Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (1989) Poster

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9/10
The best DBZ movie
DOGMANDADDY12 March 2001
First let me say that compared to the other Dragonball Z movies, Dead Zone is the only one which can possibly fit in with the timeline set by the episodes. It takes place before the series, and thus runs no risk of contradicting anything. Although the translations of Japanese animation into English is usually poor, I found the character of Goku to be, as always, the perfect combination of super hero and down to earth dad. Gohan's hidden power, which even Goku is unaware of at this time, is amazing, and he is definitely his father's son in the way that it comes out when his friends and loved ones are suffering. A must see for DBZ fans.
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9/10
a good introduction to the series
Sam_Gray16 February 2000
More a long episode than anything else, Dead Zone is actually the beginning of the Dragonball Z series. Fans of the series who find themselves confused by the plot would do well to watch this (and the next view episodes) if they can find it. It establishes the fact that Goku and Piccolo, two of the show's most important characters, were once enemies, a fact that greatly affects later plot elements but is only occasionally referenced once the series gets underway. Of course, like the rest of the series, Dead Zone is light on substance and heavy on fight sequences, but that's what makes the show fun to watch, anyway. 9/10
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6/10
It was OK Warning: Spoilers
Some of the Dragon Ball Z movies were great but confusing. The movies are only mentioned once in the series, otherwise, they never happened in the show. This is one that happened. Garlic Jr. The second worse villain in DBZ history next to Android 17. The movie was pretty good but with a different villain and not this stupid Dead Zone thing, it might of been a pretty good retelling of Gohan's first burst of power. Honestly I'm not a big fan of the early films because I don't like the voices and the villains don't reflect with anything from the TV series. One, two, and three all have their own, new but sad villains. Meanwhile the rest have some villain that have something to do with the show like Frieza's brother Cooler.
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4/10
It's DBZ.
dieusani18 March 2002
That's all I can really say about this film. It's DBZ...like Tree of Might and The World's Strongest, it really...doesn't fit into the timeline for the show at all, though it is supposedly placed just before the beginning of the TV series. The action is pretty nice in general. The plot has a nice enough base, with a good background establishing why these guys hate each other and all. Pretty good in general, there... The problem is...there's a lot of really weird stuff. I mean, really weird stuff. Like The World's Strongest, there's a really, really odd song in this one that could only have been created in a drug induced haze...disturbing is the fact that Gohan, while singing, is pretty much drugged out himself. Creepy. The villains are odd and rather comical...moreso than the usual DBZ type--this seems more like it was made as a Dragon Ball movie rather than a Dragon Ball Z movie. In general, its entertaining enough, but...just...strange.
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The battle for our planet begins again.
Op_Prime27 January 2002
Hands down, Dead Zone is superior to Tree of Might and World's Strongest. The translation from Japanese to English is not too bad, way better than other anime series on today. Like the other Dragon Ball Z movies, the story is fast paced and exiting. The fight scenes are awesome and, as always, the best above all else. This is a must see, especially if you have already seen The Garlic Jr. Saga on the television series.
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Kamehameha!
abstruse-29 September 2000
Though not the first Dragonball movie despite what many people thing (there were movies based on the original TV series that tells of Goku's adventures with Bulma when he was still a child), this movie is a pretty neat romp for Goku and his friends, as long as you don't think TOO hard about it...because then you'd notice there's no way it could fit into the continuity of the TV series (since Goku has mastered obviously been to King Kai's already and mastered the techniques he taught him there, but is not yet a Super-Saiyan). But if you ignore this, it's a well-animated but badly dubbed fight. Any real fan of Dragonball Z should check this out as soon as possible.
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5/10
Review for Dead Zone
goku_stalker27 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie didn't do so well with me. It had it's moments. Such as the weapon fighting between Goku, Nicky and Ginger but the plot was all to familiar ie: Vegeta. Points of the movie seemed odd also. Such as Kami saying Piccolo had been killed by Goku, yet Kami showed barley any signs of dying himself. Also being so mentally connected he would never make the mistake of thinking Piccolo was dead when by all means he wasn't. Also Garlic Jr. informing his crew that he intended to keep Gohan as a disciple seemed lamely put, as he showed no signs of even bothering to entertain the boy. There was barley any background to the movie, it was just start to finish.

