Dragon Ball Z: Movie Collection One Review

dbzmoviecollection1

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.

OVERVIEW

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.

VERDICT

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.

22 thoughts on “Dragon Ball Z: Movie Collection One Review

  1. Now Goku has a halo on his head; respect for him. Dragon Ball Z was my childhood favourite but now I can’t remember much about it. Great post!!. This post made me remember my childhood

    • Goku still has a halo? I thought he got resurrected. To be honest I have lost track how many times he has died and come back. DBZ characters return from the death more time than Marvel heroes in the comics.

  2. Haha, really had to laugh about that King line…honestly, I had to think of the King novel too ๐Ÿ˜‚ As for Dragonball Z…it’s a bit like Naruto and Bleach….the series just have so many episodes, that I haven’t started watching them. I do know the series of course, and the characters and stuff, but I have never actually sat down to watch the episodes from the beginning. Considering the amount of things I still have to watch…series that run for more than 100 episodes aren’t my thing currently ๐Ÿ˜Š
    It’s nice that they released the movies together, else you are quite right, they would definitely be overpriced. Great post, and I have to admit the trailer looks pretty bad ass ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I remember liking The Dead Zone a lot, back when I read Stephen King books. There’s a TV show out there, loosely based on the novel, but sadly it got cancelled after six seasons – denying viewers a series finale.

      Dragon Ball Z was a lot of fun to watch back when it aired. When I was younger I was okay with watching one new episode per day. I couldn’t go back and watch it all now though, as it is such a huge time investment.

      • Yeah, that for me is the main reason for not watching it. Not because I don’t like the show, but purely I would not know where to find the time for it.
        Yes the tv series was actually pretty good: I really hate it that they cancel shows without giving the viewers at least a proper finale. But that’s television I guess ๐Ÿ˜ข The movie was very good too by the way. Starring Martin Sheen and Christopher Walken it was one of the better King adaptations ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. ” Oh waitโ€ฆ I am getting confused with the Stephen King novel. ”

    I’m glad you added that otherwise I would have wondered what the hell you were talking about…. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • That’s good to hear. My original draft of this review didn’t include that line, but after some thought I decided clarification would be in order as the reference would go over most people’s heads.

  4. Now that you mention it, the whole thing of Garlic Junior is very ironic. Dead Zone isn’t one of the best DBZ movies but I would be glued to any screen I saw it on, it just has that weird effect on me. I have to admit, team four stars take on this movie made me appreciate it more.

    • Dead Zone isn’t the greatest movie ever, but it’s only forty minutes long so worth checking out for the action. This was the first time I had watched the film. During my screening I noticed that this movie is the origin of some of the footage that is used in the DBZ opening song.

  5. Little Goku in the first dragon ball, is so cute ๐Ÿ˜€ . Too bad he grows up to look scary and constantly grumpy hehe
    Also Glob, that old man in the first dragon ball, was so creepy and dogdey. I remember him creeping on Bulma and getting crazy nose bleeds. He didn’t even hide his creeping. He was just a complete perv.
    I’ve never seen any of the dragon ball Z movies. For nostalgias sake, I think I’ll check them out ๐Ÿ˜€ Great review ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You make it sound like Goku grew up to become Vegeta hehe. The original Dragon Ball show was a fun show. Lots of quirky characters and it had a sense of adventure, as opposed to Z which only focuses of fighting. I don’t remember Glob, but I do recall that there was a lot of pervy moments with Bulma.

      • Hehe I forgot about Vegeta and his weird shaped egg head ๐Ÿ˜€
        Haha. Sorry for confusing you. Glob isn’t in Dragon Ball. That was just me trying to be cute and avoiding insulting anyone, with the uses of the word God (People can be pernickety about that). ๐Ÿ™‚
        The old creepy man I was talking about, is Master Roshi (Kame-Sennin) or something like that hehe. ๐Ÿ˜€
        Glob is a character from another show, Ironically, he’s also a red god that lives on mars. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s the reason why I never dipped into Naruto. So many episodes and so little time. My schedule doesn’t allow me to revisit the DBZ series, but at least I can make time for the occasional movie.

      • Yeah series like those and one piece and bleach you have to have time and patience or have started them when they came on. Iโ€™m glad with all of them I started them when they all came on.

  6. Long time DBZ fan here!
    Yeah the first 4-5 films in the DBZ catalog suffer from the move the plot along to get to the big fight portion. It makes a lot of the early films feel kinda like filler until the final portion. I agree Dead Zone is far better though. It also it weirdly enough needed to understand a filler arc in the 4th season of the anime. Some of the only films in the DBZ catalog that aren’t average are the first Broly film, Bojack, Fusion Reborn, Wrath of the Dragon, and Battle of the Gods. I’m curious to see what you think about the rest of the films though as you run through them. They are all easy action flicks just like old Bruce Lee films.

    • Thanks for the recommendations. If any of those movies get the combo pack treatment in the UK I’ll check them out. I vaguely remember Garlic Jr from the DBZ series. Back when I watched the show I think I just assumed he was a villain from the original Dragon Ball.

      • It’s probably because he looks super similar to a character from the original called Emperor Pilaf haha.

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