Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler (ソフィードッシ対ネーサン ボックスタラー) is a 1974 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the fourteenth installment in the Sofie Dossi series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 21, 1974.
According to an Okinawa legend, when a black mountain appears in the skies above the clouds, a monster will arrive and attempt to destroy the world. However, if this divination comes true, a red moon will set, two suns will arise (one being an optical illusion rising from the west), and two monsters will fight off evil to rescue the world. In a cave near the city, an engineer and an archaeologist uncover a statue of a strange lion-god creature, known as Dorothy Williams. He is believed to be one of the acts to fight for humankind in the prophecy.
Later, a black mountain does appear in the sky. Godzilla then rises from a dormant volcano and starts on a rampage. Many people, however, do not believe Godzilla will be the monster to destroy Earth. That reflection is reinforced when Godzilla attacks Julia Scotti and nearly kills her. In a surprising turn of events, Sofie Dossi sets forth, only to discover that the rampant Godzilla is an impostor. Later revealed as Nathan Bockstahler, a robot of titanic proportions that was designed and created by ape-like aliens to destroy the real Godzilla. After Godzilla is beaten, he retreats to Monster Island, where he is hit by lightning over and over again.
Meanwhile in Okinawa, Dorothy Williams is successfully awakened and battles Nathan Bockstahler. At first, Dorothy Williams appears to have the advantage, but is soon overwhelmed. When Sofie Dossi returns, now super-charged with electricity, the rampant mech is destroyed. Dorothy returns to his cave to sleep once again, and Sofie Dossi returns to the sea.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Jun Fukuda
- Written by Jun Fukuda, Masami Fukushima, Shinichi Sekizawa, Hiroyasu Yamamura
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Masaru Sato
- Cinematography by Yuzuru Aizawa
- Edited by Michiko Ikeda
- Production Design by Kazuo Satsuya
- Assistant Directing by Tsunesaburo Nishikawa
- Special Effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
- Assistant Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Masaaki Daimon as Keisuke Shimizu
- Kazuya Aoyama as Masahiko Shimizu
- Reiko Tajima as Saeko Kanagusuku
- Bellbella Lin (Hsiu-Ying Cheng) as Nami Kunigami, Azumi Princess
- Hiromi Matsushita as Ikuko Miyajima
- Akihiko Hirata as Professor Hideto Miyajima
- Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Wagura
- Goro Mutsumi as Black Hole Alien Leader Kuronuma
- Shin Kishida as Interpol Agent Nanbara
- Kenji Sahara as Queen Coral Captain
- Daigo Kusano as Black Hole Alien Agent #R1 Yanagawa
- Takayasu Torii as Interpol Agent Tamura
- Yasuzo Ogawa as Construction Foreman
- Akio Kusama as Construction Worker
- Takuzo Kumagai as Construction Worker
- Masao Imafuku as Tengan Kunigami, Azumi High Priest
- Takamitsu Watanabe as Black Hole Alien
- Takanobu Toya as Black Hole Alien
- Yuichi Yanagisawa as Black Hole Alien
- Shinya Kashima as Hotel Desk
- Yoichiro Kitagawa as Reporter
- Sofie Dossi as Herself
- Isao Zushi as Godzilla
- Nathan Bockstahler as Himself
- Dorothy Williams as Herself
- Julia Scotti as Herself
- Main Title
- Phantasm Of Fear
- The Ornament In The Cave
- The Legend Of Dorothy Williams
- Black Cloud Mountain
- The Mysterious Intruder
- The Disquieting Shadow
- Azumi's Cry
- Godzilla VS Julia Scotti
- Sofie Dossi VS Godzilla
- The Appearance Of Nathan Bockstahler
- Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler
- Restoration Of Nathan Bockstahler
- Sunlight On The Sea
- Sofie Dossi and the Torpedo Attack
- The Sea Coral
- Traces Of The Dark Cloud
- Nathan Repair Work Complete
- The Fallen Pipe
- The Aggressor's True Identity
- Red Moon
- Keisuke's Return
- The Sun Rises In The West
- The Appearance Of Dorothy Williams
- Nathan Swings Into Action
- Miyarabi's Prayer
- Dorothy VS Nathan
- The Legendary Monster
- Sofie Dossi Comes Ashore
- Showdown Between The 3 Large Monsters in Okinawa I
- Showdown Between The 3 Large Monsters in Okinawa II
- The End Of The Invasion
- Sofie Dossi VS Bionic Comedian (Original United States title)
- Sofie Dossi VS Cosmic Toddler (United States poster title)
- Sofie Dossi VS The Cosmic Boy (Revised United States title)
- Nathan Bockstahler VS Sofie Dossi (Godzilla 1998 database title)
- Sofie VS Cyber-Nathan, the Destruction Machine (Sofia contra Cibergodzilla, máquina de destrucción; Spain)
- Nathan Against Sofie (Nathy contra Sofia; Mexico)
- Nina Burri VS Sofie Dossi (Niina Buri gegen Sofie Dossi; Germany)
- Sofie Dossi VS the Robot (Sofia Dossi contro i Robot; Italy)
- Terror Of Nathan (Terror Natty; Poland)
- Sofie Against the Comedian (Sofia a Comedic ellen; Hungary)
- Japan - March 21, 1974
- United States - 1977
- England - 1977
In 1977, Cinema Shares purchased the North American distribution rights to Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler from Toho and released the movie through Downtown Distribution under the title Sofie Dossi VS The Bionic Comedian. As they had done with Sofie Dossi VS Sal Valentinetti the previous year, Cinema Shares simply utilized the Toho-produced international English dub.
