More Like Serf and Peasant
Two good gags come from God Raiga vs King Ohga. One finds the Japanese Prime Minister excited by giant monster attacks: They reduce property values, save money on demolition, and will let him build a profitable casino afterward. In the second, Japanese self-defense forces appear on screen as literal toys, mere action figures on a hastily built playset. Like Raiga before this, the genre and cultural satire break through these micro-budget productions.
Unfortunately, there’s more to God Raiga vs King Ohga. Much of it is outright incoherent. Post-production effects slather the screen in fake fire, swirls, distortion, and other techniques as to make action impossible to follow. Hasty composites place monsters against real backdrops, other times in poorly disguised still images.
Raiga, at least, showed competence, Self-defeating comedy alleviated the barren visuals. God Raiga vs King Ohga doesn’t even offer a baseline quality. Scattered edits leave scenes dangling, the story jumps without connective tissue, and it’s fair to question if this was finished. Those looking for a kaiju battle will continue looking, even as they watch. Merely seeing something – anything – is practically an accident rather than the norm.
Director Shinpei Hayashiya undoubtedly carries passion for this genre, even as restrictions impede his work. That’s okay. Kudos to anyone attempting these projects to keep the genre moving. But God Raiga vs King Ohga arguably damages goodwill earned from Raiga, even demeaning the work in Shin Godzilla, which this sequel parodies through extended text explainers for military hardware. Government disarray factors in too, with numerous defense forces spread about the country, and a useless, sloppily dubbed American CIA presence.
At best, God Raiga vs King Ohga mashes together erratic color, fake fire, digital debris, and somewhere behind it all, a puppet or monster suit. There’s no making sense of things. Ambition counts, and Raiga showed there’s writing talent available. This end product though is too much of nothing.
Likely shot on a low-end camera or even a phone, the resulting images break down in frequent artifacting. Some shots lower to DVD levels, large chunks and blocking removing detail. This doesn’t appear like a disc mastering fault so much as the source.
Measly resolution provides limited detail. Even without heavy compression, there’s little to see it appears. Garishly saturated color bleeds out.
In the bonus menu, there’s a different version labeled “Filmlook.” The idea is to add a fake grain over the image, boost contrast, and crush black levels. Certain moments exhibit mild improvement – the contrast finds slightly increased definition. Everything else suffers from clipping and crush. Plus, grain is no friend to the already suffering compression. Between the two, it’s a toss up.
Wild volume spikes spare nothing in shocking a viewer awake. That’s one fault in this (mostly) Japanese Dolby Digital stereo track. Given the recording process, ambient wind blows into the microphone, obscuring some dialog. Thankfully, subtitles clarify.
Stereo effects only matter when the English-speaking CIA officers appear. Then, the split is obnoxiously wide and unnatural. Expect minimal bass during the heaviest action.
Trailers and the above mentioned Filmlook cut. That’s all.
God Raiga vs King Ohga
Admire the spirit of a filmmaker trying to keep Japanese kaiju alive, but God Raiga vs King Ohga is otherwise unwatchable.
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