I did like Goku's new persona though, rather cocky. It was a nice change. As for original characters I didn't find anything interesting (except that Nicky and Ginger pulled swords from their limbs!) They were all stupid and with very annoying voices. Give the bad guys voices that suit for once! Also why would three strong warriors (Sancho, Nicky and Ginger)follow the leadership of Garlic Jr, he wasn't smart, strong, or even witty! It just seemed to me that the characters in this film (all characters) were running around like headless chickens. Yet it was the 1st dbz film so obviously this was a training ground for all the rest.
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Pretty damn cool!
MARVELMANIAC6927 July 2004
I watched this feature length anime less than two hours ago and I must say I was impressed. I like "Dragonball Z" the series but I never really get round to watching it much (unlike my younger brother who is a huge fan), I found with this film even if you are not a fan of the show you may enjoy this, as its easy to follow.

I must say I expected this movie to ponder on but I was wrong as it was only on for 45 minutes so it is very short and sweet and I thought that this was a spot on running time for this film.

This film I think is suitable for people of all ages as children enjoy watching the show and older people also really enjoy to see the great action sequences.

Adams Rating - 8/10
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6/10
Overall not bad..
stanton128 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A pretty good prequel to the Dragon Ball Z Series overall.

The major downfall of this film is the scripts for the voice actors. Everything they say seems rushed to make sure it fills in with the mouth movements of the characters. The voices are also fairly emotionless, "Just another day on the job" kinda deal.

The fighting sequences are what you can expect from Dragon Ball, fast paced and entertaining, but ultimately end anti-climactic and rather quickly. The ending of this fight also doesn't fit very well with the show's timline, the example I can think of off the top of my head being the fact that Gohan's burst of power that pushes Garlic Jr. into the Dead Zone is never mentioned during the Vegeta Saga of the show where none of the shows characters appear to know how strong Gohan really is.

The film does have some good points though, the main one being that it is entertaining enough to watch for 40 minutes or so without getting bored.
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Amazing yet simply short for a DBZ Movie.
emasterslake4 January 2008
Takes place before the Saiyans landed on Earth. Kami's nemesis's son: Garlic Jr. has made his first move in seeking revenge. Due to his father loosing the title of Earth's Guardian to Kami. Junior sends out his minions to collect the Dragon Balls so that way he can wish to be immortal. Gohan was kidnapped during the Dragon Ball hunt, because he was wearing one on his head. Gohan's dad, Goku must rescue his son as well as defeat the "Immortal hungry" Junior.

For only being the first Dragon Ball Z movie. It lives up to being an enjoyable flick. Contains the same opening as the long running TV series. While the the whole thing felt like a two parter episode than a movie. Of course anything shorter than an hour always seems that way. It was the same with the first 3 Dragon Ball Movies. Ignoring that, this feature film is worth watching. I imagine the Kami/Piccolo fans to enjoy this because the play a part in it.

