It’s time to review another movie combo pack from Manga Entertainment. Unlike the recent Beyond the Boundary set, I am pleased to report that this release’s content does not include a worthless recap film. Although Dead Zone and The World’s Strongest are not new movies (having premiered back in 1989 and 1990 respectively) this is the first occasion that UK fans have had to purchase either flick on Blu-Ray/DVD. Bundling both features together, rather than releasing them separately, is a nice gesture as neither film goes over the one-hour mark. Quality may trump quantity, but when it comes to anime paying full price for forty minutes of entertainment would be a bit of a swindle.
Dead Zone tells the tale of how Goku acquired the power of clairvoyance, after being involved in a car accident. Oh wait… I am getting confused with the Stephen King novel. In this movie the aforementioned Saiyan has to defeat a villain who has kidnapped his son. Said evildoer’s moniker is Garlic Junior, which is rather ironic. He resembles a Nosferatu and yet he is named after the vegetable people use to ward off vampires. Anyway, the rescue attempt won’t be easy as Garlic is more immortal than a Scottish swordsman – his reward for collecting all seven Dragon Balls at the start of the film. In order to defeat Garlic the spikey haired protagonist will have to band together with his nemesis Piccolo.
The World’s Strongest kicks off with Gohan and a humanoid swine searching for the titular Dragon Balls. Oolong, the perverted pig man, desires the mystical spheres so he can summon a pair of panties. Unfortunately for the horny hog, a scientist loyal to a genius named Dr Wheelo beats him to the punch. Said scientist uses the Dragon Balls to liberate his master from an icy tomb. Once freed, Wheelo arranges for Goku’s sensei Master Roshi to be abducted. Wheelo mistakenly believes that Roshi is the strongest human around and wishes to transfer his consciousness into Roshi’s body. Once again Goku ventures forth to rescue one of his acquaintances. Dragon Ball evidently relies on kidnap plots almost as much as it rehashes fighting tournaments.
My rating for Dragon Ball Z: Movie Collection One is a three out of five. From the limited selection of Dragon Ball films I have watched, I would have to rank Resurrection F above either of these two offerings. Long time fans of the series will however appreciate this nostalgic trip back to the franchise’s roots. Despite the age of the movies I didn’t think that the visuals looked all that dated. Although the animation is on par with what we have seen in the TV series, the artwork itself has received a slight clean up courtesy of a digital remaster. Out of the two movies I enjoyed Dead Zone slightly more. The World’s Strongest has a better story, thanks to its lengthier run time, whilst Dead Zone has the superior antagonist. Wheelo is just a Mother Brain wannabe with a robotic body.
One thing that I liked about the movies is that the action focuses on fisticuffs and energy blasts, rather than characters changing their hairstyles, as both stories are set prior to the time when Super Saiyan mode was unlocked. Goku even has to call upon the aid of his bow staff during one of the battles. Thanks to the concise running time neither movie suffers from excessive filler, which happens to be my chief complaint with the television show. Sadly the corny slapstick that DBZ is known for is still present here. If puerile jokes “piss” you off I can’t imagine that the scene were Gohan urinates on Krillin will be to your liking… pun intended.