Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Open Letter Regarding ESPY

To Whom It May Concern :

Hi there. Perhaps you have noticed that there is money to be made with releases from Japan's Toho Company, Ltd. You don't even need Godzilla on the cover. Crazy, huh? Well, I'd like you to consider releasing one of Toho's more obscure efforts when the rights become available (they were previously with Classic Media, continuing from UPA, but they have relinquished them).

The movie is called ESPY and as you can see, it is already on DVD in Japan. See, already this isn't so much work. Toho themselves have already assembled a pretty good package. All you need is to add a few Western touches.

This movie stars Hiroshi Fujioka (well known across the world for things like KAMEN RIDER and SUBMERSION OF JAPAN), Kaoru Yumi, and Masao Kusakari. There are also roles for a variety of well-known faces in Japan. Best of all, the villain is played by Tomisaburo Wakayama. Yes, this is the same guy from the "Baby Cart" films. See? Instant crossover marketing!

What should be on the DVD? Well, the widescreen transfer from the Japanese DVD, obviously. It's probably the best this movie can possibly look. Subtitled, of course. The trailer would be great. I'd love to have the audio commentary ported over with subtitles. Oh, and a booklet would be nice. Nothing extensive, just a few pages.

Dubbing? Yes, please. The English track would be fabulous. It's very entertaining, and it was commissioned by Toho (done in Hong Kong!). Getting hold of it should be simple.

This movie was only issued once in the United States, by Paramount in the mid- 90s on a cheap EP VHS. The movie was full-screen only, and worse still, it was riddled with very poorly done edits. A movie that is actually 94 minutes ran only 87. So you see, you will certainly do better than that.

I own that shoddy VHS tape, as it is the only licensed release available in this country. I've also got a copy of the Japanese disc. But an American DVD would make me so very happy, because I love this movie beyond all common sense. I know it's not top shelf Toho, but I think it would be a good seller.

Thanks for listening.

Your friend,


  1. I completely agree that ESPY should be released on DVD in the U.S.! I believe I saw the film once, a long time ago (when I was incredibly young) but I don't remember much of it to confirm it. Needless to say, I've been almost obsessive in trying to find this film!

    I've also heard of the rare VHS but I've never seen it in person or a picture of it. It pops up on eBay from time to time in the $60 range (!) which is a bit much for me.

    This movie deserves a good release here.

  2. There are places to find it with subtitles, but I shouldn't link them here. Just FYI.

    $60 for an SLP speed tape? That's absolutely crazy. Then again, it is the only English language version that has ever been commercially released.

    Thanks for stopping by!