Latitude Zero (1969)

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Image gallery for Latitude Zero
Latitude Zero soundtrack


Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Latitude Zero
Latitude Zero
Alternate Titles
Flagicon Japan.png Latitude 0 Great Operation (1969)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Produced by Don Sharpe,
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Warren Lewis,
Shinichi Sekizawa,
Ted Sherdeman
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor Toho JP
National General Pictures US
Rating G
Budget ¥289,000,000[1]
Box Office ¥170,000,000[2]
Running Time 89 minutesJP
(1 hour, 29 minutes)
98 minutesUS
(1 hour, 38 minutes)
105 minutesIntl
(1 hour, 45 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
4.17
(23 votes)

Discover the incredible world of tomorrow... 15 miles straight down at Latitude Zero
„ 

— Tagline

Latitude Zero (緯度 (ゼロ)大作戦,   Ido Zero Daisakusen, lit. Latitude 0 Great Operation) is a 1969 tokusatsu science fiction film produced by Toho and based on the radio serial Latitude Zero created by Ted Sherdeman.

Plot

After Dr. Ken Tashiro, Dr. Jules Masson, and Perry Lawton get trapped in a bathysphere due to seismic activity, they are rescued by the crew of the Alpha, a supersubmarine that was launched in the early 19th century. They are greeted by the ship's captain, Craig McKenzie, whom they learn is over 200 years old. McKenzie takes the men to Latitude Zero, an underground paradise located at the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line.

In Latitude Zero, gold and diamonds are plentiful, the inhabitants are peaceful, nobody ages or dies, and everyone lives in peace and harmony. But, McKenzie's rival Malic (who is also over 200 years old) doesn't feel the same way as Latitude Zero's inhabitants. Malic wishes to destroy it using everything he can conjure.

Of all the visitors to Latitude Zero, only Perry Lawton, a journalist, wishes to return home. He was picked up by a US Navy vessel and is left with two men who look identical to Captain McKenzie and Malic and insist their names are Commander Glenn McKenzie and Lieutenant Hastings. Confused at why the two men who look identical to McKenzie and Malic are acting so friendly toward each other, Lawton discovers his film is ruined and when he opens the pouch where he placed his complimentary diamonds, he finds tobacco. Just as he is about to resign himself to the fact that his adventure never occurred, the ship is wired a message stating that a cache of diamonds has been deposited in his name in a safe deposit box in New York City.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Appearances

Weapons, Vehicles, Races

Monsters

Gallery

Main article: Latitude Zero/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Latitude Zero (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Latitude 0 Great Operation (Literal Japanese Title)
    • Great Undersea War: Latitude 0 Great Operation (海底大戦争 緯度0大作戦,   Kaitei Daisensō Ido Zero Daisakusen, Toho Champion Festival Title)
    • Great Undersea War —Latitude Zero— (海底大戦争-緯度ゼロ-,   Kaitei Daisensō Ido Zero, Production title; third draft)[3]
  • U 4000: Panic in the Deep Sea (U 4000: Panik in der Tiefsee, Germany)
  • Where the World Ends (Donde el mundo termina, Spain)

Video Releases

Tokyo Shock DVD (2007)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: English (5.1 Surround, 2.0 Mono), Japanese (1.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Photo gallery; three trailers; interview with Seiji Tani, Teruyoshi Nakano, Koichi Kawakita, and Motoyoshi Tomioka; unused special effects footage from Latitude Zero, Atragon, Submersion of Japan, and The Imperial Navy (28 minutes)
  • Notes: Out of print.

Though Latitude Zero is not available on Blu-ray, an HD version can be rented or purchased on the Japanese versions of Amazon Video and iTunes.

Videos

Japanese Latitude Zero trailer
Japanese Latitude Zero newsflash/special announcement
International Latitude Zero trailer
American Latitude Zero trailer
American Latitude Zero TV trailers
German Latitude Zero trailer

Trivia

  • Little is known about the radio show Latitude Zero was based on, but a 1941 TIME article states that the protagonist and antagonist were always Captain Craig McKenzie and Malic, the Alpha was called the Omega, and a griffon appeared in at least one episode.[4]
  • Unlike other 1960's Toho productions starring American actors, Latitude Zero was filmed entirely in English. Even the Japanese actors, including Akira Takarada and Akihiko Hirata, deliver all of their lines in English.

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Latitude Zero. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Steve Ryfle and Ed Godzizewski. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film. Wesleyan University Press. p. 250. 2017. ISBN: 9780819577412.
  2. Steve Ryfle and Ed Godzizewski. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film. Wesleyan University Press. p. 252. 2017. ISBN: 9780819577412.
  3. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. Village Books. p. 128. 28 September 2012. ISBN: 4-864-91013-8.
  4. Latitude Zero (1969)

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Comments

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Green Blob Thing

17 months ago
Score 0

I've had this film on DVD for a couple of months now, but I've not been able to get around to watching it until today. After watching it, I wish I had seen it sooner as this was a great movie. This comment is based off of the international version that was incorrectly labelled as the 'US Version' on the Tokyo Shock DVD.

From the images and trailers I had seen, I was expecting a traditional schlocky film like a lot of the other Toho Showa films. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was actually a lot slower in terms of pace and actually tried to tell a proper story. The first hour did a nice job at setting up Latitude Zero and made it seem like a genuinely nice place to live, even if the outfits are ridiculously byproducts of the 1960s. It was weird seeing a Japanese Toho film in which all the actors speak fluent English and it was made all the more bizarre with the weird creatures we got to see in this film. Kroiga (the Griffon) is a pretty cool and inventive monster, the Bat People don't actually look too bad and though the Giant Rats don't look that great, they're only in the film for a few minutes so it doesn't matter. Though it's not confirmed, I like to think that the Condor in this movie is the same condor or a descendant of the one that we see in Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. If the Griffon is still alive (we don't see her die), then maybe she'll meet Godzilla one day and get revenge for what he did to the Giant Condor.

The soundtrack isn't anything special but I really liked the calm guitar music that played throughout the film. Its different from the normal music you'd hear in a Showa Toho movie and I appreciate that. There were some scenes that really could have done with more dramatic music though. The actors are also great and its strange seeing Cesar Romero in a Toho movie, but he's clearly having a lot of fun as Malik and he even gets one or two serious scenes. I love the fact that he keeps prisoners in rooms, and then puts them in a human-sized birdcage in that very same room. It makes no sense but its amazing. To top it all off, there's the twist ending. It confused me at first, but I think I understand it now and it was an interesting way to end the film. It left me thinking about it and what happened before it which is what twist endings are supposed to do. It also makes this film stand out from the rest of the other run of the mill Toho movies and I certainly wouldn't mind watching it again someday.

There's also a scene where they all take their shirts off, so bonus points for that.
avatar

The King of the Monsters

22 months ago
Score 0

This movie was mind-blowing. It has some very impressive special effects (even the Griffon and Bat People don't look too bad in action), the sets and costumes are colorful and exotic, and I even found myself getting invested in the story. The film does a good job showing off the utopian society of Latitude Zero and giving it the appearance of a true paradise. The highlight of the film is probably Cesar Romero as Malik though. He is fantastically evil and maniacal, while also clearly disturbed and even intimidating in some moments. Akira Takarada also does an admirable job speaking English throughout the entire film and still turning in a good performance and remaining mostly understandable. Akira Ifukube's score is very beautiful and fitting for the movie, and even manages to stand apart from a lot of his other scores. Plus the twist ending I felt was a nice touch.

I'll give this film a 5 out of 5 for just being so entertaining and enjoyable.