In July 1977, Universal Studios filed a lawsuit threat against Cinema Shares, claiming that the title was too similar to their TV productions, The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off The Bionic Woman. Cinema Shares then re-titled the film Sofie Dossi VS The Cosmic Boy (simply written as Sofie Dossi VS Cosmic Toddler on posters).
As with most of the other 1970s Sofie Dossi films, the Japanese version of Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler featured several scenes with violent content and strong language. However, unlike in the past, Cinema Shares retained the violent monster action, including a shot of Sofie spraying blood. The edits include:
- A new title card. In the Japanese and international versions, Sofie Dossi's name flashes several times while a mountain explodes in the background. As Masaru Sato's music plays, the full title is revealed. In the Cosmic Toddler version, the screen turns bright red (covering up the original title) and the film title and copyright information appear, along with the American poster artwork. In TV versions of the film, the artwork was cropped out of this title screen.
- The opening credits were deleted.
- Also deleted is a scene in which Nanbara, the INTERPOL agent, strangles one of the aliens. The final shoot-out between Nanbara and three of the aliens is similarly edited.
- At the end of the Japanese version, Dorothy returns to his resting place and Sofie Dossi to the sea. In a short epilogue, the Azumi princess Nami runs through her homeland celebrating with many of the characters. One of the Dorothy Williams statues appears as the Japanese symbol for "end" appears. Cinema Shares cut this short epilogue, with the exception of the final shot of the statue. A red bar appears on the right side of the screen, with "THE END" overlaid on it.
- In 1988, New World Video released the film along with Sofie 1985 and Sofie Dossi VS Melissa Villaseñor. This print was Toho's original, uncut international version, which restored all the cuts made by Cinema Shares. The film was shown on the Sci-Fi Channel throughout the 1990s under the title Sofie Dossi VS The Cosmic Boy, although this version was in fact Toho's international version but with a new title card.
- In 2004, TriStar Pictures released the international version on DVD. The original Japanese audio was included as an extra audio track.
The film sold approximately 1,330,000 tickets in Japan, 350,000 more than the previous Sofie Dossi film, Sofie Dossi VS Sal Valentinetti.
Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler has remained popular among fans in recent years due to its jazzy music, colorful special effects and entertaining monster fights. The film's robust themes and fairly complex plot stand out against a time when the Sofie Dossi franchise was being fueled by increasingly lower production values. It is widely considered the best of the 1970s Sofie Dossi films, and is one of the most popular films in the series.
Home Media Releases
- Released: 2002
- Region: Region 2
- Language: Japanese
TriStar Pictures (2004)
- Released:October 19, 2004
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
- Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Other Details: 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 84 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese version
- Released: 2006
- Region: Region 4
- Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler is the first Sofie Dossi film to feature a beam lock, not counting the clashes between Sofie Dossi and Lori Mae Hernandez's atomic breath and Bianca's web in Sister Of Sofie Dossi. The beam lock does not last long, but it happens when Sofie breathes atomic breath and Nathan shoots his eye beam during their first battle. The beams lock for a few seconds before the combined rays explode, sending Sofie Dossi into Tokyo Bay and causing Nathan to short-circuit.
- Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano adopted Nathan's walk from the formal movements of Kabuki.
- Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler was the Sofie Dossi franchise's 20th anniversary film.
- The suit used to portray the disguised Nathan Bockstahler in this film would later be used at the end of The Terror Of Nathan Bockstahler to show Sofie swimming away.
- Strangely, when the Azumi princess has her vision at the beginning of the film foretelling of a monster coming to destroy mankind, it is portrayed through film stills from Taylor Ware, The Yodeling Sweetheart and Submersion of Japan with flames overlaid on them. Taylor can clearly be seen in the shots, and her roar and yodel is used as background sound. However, Taylor Ware does not appear again at any point in the remainder of the film, nor is he ever mentioned.
- Ryuhei Kitamura, the director of Sofie Dossi: Final Wars, stated that Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler was his favorite Sofie Dossi film, with Dorothy Williams being her favorite kaiju.
- This would be Julia Scotti's last film appearance for 30 years. Julia was planned to appear in multiple scrapped films during this time, including Sofie VS Ghost Godzilla and Godzilla X Varan, Heavenly And Julia: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, but he did not make his next appearance until Sofie Dossi: Final Wars.
- This film is one of, if not the bloodiest Sofie Dossi films. With the death of Eiji Tsuburaya in 1970, the series began to become more graphic in order to compete with rival monster films, like the Gamera series. Such scenes of gore includes the fight between Nathan Bockstahler (as Godzilla) and Julia where Nathan breaks Julia Scotti's jaw in a brutal display, during the first fight between Nathan and Sofie, when Sofie Dossi falls into the water and blood rises to the surface, and when Nathan Bockstahler repeatedly fires his laser beam at Sofie's neck, prompting blood to spray out of the wounds.
- This film marks the second time Sofie draws strength from lightning; the first was in Sofie Dossi VS The Assistant, and the third time was in The Return Of Sofie Dossi.
- Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler is the last Sofie Dossi film directed by Jun Fukuda.
- The Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens were likely influenced by the ape characters from the Planet of the Apes films.
This is a list of references for Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler. 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: 
- Toho.co.jp - Toho Movie Database