godzilla series), and horror film director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (PULSE) in a supporting note. [I hope that they change the title back to the original MIKADROID, rather than this made-up-by-Asian-Cult-Cinema title - Editor] Street Date: July, 2006

BYE BYE JUPITER (Sayonara Jiyupeta, 1983)
While BYE BYE JUPITER has several similarities to the US book and movie 2010, the film is based on the novel by Sakyu Komatsu (SUBMERSION OF JAPAN), which was published years before the sequel to 2001. Directed by Koji Hashimoto (GODZILLA 1985) with effects from Koichi Kawakita (the Heisei Godzilla series), this odd Toho film has too much going on for its own good - a dolphin-loving cult lead by a guitar playing hippie, laser fights, a love scene in zero gravity, and a mystery near Jupiter - but the production design and visual effects are top notch. More than twenty years after its Japanese release, BYE BYE JUPITER comes to the US with the original Japanese audio, English subtitles, and an English dub. Street Date: August, 2006

LUPIN THE THIRD: LEGEND OF THE GOLD BABYLON (Rupan Sansei: Babiron-no Ogun Densetsu, 1985)
A bizarre entry in the LUPIN III series, released for the first time on DVD in the US. A Polish Mafia boss and a cadre of female cops pursue Lupin III as he seeks a treasure hidden in ancient Babylon. Discotek's release of this Toho anime will be fully letterboxed, 16:9 enhanced, and contain both Japanese and English Audio, with removable English subtitles. Directed by the legendary Seijun Suzuki (BRANDED TO KILL, TOKYO DRIFTER). Street Date: Late 2006

LUPIN THE THIRD: FUMA CONSPIRACY (Rupan Sansei: Fuma Ichizoku-no Inbo, 1987)
During the wedding of Lupin III's partner in crime, the ronin Ishikawa Goemon, a band of ninja disrupt the proceedings to steal a precious family heirloom. All hell breaks loose as Lupin & Co. race to rescue Goemon's bride and retrieve the stolen treasure. One of the best LUPIN III films, this Toho anime title was previously released by AnimEigo, as RUPAN III: THE FUMA CONSPIRACY. Discotek is reissuing this film with the proper "Lupin the Third" moniker and all-new English subtitles and English dub. Street Date: Late 2006

Discotek Media has just launched their own website which features the trailers for ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS and LUPIN THE THIRD: STRANGE PSYCHOKINETIC STRATEGY. Henshin! Online will also have news and reviews of Discotek's releases, so check back here for further updates in the near future.

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solaris72
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#2 Post by solaris72 » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:53 am

Burst City! WOOOO!
Also looking forward to WAR IN SPACE (part of a trilogy with The Mysterians and Battle in Outer Space) and BYE BYE JUPITER. Bring on the non-Kaijucentric Japanese scifi!

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Lino
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#3 Post by Lino » Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:02 am

A very good review of Zero Woman is up here

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solaris72
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#4 Post by solaris72 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:29 pm

They've added to their release schedule Electric Dragon 80,000 Volts (which is a crazy Japanese cyberpunk film, directed by Sogo Ishii, who also directed Burst City, streeting from Discotek on the same day) and Sars Wars (which seems to be an over the top, partially animated, Thai zombie movie). Electric Dragon streets on June 27th, and Sars Wars streets on July 25th.

Electric Dragon 80,000 V review

Sars Wars review

Anonymous

#5 Post by Anonymous » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:41 am

what happened to Unearthed doing Electric Dragon?

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Lino
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#6 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:34 am

Discotek will release Teruo Ishii's Blind Woman's Curse, starring Meiko Kaji. No date set as yet.

Here's a clip.

Twitch reports about a release date for Teruo Ishii's 'Blind Woman's Curse'.

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manicsounds
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#7 Post by manicsounds » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:03 am

Bohachi Bushido

dir: Teruo Ishii

April 29th, 2008

English Subtitles
Japanese Language
16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital
Interview with lead actress Yuriko Hishimi
Interview with J-Taro Sugisaku writer of the Teruo Ishii
section of the Toei Pinky Violence book.
Liner notes and film history by Chris D of the American
Cinematheque
Audio commentary with J-Taro and Takao Nakano

zombeaner
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:24 pm

#8 Post by zombeaner » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:26 pm

Discotek are one of my favorite all-around indie labels for a couple of reasons. They have only a few films, but the films they choose are all really fun. Also, their webstore is one of the best around. I've ordered 3 titles from them directly and not only is shipping free and the prices are at-or-below other stores, but I've received each of my orders in 3 days or less, can't beat that! I just did my monthly check of their website and found some cool new titles they are planning:
Before the end of the year:
The Storm Riders (the Original!)
Star of David: Beautiful Girl Hunter
Sukeban Boy (From the Director of Machine Girl)
Happiness of the Katakuris (new special edition)

A little later:
Crab Goaltender
Oh My Zombie Mermaid
Taxi Hunter (New special edition)
Burning Paradise

more to come…
I'm especially excited about Crab Goaltender since there is a serious dearth of Minoru Kawasaki on English friendly DVD; also any new version of Happiness of the Katakuris will find a loving home in my collection.

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foggy eyes
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#9 Post by foggy eyes » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:24 pm

zombeaner wrote:I'm especially excited about Crab Goaltender since there is a serious dearth of Minoru Kawasaki on English friendly DVD
This is without question one of the silliest things I've seen for a very long time.

