Terra-Formars – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Takashi Miike

Terra-Formars poses the situation that to deal with Earth’s overpopulation, there’s a plan to colonise Mars by releasing CO2 trapped underground, so it releases into the atmosphere and makes it a bit warmer than the -50 C it is normally. No doubt that’ll set the ‘man-made global warming’ loonies off into orbit.

Of course, each country could just implement a ‘one child per family’ policy.

The whole plan is masterminded by a pretention fashion-conscious idiot, Professor Honda, and another part of this is to plant algae, which will absorb sunlight and purify the atmosphere, with an additional plan to take cockroaches up there who’ll spread the algae as they feed, but… surely, the one thing a new planet can do without is cockroaches! So, that’s why a human crew has been sent over to wipe them out.

But what is completely ridiculous about the plot is that the crew sent into space to sort everything out, is entirely made up of criminals. Okay, so it’s a dirty job and no-one wants to do it.

Okay, that’s not the most ridiculous thing… but THAT is the fact that over 500 years – as we get to the year 2599 when the crew arriveon the red planet, and cockroaches have evolved into superhuman tall killers… and the way to defeat them might just be to fuse the crew’s DNA with that of insects so they can transform into hybrid killers and strike back.

Despite the technology used to take people to Mars, no expense has been spent on green- and blue-screen technology, making it blindingly obvious when people are on a film set and have absolutely nothing real surrounding them.

Based on the 2014 manga series, we learn more about each of the characters’ backstories as it goes, giving us a film which is fun at times, but it really does overstay its welcome at almost two hours long. Also, it does tease a sequel, but I won’t be taking a Martian trip if it does.

The dialogue is mostly Japanese with occasional English, but while there are English subtitles as an option, they don’t come on when English dialogue is spoken. I do hate it when that happens, especially in this case when the accents are difficult to make out with an American-ish accent.

There’s no problems with the audio/visual side of things, though, as it looks superb and sharp (no surprises on digital film), and the split-surround audio gives us punch-ups and explosions all over the show.


There’s a decent stack of extras which are as follows:

  • Making Of (87:57): If you’re a fan of this film, you have plenty to get your teeth stuff into with on-set footage, interview clips, special effects breakdowns, make-up, sets, etc. This is split into 8 chapters.

  • Interviews with cast members Hideaki Itô (Shokichi) (10:09), Emi Takei (Nanao) (6:52), Tomohisa Yamashita (Jim) (10:40), Takayuki Yamada (Hiruma) (8:16) and Shun Oguri (Honda) (12:13).

    Each interview is a series of Q with a white caption on a black background, then the A given by the actor to someone just off-camera. Quite often this is done so that daytime TV shows can slot the answers in easily if they want to make their own feature about a movie.

  • Outtakes (4:46): Lots of cracking up on-set.

  • Trailers: A theatrical trailer (1:35), Teaser 1 (0:32) and Teaser 2 (0:52).

  • Stills Gallery (11:40): A stack of pics which change every 10 seconds.

I just watched this on a review disc, but the first pressing of the boxed version contains a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Tom Mes.

The menu features a piece of the theme mixed with clips from the film, there are subtitles in English and the bog-standard 12 chapters.

Terra-Formars is released tomorrow on Blu-ray.

Terra-Formars – Theatrical Trailer


Detailed specs:

Running time: 108 minutes
Year: 2016
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: April 1st 2019
Chapters: 12
Cat.no: FCD1874
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
Languages: Japanese, with some English
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 2.35:1
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Takashi Miike
Producers: Shigeji Maeda, Misako Saka
Screenplay: Kazuki Nakashima
Manga: Yû Sasuga, Ken’ichi Tachibana
Music: Kôji Endô

Asuka Moriki: Rinko Kikuchi
Sakakibara: Rila Fukushima
Professor Ko Honda: Shun Oguri
God Lee: Kane Kosugi
Ichiro Hiruma: Takayuki Yamada
Shokichi Komachi: Hideaki Itô
Jim Muto: Tomohisa Yamashita
Nanao Akita: Emi Takei
Keisuke Dojima: Masaya Katô
Sorae Osako: Mariko Shinoda
Mina Obari: Eiko Koike
Shunji Tezuka: Ken’ichi Takitô
Maria Renjo: Rina Ohta