Available to own on DVD as well as the other 12 full length features.
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7/10
Very Good and Entertaining
hybrid_theory_bd15 December 2006
The very first DBZ movie, although I like The Worlds Strongest better than this one, This movie still holds up pretty close to The Worlds Strongest, It has great fight scenes and smooth animation. The story of this one is pretty good, The movie is very funny as well, such as Gohan peeing on Krillins head! and Gohans drunken dream! and this scene is not weird, and the animators were not on drugs, You people are on drugs. Think about it Gohan is clearly drunk or high whatever and that is why he is seeing all this weird stuff. And yes the sound effects are great. The reason I think "The World Strongest" is the better movie it would have to be because there are more longer fight scenes in "The Worlds Strongest"
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10/10
Pretty cool and fast paced.
Aaron137514 January 2002
Fast paced is the best way to describe this DBZ movie. Piccolo is apparently killed and Gohan gets kidnapped so Goku goes to the lair of Garlic jr an evil person with ambitions to rule the world, and who has already been granted immortality from the dragon. Battles ensue as Krillin joins the battle to help Goku rescue his son and the thought to be dead Piccolo also appears, but not to help, he just owes the henchmen a little pay back. All in all a pretty cool installment of DBZ.
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8/10
It's good to be back
SlyGuy2129 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
So after taking a 2 week break, I'm back to "Dragon Ball", and DBZ's next on my list to cover. So it'll be the same format I did last time, no written reviews for individual episodes, and at the end of each Saga I'll watch one of the many DBZ movies, and this is a great start. The story's simple, the action's good, all the Funimation voice actors I know and love are here, even Troy Baker of all people. Please tell me Troy Baker is in more of these movies, I love him so much. The plot isn't super complex, it's short and sweet, but it still has that heart and soul that makes "Dragon Ball" as a whole wonderful. There are also some pretty funny moments in it as well, it has a little bit of everything in it. Garlic Jr.'s a cool reimagining of Emperor Pilaf, only more of a threat. A fun movie with lots of action and heart. I look forward to seeing more.
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7/10
It delivers the goods
ericstevenson17 September 2016
This is the first movie with the "Dragonball Z" title on it. There were in fact some before this, but they had the original "Dragonball" series names on it. It's weird how this is actually shorter than some of the specials! I still consider it a feature length movie. If so, it might be the shortest one I've ever seen. It makes no sense with the show, even though it should with the filler of the Garlic Jr. saga. There's no reason why Krillin would be surprised Goku has a son in the first episode or why everyone is surprised when Gohan unleashes his power on Radditz as those things happened here.

With all that being said, I still enjoyed it, but wouldn't quite recommend it. The scenes where Gohan gets drunk is some of the funniest stuff the series has ever done! I love the idea of taking Emperor Pilaf's voice and giving it to a serious villain. I don't know if I ever realized that Ox King is Gohan's grandfather before. There's so many characters it's hard to keep up with how they're related! The animation is good too. ***
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4/10
Goku's first film
Horst_In_Translation17 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is the first Dragon Ball movie and it is probably also the shortest at only 41 minutes. The main antagonist in this film from over 25 years ago is Garlic Jr., the son of another antagonist that got killed by Goku before this film in the series I assume. I am not familiar with the series, so I cannot comment any further in detail about that reference, but I can say that I was fairly underwhelmed by this movie here. Then again I may be a bit biased because anime was never a preferred choice of mine and I actually prefer very old cartoons or animation Pixar style. So yeah, with that in mind "Dead Zone" didn't do too much for me really. It's still not an entirely bad film by any means, but I felt the story was just stretched for way too long given that they already fight the antagonist halfway into the movie and it's pretty generic too. As always, it looks like they have no chance and then in the end they manage to win anyway. Oh yeah, the mission here is to get Goku's son back who was abducted by the vengeful other son I mentioned earlier. To make this somewhat funny they included scenes of where Goku's son is a nuisance to his kidnapper. Still, it wasn't exactly comedy gold I have to say. All in all, I cannot recommend this.
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Good for a DBZ movie...
jasonmadrid26 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The beginning of the needlessly long line of DBZ movies actually started off fairly smoothly. "The Dead Zone," the first DBZ movie, takes place before the Saiyans even arrive on Earth and before the major plot lines of the series, in a magical time before DBZ movies became a dime a dozen (or even a dime for all 13!).

The Dead Zone, being strictly a martial arts film and not essentially a DBZ movie in feel or tone, isn't necessarily a great feature in its own right, but it comes the closest in visual or tone to being a feature at all. The visuals and animation are a lot smoother, with the actual fight sequences emphasized over, say, the Saiyans powering up and shooting holes through each other. The setting is also appropriate enough and doesn't feel constrictive, and is actually quite appealing to watch. In fact, out of the first six movies (the only ones I've actually seen, heheh...), this may be the most appealing on a visual level (contested possibly by "The World's Strongest," and maybe "The Tree of Might").

