Saturday, April 20, 2019

TERRA FORMARS (2016) Blu-ray review

Terra Formars (2016) d. Takashi Miike (Japan) (98 min)

20 years after the 1999 triple-threat of Audition, Dead or Alive, and Ley Lines (the final installment in the Black Society Trilogy), Miike shows no sign of slowing down even if he seems less concerned with consistently shattering conventions and expectations. Case in point: this goofy, juvenile intergalactic epic scripted by Kazuki Nakashima (based on the popular Manga by Yu Sasuga and Kenichi Tachibana) in which a team of space explorers find themselves pitched against a horde of oversized anthropomorphic cockroaches who all seem to have spent a lot of time doing leg presses at Red Planet Fitness.

In the mid-21st century, humankind has been forced to look to colonizing other planets as a means of combating overcrowding on Earth - their first stop, Mars. With a population of cockroaches having been introduced on Mars some 500 years prior to help prepare the way for human colonization, a manned mission sets out to the red planet with the aim of clearing away the bugs. Upon arrival, however, they discover that the roaches have evolved to huge, vicious creatures capable of wielding weapons. How best to combat such a menace? Why, concoct serums that temporarily combine various insect traits with those of their human hosts, of course. Fight bugs with bugs!

Yes, it’s all as silly as the premise sounds, and while Miike and his creative team play the game with a straight face, it’s hard to take any of it seriously on any level, including the notion that this was a worthwhile cinematic venture in the first place. Best watched with a gorehound second grader’s mindset, since that seems to be the target demographic; the production values never really go beyond standard SyFy Channel expectations and the novelty of seeing what a person would look like if Brundlefly’d with a fire beetle or praying mantis is fleeting indeed.


High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

Original uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA options

Newly-translated English subtitles

The Making of Terra Formars - feature-length documentary on the film’s production featuring a host of cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage (88 min)

Cast interviews:

Hideaki Ito (10 min)

Emi Takei (8 min)

Tomohisa Yamashita (11 min)

Shu Oguri (12 min)

Takayuki Yamada (8 min)

Outtakes (5 min)

Image Gallery

Theatrical and teaser trailers

Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Tom Mes

Terra Formars is available now from Arrow Video on Blu-ray and can be ordered HERE:


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