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#10 Post by zombeaner » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:53 pm

I love Kawasaki. The only films of his that I've seen are The Calamari Wrestler and The World Sinks Except Japan. Calamari Wrestler is genius though, and he's got several others in that same vein that all look like fun, including Kani Goalkeeper and especially Executive Koala, which I really want to see.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Discotek Media

#11 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:18 am

I don't know if this is up anyone's alley, but Retro Game Master (a.k.a. Game Center CX) is coming to DVD for the first time in the states. There was a bastardized version of it online for a while with Iron Chef like dubbing, but it looks like this one is being fully subbed (along with the dubbed version).

This is perhaps my favorite show in a long while since I started watching it early last year. It manages to provide a lot of entertainment for what seems to be a very low budget show and is incredibly addicting. You can watch subtitled episodes on YouTube for a taste of what the program is like.

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manicsounds
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Re: Discotek Media

#12 Post by manicsounds » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:34 pm

I love the show and never picked up the DVDs in Japan because they were too expensive. Like "Angry Video Game Nerd", a great retro-video game series (although the 2 are very different in content)

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manicsounds
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Re: Discotek Media

#13 Post by manicsounds » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:32 pm


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dwk
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Re: Discotek Media

#14 Post by dwk » Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:30 pm

Discotek announced they are starting a sublabel called Nihon Nights that will focus on "live action Japanese genre films."

The first title in this line is the adaptation of Uzumaki (2000).

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colinr0380
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Re: Discotek Media

#15 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Mar 15, 2022 4:00 am

That is interesting and it will be nice to upgrade from the almost twenty year old Artsmagic DVD of that film, though there should be the customary warning with Uzumaki that for all of the bizarre imagery and strange film techniques it does only adapt approximately the first third of Junji Ito's manga series (and focuses on interweaving just a handful of the previously discreet standalone and episodic side stories together in order to form its plot: the one about people turning into snails; the schoolboy stalker - albeit without the jack-in-the-box payoff that is arguably the reason for that subplot's existence; the school rivalry between girls over who has the best and biggest spirally hair - again without the lifeforce draining playground battle for dominance climax; the reporter figure - though that character was most important in the second half of the manga so has little plot reason for being in this adaptation; with the subplot of the boyfriend's spiral-obsessed father and detrimental effect on his family providing the majority of the structure), before things in the manga went apocalyptic and the town got utterly destroyed by tornados at the half-way mark, with the entire structure of the story transforming from episodic weirdness into one giant single overarching narrative at that point.

Its an interesting and enjoyable film, and certainly captures the weird and off-kilter dreamy atmosphere well, but perhaps should be seen more as a low-key live action addendum to the manga than a (probably budgetarily impossible!) full adaptation. It would be amazing if they could double bill it with the same director's same year TV movie adaptation of Ito's Long Dream though, which apparently goes beyond the plot of Ito's original story!
___
I wonder if that may mean that Discotek will release more of the Japanese films from the era of films that Artsmagic released on DVD. Things like Pyrokinesis (aka Cross Fire) or Jôji Iida's Another Heaven would be welcome. Though I would also love to see some label release the films that followed the initial Ring trilogy (i.e. the films after those in Arrow's boxset), to see where the series progressed after that.

Whilst I'm wildly speculating, how about Gunhed! :D

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dwk
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Re: Discotek Media

#16 Post by dwk » Sat May 28, 2022 4:08 pm

Discotek announced they are releasing Kinji Fukusaku's Shogun's Samurai on Blu-ray later this year.

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feihong
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Re: Discotek Media

#17 Post by feihong » Sat May 28, 2022 6:42 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 4:00 am
That is interesting and it will be nice to upgrade from the almost twenty year old Artsmagic DVD of that film, though there should be the customary warning with Uzumaki that for all of the bizarre imagery and strange film techniques it does only adapt approximately the first third of Junji Ito's manga series (and focuses on interweaving just a handful of the previously discreet standalone and episodic side stories together in order to form its plot: the one about people turning into snails; the schoolboy stalker - albeit without the jack-in-the-box payoff that is arguably the reason for that subplot's existence; the school rivalry between girls over who has the best and biggest spirally hair - again without the lifeforce draining playground battle for dominance climax; the reporter figure - though that character was most important in the second half of the manga so has little plot reason for being in this adaptation; with the subplot of the boyfriend's spiral-obsessed father and detrimental effect on his family providing the majority of the structure), before things in the manga went apocalyptic and the town got utterly destroyed by tornados at the half-way mark, with the entire structure of the story transforming from episodic weirdness into one giant single overarching narrative at that point.

Its an interesting and enjoyable film, and certainly captures the weird and off-kilter dreamy atmosphere well, but perhaps should be seen more as a low-key live action addendum to the manga than a (probably budgetarily impossible!) full adaptation. It would be amazing if they could double bill it with the same director's same year TV movie adaptation of Ito's Long Dream though, which apparently goes beyond the plot of Ito's original story!
___
I wonder if that may mean that Discotek will release more of the Japanese films from the era of films that Artsmagic released on DVD. Things like Pyrokinesis (aka Cross Fire) or Jôji Iida's Another Heaven would be welcome. Though I would also love to see some label release the films that followed the initial Ring trilogy (i.e. the films after those in Arrow's boxset), to see where the series progressed after that.

Whilst I'm wildly speculating, how about Gunhed! :D
They used to have some of the best Shinji Aoyama films, as well, including Wild Life and An Obsession. I want those on blu ray very badly.

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