Dragonball Z: Movie Special #4 – Lord Slug - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B+/A-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: C-
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 4 - Australia / South America
  • Released By: Madman Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95 AU
  • Running time: 52
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Z

Dragonball Z: Movie Special #4 – Lord Slug

    March 01, 2002


Dragonball Z: Movie Special #4 – Lord Slug
© Madman Entertainment


What They Say
The end of the world is fast approaching, in the form of a giant asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Not if Goku has anything to say about it! Goku and Krillin race to the rescue. Using their incredible powers, they narrowly deflect the asteroid from its deadly course. The Earth is saved… or is it?

A dark vessel descends from the surface of the asteroid, carrying a powerful new enemy – the evil overlord, Lord Slug.

His forces have come to take control of the Earth and steal its natural resources, only in the process they intend to wipe out the entire human race! And when Lord Slug discovers the seven magic Dragon Balls, it seems nothing can stop his diabolical plans from coming to pass! Now that Lord Slug has the power of the Dragon Balls in his grasp, can even Goku save the Earth from the clutches of this mysterious invader?

The Review!
Unlike in North America, the wait between Australia getting the first three Dragonball Z movies and this one was a mere month, so fans are probably rejoicing. Pity it also rams home the point how déjŕ vu the DBZ movies are.

Audio:
Never have I been more thankful for bilingual DBZ movies. Due to all the in-house Funimation dub only discs I’ve seen, I find it hard to watch the older movies without them feeling a little weird, so I was looking forward to a movie with the English cast I’d gotten used too. Pity they had to go and make it completely utterly unwatchable with totally inappropriate and badly placed music from real bands. Urgh. The Japanese track is much better, even if it is an older mono number. Both are free of technical faults.

Video:
Thanks to Funimation’s insistence on protecting people from those evil Japanese words as much as possible, they elected to use branching to provide separate Opening titles and End credits for the English and Japanese tracks, with a shared main section. Like the previous bilingual DBZ releases here, it also features subtitles for the Japanese track and dubtitles for English dub. The video looks a degree better than the previous movies, with colors on the brighter side and so forth.

Menu:
I was presently surprised to see a different menu from the first three DBZ movies. Starting off with transition animation from the movie with the title, it then has main ball section with Lord Slugs hands zoom forward and back, clips from the movie playing about where Lord Slug’s head should be. The desperation/Super Saiyan music from the TV series dub playing in the background nicely sets it off. Seems Madman have twigged onto their fans, when you enter the Language Setup it places the cursor on the Japanese with English subtitles option by default. Only the main menu has animation, so movement is generally fast and to the point.

Extras:
Stock extras, trailers for the first three movies (Dead Zone, World’s Strongest, Tree of Might) and the promo for the Australian website. There is a single spoilerific profile for Lord Slug, but I don’t know if it was just badly placed, or intended as an easter egg.

Packaging:
Apart from minor changes, such as the moved “includes” explosion, local rating tag and altered title, this is the Region 1 cover, converted into a double-sider for use in the clear keepcases which are the industry standard here. Inside has Cooler standing in center advertising the fifth DBZ, with plugs for the first four movies to the left and the first four World’s Tournament Saga discs on the right. The disc itself features Lord Slug off the front cover, but with Goku and all his toadies removed.

Content:
Lord Slug closely follows the classic DBZ movie formula. The bad guy threatens the Earth. Friends of Goku get into trouble fighting the bad guy’s minions. Goku arrives to trounce the minions. Bad guy trounces Goku. Goku recovers and defeats the villain. Cue stock happy ending. But what can you expect when the movies just seem like compressed Saga told in less than an hour?

Piccolo meditates in front of a waterfall, until Gohan arrives with Higher Dragon to show off new trick, synchronized dragon dancing in time to his whistling. Despite the rather cute image of Gohan dancing and whistling about in the air, Piccolo quickly screams out in pain before they both notice something coming.
An asteroid is about to strike the Earth, lucky Earth has Goku and Krillin, who proceed to Kame-Ha-meha it of course, but not before they get knocked for six and the planet gets battered. A mysterious spacecraft crash lands, and out come the grunts of Lord Slug who proclaim the planet is his. Gohan leaps into action, only to clue Lord Slug off to the Dragon Ball on his hat. The elderly and close death Lord Slug quickly gathers the remaining six and wishes for the return of his youth. Gohan returns for a second round, and Piccolo arrives to help. Piccolo quickly takes charge at first, before the pair are on the verge of defeat. Cue Goku, who quickly pulps the remaining minions before Lord Slug appears. Goku gets the short end of the straw and is out of his league. Near death, he sort of goes “Super Saiyan” and begins to make a return, but not for long. Lord Slug is revealed as a Namek like Piccolo, which makes the comedy interlude before the movie started very important. Piccolo passes on the last of his energy to Goku, who then proceeds to kick Lord Slug about, before Genki Dama-ring him into his evil planet freezing machine. The Earth is saved and Master Roshi wakes up and wonders why nothing exciting ever happens.

There are some nice touches, such as the great Lord Slug killing scheme, and Piccolo’s defense against it, but it’s sooo formulaic. I guess some fans might like the movie, because it’s more of the same. Non-fans might find it a bit more interesting if it’s something new.

Features
English Language,Japanese Language,Separate English subtitles for both languages,Lord Slug profile,DBZ Movie Trailers

Review Equipment
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor

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