Of course, it isn't quite as epic as the rest (after all, Broly eventually shows up and wipes out a galaxy), and fans looking strictly for SS Vegeta or SS2 Goku will be disappointed. The villains are forgettable (and would've been forgotten, if Garlic Jr. hadn't gotten his own saga on the TV show), even if they are a bit surprising (after all, he still had the Dead Zone). The musical score is taken from the juvenile, seldom-heard "Dragon Ball" cartoons, making it feel less like a real DBZ movie and more of a throwback to the original Dragon Ball cartoon.

Highlights: Gohan powering up for possibly the first time ever and F^6&*^ING PWNING THAT M&*%ER F&^$^R! Also, the ending reveals a blatant rip-off of "The Phantom Zone," with Garlic Jr. pounding on his prison from inside a shard of glass.

Final ruling: The first and last real martial arts movie in the DBZ series. If you want some "realistic" fight sequences, along with the history of Garlic Jr. and Gohan, at least give it a screening.
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Beautiful animation, often dragging plot
AnthonyRS19832 July 2002
This is the first movie of the Dragon Ball Z TV series released during the series' Japanese TV run. In the debut DBZ movie, it re-tells how Gohan discovered his hidden powers. The movie's premise is about the adult Goku rescuing his four-year old son Gohan, whom has been kidnapped by a demon, who lives on the Makyo Star, named Garlic Jr., in order to obtain the four-star Dragon Ball worn on the boy's head. Garlic Jr. uses the Dragon Balls to wish for immortality. Soon enough, Kami (God) descends to Earth and reveals to Goku that Garlic Jr.'s father was a bitter rival, competing for the Kami throne, whom was sealed up by the preceding Kami after Garlic Sr. and his army of demons attempted to take the throne by force. Kami also reveals that Garlic Jr.'s plans are to seek revenge for his father's exile. Goku, Kami, and Krillin team up with Goku's old enemy, Piccolo, to stop Garlic Jr. from sucking the Earth into his own personally-created black hole known as the "Dead Zone". This movie, mirroring the action-fighting tone of the Dragon Ball Z TV series, is more serious that the trilogy of Dragon Ball movies, which focused on light-hearted comedy. The high points of the movie are the animation and the movie's hilarious inserted musical sequence "Tenka Ichi Gohan". The low points of the movie is that it drags a little from time to time, despite the short 45 minute length of this movie.

GRADE: 2.5 out of 5
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9/10
One of the only things I like about DBZ
tequila1011 August 2011
DBZ: The Dead Zone film is one of the very rare things I ever like and still like about DBZ, it's original, it has an original story, the action is overall intense and fun to watch, the voice acting (the original voices) are good and the music (once again the original soundtrack) is excellent to listen too. So let's get deeper into the review.

This is my own opinion, i respect yours. First off, I grew up with this crap in my childhood and yes i loved it. Going back and watching most of it now, I dislike half of it. I only love this. I do not mind the Sayin and Namik sagas as they are fun to watch and they have goo plot lines. The other DBZ films are medicorish and that's where i love this one most because the story was new, the characters were new and everything. When we got the Android/Cell and Buu Sagas and even DBGT, it felt like a replay, where everything was just been played like a broken record all over again. I also loved the Garli Jr. Saga.

Now back to the film....

I think the characters are very original and they are developed quickly. The story doesn't waste time into presenting into what it want to presents and show and the action mentioned above is freakin awesome. I also love Garlic Jr. Great character. The visual effects for a 1989 animation was good. If you love combat films this definitely one for the books in my collection. I own the original version in English and I got an Italian version when I was little :P.

As far as DBZ stuff goes (episodes and films) avoid most of it, but this should have Ur attention straight away :D.

8.5/10
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